A huge Thank You to Lady Amber's Tours and Ashley Lavering for the opportunity to be a part of the Star Cursed blog tour!
**Please make note that this is the second book in the series and the synopsis may have spoilers if you haven't read book one: Curse of the Beast. Also, please check out the giveaway at the end of the review! Tons of prizes are being given away - WooHoo!**
(Curse of the Beast, #2)
by Ashley Lavering
Published: February 8, 2013
Published by Silvermist Publishing LLC
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/ Beauty & the Beast Retelling
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours
Seventeen-year-old Tayla will never forget Beast’s fiery-venom spreading through her body like an infection. Now, with her best friend Chel’s help, she must find a human true love before the last petal falls from her enchanted rose or the full moon will transform her into a wolf forever.
But Tayla never expected that her biggest obstacle would come from inside—a wolf presence threatening to take her very soul. At every turn, the she-wolf exploits Tayla’s weaknesses and gains enough control to sabotage her dates. Tayla struggles to control her unruly wolf and her forbidden attraction to Beast. But can she resist his southern charm, the she-wolf’s attraction to his alluring scent, and still fall in love with a human?
Tangled in a web of wills, Tayla must risk everything to break the Curse of the Beast. With failure and possible death looming overhead, Tayla will do anything to find true love. But will one moon cycle be long enough to conquer her wolf and remain human? Or will she become a permanent member of Beast’s pack? Find out in the second installment in the Curse of the Beast series.
***Warning - If you have not read the first book in the series, Curse of the Beast, then you should not read this review as it has some major spoilers from book one!!***
"I want you, and I want you to want me, not because your wolf calls to mine, but because you want me."
After that GIANT cliffhanger that we were left with in Curse of the Beast, I was ready to finally find out what happens with Tayla and Beast. I was on the edge of my chair the entire time! The plot thickens and new characters come forth and I was completely enthralled.
Tayla is infected with Beast's venom, if you will. And if she wants to stay with Beast and turn, then great, let fate progress. But life and love are never as simple as that. Tayla is afraid of what could happen and has made a sorta decision: she must - with the help of Chel - try find a human to fall in love with before the full moon rises and the last rose petal falls or she turns into a wolf forever.
Beast is set aside, but they still are bonded and he must watch Tayla play her version of the Bachelorette. But ever the gentleman, he remains very stoic and charming. However, there is a new player in town: a female wolf that has it in for Tayla. She thwarts every attempt Tayla makes at finding someone other than Beast. But why? What is in it for her? And why does Tayla feel so possessive towards Beast when she is clearly trying to find some way to leave him?
I am totally Team Beast! I know that she is scared and afraid of what is to come, but Beast is a "man" that I would want for myself! Who cares if he is a wolf every now and then? I was completely captivated by Ashley Lavering's rendition of Beauty and the Beast. The writing is near flawless and the descriptiveness puts you right into the story. My heart ached through much of this book, and my anger flared and I was on the verge of tears at some points. I loved every minute I spent reading Star Cursed! As for the ending? Well, you will have to find that out for yourself! Does she choose Beast? Does she find a human true love? And what about her soul? These are just some of the things that you will find out in Star Cursed. So read it, you won't be disappointed!
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.
My nose pressed up against his shoulder, a potential happy place for me if it wasn’t for my wolf. I was too close and could taste the tang of animal blood on my tongue. I quickly closed my mouth. When I was forced to breathe, the smell of farm animals was strong, but not as strong as the metallic smell of blood. It all reminded me of the first time I met him.
The smell overwhelmed my senses and I felt my control slip. I closed my eyes, focusing on restraining the wolf struggling against her cage. She wasn’t going to ruin this for me. I refused to pull away, but the thought of dead animals was too disturbing, and the smell was stronger than that day in the gym. My mind wandered from its task. Had he killed an animal today? But the horror that should have washed over me was replaced with a heady need. I breathed deeply and pressed my body closer, quickly losing control. The smell was delightfully tantalizing and my stomach grumbled, transporting me to a childhood memory of Aunt Lily’s jello cake.
My mouth watered, as I pictured the cake. It smelled so real that I could almost taste it. I opened my mouth and skimmed the cake with my lips, biting down softly. My teeth met more resistance than I was expecting. I was about to bite down harder when large fingers slid between my teeth preventing me from my dessert. I growled and threw my head back, only to have Beast’s strong arms capture me in a vice grip around my torso.
