Friday, 15 July 2016

All For A Rose by Jennifer Blackstream

Title: All For A Rose
Series: Blood Realm (#1)
Author: Jennifer Blackstream
From: Amazon
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Release Date: 27th August 2015
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy, Summer COYER 2016
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): A Man Becoming a Beast . . . The naga lord Daman is trapped between forms, half man half wyvern. Once the savior of enslaved changelings all over the kingdom of Sanguenay, Daman is now a danger to everyone around him. The curse that holds him prisoner in his own skin and scales keeps him in a constant state of imbalance, his altruistic nature fighting with the quick and violent temper of his more bestial side. When his plan to capture the witch who cursed him fails and leaves him with a sweet and beautiful changeling, Daman finds himself with the perfect opportunity to prove to himself that he is more man than beast. But hope dies a little more every day, and with every passing sunset, Daman finds his temper growing more and more out of control… A changeling searching for freedom . . . Guilt is eating Maribel alive. Since her family lost their fortune and had to move out of their mansion to a poor farm, Maribel has never felt better--and her sister has never felt worse. It seems that every time Maribel digs her hands into the earth to work the farm, she feels stronger, and every time her sister even thinks about working the land, she grows weaker. Maribel’s existence is about easing her sister’s pain, and the guilt over wanting freedom from that responsibility is killing her. What does it say about her loyalty when she leaps at a chance to be the prisoner of a monster just to get away from being her sister’s keeper? And what does it say about her that this monster makes her feel more alive than she ever imagined? A tale as old as time… An enchanted rose. A witch’s curse. A beast’s temper. A maiden who can see the potential for good even beneath the scales of a monster. It’s amazing what can transpire…All for a Rose. 

All For A Rose is the start of a new series, but there are some links to the previous Blood Prince series, and especially towards the end there are some spoilers for that series. However it can easily be read as a standalone and the characters haven't appeared in the previous books (as far as I can remember anyway!) 

I thought the retelling of Beauty and the Beast was well done, though there were some moments where the author made it her own, most notably with what actually breaks the curse in the first place. There are a few Disney-esque moments as well, including a talking teapot and an enchanted wardrobe. 

Daman was more likeable than a lot of Beasts, simply because we got things from his viewpoint (but in third person narrative) and so you felt a bit more sorry for him. He also still had the protection of other people in mind which made him much more accessible as a character. 

I did loath one of the characters though, and that was Maribel's sister Corinne. Even before things were revealed about her I was finding myself disliking her. There was just something I didn't like. That meant that the ending for her was a bit hit and miss for me, and I'm guessing she will make a future appearance, which may change my mind about her, but I definitely don't like her much after All For a Rose

Maribel and Daman's relationship seemed like a very sweet one for the most part. When they fixated on what they liked about each other it seemed to be focused on little things like cooking, gardening and in Daman's case, basking in the sun. That was until things heated up slightly in an interesting sex scene that answered questions about half-wyvens that I didn't even know I had. 

This was a good read, It kept me wanting more all the way through!