From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced...
As one of the Embracedone born with magical powersthe beautiful, innocent Luciana escaped certain death after her father hid her away on the Isle of Moon. Now, nineteen years later, her father has returned with a frightening request. He will be executed unless Luciana returns to the mainland and marries a man feared throughout the land: a terrifying brute known as the Beast.
Luciana accepts her fate and agrees to wed the BeastLord Leoin order to save her father. Soon she learns that her betrothed is also one of the Embraced. With the ability to wield lightning, Leo’s immense power strikes fear into the hearts of men. . .and his mere touch can put an end to a woman’s life. But Luciana cannot deny the passion that burns between them. How can she resist the man who scorches her soul and makes her feel intoxicated with desireeven if surrendering to him could destroy them both?
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How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days
By Kerrelyn Sparks
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2017 Kerrelyn Sparks
All rights reserved.
Red as blood. Black as death.
The thoughts jumped into Luciana's mind the instant she spotted the red and black colored pebbles in her hand. Even the third pebble, marked with the number two, suddenly struck her as ominous. Two deaths? She quickly closed her fist around the Telling Stones to keep her companions from seeing them.
"Come now." Gwennore, who sat to her right, gave her a sympathetic smile. "It cannot be that bad."
"For sure," Brigitta agreed. "'Tis naught but a game. Remember last week when I picked the stone with the number seven, and ye said I would have seven suitors vying for my hand? 'Twas nonsense, but I still enjoyed the sound of it."
"Aye." Sorcha smirked. "Ye liked it better than the prophecy I gave yerself."
"That I would sprout seven whiskers on my chin?" Brigitta shuddered. "Thank the goddesses that hasn't happened."
"Neither have the seven suitors." Sorcha's eyes glinted with humor when Brigitta huffed and swatted at her arm.
"It doesn't matter," Maeve chimed in. "Why would any of us wish for seven suitors when we have one another?"
Gwennore patted Maeve on the knee. "Ye're only fifteen. In a year or so, ye could be changing yer mind."
"And there ye go again, treating me like a baby. I'll be sixteen in a few weeks, and then I'll be only one year younger than yerself." She lifted her chin. "Besides, I wouldn't care if I had a hundred suitors. I'm staying here at the convent with all of you till the end of my days."
"Aye," Sorcha muttered. "And we may reach the end of our days afore Luciana shows us the stones she has picked."
Luciana sighed, still reluctant to open her hand. Out of the forty pebbles contained in the wooden bowl, only one had been painted black. And only two red. She and her friends had painted most of the pebbles with pretty rainbow colors or simple numbers. Since the pebbles were supposed to tell their future, they'd been clever enough to stack the odds in their own favor.
"Why the worried face?" Gwennore asked. "Have any of our predictions e'er come true?"
"Yers have," Maeve reminded her. "One time I picked the pink, yellow, and number three stones. Then ye said I would find three pink seashells on a sunny day, and it happened the very next morn."
Gwennore snorted. "Because ye went to the beach to look for them. 'Tis the same as I have always said. We make our own futures."
"That's not always true." Sorcha frowned. "Did any of us ask to be left here as babes, rejected by our families?"
Luciana winced at the harsh reminder. Like the other girls, she'd been an infant when she'd been dropped off at the convent. According to Mother Ginessa, they were all orphans. But did that mean they had no family at all?
Gwennore's white-blond hair, lavender-blue eyes, and slightly pointed ears could only mean that she possessed some elfin blood. Did she have family in the elfin kingdom of Woodwyn? Sorcha had fiery red hair like the fierce warriors from Norveshka. And Brigitta looked similar to the people from the coastal kingdom of Tourin.
Luciana suspected they had been abandoned because they were Embraced. But whether they had family or not, they still had each other, so at a young age they had declared themselves sisters. They were their own family, and the one prophecy they had all agreed upon was that the Convent of the Two Moons would always be their home.
Each day, there was an hour before dinner that the nuns had set aside for quiet meditation. Luciana and her sisters had tried when they were young, but whenever they had formed a circle on the floor in their room, attempting to meditate, invariably someone made a funny face and the others started giggling. It didn't take long before pillows started flying and the air was thick with goose feathers.