Brayden’s voice snapped me out of my delusion of a childhood dessert. My eyes flew open and I took in his disgusted expression as he rubbed his neck. His hand came away wet with my saliva. His gaze darted to his left shoulder where his shirt was several shades darker, thanks to my drool. Horror washed through me, but before I could utter a word of apology, Beast tugged me out of my seat and hauled me out of the theater. I could still hear Chel and Brayden.
“Oh,” Chel said. “Eww. I’m so sorry. Maybe her blood sugar was low.”
“What?” Brayden’s disbelieving voice sliced me. How would he love me now?
“You know people do all sorts of weird stuff when their blood sugar is low,” Chel explained.
“Oh, like biting me?”
I could imagine his eyes narrowing in anger.
“Umm,” Chel hesitated, obviously surprised I had actually bit him. “Was it just a nip? I don’t see any broken skin.”
That news sent a trickle of relief over me. At least, I hadn’t drawn blood.
“That isn’t the point. She bit and slobbered all over me. My animals don’t even get me this bad!” he hissed back. His voice sounded like he had stood and was walking out of the theater as well. Chel didn’t respond. I’m sure she was trying to process the whole thing.
“And who was that guy?” Brayden asked.
“Oh, just a friend.”
“She has some stalker friend to pull her from dates when she starts biting them?”
“No.” She giggled nervously. “I guess you smell so good she just wanted a taste.”
I cringed, mortified even more than I already was. Way to go, Chel, now I really want to hide. The night air hit my face as we exited the theater house. Beast strode a few yards more before depositing me against the wall, where I slumped down to the ground and hugged my knees.
“What just happened?”
I scowled at my knees. “He must’ve slaughtered a cow or something yesterday because his stench was so much stronger today, and my wolf got the better of me.”
“But you bit him?”
“It’s her! I would never do that. Eww. He must think I’m a freak.” I groaned, placing my head in my hands. “He was so perfect, too.”
Chel patted my shoulder, but it wasn’t soothing; nothing was, with this wolf in my head.
“You know what the worst part is?” I ask, looking up to see Chel raise her eyebrow. “She tricked me. She used my memory of Aunt Lily’s jello cake to convince me to bite him. I didn’t even know she could do that!”
“Jello?” Chel asked.
Beast cleared his voice.
“What?” I demanded.
“That isn’t exactly true,” he said. I lifted a disbelieving eyebrow at him. “Just hear me out. The smell, it was delicious to you?”
“Only after she tricked me into thinking it was cake. If I had consciously thought of it as blood, animal, whatever, I never…” I couldn’t say the rest.
“That is where you are wrong.” Beast paused until I looked up at him. “To your wolf, animal scent and blood are delicious, and so the best way you could understand those feelings was to relate it to cake.” His voice lost its teacher tone when he got to the last word and turned more playful. “It must’ve been some delectable cake. Maybe my blood lust would curb a bit if you made it for me.” He winked.
“Shut up.” I smacked him in the leg, but couldn’t resist the smile that spread across my lips. I had my wolfish friend back and was determined to side-step as many rift-creating topics as possible.
Chel bit her bottom lip. “I’m not sure I can fix this, Tay. A little drool I could explain away, but…”
My frown was back. I’d lost Brayden. “Thanks for trying. I guess we should stay away from cowboys.” I gave Chel a rueful grin.
Chel puffed out air and rubbed her temples. “Friday night is a cancel then.”
“Oh?” Why did things always go to crap?
“Yeah, one of Brayden’s roping buddies. But after he hears Brayden’s story, he’ll be canceling before I get a chance to do it.” She gave my shoulder a squeeze. “I’ll find a replacement.”
“Ah!” I buried my face in my hands. “Why did she have to bite him? Stupid wolf.” She growled at me and nipped at my mind, causing a throbbing headache.
Beast crouched down to my level and tucked a finger under my chin. His touch held soothing warmth, but I fought it. I deserved to feel the crushing weight of my actions. The pressure on my chin increased until I could no longer resist his strength. My face tilted up to him, but I refused to look him in the eyes. At least, in that I still had the power to defy.
“Stupid is the last word I’d use to describe you.” As if by its own accord, my gaze lifted and was met by the warmth coming from his eyes. His thumb grazed my jaw, and both my wolf and I trembled ever so slightly. He noticed my reaction, and his eyes lit with mischief. “And if he had been a werewolf, I guarantee you would’ve gotten a different response.”
I couldn’t breathe. What he implied was too direct to misinterpret. A horn blasted, and I jerked, breaking the spell. Beast lifted his head to look at Dalyn, giving me the needed release to breathe.
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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