Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Before Midnight by Jennifer Blackstream

Author: Jennifer Blackstream
Release Date: July 1, 2013
Pages: 180, eBook
Goodreads Rating: 4.33 stars
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
My Content Rating: 18+ (Explicit sex)

Summary from Goodreads: Loupe always dreamed of getting married. She yearned for a caring husband who would take her away from her servant-like existence at home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, a man who would love her forever. Those dreams ended the day she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she’s a mindless beast on the night of the full moon—a condition that forever prevents her from sharing a marriage bed. Not even the attentions of a handsome and endearingly strong prince can convince her that the life she wants is still possible. 

Etienne is a prince in need of a werewolf. A werewolf himself from birth, Etienne and his family have protected their kingdom with tooth and claw—literally—for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the spell of a well-meaning witch is slowly turning him human. Only the bite of a cursed werewolf, one who was not born with the beast inside, can save him from becoming human. He has no time for anything that will not lead him to a cure for the cure. Not even the beautiful maiden whose gentle nature soothes his soul can take his mind from his goal.

Love cares little for the best laid plans or the impossible. A grand ball. The stroke of twelve. A magic “slipper.” All kinds of things can happen when you don’t leave the ball…Before Midnight.

Before Midnight was such an incredibly fun read!  I absolutely loved this paranormal retelling of the classic Cinderella story.  So much more fun than the original!  (Oh, and steamier too - this book definitely leans toward erotic, but I didn't feel like the sex overshadowed the story.)

The negatives:
  • The length.  The book felt a little short, which made for a nice quick read, but it meant that there wasn't a lot of time for development of the secondary characters.  I didn't feel like we really got to know Loupe's stepmother or (especially) her stepsisters, so this lessened their impact in the book, in my opinion.  Still, the book read a lot like the original fairy tale in this regard, so I guess that's okay.
What I loved:
  • The twists on the classic.  I really thought that Blackstream did a great job of taking elements of the original Cinderella story and twisting them to fit in with the world that she created.  The ball, the midnight deadline, the glass slipper, the fairy godmother - all of these elements were there, but none of them happened quite the way they did in the original story.  I really enjoyed this unique take on the classic! 
  • Loupe and Etienne.  I fell in love with Etienne. I felt for him because of his struggle with becoming human, and his primal wolf side was just plain sexy.  Loupe was a great heroine as well - starting out as a meek and timid Cinderella, but gradually embracing the wolf within!
  • Etienne's parents.  Loupe fell in love with the king and queen and so did I.  
  • Wolf pups.  How did Jennifer Blackstream know that adding cute little wolf pups to this story would just make me fall in love with it all the more?  The pups were key to a few different parts of the plot, so they weren't just there to be cute - but, awwww, wolf pups.  Who could resist these little faces?

Wolf puppy
  • The prologue and epilogue.  While this book could have easily worked as a standalone novel, the prologue and epilogue show you that the story is woven into a larger overall story.  I can't wait to see what Blackstream will do in the next installment of this series!
Before Midnight is a really fun and fantastical retelling of an old tale.  I highly recommend it!  4.5/5 Stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

Buy It Now:

About the Author:

Jennifer Blackstream is a psychology enthusiast with both a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology. Her fascination with the human mind is most appeased through the study of mythology and folklore as well as all of Terry Pratchett’s novels.

Jennifer enjoys listening to Alice Cooper, trying new recipes (to which she will add garlic whether it calls for it or not), watching television with her family, and playing with her woefully intelligent four year old son.  

Jennifer spends most of her time drinking coffee from her X-Men mug and desperately trying to get all her ideas written down before her toddler can find that all magical button on her laptop to make all her work vanish. 

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