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Posted September 14, 2013
Dawson has once again penned us an exciting steampunkian romp through an alternate world not quite like our own but close enough to add to the fun. Take one musician, possessing talent and a fierce beauty, and subtract a healthy will to live. Add to his world an icy blud princess more than happy to grant him an early demise. Finally, frame them in a daring journey that reveals that neither is what they seem, either to each other or themselves.
Oh yeah, and add an unholy arrangement between peacock and unicorn. (After all, we are discussing the imagination of a one Delilah S. Dawson)
This is Wicked as She Wants, though I've a suspicion Casper could take wicked up to 11.
Posted June 9, 2013
4.5 Star Review
In Wicked As She Wants (Blud #2) by Delilah S Dawson, Princess Ahnastasia wakes in a cramped suitcase feeling drained, hearing a haunting melody different than anything she's ever heard before, and most importantly, someone's blood is calling to her. Upon fighting her way out of the valise, she stalks the man at the harpsichord and realizes by his scent that he's not completely human. But she doesn't care. She needs to feed if she is to find her way back to her homeland of Freesia. The man thwarts her attack and after a scuffle she settles so he can give her a few vials of blood to help regain her strength. He explains that he is Casper Sterling, or Maestro as he's called in London, and he's a famous musician. He refuses to give more details regarding his life or his oddly scented blood.
Casper and his young friend, Keen, begin to help Ahna make plans to get back to her home after he gives her the bad news about her family. While she's been locked in a suitcase for the past four years, her parents were killed by the gypsy Ravenna who overthrew their rule in Freesia, and she has been keeping Ahna's brother under some sort of spell. Her sister Olgha is also missing and feared to be dead, as many thought Ahna was. She is unsure who she can trust now with her life in such upheaval. She knows she must kill Ravenna and take back the throne which is rightfully hers by blood. But aside from that, she knows not what else to do. She allows Casper to procure their travel arrangements as he knows his way around Sangland better than she would. She finds herself feeling oddly comforted in his presence, even if he is exasperating at times. She wonders if it is the blood loss that is causing this weakness in her royal upbringing or if there really is a connection between them somehow.
"My breath was coming fast, the same feeling I would get on a hunt, watching the prey, waiting for the right moment to pounce. But I wasn't the hunter this time. My eyes met his, and I saw his beast there, roiling beneath the surface, dark and hungry. I could see the tension in his broad shoulders, his hands curling and uncurling against the blanket as if testing claws.
"Come on, beast," I whispered.
His lips crashed against mine, his body driving me back into the soft pillows with a passion just one notch above fury."
Their travels take them through various parts of the country and on different forms of transportation. Ahna's least favorite due to her fear of heights is the zeppelin airship Miss Maybuck, which is basically a floating brothel. She is horrified and knows she should feel scandalized being in such a place, but she doesn't have time to worry when they are attacked by pirates. It seems someone knows she is still alive so she must be diligent in hiding her true identity whenever possible. Casper and Keen both prove to be cunning and helpful along their journey. Casper especially is quite protective of her and it seems it's not just due to his promise to get her home safely. His feelings for her are evident in his eyes. Ahna strangely continues being drawn to him, even after he confesses his past and his current problems to her. She shouldn't give in to temptation considering she will soon become Tsarina, but she can't help her reaction when she and Casper are close together.
"He was on the verge of laughing, on the verge of crying, as if he were standing at the edge of a great precipice and deciding whether to jump or not. Which, I had to suppose, was exactly what was happening in his heart."
Ahna finally arrives in Moscovy, a city just outside the palace grounds, and hopes to find her old nursemaid who will surely be an important ally. Once they have been reunited, Verusha helps her finalize her plans to kill Ravenna in a few nights at the annual Sugar Snow Festival. The people of her country are counting on her to regain power and bring things under control, but she worries she's not strong enough and that she will not have enough allies left in the palace. Also worrying her is her increasing attachment to Casper and Keen. She fears once she is in control of Freesia, she will have to treat them like the commoners they are in her world. She has grown accustomed to their companionship and enjoys the thought of having friends for the first time in her life. When she succeeds in killing Ravenna, should she continue to rule the way her parents did? Or can she find a way to balance traditions of the past while letting her heart guide her the rest of the way?
I've read several Steampunk novels, and I must say that Delilah is one of my new favorite authors in this genre. The combination of worlds she created in this series is unique and absolutely intriguing. We get to watch Ahna grow as a woman and ultimately find a bit of humanity in herself to balance the beast within. And what can I say about Casper. He's a gorgeous musician, fighting his own personal demons, yet still watching out for Ahna and Keen, protecting them throughout their travels. How can you not fall for him just a little bit? I had to chuckle when Casper and Keen talk about their homeland and with some of the things they referred to. Trust me...you'll know when you read it and it will add another interesting (and funny) element to the story. This is definitely a very solid read, especially if you love Paranormal Romance and/or Steampunk.
Posted June 7, 2013
The books in this series are well written, her hero and heroine's leave you thinking about them. There are no contrived misunderstandings to keep them apart. Delilah Dawson has built a real world in Sang, with stories that keep you turning the pages.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2013
Ahnastasia Feodor, the Blud Tsarina of Freesia (princess of Freesia) wakes up in a suitcase nearly drained of all her blood. After attempting to attack Casper Sterling, a drunk musician, she finds out that everyone believes that she is dead and her family was killed. Ravenna, a gypsy fortune teller is now ruling Freesia. Ahna's goal throughout the book is to get to Freesia and reclaim her royal status. Casper Sterling and his little orphan sidekick Keen lead the way with a lot of bumps in the road.
Ahnastasia's character started out as an ice princess that thought everyone was beneath her. She was uptight and to be honest not the kind of character I typically enjoy reading. Thankfully, her character evolved, or maybe I just got to know her better as the book went on. I adore Criminy Stain (from Wicked as They Come - book 1) and was intrigued and slightly tentative when I found out Casper would be a main character in Wicked as She Wants. I'll be honest, his character has come a long way from book 1 and even the novella (The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance). His character has grown and I pretty much loved him from the start of this book.
One of the more entertaining scenes in the book is Casper, Ahna and Keen traveling on a flying brothel. That's right, I said a flying brothel. I never really know what to expect from D. Dawson's books plot-wise, the one thing I can count on is a amazing book that I can't put down. I highly suggest this series, and cannot wait until the next book is released.
Posted May 31, 2013
I was worried at first that I wouldn't like this book because it wasn't set in the caravan and wasn't starring Criminy. However, I was only a few pages in before I was enthralled. The descriptions are so rich, the characters are so complex, and the storyline pushes you toward the next page.
I can't wait for more!
Posted May 26, 2013
Posted May 13, 2013
~Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
“If you are not reading the Blud series, you are missing out! This is a series I would recommend to anyone and everyone that will sit still long enough for me to tell them all the crazy things they can come to expect.” ~Under the Covers
I remember it was a time much like this last year when I first picked up WICKED AS THEY COME. It was a debut novel and I had gotten an ARC and had left it sitting around. I’m not going to lie, it was because the guy wearing the top hat in the cover scared me a bit. Then I finished reading it and went to the RT convention and that book was the topic of more conversations I had with my friends that any other!
Delilah S. Dawson has created one of the most original and refreshing worlds in a time when I thought it had all been done before and nothing could shake me up. Much like Jeaniene Frost did with her Night Huntress series, Ms. Dawson defies genres and can’t be pinned down to one. Yes, this is steampunk, but not only that. And yes, there are blood suckers and all kinds of scary creatures. But along with the scary, the original and the amazing stories, these books are also sexy romances! They have it all!
If you are not reading the Blud series, you are missing out! This is a series I would recommend to anyone and everyone that will sit still long enough for me to tell them all the crazy things they can come to expect.
But I’ve strayed long enough, let me tell you about WICKED AS SHE WANTS. We met Casper, the hero, in the first book. He was kind of, sort of, the other guy for the heroine. But never one convincing enough that you would root for her to end up with him.
Ms. Dawson has taken him on quite a character evolution throughout the series. Every book we’ve seen him in has shown a different side to him, and WICKED AS SHE WANTS shows even more depth. And I wanted to eat him up! Casper is such an addicting, conflicting and just amazing character. I am staking my claim, I wantsssssss him!
But not only is Casper amazing, Ahnastasia was not what I expected for him to be paired up with. She’s a strong heroine, a little blud thirsty, a leader in her own way but she was also able to show some vulnerability. I think this was a perfect pair!
