Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Entreat Me" By Grace Draven

From the author of Master of Crows, you have to expect quite a lot, and rather unfairly to Grace Draven, I did expect the moon. Quite fortuitously, she delivered a shining star.
Entreat Me is her second novel, a play on Beauty and the Beast, which, like many fairytales, has been a beaten dead horse for a long time now. I was surprised that she chose such a well worn subject for a novel, but she manages to breathe new life into the story, by having our hero suggest to the heroine upon their first true meeting to bed him for her keep. Unlike many a girl, Louvaen thinks about it. Mind you, this is coming from a man with gruesome blackened claws for hands, a broken nose and two black eyes by her doing, and sinister creeping vines still writhing on his skin.
Thank God for Grace Draven, this is romance for the rest of us. Aren't you ever weary of perfect women running about with perfect men chasing them to their beds? This novel does contain two such people, but lucky for us, it doesn't fixate upon them.
This book centers more on romance than her previous book, but it didn't overwhelm the plot, which centers around the curse of the beasts, not one but two: father and son bound by words spoken by said son's mother, Isabeau. No woman born would love Ballard, and all of Isabeau's bitterness, rage, and hatred was bequeathed upon her son Gavin de Lovet who would destroy his father, and no woman would love him either. The curse transforms Ballard into a beast so ravenous he must be put in a dungeon whenever it chooses to show itself, while Gavin simply takes ill.
The widow Louvaen arrives at Ketach Tor, home of the beasts, in pursuit of her half sister Cinnia, who took off with her beau Gavin de Lovet after finding her father Mercer had sunk into debt with Jimenin, who would forgive the debt if he could have Cinnia's hand in marriage. A deal is struck between Gavin and Louvaen: Gavin has the winter to court Cinnia in exchange for gold to pay off the debt to Jimenin. Louvaen returns with the money to pay the debt, but comes back to chaperone virginal Cinnia, where she meets Gavin's father Ballard de Sauveterre, who she first met in the castle dungeon by acquainting her foot to his nose after he grabbed her in his beastly agony. The plot continues from there.
I really liked this book, but I loved Master of Crows more. However, compared with many other traditionally published romance novels, Entreat Me is a gem worth buying, and it will cost you less than many a Starbucks' beverage.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars for an excellent take on Beauty and the Beast!

Content: 18+ for sexual content.

Page Count: 360 pages 

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