A very Sinister Fairy Tale indeed!
This was a very enjoyable dark retelling of sleeping beauty, though she didn’t sleep quite as long as in the original fairy tale it was the magic in her that was asleep for so long in this fairy tale. I liked this story although there were a few things that I could have done without. Though there were also many things I liked, so let me try to get this together without giving too much away.
There is an island Kingdom between Ireland and Scotland called Graeline, and it is unknown to most people in the modern world and it is a place that still has magic. There are dark and light mages. The King and Queen wanted a baby more than anything. When they had Princess Arianna the Queen was so happy she invited everyone to the christening including the dark mage who used the event to put a curse on the princess.
“On her eighteenth birthday, with love’s first kiss, the princess, Arianna of Graeline, will fall victim to a predator unlike any ever imagined. With this singular action, the princess will be taken from this world forever.”
As Princess Arianna grew older something happened in the Kingdom and a darkness starts to grow in from her tenth birthday till her eighteenth. Arianna and her best friend the white mage Callisto overhear her father talking to a man on the phone and she finds out that girls are being stolen from the Kingdom. She and her father ask the man for help.
Asher “Apollo” McCall and his best friend Matthew “Ares” Norbury come to Graeline to help find the human traffickers that are working out of the Kingdom. They think they know who is running the ring. They have worked together on missions like this in the past. These two are the Hero’s and both are love interest’s for Arianna.
The one thing I done like about the book is that it goes pretty deep into a complex past that Apollo and Ares had together working on a team in Iran where the team name was Olympus or something like that and everyone had the names of Greek Gods. I got the feeling that this came from a previous book that the author wrote but I couldn’t find it. It went so far as to describe each team member, their name and role and information about them.
The book goes on to describe how that mission went bad and the team was all killed except Ares and Apollo. After that Apollo started recruiting for Task Force 779. That is definitely another series that this author has written. Also there is background on Ares being framed for genocide that he didn’t commit. So I wasn’t sure all this complicated background needed to be included. Ares could have just been a battle hardened mercenary soldier and Apollo working for the Department of Justice after a shared past in special ops.
Anyway, the background did help to show that Ares and Apollo know what they are doing. I just thought it was a bit too much and too complex. It would be fine if this was the continuation of a series but I don’t think it is.
Arianna begins to think that everything bad that happens is her fault so she runs away and ends up being captured by the traffickers. Ares and Apollo, go after her. I won’t tell any more than that but to say that this is a steamy dark romance and there is abuse. So if that is a trigger you may want to stay away.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.