Luciana, the oldest and eight years old at the time, was told that she and her sisters should invent a quiet game that would leave their room neat and tidy and not disturb the nuns, who were meditating nearby.
Since the convent was located on the Isle of Moon, there were several beaches close by. Early one morn, the girls had accompanied a few nuns to the nearest beach, where they had dug for clams. And while they had worked, the nuns had talked about the latest prophecy from the Seer. He had predicted more wars on the mainland. More death and destruction.
Not surprising, Luciana had thought. In her eight years of life, she had never heard of peace on the mainland. Fortunately, the four mainland kingdoms were so busy fighting one another that the island kingdom was mostly forgotten. And the two islands, Moon and Mist, never fought each other. What would be the point? There was only one inhabitant on the small Isle of Mist — the Seer.
And that was when the idea had struck. Why not invent a game where she and her younger sisters could pretend to be Seers? After collecting forty pebbles, they had decorated them with colors or numbers. Since most of the nuns spent their days in the workroom translating and illustrating books, there was always a supply of colored paints on hand.
The nuns had given them an old wooden bowl from the kitchen. After the paint had dried, the girls deposited the pebbles in the bowl, then draped a cloth on top. To play the game, each girl would reach into the bowl, grab a few Telling Stones, and then her future would be told.
And now, eleven years later, Luciana clutched three of the stones in her hand as a chill shuddered down her spine. Why would three harmless pebbles unnerve her? Prophecy was not her gift. Or curse, as she was more apt to put it.
"Hurry," Sorcha told her. "I want to have my turn afore the dinner bell rings."
"O Great Seer" — Brigitta repeated the line they spoke before each prediction —" reveal to us the secrets of the Telling Stones."
Luciana opened her hand to show the pebbles. Two of her companions frowned. The other two winced.
Like the others, Maeve quickly adopted a hopeful expression. "Perhaps the black stone refers to yer lovely black hair."
"I think 'tis sadly obvious what the stones foretell," Luciana began, her words causing apprehension to steal over her sisters' faces. She affected a bright, cheery smile. "The number two means that in two weeks I will meet a tall and handsome stranger."
"Of course!" Brigitta clapped her hands.
Luciana pointed at the red stone. Not blood. "He will have red ..."
"Freckles?" Sorcha wrinkled her nose. "Like me self?"
"Hair. Beautiful hair like yers." Luciana motioned to the black stone. "And he will have a black ..." Heart? She shoved that thought aside as she set the stones on the floor. "A black horse."
"Excellent!" Gwennore nodded. "Whose turn is next?"
"Mine." Sorcha slipped her hand under the cloth. The pebbles clattered against one another as she rummaged through them. When she withdrew her hand, fisted tightly around some stones, the wind picked up outside.
Maeve closed her eyes briefly. "A storm is brewing over the Great Western Ocean and headed our way."
This was one prediction that Luciana felt sure would come to pass, for Maeve was somehow connected to the sea. "We should close the shutters."
"But first ye must tell my fortune," Sorcha insisted, opening her hand to reveal four pebbles. "O Great Seer, reveal to us the secrets of the Telling Stones."
Yellow, green, one, and three.
"In one year ye will meet a tall and handsome stranger," Luciana began.
Maeve groaned. "Why do ye always have us meet tall and handsome strangers?"
"Would ye prefer a short and ugly one?" Gwennore asked.
Maeve huffed. "Why must we meet a man at all?" "Because I'm not keen on marrying a squirrel," Sorcha muttered.
"We're not marrying," Maeve argued. "We're staying here forever as sisters."
"I know," Luciana admitted. "I just like to pretend we'll experience exciting adventures and true love."
Sorcha lifted her hand with the four pebbles. "And?"
"He'll have blond hair and green eyes," Luciana said.
Sorcha nodded. "Very good. And the number three?"
Luciana bit her lip, considering. "He'll have three ..."
"Teeth," Gwennore said, her eyes twinkling with mischief.
Sorcha glared at her, while everyone else grinned.
"He'll give yerself a necklace of three precious stones to demonstrate his love and devotion," Luciana finished.
Sorcha smiled. "Ye always give the best predict —" A blast of wind shot through the windows, whisking the cloth off the bowl of Telling Stones. Drops of rain blew in and splattered onto the wooden floor.
