Review of Bellamy and the Brute by Alicia Michaels

Synopsis (from Amazon):

A fresh twist on a classic story, Bellamy and the Brute proves true love really is blind.

When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she’s reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill―including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin’s eldest son, Tate. The former football star and golden boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness―one that causes deformity and turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she’s told that if she takes the job, she must promise to never, ever visit the third floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth hidden there.

Tate’s condition may not be the only secret being kept at Baldwin House. There are gaps in the family’s financial history that don’t add up, and surprising connections with unscrupulous characters. At night there are strange noises, unexplained cold drafts, and the electricity cuts out. And then there are the rose petals on the staircase. The rose petals that no one but Bellamy seems to be able to see. The rose petals that form a trail leading right up to the 3 rd floor, past the portrait of a handsome young man, and down a dark hallway where she promised she would never, ever go…

As Bellamy works to unravel the mysteries of Baldwin House and uncover the truth about Tate, she realizes that she is in way over her head… in more ways than one. Can her bravery and determination help to right the wrongs of the past and free the young man whose story has captured her heart?

Review:
This story felt like it went on forever, and I never wanted to set it down. There are twists and turns everywhere, both supernatural and common teenage problems to see and deal with, and all of it very relatable. Bellamy’s father is known for being crazy, and people worry or laugh suggesting she’ll be the same, so already, Bellamy has to deal with being ostracized and belittled, even if just for being smart at times.

With supernatural uncertainties, Tate and Bellamy find themselves having to figure out a mystery, while also learning about each other and how to associate with someone physically disabled. All in all, I thought the situations, and their reactions to them, were very realistic, and the story was gripping and quite wonderful. I certainly recommend, especially to those who enjoy Beauty and the Beast.

Star Rating: 

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Review of The Princess Search by Melanie Cellier

Synopsis (from Amazon):
An outcast.
A prince.
And a deadly rebellion…

After a lifetime of rejection, seamstress Evie can’t trust Frederic, the crown prince of Lanover–not his words of friendship or the way the warmth in his eyes seems to ask for even more. But when they end up on a tour of his kingdom–one filled with increasing danger–Evie’s mistrust might doom them all.

In this spin on the classic fairy tale, an ugly duckling must discover her true worth in order to save her kingdom and maybe even find true love.

Review:
This book truly shows that your past experiences will aid you in your future, and that the way you look at your life is just as important, if not moreso, than what you’ve gone through in the past. Although things hurt, experiencing pain is a part of life.

I quite loved how Evie, a seamstress who designed all sorts of clothes, ended up among a royal tour, getting to help the kingdom and teach the crown prince how to see beyond the obvious, and look for little details, reliving the life she had before, and realizing that getting out of it and being in a position to help isn’t something to be ashamed of– she should be proud of how she’d worked to elevate herself, and become something.

Star Rating: 

Review of Fractured Beauty by Adrienne Monson, Angela Corbett, Angela Brimhall, Lehua Parker

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Beauty and the Beast may be a tale as old as time, but in this collection by the Fairy Tale Ink you’ll meet five newly imagined Belles and the Beasts they love.

Angela Brimhall’s beast is a terrifying sea monster cursed by a scorned gypsy. He must risk all to save the strong-willed princess before losing his last chance at love and redemption, becoming forever damned to the briny deep.

Lehua Parker’s Nani is trapped by Indian and Hawaiian traditions and a fiancé locked in stasis in a medi-mod. Cultures and expectations collide in this sci-fi futuristic world where nano-bot tattoos and dreams reveal the secret of Nani’s heart.

Angela Corbett’s Ledger is determined to find out more about the mysterious woman who saved him from certain death and uncover the secrets of  Withering Woods, but some beasts are better left caged.

Adrienne Monson’s Arabella rushes to an enchanted castle to pay her father’s debt, but is met with a burly beast with a mysterious past. It’s a howling paranormal regency romp that will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime.

Review:
Brimhall’s– Quite enjoyed this story, the way that it twisted and curved, with everything twined together.

Parker’s- I loved this story. I didn’t necessarily think of it as Beauty and the Beast, but it was brilliant, unique, and I quite enjoyed it.

Corbett’s– It was an alright short story, but I didn’t quite see a big Beauty and the Beast theme, except for one character’s appearance. My least favourite of the stories.

Monson’s– I quite enjoyed the way she delivered an enchanted castle, and the way the romance developed. I also really enjoyed why Arabella’s father was sent away, and what it meant to and for her, and the Beast, ultimately.

All in all, an alright compilation, but most would have been better if allowed to shine on their own, without being considered a “Beauty and the Beast” novel.

Star Rating: 

Review of An Inconvenient Princess by Melanie Cellier

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Penny knows all about expectation. After all, she’s a seventh child and they’re always blessed, especially in a fairy-favored family like Penny’s. But Penny also knows all about disappointment. Because there’s nothing magical about her at all. She’s perfectly ordinary, even outshone by her own twin, Anneliese.

But maybe being ordinary is a good thing in this case, since gifts from the family’s fairy godfather, Mortimer, tend to lead to disaster. Which is why Penny is filled with dread when she discovers her twin has called on Mortimer for help. Anneliese ran away to find adventure, but now it sounds like she needs rescuing—if only Penny knew where to find her.