I only missed the traveling circus of the first book a bit, but we still got plenty of strange places, such as the brothel airship. The story of Casper helping Ahnastasia to regain her throne was full of twists and turns. Some blud, some action and some smex! I couldn’t have been happier.
The only thing I regret? Finishing the book! I don’t want to wait another year to be back in this amazing place. Please write faster!
*ARC provided by publisher
Posted May 9, 2013
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*eARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review
I was wondering how I would like this book after seeing a significant range of early read ratings and comments online by Blud fans,
wherein there didn't seem to be quite the amount of enthusiasm as there was for earlier installments. I personally thought it was
absolutely incredible, and my only guess as to why my opinion differed slightly from other Blud series lovers is that I started the series
with book #1.5, not with Book #1, and didn't actually read Criminy's story until after Wicked As She Wants.
With that all said, Delilah's series is unlike anything I've read before and each new story just sucks me in further!
Readers are introduced to Casper Sterling, a.k.a "Maestro", in book #1 of the series when he's involved with Tish (who ultimately
becomes Criminy's wife). Casper's story and elaboration of his tortured character are further elaborated in book #1.6, The Peculiar
Pets of Miss Pleasance. Finally, the enigma that is the Maestro is unveiled in Wicked as She Wants, and what a tale it is!
Casper has a lot of issues and even more secrets, but at his core he desperately wants to redeem himself, and he's truly a good man.
He cares deeply for his charge Keen- a young orphan that he took under his wing, and even though she tried to kill him upon their first
meeting, he decides to do everything in his power (and really whatever it takes) to help the Princess Ahnastasia.
Ahna is the Feodor of Freesia, rightful bloodman heir to the throne, and a truly fascinating character. She's haughty, oftentimes nasty,
sometimes naive, and surprisingly vulnerable. She has an innate strength & kindness, but her circumstances have never taught her
how to properly portray those qualities. She and Casper together learn countless things about themselves and each other and the
growth of character is fascinating to read.
Wicked as She Wants was action packed, thrilling, and sexy, and I can't wait for Wicked After Midnight. 5 Skulls!
Posted May 8, 2013
I loved this story. Delilah Dawson has an extraordinary imagination and, thankfully, the talent to share it with us. The book was a little slow to start but it quickly became fun and snarky in true blud tradition.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2013
Posted May 1, 2013
Casper, devastated by his life choices, has sunk to the bottom of his blud wine bottle. Working at a lowly pub, he is accosted by a once beautiful but now drained Bludwoman. The woman's feeble attempts at attacking the drunk Casper is easily deterred. It is quickly discovered that his attacker is the long missing Blud Princess Ahnastasia.
Ahnastasia wakes up starving in her own suit case. Hearing a beautiful melody, she follows the sound to a handsome man that’s life blood just might save her. Quickly finding herself captured by her prey, the shock of her circumstances is overwhelming. Not only was she kidnapped, drained and stuffed into a suit case...her parents were executed, her sister is missing as well and her is brother apparently spelled by the witch Ravenna. Ahnastasia is sure Ravenna is behind all her misfortune.
An unlikely alliance is forged and Casper, along with his side kick Keen, agree to help Ahnastasia recover her kingdom from Ravenna’s rule. The journey is treacherous but facing Ravenna might be the end of them all.
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I am a steampunk junky and Wicked as She Wants was a fabulous steampunk adventure with so much more. The slow building romance between Ahnastasia and Casper was incredible to experience. I really loved the personal growth of Ahnastasia from the arrogant princess/monster to compassionate but strong leader. Keen was such a great addition to the cast of characters! All three of them had issues, character flaws, but it made these fictitious characters more relatable. Delilah Dawson magically molded together a fabulous steampunk story of Bludman, steamy romance, airships, brothels, unlikely friendships and political mechanations.
This ARC copy of Wicked as She Wants was given to me by Pocket Books in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication April 30, 2013.
Posted April 30, 2013
Take our world and historical occurrences, shift them just a half-step off balance and bluddy and you get Sang, Delilah S. Dawson's fabulous world mixture of steampunk and vampires. I can't get enough of this series!
Wicked As She Wants tells the story of Blud Princess Ahnastasia, whose story mirrors our Princess Anastasia and the assassination of the royal Romanov family of Russia, and her quest to return to Freesia and ascend as Tsarina.
