Time for another review, my little Ramblers! This time, it is a much more positive one! As a matter of fact, this lovely book is what got me out of the reading slump I’ve been in! Now for a little author bio:
Rita Stradling is the author of Making Bad Choices, The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art. Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California. She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.
- Rita Stradling
- 270 pages (ebook format in Alkido app.)
- ARC received through netgalley.
- As yet unpublished. Currently up on kindle scout. (Link at end of post!)
- A near future Beauty and the Beast retelling.
Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.
Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.
To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.
Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.
To The Review!
Looking at the book itself, the cover art is phenomenally well suited to the story. It conveys exactly what it needs to, with flair. Though as this was an ebook copy I can’t comment on typeface, size, feel of the cover and pages, that new book smell. Though I’m sure it’s lovely. (A side note: a giveaway of the physical copy is happening on Goodreads right now! I’ve already entered! You should too!)
The author herself seems very nice. I’ve tweeted at her and had retweets and responses very quickly. She seems like a woman that cares for her fans, which is always a plus. Authors that just don’t care, or worse, are rude always turn me off of their work a bit.
The characters now…
Alainn can be described as so so many things, but the one that I think says it all is: human. She’s rash and rude on occasion, especially when her feelings are hurt. She’s struggling with unconsciously having a death wish due to a past tragedy. Yet she can also be kind, honest, and loving. She felt like a very relatable character, though occasionally she did seem a bit less mature than she should have, but still. Stuck in a situation like that, I think I might have been sulky too!
Lorcann, or Lor, is even more complicated than Alainn. He’s demanding and oblivious quite often, especially at the start of the story, but as the relationship begins to simmer we see that he is a truly terrified and beautifully broken man. The horrors held in his childhood memories could break anyone, I think. Lor is almost overbearing at times, though I don’t think he honestly knows any other way to be. All in all, I fell in love a little!
The robots……hmmmm. I don’t want to touch too much on this because it will spoil some things. But suffice it to say that monkeys and Rosebud?? Amazing! I loved them all. Especially Blue. So so darned cute. Don’t mistake me though, that creepiness you expect when dealing with AI is most certainly there. And Rosebud is certainly a meddler, but not necessarily in a bad way. Just a little rude at times. Her relationship with Alainn left me in fits of giggles at times.
The sexy scenes? They were definitely graphic, but in a very well done way. That’s something that I think this author excels at, touching on sensitive or erotic moments with finesse. There were some serious subjects addressed in the backstories of the characters, but somehow Rita handled them just right. The characters grew from what happened to them, it didn’t just seem like they were used as plot points.
The ending? Just one word- PERFECT. On my fairy tale retellings shelf here at home, I’d put this book right next to Cinder. I Loved it!
This book did things right. It made me feel, think, laugh and nearly cry. I ended up going with here, just a few tiny little things led to one star being taken off. (Mentioned above, maturity level of Alainn in some scenes, and occasionally the overbearing Lor irritated me a touch. He did loosen up by the end, however.)
Even at four stars, this still gets the :
This book is currently up on kindle scout, hoping to be published! You have 20 more days to go vote!
A last side note, after finishing this I also read her book Making Bad Choices. I’ve learned one more thing this author does so well. Slow burning romances. Perfect. Again she toyed with a nearly taboo subject, but handled it with finesse and ease. Perfecto!