"I'll get the shutters." Luciana scrambled to her feet.
"I'll help ye." Sorcha dropped her pebbles back into the bowl as she stood.
When Luciana unlatched the door, a gust of wind whisked it open. Sorcha helped her pull it shut as they stepped onto the covered portico that bordered the eastern side of the courtyard. The wind whipped at their braided hair and tangled their long skirts about their legs.
Luciana stepped into the courtyard to peer up at the thick gray clouds. Even though there should be a few hours of sunlight left, the sky was rapidly growing dark. A fat drop of rain plopped onto her cheek, then suddenly the clouds released a deluge.
"Hurry!" She jumped back beneath the portico while Sorcha ran to the window on the right side of the door.
A clap of thunder sounded in the distance as Luciana rushed to the window on the left. She caught a glimpse of her sisters inside, lighting candles and drying the floor.
The bell outside the convent clanged wildly, distracting her from her task. At first she assumed the noise was caused by the wind, but then a male voice shouted beyond the thick wooden gate. A visitor, now? Perhaps he was a poor traveler who sought refuge from the storm.
Two nuns scurried across the stone-paved courtyard to meet the stranger, their cream-colored woolen gowns soaked by the time they reached the grated lookout hole in the gate. Luciana couldn't make out their words over the howling of the wind. When the nuns opened the gate, a man tromped into the large courtyard, leading a horse.
He was a tall man with a large floppy hat pulled low against the storm. With the dim light and heavy rain, Luciana couldn't see him well, but he moved like an older man who carried a heavy weight on his broad shoulders. While he tethered his horse to the nearby post, a covered wagon slowly rolled through the gate.
After closing the gate, the two nuns rushed down the portico on the western side of the courtyard till they reached the last door that led to the office of Mother Ginessa, the leader of the convent.
This was strange, Luciana thought. The merchants who came to collect finished books usually did so in the morning, and they would never come in the rain, when the water could destroy the beautifully copied and illustrated books that the sisters were famous for. Their books, transcribed in all four mainland languages, were considered treasures throughout the known world, and the money earned kept the convent well maintained and the nuns well fed and clothed.
Two men descended from the driver's bench of the covered wagon, and the man with the floppy hat talked to them as they circled to the back of the wagon.
A flurry of movement brought Luciana's attention back to Mother Ginessa's room. The two nuns had exited and were dashing south, apparently headed for the kitchens that lay beyond the chapel and graveyard.
Mother Ginessa left her room and hurried down the portico to where the man was waiting. He removed his hat in greeting, and to Luciana's surprise, Mother Ginessa curtsied. Not a merchant then. The man must be a noble.
A flash of lightning lit up the sky, allowing Luciana a better look at the man. He was dressed all in black.
Black. A clap of thunder broke overhead, and the wind blasted more rain at Luciana. She turned her back. Think nothing of it, she admonished herself. Many men wore black.
She closed the shutters, then held them still with one hand while she turned the sharp hook into place to latch them shut. It was normally an easy task, but the wind was rattling the shutters so badly that she rammed the hook down with too much force and pricked her thumb.
With a wince, she stepped back and looked at the blossoming dot of blood. Red.
A sudden noise made her spin around. Her heart stilled as she realized what the two men had just removed from the wagon and dropped onto the courtyard. A black coffin.
Red as blood. Black as death.
"Come on!" Sorcha unlatched the door to their room, and the wind whipped it open with enough force that it banged against the inner wall.
Luciana followed her inside, and together they pushed the door shut and shot the bolt. The room was darker now with the shutters closed. The light of four candlesticks cast flickering shadows on the whitewashed walls.
"Whew." Sorcha brushed damp red curls back from her face, and Brigitta handed her and Luciana towels.
Luciana dried her face, then winced at the splotches of blood she'd left on the cream-colored linen.
"Ye're injured?" Gwennore asked.
"Only a prick of my thumb." Luciana pressed the towel against the small puncture.
A crack of lightning sounded outside, followed quickly by the rumble of thunder.
Sorcha patted her hair dry. "I wonder if the visitors will be joining us for dinner."
The three girls who had remained inside stared at her.
"Visitors?" Gwennore asked. "Who are they?"
Sorcha shrugged. "I haven't seen them afore. There was a man in charge and two servants."
Maeve frowned. "He'd better not be one of yer tall and handsome strangers."
"He's a nobleman," Luciana said. "Mother Ginessa curtsied to himself."
The other girls gaped. Usually, only book merchants came to the convent.
"The servants were driving a covered wagon," Sorcha continued, then dropped her voice to a dramatic whisper. "And ye won't believe what was inside. A coffin!"
The other girls gasped just as a booming crack of thunder sounded overhead.
"May Luna and Lessa protect us." Brigitta lifted her hands to her chest, thumbs pressed against forefingers to form two circles, a gesture of supplication to the twin moon goddesses.
As the other girls made the sign of the moons, Luciana peered at her injured thumb. The bleeding had stopped, thank the goddesses, but her nerves were becoming increasingly tense. The arrival of a coffin did not bode well. It had been three years since one of the nuns had died. Three years of peace from her accursed gift.
A pounding on the door made them all spin around.
"Open the door, please," the voice outside called. "This is Sister Fallyn."
Sorcha pulled back the bolt, then unlatched the door, carefully jumping back as the wind slammed the door open.
Sister Fallyn's gown of cream-colored wool was soaked and smelled like a wet sheep.
"Please come in from the rain," Brigitta urged her.
The young nun shook her head. "I must not tarry. I'm to take Luciana to Mother Ginessa's office."
Luciana's breath caught. The nobleman was there.
Sister Fallyn looked her over and clucked her tongue. "Heavenly goddesses, yer hair is a wild and tangled mess. Ye should braid it again afore ye meet —" She winced.
"Meet ...?" Luciana gripped the bloodstained towel as a sense of foreboding pressed down on her. Something was about to happen, something she wasn't sure she wanted.
Sister Fallyn peered over her shoulder at Mother Ginessa's office and mumbled to herself, "Perhaps she should know afore, so it won't come as such a shock ..." Luciana stepped back. Thunder rumbled overhead, making the air around her feel charged with tension. The skin on the back of her neck tingled.
Sister Fallyn turned to face her. "Aye, 'tis best to tell ye now. The man who just arrived is yer father. And he's come to take ye away."
Luciana gasped. The towel fell from her hands and fluttered to the floor. A father? She looked at her sisters, and her heart clenched at the sight of their stunned expressions. They must have heard the same thing she had. Even so, she didn't want to believe it. "Nay. I don't have a father."
"That's right!" Maeve latched on to Luciana's right arm. "She's an orphan. We all are. Mother Ginessa said so."
Brigitta took hold of Luciana's left arm. "She's not going away. Her home is with us."
Sister Fallyn sighed. "I know how close ye are to one another, but there is no help for it. Luciana's father has the right to take her with himself."
Luciana swallowed hard. "How can I have a father?"
With a grimace, Sorcha muttered under her breath, "Mother Ginessa lied to us."
The other girls gasped, and Sister Fallyn quickly raised her hands. "Don't judge her harshly. She was only doing what Luciana's father asked her to do. He wanted Luciana to be raised as an orphan, so she wouldn't wait her whole life for a reunion that would ne'er happen."
Excerpted from How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks. Copyright © 2017 Kerrelyn Sparks. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Started out a bit slow, but it got really good! Can't wait for the next one!
AudioBook Review Stars: Overall 4 Narration 1 Story 4 The first and long awaited title I’ve been able to read and review from Kerrelyn Sparks, and I was not disappointed at all with the story, the world-building or the characters. I did not, unfortunately, get quite the buzz from the narrative performance from Jill Tanner, and there was one word, mispronounced and overused that made me grimace. Repeatedly. But, I digress. A world that is comprised of five kingdoms that carries a feel of the medieval, with islands, competing factions, horrendous kings and a magical element, The Embraced, who are born under the night of the two moons, and all carry the weight of their special powers and a death sentence from the King. Right off, you can’t help but admire Sparks’ skill in building the world and settings without overwhelming readers with an infodump: and making you need to know more. But this is Leofric and Luciana’s story: full of all the drama, hope and understanding (not to mention dangers) that one could wish for. Leofric is the Beast – able to contain and harness the power of lightning, the only reason he wasn’t killed at birth was his relationship to the King. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that anyone who touches him, when his powers are charged, will be struck down – even casual touches bring sparks. Poor thing: he’s never been held or touched, and is usually feared and set apart: all leading to his own feelings of unworthiness. But, he’s betrothed, and must marry (King’s rules) and appear in court. A man who is fiercely protective of those he cares for – he’s not going to misstep here. Then there is Luciana: living on an island with her “sisters”, she believes herself an orphan without actual family: only the other children on an island that harbors Embraced children. But, when her father appears and requests she stand in for her now dead twin sister, marry the beast and come off the island: she acquiesces. Many changes for this one – and while at first she is quite biddable and unwilling to make waves to choose for herself, her strength and her innate sweetness do see her through when meeting the “beast”. Oh these two were adorable together: Leofric’s innate protectiveness and Luciana’s heart do work wonders on them both, as each finds support, caring, understanding and yes, love, in the other. Secondary characters add to the story with humor, sad stories and possible potential for future matches, as this world where a very powerful yet mortal King is desperately seeking to hoarde power and allies that will make him invincible. A clever start for a new series that will have people (me included) anxious for the next. Narration for this story is provided by Jill Tanner, and sadly she did not manage to rise to the occasion. With repeated mispronunciations (particularly with the word grimace – which repeats far too often and is thus highlighted in neon) the boilerplate ‘read to get through’ feeling left me disappointed. SO much could have been different had she used emotion, smiled occasionally while reading, or even managed to convey some of the wonder and danger that Sparks put into the text. But, it was a flat performance, feeling very much like a read this chapter moment in high school, where you read to get done – not to actually engage that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the audio version – but have bought the paperback for my own library. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Recorded Books
4.5 Kerrelyn Sparks is known for her Love at Stake series about vampires with a somewhat comedic twist as well as historical romances. This book is a fantasy new series with another take on the Beauty and the Beast story. Luciana has grown up in a convent on an island as an orphan with others who are like her. She is known as one of the Embraced which means she has some magical powers. It’s a dangerous thing to be on the mainland where she was born which is why Luciana was hidden away years ago. When her father comes to take her home, Luciana risks all to help him avoid a nefarious plot. Through a series of subterfuges, she becomes engaged to Lord Leo, the “beast,” whom who everyone fears because he can kill with a touch since he can harness lighting and use it as a powerful weapon. I enjoyed this story of two people who are caught up in political intrigue; they truly come to love one another despite all the risks. Luciana is brave and selfless, but also resourceful and would do anything to protect those she loves. She has a fierce warrior spirit and does not expect Leo or anyone else to shelter or rescue her despite their best efforts. Leo makes a fine hero; with his deadly power, he has had very little physical connection with anyone which makes for a lonely life, but he acts with honor and compassion towards his people. He is Lord Protector for an evil king who reminds me of Herod by wanting to destroy anyone he perceives as a threat to the throne, even his own family. Since this is a new series, there is quite a bit of world building, but it does not interfere with the flow of the story. It’s a bit like Game of Thrones without all of the grim death and brutality as people actually get to be happy though they have been through some sad losses and difficult trials. Some Princess Bride style humor also lightens to the load so all is not drama. Five books are planned in the series and this one is off to a good start.
What a great start to a new series! I'm so excited for the next book.
Really good story
This is the first book I have read of Kerrelyn's and I had it read in one day. I plan to read everything she had written. I enjoyed the world she has created and the gifts of the Embraced. Excellent characters and writing style...well worth the read!
It was OK. The writing and storyline seemed more like a new author, not one with as many books as she has previously written. The vampire series was clever and had stronger stories. I found them funny and held my interest all at the same time. I have read the first 2, they seem rather lame.
An entirely world or realm if you prefer from Kerrelyn Sparks. This is a world filled with the paranormal but takes place in a time of swords, Dukes, Kings and other creatures including dragons. Fortunately this is not a series about dragons but rather a two party system that has one religion banned over another. The penalty for following the banned religion is death. Luckily this is more about the paranormal and romance then religion. The twin religions give strength to the development of the paranormal lore. Worth following for fans of Sparks without a single vampire in the story.
