Book Review: Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole

Reviewer: Andreawicked abyss

The Summary:

This fairy tale doesn’t end with a kiss… A spellbinding Immortals After Dark tale from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole!

The terrifying king of hell…

As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster–just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell.

Meets his match.

Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for eons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good.

Can two adversaries share one happily-ever-after?

As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn, Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?

The Review:

Beautiful, bookish girl. Once-handsome man transformed to a monstrous creature.  Enchanted castle with a magic hand mirror. A deal to save the ones she loves. A countdown. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so, too.

I’m a big Kresley Cole fan. I’ve read nearly all of the IAD novels, and I mostly love them. This one was a little cheesy. I had no idea it would be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I should’ve got a clue when the novel begins in Disney World. The heroine, Lila, works as a princess at WDW, and there are Disney Easter eggs throughout the novel. I have nothing against a good fairytale reworked; in fact, I’ve read a number of them, but I like to know that in advance. It took a few chapters for me to catch on, but then it was completely obvious. I’m not sure if Cole is trying to play off the recent resurgence in the story since Disney’s release of the movie or if she had the idea first. Either way, this novel is definitely a retelling.

Having said that, I did enjoy the read and devoured the book in a day, but don’t be fooled by the fairytale thing–this novel is very mature. Abyssian is the damaged hero with a score to settle, and considering he’s the master of Pandemonia (a hell-like dimension), that damage makes him lethally dangerous in a charming sort of way. Lila is that feisty female that is pretty standard to Cole’s novels. If you love paranormal as I do, you might want to check this one out.

4 Stars

Book Review: Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Publication date: June 27, 201733547390

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?

Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

“Witty, sensual historical romance that will captivate readers.” —Romance Junkies

Duke with Benefits is the second in Manda Collins’ Studies in Scandal series set in Regency England.

 

The Review:

This is my second in the Scandal’s series, and I enjoyed it nearly as much as the first one. The great, and usually unusual, aspect of this series is that the novels actually have a plot. I hope that all four “bluestockings” have their own novels. I’ll read every one!

This novel centers around Daphne. Daphne knows everything there is to know about math and decoding, but she knows nothing about interacting with other people. Her blunt (to the point of rude–something I’ve been accused of more than once) speech is often funny and cringe-worthy. There were times when she seemed too ignorant, unbelievably so, though. She’s smart; she would know the common sayings, but I still enjoyed her character.

Dalton, the hunky Duke, is patient beyond patient with his socially awkward love. His character seemed a little underdeveloped to me. I would have liked to see more angst, a little more grime on him so to speak. He was awfully squeaky-clean. Here’s a guy who’s so honorable that he refuses take Daphne up on her indecent proposal–just seems a little unrealistic.

The plot was interesting, like the first in the series. The novel is a treasure hunt complete with clues and intrigue where Daphne will be forced to use her amazing talents. Unfortunately, the hunt ended too soon in my opinion.

Overall, I liked the novel but not quite as much as the first.

4 Stars

 

Book Review: Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.download

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

Never Trust a Pirate is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman.

The Review:

I loved this novel! This is my third Valerie Bowman novel, and it is by far my favorite. I do love a historical romance with a real plot, and this one has it in spades. It’s complex but fun, intriguing and interesting.

The “pirate” aspect may be a bit of a stretch, but that doesn’t deter from the plot. It’s spy against spy against spy in this one. More layers than Grandma’s coconut cake! The proverbial cat-and-mouse game takes from and center since Danielle has been ordered to spy on Cade, the brother of Rafe, a spy for the British government, and Cade, well, his “job” has more machinations than a Bond movie.

The most tantalizing part of the plot comes with the identity of the the Black Fox. You’ll never see this one coming, but you’ll have to read to find the answer!

There were some things that caused me to reread, parts that needed a bit more explanation, like not knowing till late in the novel that Cade was after the nefarious Lafayette Baptiste; however, it won’t detract from enjoying the story. I also was skeptical that Danielle would pass as a boy, especially since she has long hair that she has to shove under a cap. And I couldn’t decide, at first, if I loved or abhorred Cade’s cockiness, but gradually, he definitely grew on me.

Don’t miss out on this one!

5 Stars