Book Review 27: The Shadow (The Florentine 2) by Sylvain Reynard

Title: The Shadow

Author: Sylvain Reynard
Release Date: 02 February 2016

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

Rating: 5/5

The Shadow delves into William and Raven’s relationship after they’ve kissed and made up (see The Raven) and vampire politics. The romance was swoon-worthy (how else would it be?) but it was William as the prince of Florence that really blew me away. I loved how SR portrayed William as the cool prince under attack by an unknown enemy. William handled the problems intelligently and with style. SR wrote each scene in such a way that had me going, “Oh, no!” and anxious for William. The hostile takeover and confrontation was the best part – complicated, dangerous, and enlightening. It clearly showcased William as the true prince of his domain. It was like watching two master chess players with both having the opportunity to checkmate the other, and everyone knows there can only be one winner.

With once crucial part of William’s history revealed, I’m curious as to how the next book will go especially with the Curia still hanging about.

I loved reading The Shadow. SR really outdid himself with this one.

Disclaimer: I received an eGalley of this book from the author/publisher for an honest review.

Book Review 26: Beauty, Love and Justice (Spiral Wound Trilogy #1) by Alcina Faraday

Title: Beauty, Love and Justiceimage

Author: Alcina Faraday
Release Date: 18 May 2015
Publisher: Urbane Publications

Tiago’s ruthless and rich. But he’s tired of the greed of corporate life.

The thrusting Adonis of the trading floor, he has ambitious plans that just might secure a halo to complement his angelic looks.

But poor Tiago is in love, and can’t start his quest for sainthood until he’s convinced urbane art dealer Raphael Davide they’d make the perfect power couple.

Raphael’s a slave to beauty with his own designs on the undeserving rich, and a suave exterior that belies a gentle – and recently broken – heart. But though Raphael’s in safe hands – his sister Clara and her husband Rob would lay down their lives to protect him – Tiago’s not so lucky. He’s a boy with a hidden past. And by unhappy coincidence, Raphael’s obsessive ex, cracked rocket scientist Tomas Paul Gosele, may know enough about that past to destroy everything.

Tiago clearly needs friends he can trust. His new neighbour Amelia Postthridge seems a nice enough girl, as eccentric scientists go. But Amelia is mad, bad and dangerous to know, and pursuing her own ambitious agenda. She’s going to win the Nobel Prize with the world’s ultimate apple, and she’ll happily chew Tiago up and spit out the pips to achieve her aim.

Beauty, Love and Justice may be in short supply for our hero in this climate of ambition and deceit – but when the heart speaks what’s a boy to do?

Rating: 4/5
The story started out clearly with Tiago intent on getting Raphael after years of wanting him, but things got a bit confusing when other characters’ POVs were introduced. I didn’t feel like I was reading one story until I got to the last third when the connections finally revealed themselves. The conversations about Fine Arts and philosophy were quite tedious at times but informative. The blackmail part could have been done better rather than just abstract messages to Tiago. The story got really interesting when Tiago got to discussing his plan Lux Aeterna. Raphael’s against it, and everybody else thinks it’s crazy, but Tiago believes in it. I would have enjoyed the story more if it got to show Tiago putting his plan into action though. The ending was too abrupt for me and I felt there were some loose ends. Perhaps the second book These Modern Girls (which will be out sometime this year) will explain the plan more.

This series shows promise. For those who are into Fine Art and philosophy in fiction, the Spiral Wound Trilogy is something  to include in one’s reading list.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher/NetGalley for an honest review.

Book Review 25: Bride by Chocolate by Alexis Lussone Montgomery

BbC_500Title: Bride by Chocolate
Author: Alexis Lusonne Montgomery
Release Date: 04 January 2016
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC

She’s everything he’s not looking for in a wife…

When not-so-sweet sabotage strikes Bebe Waterston’s gourmet chocolate factory, things start looking hopeless. But she’s not a quitter. After sacrificing her personal life to prove she can run the family business, she’ll do anything to save it—including accepting help from an unlikely source: San Francisco’s high society “ Prince Charming”.

Sam Sugarman’s on a mission to marry. And in Sam’s family, finding a wife follows a recipe that starts with a box of Waterston’s Chocolates. When the supply runs out right before Valentine’s Day, the savvy CFO steps in to solve the problem, and finds the cure for his sweet tooth in the spitfire redhead. But now his dilemma is two-fold: convince Bebe he isn’t the serial-dating playboy she believes him to be and keep her safe from the person menacing her and her business.

Thrown together as the danger escalates, the mismatched duo tangles in and out of the bedroom. With a benefit gala and the fast-approaching, day-of-love deadline, they’ll need more than the gold-foil delicacies destined for a bride by chocolate.

Rating: 5/5

I greatly enjoyed reading this story mainly because of its simplicity. The story focuses on Bebe’s business problems, and Sam comes to save the day (and win her over in the process). No complicated backgrounds and dark issues to weigh them down. Besides, who doesn’t like stories with knights in shining armour once in a while? For those who are looking for a feel good read, this is one story I would greatly recommend.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher/NetGalley for an honest review.

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