"How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days" was not quite what I expected. It's really a fantasy novel with a couple elements of romance than the other way around. Luciana grew up away from the mainland on the Isle of Moon, believing she was an orphan. She made her own family on the island, which was composed of other girls about the same age who were also Embraced. On the mainland, being Embraced will get you killed. The Embraced have some kind of special powers, and those that were not sent to the islands must hide these skills. Luciana's skill is to see and speak with ghosts of the dead. Her life changes drastically when her father arrives and tells her she is a twin whose sister has died. She must take her sister's place or her father will be killed. The king gives his people ridiculous tasks, and if they fail (likely because he prevents them from completing them), he kills them and acquires their property. He declared that Tatiana (Luciana's twin) should marry the Beast, so-called because he kills with his touch. Luciana is willing to take Tatiana's place to save her father. However, she and her father are in danger from the king's assassins, as there is nothing the king would like more than to kill them and take their property. Leo (the beast) sets out on a mission to protect his bride and her father. The vast majority of the book is spent trying to uncover who the king's assassins might be. Leo and Luciana really only see each other from afar (and of course are instantly attracted to each other). I think their first conversation was about halfway through the book, and we don't get a kiss or any real touching between them until nearly the end of the book (which is why I wouldn't really categorize it as romance). I found the beginning to be a bit slow as we are introduced to innocent Luciana and spoiled, irritating Tatiana (or her ghost, rather) in a slow manner. The accent from the Isle of Moon was really annoying/difficult to read, and I am glad this is dropped when they go to the mainland. Overall, I found it pretty good but it fell into a lot of tropes (for example, the innocent virgin that needs protecting) that made me roll my eyes in places. I liked the idea of the Embraced and hearing about the different skills/powers was really interesting. The book definitely seemed to be geared more to fantasy than romance, and for that reason, it wasn't what I expected. I am also not sure there was an taming going on, so the title seemed a little misleading (really, he's just misunderstood). Overall, it was an intriguing book with a premise that leads me to think others in the series could improve/get really fascinating, so I would be curious to read more. Please note that I received an ARC through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.
How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days is book one in The Embraced series by Kerrelyn Sparks. A new series by a favorite author. I’ve enjoyed Ms. Sparks Love at Stake series and so I decided to jump into this new series The Embraced. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I started reading. I didn’t know that it was Historical Fantasy along with Paranormal Romance and so when I started reading I was unsure about everything, but the more I read the more I ended up liking the world and characters. I have to say this new world is special and I wasn’t disappointed. Since this is the first book we are introduced to a whole new world, new thinking, new species, religious oppression, the lengths people will go, and peculiar characters. At times the story felt a little slow, but things do pick up and we are taken on a fun adventure. The author had me laughing and falling in love with Luciana and Leo. They were remarkable together and perfect for each other in more ways then one. The EMBRACED aspect was extraordinary and I really liked all the secondary characters; especially the “sisters” introduced. I feel they will all make wonderful heroines someday. How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days gives us a mixture of humor, seriousness, understanding, repression, and love. It was creative and a total delight to read. Rated: 4 Stars
K Sparks always delivers!
Luciana has grown up an orphan on the Isle of the Moon with her orphan sisters. They have figured out that they are all Embraced as they each have their own special power. When Luciana’s father shows up one day, Luciana decides to go back with him and marry the famed Beast to save her father from certain death by the king. Leofric of Benwick, Leo, is also Embraced. However, his power to harness lightning makes him a frightful and dangerous person. When he sees his betrothed from afar, he begins to wish she is the one person he is able to touch. This was a really good book. I hadn’t read anything from this author in years so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was set basically in a fantasy world, making me a little weary. Luckily I gave it a chance. The more I read, the more the story and the many great characters drew me in. There were a couple of things that bugged me a little, hence four stars instead of five, but nothing that ruined the story. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to reading the next book. I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Kerrilyn Sparks has begun another terrific series. This stoy was slow to start, but like a snowball rolling down a hill the characters kept building a wonderful story. Thank you Kerrilyn for these new adventures. I was missing your story telling.
I'm still reading the book. And I am really in to it. It is full of twist,mystery and suspense every time I turn the page. I love the this book.
Great start to a new series. Will be reading the next one the second it's released. A new world, very interesting characters, intrigue, steamy and a bit of quirky humor. What's not to like?
I really enjoyed the book and the new world it introduced. I would highly recommend it.
My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 Unicorns - I loved it!!! ***I choose what I read and review based on what intrigues me!! Yes, I got a review copy of this book, but no one tells me what to think, feel, or write about any book! And I’m picking up a paperback of it tomorrow! The cover is a work of art! This is the first book in a new series, and it is awesome! This is paranormal romance…my favorite! There are steamy scenes, so adults only. I can’t believe it, but this is my first review for Kerrelyn’s work. I own and have read most of the Love at Stake series, and I even got my mom addicted to her work too! But it was before I started writing reviews! I guess I will have to go back and read the series and write reviews because I love her books and her writing style. She is definitely one of my fav authors! This book had everything I love in a story! Adventure, conflict, drama, mystery, magic, and romance that ensured I couldn’t put the book down, I loved every moment! Luciana is an awesome leading lady and easy to love! She is strong and kind and will not back down for those she loves! There are some especially humorous moments with her sister, but I won’t spoil it for you! Leo is a great match, and I definitely fell in love with his protectiveness and how he is always will to stand up for everyone and fight for them regardless of who they are. This is a fantastic start to a series that I can’t wait to read more of! I highly recommend to any paranormal adventure loving reader who wants everything in their books like shifters, gifts, ghosts, fighting, murder, and more!
Absolutely could not put it down!
This is one tale as old as time that I wish wouldn't have ended. After winning a copy, but getting tired of waiting for it from the pub's snail mail, I bought it. And let me tell you, I was so engrossed in the story that I hated to put it down, unfortunately with it's length (Thank You, Ms. Sparks!) it had to be. I am surprised how much I actually fell in love with this against the odds love concept. It has such a different feel from her other series, but Ms. Sparks truly has done it again. The writing, the characters, the romance kept me spellbound that I am looking forward to taking a second trip to this otherworldly place.
How To Tame a Beast in Seven Days was a fantastic book. Set in a fantasy world, it pulled on my roots of high fantasy reading and made them proud. A world that is detailed and vibrant, with people to go right along with it. There are even dragons!!!! Combine that with a beautifully arranged marriage style romance, I think I found a truly winning series. The Embraced are a group of people born under a certain moon and grow up to be blessed/cursed with strange and sometimes terrifying powers. Luciana is an orphan growing up on the Isle of the Moon, the one place where Embraced are not feared and reviled. She was sent there to protect her from those that would kill her for what she is. She loves the island and her 'sisters,' but when her father (surprise!) shows up, she finds out that her history is completely different than what she believed. Returning with her father to the mainlands, Luciana will have to convince the world that she is another person as she prepares to marry the Beast of Benwick, a man rumored to kill all who come near. And so begins our romance. Of course, the Beast has a surprising history and personality. I'm wasn't sure how Kerrelyn Sparks was going to get these characters together for a while. Everything was stacked against them and both were terrified of what might happen. There are some crazy twists and turns as Luciana and the Beast travel to the capital. Attacks, deaths, discoveries, and along the way we get to meet some really great secondary characters that I feel just might show up with a story of their own - I certainly hope so. While I enjoy a good twisting tale, there were a few times that it seemed like a twist was thrown into drag the story out just a tad, and then we had a bit of a rushed ending. Overall, I loved the world, I loved the characters, and I can't wait to see what they are going to do next. **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book**
Brilliantly written full of intrigue, laughter, romance and vivid descriptions. This is the first book I have read from author Kerrelyn Sparks and I am not disappointed in this first book to the new The Embraced Series. It was enthralling on how she plotted this book with all the characters and plots going on in the background. The dramatic first chapter opening quickly move the reader into Luciana's life and how her life was to change. It was very fast paced and I just couldn't put the book down from that point on. Her sisters were another point of interest and it was obvious that their stories would be just as phenomenal as hers. What an interesting and unexpected character Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick turned out to be! His fully developed personality is larger than life and will enchant the reader as they learn more about him. The men in his army that are close to him create a tight family as well as a very strong defensive team for keeping those he cares for alive. Brody is the secondary character that caught my imagination as he was featured throughout the book. Even if he wasn't there is something about him that drew me too him. As one of the Embraced it is obvious that there is more to him than meets the eye and I can't wait to read his book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I can't wait for the next book to this series for this reason I give it 5 STARS.
