Tag: Fairy Tales

Review: Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea

Posted November 1, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Beauty and the Beast by K.M. SheaReviewer: Holly
Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea
Series: Timeless Fairy Tales #1
Also in this series: The Princess and the Pea
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 12, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: No
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy
Pages: 272
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Once upon a time Elle made a mistake. A small miscalculation sends her through the roof of an enchanted chateau. Stranded until her broken leg mends, Elle is forced to rely on the good will of the sour chateau owner —the cursed Prince Severin.

Prince Severin—the commanding general and staunch supporter of his brother the crown prince—is cursed to look like a beast until a maiden falls in love with him. However, he has given up all hope of shattering the curse after several painful and failed attempts to break it. As such he has only disdain for Elle, leaving her to the devices of his bossy servants. This suits Elle perfectly as she dislikes the entire royal family, Severin included.

Unfortunately for the unsuspecting pair, the chateau servants are determined to break the curse and spend the majority of their time pushing Elle and Severin together. After bonding over gardens, animals, and terrifying squirrels Elle and Severin show signs of friendship, and perhaps something more…

But not all love stories can end that easily. After all, Elle is not what she seems, and Severin’s life is placed in danger when hostilities flare between his brother and the monarchs of a neighboring country.

If they really want the love of a lifetime Elle, a loyal liar, and Severin, an indifferent beast, will have to use every trick they know to survive.

I’ve read some other novels by Shea and I am a total sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I snagged this one from KU even though I had to DNF the first book in the prequel series (Apprentice of Magic). I enjoyed the way this was presented. The basic bones of the B&tB story are here, with some fun twists to make it the author’s own. I liked Elle and Severin, and the way their friendship developed. I didn’t really love the main conflict, and how he rejected her, but it didn’t kill the story for me.

I find these to be long reads and all the filler kind of makes for a difficult reading experience. Plus, I hate how the author sort of coyly drug out Elle’s reasons for being at the Chateau in the first place for the entire book. I had figured it out early on, and the constant hinting at it was frustrating.

While I enjoyed this and the previous novella, I don’t know that I’ll continue with the series. None of the other blurbs really appealed to me, and I’m not interested in the overarching storyline.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Timeless Fairy Tales

three-half-stars


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Review: The Princess and the Pea by K.M. Shea

Posted October 27, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Princess and the Pea by K.M. SheaReviewer: Holly
The Princess and the Pea by K.M. Shea
Series: Timeless Fairy Tales #0.5
Also in this series: Beauty and the Beast
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 1, 2018
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: No
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

What if the true makings of a princess have nothing to do with where she’s from and everything to do with who she is?

She may hate her nickname of “Warrior Princess” but Lis stakes her reputation on her ability to protect her client’s treasures no matter what she faces.

But this job is different.

When the royal family of Torrens hires her to guard the fabled Pea of Primeorder jewel it starts out like any other job. The king is kind of eccentric (and possibly delusional) and Prince Channing is strangely pleasant towards her, but otherwise everything is normal.

Until she learns about the thief.

The legendary thief Apex has sent a letter declaring his intention to steal the Pea of Primeorder. Lis knows this is either the vainest thief in the world or there is more going on then she’s been told. But a job is a job. Lis will pass this test at all costs even if she has to stuff the jewel in her mattress while she sleeps.

But eccentricities of the Torrens royal family only intensifies as Prince Channing starts asking Lis strange questions. Like...would Lis stay in Torrens after her contract is over, and if they could learn to fight together. (What kind of royal asks that?)

A Prince, a Warrior, and a Pea. The Kingdom of Torrens will never be the same.

This novella is a prequel for the Timeless Fairy Tale series. It is not necessary to read the books in the Timeless Fairy Tales series prior to reading this story. However, if you have read that series watch for the name drops and hidden Easter eggs!

I found the Timeless Fairy Tales series while browsing Goodreads and decided to give this novella a try. I loved the premise of a kickass warrior princess, and I’m happy to report she was everything I was hoping for.

Lis has made a name for herself as a mercenary. Although she’s of common origins, she’s been labeled the “Warrior Princess” because she’s such an excellent fighter. When she and her protégée, Vorah, are hired to protect the Pea of Primeorder jewel, Lis figures it will be a job just like any other. But when she arrives at the Kingdom of Torrens, nothing is quite as it seems. She’s determined to protect the Pea at all costs.

I really liked that Lis was a true warrior, and her friendship with Vorah. The two of them were fabulous and totally made this story worth reading. The romance was kind of unnecessary. I didn’t really feel like Lis was truly in love at the end. I’m honestly not even sure why it was included. The friendship between Vorah and Lis, and how kickass they were, made the story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Timeless Fairy Tales

three-half-stars


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Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

Posted October 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. SmithReviewer: Holly
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
Narrator: Susannah Jones
Series: Vine Witch #1
Publisher: 47North
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 263
Length: 8 hours and 42 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith is a debut historical fantasy novel. This was an Amazon First pick. The audio add-on was only $1.99, so I snagged that with it and ended up listening to the whole book. The narrator did a wonderful job with the story.

Set somewhere near the turn of the century in France (automobiles are just becoming popular, though the year is never mentioned), The Vine Witch follows Elena Boureanu as she beats a deadly curse and returns to family winery Château Renard, the only home she’s ever known…only to discover it’s been sold and life as she knew it is changed forever.

For seven years, Elena has been stuck as a toad, forced to eat poison to fend off a deadly curse. When she finally breaks free, she returns home to Château Renard with vengeance in her heart. She’s convinced her former fiance is the one who cursed her when she broke off their engagement, and she plans to make him pay. When she returns home she finds all of the land has been hexed, not just her. It’ll take all her skill as a Vine Witch to untangle the mess of hexes…something made more difficult by the new owner’s refusal to believe in witches.

Jean Paul left a prestigious law firm in the city to become a winemaker when he saw the renowned Château Renard was available for sale. He wants nothing more than to produce amazing wine…using science, not the superstitious “magic” the locals claim is responsible for the good – and bad – in the land. When Elena returns, he’s suspicious of her, but if she can teach him the secrets of her famed grandfather, she’ll be worth her weight in gold. As he and Elena become close, he realizes there’s more to her than meets the eye..and everything he thought he believed may be a lie….

This was a lovely fairytale-esque novel, filled with mystery, intrigue and magic. I truly enjoyed both Elena and Jean Paul, as well as the world Smith created. The melancholy of the vines, the hexed land and the shadowy figures responsible truly came to life. I figured out early on who the villains were, and how Elena came to be cursed, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the novel.

This was the fantasy Gothic novel I’ve been craving. The Vine Witch shines bright.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Vine Witch

The Glamourist (Coming 2020)

four-stars


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Guest Review: Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall

Posted November 14, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia CornwallReviewer: Tracy
Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall
Series: A Highland Fairy Tale #4
Also in this series: Beauty and the Highland Beast, When a Laird Finds a Lass, The Lady and the Highlander
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything is his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she's promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion—and adventure—can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind...

Gillian is fascinated by John Erly, an Englishman and the Captain of her brother-in-law’s army.  Gillian has always been quiet and shy and because of this she has let her family think and speak for her for her whole life.  When Gillian has the opportunity at a masquerade ball to be an unknown she takes the opportunity to seek out John.  He soon is enchanted and takes her into the garden.  They kiss and it’s amazing!  When people start entering the garden Gillian is afraid it will be her family and takes off, leaving only her mask behind.

Gillian leaves with her father the next day and doesn’t return for almost a year.  Though she has never forgotten the amazing kiss with John but she returns now so that her brother-in-law can take her to Edinburgh to get married.  She knows she can never marry John (because he’s English and her father would never allow it) so she has accepted the marriage proposal from a man who’s older than her father.

