How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
After enjoying several of Ms. Sparks vampire series, I thought I would check out her new paranormal/fantasy series. The Embraced series is off to a great start with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days.
This world is intriguing: though it is fantastical in nature, it has a bit of a historical feel. I enjoyed the mythology of the embraced moons. In this world, a child born is born with special abilities if born on the night of the embraced moons (when the two moons eclipse). These special children are called the embraced. One would think that they would be revered when in fact they are reviled. If the nobility discover them, they are typically killed. Many who are unable to kill their children have secretly exiled them. The world is composed of a series of patriarchal continental kingdoms, which worship the sun god, and one island kingdom that is matriarchal and worships the moon goddess. It is there on the island that such embraced orphan children are hidden away.
Luciana is one of these orphaned children. Raised with several other young embraced girls, they consider themselves family. Each girl has a special ability but all seem to have a touch of foresight to some degree. Luciana’s ability is to commune with the dead. She is able to converse with spirits, which comes in quite handy when her father comes to have her fulfill the king’s decree that she marry his nephew, The Beast of Benwick (Leo). She must hide the fact that she is not only embraced, but is actually a twin of the intended sister. Twin embraced children are even more feared by the patriarchal society. Her father comes for her only because her twin sister has died and he must have his daughter marry Leo or lose all his holdings to the king.
Leo is also an embraced child, but due to his ability to absorb and harness the power of lightning, he has been allowed to mature. The king has used him since he was a young teenager as his warlord and pawn. Leo has yearned for a woman of his own but due to his abilities he is unable to touch another without killing them. He is loyal to his people and diligent in his duties. Watching as Leo met his match in Luciana was absolutely delightful.
Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales. I really love how Ms. Sparks adapted it, crafting it into its own story. The essence was there, even though the individual elements were altered. The passion and slow-burn romance between Leo and Luciana was gripping. Their interwoven plights (the deceptions between Leo and Luciana, the threat against Luciana, and the King’s greed) were perfectly balanced, even playing off each other. I especially loved Leo’s shapeshifting comrade and Luciana’s sisters. They provided additional witty banter and another side of the main characters.
Overall, How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days is a brilliant start to Ms. Sparks’ new series, The Embraced. Leo and Luciana were engaging characters in a refreshing new world. If you enjoy a little paranormal/fantasy romance with some wit and a bit of historical background, this is a series for you.
Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy—and her father’s life.
Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?
If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: The Embraced #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (416 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley