All Isobel wants is a quiet place to read, but apparently that's too much to ask. She only needs to make it through one last summer with her broken family before she can leave for university and get on with her life. At least she has her books and the solitude of the woods.
But there are wolves in these woods.
Caught out in the forest after dark, Isobel is pursued by a disturbingly intelligent pack of wolves. When the grizzly bear who rescues her turns out to be a cursed fae prince, she realizes her life isn’t the only thing in danger. She could lose her heart.
Trapped by the wolves at the prince’s home in Faerie, Isobel tries to unravel the mystery behind the surly prince’s scars. Because time is running out for the castle’s inhabitants, and if Isobel can’t find a way to break the spell and save the prince from the Unseelie Queen, she may lose everything she’s come to love.
Well I certainly enjoyed this! I hear other girls talk about fun and fluffy reads, but I normally can't find too many that suit me. This one did.
The story opens with our heroine's snarky humor and practical worldview, immediately letting you know that this girl has some sense and sass in her head. Unlike most fairy-tales I read, this one begins in a contemporary setting. I knew about this beforehand, so I wasn't thrown off as I otherwise might have been. Instead, I enjoyed the fresh, relatable flavor. Bel isn't trying to be "not like other girls--" she just feels exactly like a girl you know.
This deftly took some of the problems with The Beauty and the Beast tale and chucks them out the window. Beast forces dad to give him his daughter? Nope! Beast traps girl in castle against her will until she falls in love with him? Nope! No Stockholm Syndrome to be seen here!
I adored the castle staff, the prince was a nice fellow, the humor was wonderful, and the hints of future characters ahead had me wiggling with glee (Yes, High Prince of the Seelie Court, I'm talking about YOU--gimme your book.)
The visuals in this book are truly delightful! The descriptions of setting, food, dress...
...not to mention the illustrations and beautiful formatting! I am so excited this author did her own cover, map, and illustrations. She is seriously talented and makes this a book you have to own in person.
Violence: A few mentions of blood and death, nothing descriptive. Sexual: A few mildly described kisses in the latter portion of the story. An evil queen desires to possess handsome young men. A (hilarious) scene with a girl in awe of a well-muscled shirtless man. Language: A few uses of cr-p. Spiritual: A few mentions of church and praying to God, though this wasn't as explored as I'd hoped it might be. Magic: Basic faerie magic and curses. The girl looks at books in her own library about witchcraft in an attempt to figure out how to break the faerie curse. Other: A rebellious sister is engaged in underage drinking and heading off to parties.
Overall, this was a read that made me laugh a lot and feel good and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next story (cause there's this copper-haired, freckled Seelie Prince of Sass that I want to know more about, you see....)