John has never forgotten the kiss he shared with the mystery woman and it’s haunted him for the many months since.  When he sees Gillian again he figures out she was the one he kissed.  He vows to stay away from her as he knows she’s betrothed.  When circumstances change and John is asked to take Gillian to Edinburgh to be married he can do nothing but agree.  Events cause the two to be together by themselves and they finally admit to themselves they’re in love.  Of course with Gillian getting married John isn’t about to stand in the way of her future but…things have a funny way of working out for the best – it’s a fairy tale after all!

This was another great fairy tale inspired romance in the Highland Fairy Tale series.  This one was loosely (and I do mean loosely) inspired by Cinderella.  Gillian drops her mask after she kisses John and gets back to her room at midnight.  That about covers the similarities.  Despite that it was a great story.

Gillian, as I said before, had let everyone think and talk for her all her life.  I have no idea why as she was smart and funny.  Yes, shy, but her family just drove right over her time and again – even when she did want to talk.  I was happy that when it came down to what she truly wanted (John) she opened her mouth and stood up for herself and their relationship.

John was a good man who had had a rough life but had settled into his duties as Captain in Scotland.  It wasn’t what he had planned for his life, but he did his job well.  He never expected to fall in love with a highland lass but when he did he tried to do the honorable thing. I had to admire the guy and his scruples.  I was also happy when he finally put his and Gillian’s happiness first – that was pretty great.

If you haven’t read this series, and you like fairy tales, then you should definitely pick up one of these great books.

Rating: 4 out of 5 

four-stars


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Review: Winning the Wallflower by Eloisa James

Posted January 23, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Winning the Wallflower by Eloisa JamesReviewer: Rowena
Winning the Wallflower by Eloisa James
Series: Fairy Tales #2.5
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: December 6th 2011
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

It could only happen in a fairy tale.

Lady Lucy Towerton:Plain and tall. (According to the lady herself.) Titled and irreproachably proper. (According to her fiancé.)

Until, overnight, she becomes

Lady Lucy Towerton:Heiress. (Thanks to an aged aunt’s bequest.)Belle of the ball. (So say the fortune hunters of the ton.)

In charge of her own destiny (finally!), Lucy breaks her engagement and makes up her mind never to be proper again…

NOTE: This novella is related to "The Duke Is Mine" and includes Olivia Lytton.

I’m so fired.

I decided last month that I was going to make a noticeable dent in my TBR pile and participate in the book blogging community more so I signed up for the TBR Challenge hosted by Super Librarian Wendy. I picked out my books, I made sure that my January book was downloaded onto my kindle and then I made sure that I read the book in plenty of time to get it reviewed and scheduled.

I read the book. I wrote the review and then I forgot to schedule the review so you’re getting this month’s entry late. Sorry, I swear that I’ll do better next month. 🙂

Anyway, on with the review…

So January’s entry is all about the short story and I chose a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a long ass time. Winning the Wallflower by Eloisa James. Eloisa James write fabulous historical romances and I knew that I was going to like this one because Ames liked it. We have similar reading tastes so I went into this one with high hopes and those hopes definitely played out well for me.

Lucy is a wallflower. She’s always overlooked and partying in the corner with the other wallflowers at every ball. When Cyrus asks for her hand in marriage, her parents grudgingly accept. They don’t want Cyrus in the family because his mother is a disgraced daughter of a lord of the ton, a woman who ran away and married a commoner. Cyrus is determined to turn things around for his family so that his sisters will get their shot at a season. He needs to marry someone above reproach and he finds all of that in Lucy.

Lucy knows that her marriage to Cyrus is not a love match but when she realizes how little Cyrus knows her and how much he doesn’t want to get to know her, she decides that she wants more than a marriage of convenience. She can afford to be picky because she came into an inheritance from her dead Aunt so she breaks things off with Cyrus and is surprised when Cyrus takes a genuine interest in her and pursues her in earnest.

Watching these two get to know each other and fall slowly in love with one another was a treat. Eloisa James is a pro at wrapping me up in feels and this short story was no different. It was fun to see Cyrus jump through hoops to win Lucy’s heart and I was so satisfied in the end. Cute and fun, you won’t regret reading this.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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