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Enchant: Beauty and the Beast Retold by Demelza Carlton
A beastly prince. An enchanting beauty. Only love can break the spell. Once upon a time... The wicked King Thorn forced the enchantress Zuleika to cast a terrible curse. She fled his court to travel the world, helping those who need her magic most. Until a search for her merchant father's lost ships leads her to an enchanted island, where Prince Vardan, the island's ruler, is afflicted by the most powerful curse Zuleika has ever encountered. She's not sure she can reverse the spell, but she's determined to try. After all, a prince who fights pirates can't be all bad...no matter how beastly his appearance. Together, can the enchanting beauty and the beastly prince break the spell?
Romance a Medieval Fairytale series: Each book is a standalone, so they can be read in any order:
Enchant: Beauty and the Beast Retold
Dance: Cinderella Retold
Fly: Goose Girl Retold
Revel: Twelve Dancing Princesses Retold
Silence: Little Mermaid Retold
Awaken: Sleeping Beauty Retold
Embellish: Brave Little Tailor Retold
Appease: Princess and the Pea Retold
Blow: Three Little Pigs Retold
Return: Hansel and Gretel Retold
Wish: Aladdin Retold
Melt: Snow Queen Retold
Spin: Rumpelstiltskin Retold
Kiss: Frog Prince Retold
Hunt: Red Riding Hood Retold
Reflect: Snow White Retold
Roar: Goldilocks Retold
Cobble: Elves and the Shoemaker Retold
Float: Enchanted Horse Retold
Steal: Forty Thieves Retold
Call: Pied Piper Retold
I am addicted to Beauty and the Beast retellings! And this audiobook was no exception. If you, dear reader, are a frequent visitor of my blog, you'll know that I am a big fan of two main genres: horror and romance. Something I am not as versed in is fantasy. Enchanted falls somewhere between romance and fantasy. Something that readers/listeners need to remember is that this tale is also an ADULT version of Beauty and the Beast and will, therefore, have adult elements in it.
Now, the story is enthralling and I enjoyed reading a mature version of my favorite classic fairy tale. The tale was a true page turner and it had me wanting to read more and more. Truly, I will be looking into the other works by Demelza Carlton.
One thing you must know is that this book does contain a rape scene and that is definitely something to take into account if it is a trigger of yours.
I wish all books had trigger warnings for what they contain: rape, emotional and physical abuse, etc. And some, thank heavens, do. Other's do not. This is something I go into knowing already. I, thankfully, do not have many triggers, but I have also known how to deal with unexpected uneasiness with years of being a reader, horror aficionado, and a Masters clinical psychology graduate. HOWEVER, I recognize that not everyone is like me (you'd think this was a universal thing for people to know about the, um, world, but unsurprisingly, it is not) so, there is a nifty website called Does the Dog Die that will help you figure out if any of your triggers are in any books, movies, etc. you want to enjoy. Don't see your trigger? Request it!
Here's the part where I talk about some controversy I've found in some of reviews of Enchanted in other places. So, MAJOR SPOILERS ahead.
I have two genres of fiction that I love: horror and romance. What does that say about me? Well, we’re not going there, reader.
What we are going to talk about is this lovely, heart-warming collection of love stories. This collection exhibits a trend I love to see in anthologies - they all have something that connects them. In the case of The Kissing Tree, they are all set around an oak tree coined the “Kissing Tree” in Oak Springs, Texas. Each of these stories take place at different periods of time, but each offer a beautiful love story to match the history of the old oak tree they revolve around.
It would be too much of a spoiler to reference each story - they are short stories after all. But in these stories you will find beautifully told stories of love found and lost. There’s humor, searching, struggling as well as love that has been and maybe could be again. It was wonderful how each one of these authors was able to maintain an independent story (their own) while maintaining that connection to their sister stories.
And to speak of the talent of these authors is to also speak of their ability to draw in the reader to not only enjoy their unique stories, but to also care about the characters in each one. I am a huge character-driven reader, so this is very important to me. I was not let down by this collection!