From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced... As one of the Embraced—one born with magical powers—the beautiful, innocent Luciana escaped certain death after her father hid her away on the Isle of Moon. Now, nineteen years later, her father has returned with a frightening request. He will be executed unless Luciana returns to the mainland and marries a man feared throughout the land: a terrifying brute known as the Beast. Luciana accepts her fate and agrees to wed the Beast—Lord Leo—in order to save her father. Soon she learns that her betrothed is also one of the Embraced. With the ability to wield lightning, Leo’s immense power strikes fear into the hearts of men. . .and his mere touch can put an end to a woman’s life. But Luciana cannot deny the passion that burns between them. How can she resist the man who scorches her soul and makes her feel intoxicated with desire—even if surrendering to him could destroy them both? Review: I can say with certainty that I have loved every Kerrelyn Sparks book that I have ever read and that absolutely includes this one! This is the first in a new series featuring people who are "Embraced" which are special powers. It starts with girls who have been sent to a nunnery as babies by their families to hide them from those who would not understand their powers. It looks as though each book will center around one of the girls and what happens when she finds out who she is and where she came from. In this first story we have Luciana, who can interact with the dead. This leads to some interesting, fun and dramatic scenes as she is interacting with them. Than we have "The Beast" or Leo who can harness lightening and can kill with a touch. It is basically love/lust at first sight for these two and all the things that these two go through to be together is a wild ride. I don't want to give away too many plot points or spoilers. So I will boil it down to this; we have good vs. evil, action, adventure, drama, court machinations and romance. The world building was done excellently and it was easy to understand, who and what was going on. Plus, Ms. Sparks always has a way with witty and fun dialogue that makes her stories all that much more enjoyable to read. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a romantic fantasy read. 4.5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
Kerrelyn Sparks created a perfect blend of Fantasy/Adventure and Paranormal Romance. The world she creates is immersed with vivid characters and settings that leave you looking forward to the next visit with the sisters. I was thrilled that some of the trademark humor we've come to love from Kerrelyn Sparks is scattered throughout the story. Overall I was wonderfully entertained by this story.
This book was so much fun to read! This is the first book that I have read by Kerrelyn Sparks and I am now thinking that I have probably been missing out on a very good thing. This book caught my attention right away with the fun title and when I picked it up to take a closer look, I was immediately hooked. I actually read half the book without even realizing it because I simply couldn't put it down. This book focuses on Luciana and Lord Leofric, or the Beast. Luciana has lived her life on the Isle of Moon at a convent with her friends that she considers her sisters. She is shocked to meet her father but recovers quickly and agrees to go with him and marry the Beast. The Beast has led a life where he is feared by others because of his powers. He has rarely been touched by others since coming into his power because he is so dangerous. I really liked the characters in this book. Luciana and Leofric were both wonderful. Each of them had really interesting abilities that really added a layer to their characters. Luciana was such a caring person from the very beginning of the story when she gives up her life to protect the father she didn't even know she had. Leofric is thought to be heartless and tough. It quickly becomes apparent that he cares about others deeply but must distance himself out of fear of causing harm. He leads a rather lonely life until he meets Luciana. I liked Luciana and Leofric as a couple. They did fall for each other quite quickly but I wasn't bothered by that in this particular story. They had a nice banter with each other and Luciana did not fear the Beast as others did. They had a lot of chemistry from the very first time they saw each other and it only grew throughout the story. I had a lot of fun watching this pair get to know each other. I really enjoyed the world this book was set in. The special abilities of the characters were a lot of fun and added an interesting element to the story. I liked the almost medieval feel to the kingdom complete with evil king. The supporting characters in the story were very well done and I hope to see some of them featured in future books in this series. I would highly recommend this book to others. This was the kind of book that just swept me away into a fantastical world of romance. I can't wait to read more in this exciting series! I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press.