Dawson's world is so rich and vibrant it just draws you in. I love the growth that the Ahna and Casper undertake during the course of the book. Ahna goes from a self-righteous princess to fully capable of making sweeping reforms for her people. Casper, who has been a lost soul since we first met him in Wicked As They Come finds his true purpose. I loved the Keen, she's spunky, brave and seems to ground Casper somewhat. Plus we also get a little glimpse of Criminy and Tish...just enough to make me wish for more time with them!
My only disappointment (and it was very slight) was that the story is told from Ahnastasia's point of view. It's just that this is Casper's story, so I was kinda hoping it would be told from his POV. Don't get me wrong, Ahna's story is very compelling and I enjoyed it very much! Just personally, I was hoping for a bit more from Casper...emotionally anyway...we get plenty from him in some hot encounters between our two lovers!
Wicked As She Wants is a must read for anyone who loves romance, action, steampunk or paranormal and proves that Dawson and Sang are here to stay!
E-copy provided by publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Posted April 30, 2013
Ahnastasia Feodor, Blud Princess of Freesia, is used to the finer things in life: palaces, stunning gowns, the fresh blood of Pinky servants, and the like. Which is why she’s at a loss when she wakes up in London, in a suitcase, and nearly drained of blud. To her shock, Ahna learns that she’s been missing for four years and most of her family has been murdered by the gypsy sorceress Ravenna. Weakened in a strange land far from home is no way for her to reclaim her crown. As much as it galls her, Ahna needs help, and it comes from an unlikely source.
Casper Sterling was once the most celebrated musician in Sangland. But the Stranger from another world has lost his way…and is rapidly losing his humanity. His only connection to his home world is a fellow Stranger, a scrappy teenager named Keen. Neither he nor Keen fully trust Ahna, but nevertheless Casper agrees to help the princess on her quest and Keen tags along.
On their journey from Sangland to Freesia, Casper and Ahna will have to face pirates, assassins, dangerous beasts, and more. But more threatening than any foreign danger is the attraction they feel toward each other. Ahna’s used to getting anything she desires, but this time what she wants may be out of her reach. For even a princess cannot command the heart of the Stranger who has stolen hers.
Return to the world of the Bludmen in Wicked as She Wants. Delilah S. Dawson’s paranormal spin on the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia is both creative and fascinating.
Ahna’s a princess and her upbringing makes her more than a bit spoiled. Though she starts out Wicked as She Wants a bit of a brat, to have her be otherwise would make no sense. I loved seeing the growth in her character over the course of the story. Ahna goes from being a selfish young woman to the mature ruler she needs to be. Her transformation would not have been possible without her time with Casper and Keen. The two of them help her to see the world beyond the one Ahna has always known. Casper in particular brings out the softer side of Ahna. Readers who enjoyed the first Blud book, Wicked as They Come, will remember Casper as the charming musician from our world who didn’t get the girl. In Wicked as She Wants, Casper isn’t the same man he once was. He’s changing, though into what I won’t spoil. Casper’s personality is less lively for most of Wicked as She Wants, which was a pity. I missed the energy of the Casper I first met and I was relieved that by the end of the book Ms. Dawson brought forth the “true” Casper, a hero I could adore.
Wicked as She Wants is undeniably clever, but it was a bit of an uneven read for me. The first half of the book was a bit slow and it lacked the energy of Wicked as They Come. Though it wasn’t bad — not by a long shot — the biggest spark of life in the first half of the story came from a cameo made by Criminy and Tish. That being said, the second half of Wicked as She Wants was fascinating. As Ahna and Casper became more of who they’re meant to be, the story picks up, gaining momentum until it hits the final, tension-filled third act. The latter half of Wicked as She Wants was everything I hoped the book would be. There’s a lot of buildup to Ahna’s battle against the Rasputin-like Ravenna, and though I won’t spoil what happens, I will say that Ms. Dawson “brings it” when it comes to the climax of this plotline.
The world of the Blud series is bloodthirsty, exciting, and incredibly unique. I finished Casper and Ahna’s story a well-satisfied reader and my only complaint is that I now have to wait (im)patiently until the next Blud book comes out. Bring on Wicked After Midnight!
Review courtesy of Wit and Sin
Posted December 2, 2013
No text was provided for this review.
Posted June 17, 2013
No text was provided for this review.