But soon Penny has far more problems than the location of her missing sister. When she’s forced to call on Mortimer herself, she’s soon embroiled with a rogue fairy, a tower without doors, a charming prince, and one highly inconvenient princess. With more and more people looking to Penny to secure their happily ever afters, will Penny ever have a chance to find one for herself? Find out in this twist on the classic fairy tale, Rapunzel.

An Inconvenient Princess is a romantic fairy tale novella. It can be read on its own, but is more fun when read as a part of the Entwined Tales, a series of interconnected fairy tales by six different authors. Each story follows the adventures of one of seven children from the same family as they seek out their own happily ever afters in spite of their reluctant fairy-godfather.

Review:
Penny is pragmatic. She doesn’t want to find trouble,but she knows her sister lives in a realm of tall tales and being extravagant, so when she sets off, Penny knows she will have to follow. Penny is an intelligent heroine, which makes her interesting. Despite being the younger twin, she feels responsible for Anneliese, and it drives her to great lengths. Finding her courage to become a leader instead of a follower, and try to do what is right makes this a great ending story for the series, especially since the happy ever after isn’t what you’d expect it to be.

Star Rating: 

Review of A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling

Synopsis (from Amazon):
All Clio wants is to make her crush—a fellow merman prince—notice her. She isn’t interested in the people on land, much less a certain Prince Lukas, who was stupid enough to fall off a ship on his birthday. But when a bumbling fairy godfather misunderstands her, Clio finds herself in the worst situation imaginable—stranded on land with her tail and voice gone.

And her troubles are just beginning. Not only must Clio learn how to behave like a human, but she also needs to discover the identity of a mysterious assassin, all while guarding herself against flirtatious advances from Lukas, the very person she wants to avoid.

A Little Mermaid is a romantic fairy tale novella. It can be read on its own, but is more fun when read as a part of the Entwined Tales, a series of interconnected fairy tales by six different authors. Each story follows the adventures of one of seven children from the same family as they seek out their own happily ever afters in spite of their reluctant fairy-godfather.

Review:
Clio got a wish, but it wasn’t what she had wanted. While she got the opportunity to experience another land, she hadn’t disliked the one she came from. Clio learns to make the best of her situation, trying to learn how to act human, knowing all the while she doesn’t intend to stay that way. Having to find a mysterious assassin gives her a purpose she likely wouldn’t have ever experienced in the merkingdom. Sometimes, what you want isn’t what you need.

Star Rating: 

Review of A Beautiful Curse by Kenley Davidson

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Follow your heart…
But you might just end up snacking on flies.

When a bumbling fairy godfather gifts a humble woodcutter’s fourth child with extraordinary beauty, she spends the next eighteen years trying to hide it—behind a book. Now, Elisette is ready to follow her dreams and become a scholar, but her admirers keep getting in the way of her ambitions. Ellie knows better than to rely on her fairy godfather, but she’s desperate enough to risk asking him for help. The trouble is, Mortimer isn’t feeling very helpful. In fact, he’s downright irritated…

After a bit of vengeful fairy magic, Ellie discovers that webbed feet and green skin are even harder to manage than beauty. No one cares what happens to a frog, except maybe quiet, unassuming Prince Cambren, who has enough troubles of his own.

Will Ellie find a way to break her curse and live happily ever after? Or will she spend the rest of her life eating flies and living in a pond at the back of the palace garden?

A Beautiful Curse is a romantic fairy tale novella. It can be read on its own, but is more fun when read as a part of the Entwined Tales, a series of interconnected fairy tales by six different authors. Each story follows the adventures of one of seven children from the same family as they seek out their own happily ever afters in spite of their reluctant fairy-godfather.

Review:
Ellie finds life hard because no matter how smart she is, how well spoken, educated, most will not see beyond her looks, and believe that she is a capable person. While Mortimer offers a… different… solution, she finds that if someone can take her seriously when she isn’t even human, perhaps not all is lost for her. This is a unique take on usual frog prince story, and while the lesson learned is somewhat the same, the way in which Ellie has to learn it is unprecedented.

Star Rating: 

Review of A Bear’s Bride: A Retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Shari L. Tapscott

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Don’t judge a prince by his fur.

After her father threatens to marry her to a dull farmer, free-spirited Sophie runs away from the only home she’s ever known and sets off into the world, seeking adventure and romance. But instead of excitement, she finds a forlorn castle and the solitary prince who lives there.

For twenty years, Henri has been shrouded in mystery and speculation. He’s a legend, a nightmare, a blight upon his fair kingdom. Though Sophie knows it would be wiser to return home, she’s inexplicably drawn to the man of shadows.

But it doesn’t take Sophie long to realize that falling for the cursed prince might prove to be more of an adventure than she ever bargained for…

A Bear’s Bride is a romantic fairy tale novella. It can be read on its own but is more fun when read as a part of the Entwined Tales, a series of interconnected fairy tales by six different authors. Each story follows the adventures of one of seven children from the same family as they seek out their own happily ever afters in spite of their reluctant fairy-godfather.

Review:
Sophie is spirited and she has a path she wants to travel, and when her father threatens to end any chance of adventure, she knows she has to go out on her own. Not cut out for the long winding adventure she believed herself setting out for, she asks for help and finds herself thrown into more of a mystery than she expected. Sophie is tested in many ways throughout the novel, having to grow and shift from a girl who is determined to go her own way, to protecting and holding tight to what she loves. I truly hadn’t wanted this story to end.

Star Rating: