Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: Entreat Me by Grace Draven

Entreat Me by Grace Draven

Afflicted by a centuries-old curse, a warlord slowly surrenders his humanity and descends toward madness. Ballard of Ketach Tor holds no hope of escaping his fate until his son returns home one day, accompanied by a woman of incomparable beauty. His family believes her arrival may herald Ballard's salvation.

...until they confront her elder sister.

Determined to rescue her sibling from ruin, Louvaen Duenda pursues her to a decrepit castle and discovers a household imprisoned in time. Dark magic, threatening sorcerers, and a malevolent climbing rose with a thirst for blood won't deter her, but a proud man disfigured by an undying hatred might. Louvaen must decide if loving him will ultimately save him or destroy him.

A tale of vengeance and devotion.




This is my second book by Grace Draven. Although this was not as epic as Master of Crows, it is still a lovely historical fantasy romance with the Beauty and the Beast theme.

Grace Draven writing style was descriptive and flowery and she loves to include some element of magic with a touch of humor. We have a feisty, prickly and sharp-tongued heroine who was no lady. Louvaen Duenda was a widow and now she had taken upon caring for her father and her younger sister, Cinnia. She mothered Cinnia as if she was a child and threaten to put on a chastity belt on her. Virgin is so-oh-troublesome. 

When Cinnia runaway with her beau, Gavin, the heir of Ketach Tor, Louvaen decided to track down her sister and drag her back home. The sisters were actually looking for ways to save her father from prison due to his debts to the evil Jimelin (not sure did I spell correctly), so Cinnia thought borrowing the money from Gavin would be a brilliant idea.

This lead to Louvaen having to spend a winter chaperoning Cinnia during their stay at Ketach Tor's castle (or more like a fortress), while allowing Gavin time to properly court her sister into marriage. The old times rule of propriety was so weird. Anyway, this gave the opportunity for Louvaen to meet Gavin's father, the Lord Ballard who was heavily disfigured due to a curse that was impose on the family.

There were some flashback on how the curses occurred and Ballard was no hero and I believe he truly regretted his life choices. Both he and his son suffered during the flux high tide, with his son falling sick and Ballard himself turning into a mindless Beast that had him locking himself in a dungeon.

The household had a fun camaraderie. We have Ambrose, the sorcerer who Louvaen kept fighting with, Magda the lead housekeeper and some other girls. 

Ambrose and Ballard had been cracking their head trying to break the curse for centuries and to no avail. They put all their hopes on Gavin's success in finding a wife to break it.

"So the 'true love's kiss' myth is just that."
"Maybe instead of true love's kiss, it's true love's swiving in the hayloft."

I had been reading too many Beauty and the Beast retelling till I embarrassed myself. But Entreat Me was among one of the memorable one for me. Louvaen was instantly likable with her no-nonsense lively character. She was such a protective sister, imposing all the no touching rule to her and Gavin, watching them like a hawk, but when she was with Ballard, she turned into this sexually confident woman who know what she wants.

"There's something about you. Captivating yet forbidden. I feel as if I'm corrupting an achorite but can't help myself."

Ballard was an intriguing character. We slowly learnt about his past from the flashback and he might not be a honorable man prior, but his love for his son was so strong. He had gave up hope on finding love or even a companion with his horrible disfigurement. Of course, he felt self conscious and tried to cover himself up. Therefore, when Louvaen was being nice to him and manage to look past his disfigurement, he was simply elated. From her initial interest in caring for his well-being, it turn into something more for both of them. At times, the poor man was lucky he didn't suffer a heart attack from dealing with the feisty woman.

The only parts where I find it bored and skim the pages was when Louvaen went home to deal with his father's problem towards the last quarter. I don't know why I just don't bother to know what was happening there. I just want to get back to Ballard.

I love the little illustration we have at every beginning of the chapter. It helps me to visualize Louvaen and Ballard together. Recommended to anyone who loves a Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Rating 4/5