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: 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

 

Book Review: The Angel Alejandro by Alistair Cross

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.The Angel Alejandro

 

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

Angel or Demon?

Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro, and Madison O’Riley has no clue what to do with him. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes the mysterious man who saved her life harbors deep, otherworldly secrets that will put her in grave danger.

The Devil is in the Details

Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a price, he’s willing to make a deal. Walking the streets in top hat and trench coat, he tempts the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. But buyer beware: All sales are final – and fatal.

A Scorching New Terror Has Come to Town

The townspeople are changing in appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

The Review:

This book is so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn’t fin
d it with binoculars! When I was approached about reviewing it, I thought it would be an interesting change of pace from my norm. Was I right? Yes and no.

The novel itself is well-written and complex. The plot is a winding journey into depravity. With tons of characters and at least ten changes in POV, the reader will need to pay close attention. Seeing the story from so many angles made the story more developed. BUT that’s where I began to have a problem.

At over 500 pages, this one is a serious time investment, and many, many scenes could have been shortened or even deleted. I was overwhelmed by all of the stomach-churning deviancy. When the devil comes to town, people lose their minds–I get it. The perverted actions quickly made me uncomfortable and disgusted. “Fade to black” would have worked after the first, or tenth, scene, and I really wish the banishing of evil could have had as much emphasis as the perversion.

The portrayal of angels was unique. If you are thinking of those sweet little cherubs or even those white-winged creatures in long robes, think again. Alistair Cross’s angels prefer nudity and smell like whatever you love most. (And I have been racking my brain trying to decide what very own Alejandro would smell more like, buttercream frosting or Fabreze.) Alejandro was kind and naive, to the point I wanted to shake him at times, but his sweetness kept me reading. His Snow White effect on animals was weird, but hey, if he smelled that great, I’d chase him down the street, too.

3.5 Stars