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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beauty’s Stone Beast 1 by Shiloh Darke

Beauty’s Stone Beast 1 by Shiloh Darke
Publisher: Mystic Moon Press,
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (30 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Xeranthemum

Rachel's all alone in the world. The most important people to her have died. But, she has inherited a castle in the south of France. A castle that is reputed to be a home to a different kind of creature. Gargoyles.

The story her aunt told her of them were just nonsense. There was no such creature that would come alive only at night to give wings to a woman's desires. That was just a flight of fancy. Wasn't it?

But on her first night there, she dreams of one of these great beasts. He comes to her in her dreams, leaving her breathless and doubtful come morning. And a part of her aches for more, even as she tries to convince herself that it is all, only a dream.

Beauty’s Stone Beast 1 is a delightfully compact romance filled with magic and hope.

The beginning of the story is a well done mix of telling to set up the story environment without being staid or plodding. It moves right along and puts a reader exactly where he/she needs to be to get the full effect of this book. That’s when the fun starts.

Rachel is thrust from a loving and secure family existence into the unknown upon the death of the two closest people in her world. She latches onto the good memories and returns to a place where she’d recovered once before. It was easy to believe in Rachel’s acceptance of the paranormal because of her past. The author manages to resist getting mired in unnecessary angst by virtue of her clever and well written set up early on. I was able to enjoy Rachel’s dreams and her ultimate act. What could have been straight kink ended up as exciting, brave and a bit of fun.

Arthmael is a cursed man, and like all good curses in all the best fairy tales, the love and strength of a woman’s true love is the key to release. He’s a character, though obviously tortured and in great need, that I think could have been developed just a tad more. But on the whole, the author concentrated on the aspects that were vital to the telling of the tale, so I can’t fault that. I guess I liked Arthmael and wanted to get into his head better.

The ultimate HEA requires a rather unusual method for breaking the curse and I blushed at the thought.

The author also threw in a secondary character curve that I thought was rather sweet. I know there is going to be another story coming up because of the others. Well, there simply has to be and I hope Ms. Darke explores the how’s and why’s of the grounds keeper. I think it’s a story in and of itself.

All in all, Beauty’s Stone Beast is enjoyable, light, romantic and endearing. A well told story for those days you want a glass of wine and a quick read sure to leave you upbeat and happy.

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