Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: Curse of the Beast by Ashley Lavering

Curse of the Beast
(Curse of the Beast, #1)
by Ashley Lavering
Published: May 1, 2012
Published by Silvermist Publishing LLC
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Formats: eBook, Paperback ~260 pages

Book Blurb:
A dark shadow stalks the night, watching her—waiting to claim what is his.

Seventeen-year-old Tayla Jonas longs for a simple life, but after a traumatizing family loss, she is forced to be both mother and sister to her cousins while caring for her mentally unstable aunt. Moving to her grandma’s quiet town of Cody, Wyoming, Tayla finds some normalcy with her quirky green activist friend, Chel, who spends no time converting her to vegetarianism.

A few weeks into her new school, Tayla catches the eye of Kyle Harrington—the high school quarterback and resident millionaire—who can seduce any girl with his charismatic charm, including Tayla. But Kyle is anything but what he seems.

Walking through City Park, Tayla is unaware that an ancient curse has her in its crosshairs. The silver moonlight illuminates the path to her van, sprinkling shadows like evil twinkling eyes. Tayla’s skin prickles, and she turns. Something—or someone—is watching her.

A powerful werewolf steps from the shadows. An iridescent blue cord shoots from him and slams into her stomach, dissolving instantly. Pain wracks her body, and she tries to scramble to safety, but his silver eyes freeze her in place as the curse binds them together. The cord settles deep inside her body, coiling with dread around her heart.

Dismayed by the prospect of a werewolf for a shadow, Tayla fears for the safety of her friends and family. How will she keep the werewolf’s insatiable hunger in check? Her plans for a vegetarian lifestyle quickly dwindle away, and Tayla wrestles to fit her frazzled life back together—piece by piece. But what she didn’t expect was her attraction to the werewolf or the power of the full moon.

Will Tayla be strong enough to survive the Curse of the Beast? Or will it consume her like so many before? Find out in the first installment of this unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Tayla is the new girl at school and is bullied by the mean girls, befriended by the nice guy, has a new BFF, and has caught the eye of the star quarterback Kyle. Pretty much how it goes when you have to switch schools. But as flattering as the affection of Kyle is, he isn't who he seems, really he is just a jerk and avoids him at all cost. In avoiding him, she ends up in the sights of what Tayla thinks is a wolf following her around, but brushes it off as paranoia. That is until she meets a man named Beast and her world turns upside down.

I really like retellings of fairy tales and the author, Ashley Lavering,  has retold and twisted Beauty and the Beast into something so indescribable. I love the way she intertwined the classic story with, yes...werewolves!! At this point I was hooked and could not put the book down. I love the way that the author brings together a would-be teen drama and spins it into a tale of werewolves, curses, and lives that are forever entwined.

There is so much going on in Curse of the Beast.
First, the relationships- Tayla and Chel are besties, but because of the curse and the bond, she can't tell her what is going on and it strains their friendship. Tayla and Beast are bound, but for how long? And are her feelings really real or are they something else?
Second, the character development- I love that we get to learn more about Tayla and her life before and why those things made her who she is now. She is a character that you understand her reasoning and her heartbreak and it just makes the story so much more fulfilling. Then we have Beast, who is a werewolf and we get to learn a bit about the myth of what makes Beast who he is and why he acts the way he acts.
Third, the plot- A totally twisted classic mixed with paranormal/supernatural entities and a girl who is torn between living her life or a life with Beast, who can be a sweet gentleman and a dangerous animal. Swoon*

The writing is at the YA level, but I am 31 years old and I loved every last word. The last thing I will touch on is the ending. OMG, the cliffhanger is just huge! I was so happy that I already had book two in hand or I think I would have gone crazy! Curse of the Beast is an epic read and is more than just a retold fairy tale, it is a whole new genre!

FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.

A nomad at heart, I currently claim Nevada as my home. I have a wonderful husband and two young children that put up with my “writing time.” When I’m not pondering on a spell that will magically calm the ferocious winds that plague the air around me, you can find me, with notepad in hand, frantically jotting down ideas in those short moments between caring for my girls.
Art and science have always been my yin and yang. Throughout my college career, I shifted between the two, but in the end I graduated with a Bachelors of Mathematics and Science from the University of Wyoming.
Charging into adventures and discovering something new has always been a passion of mine, but as a teenager I use to run screaming from a reading or writing assignment. Looking back, the irony isn’t lost on me. Now you can’t catch me without a book in hand or without an open word document. Every time a new idea pops into my mind my heart races and my hand twitch to write it. In that moment, I have my writer's high and pray it will sustain me through thousands of hours of revision.

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