November 25, 2010

Review: Awakened by a Kiss by Lila DiPasqua

Awakened by a Kiss
Author: Lila DiPasqua
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Series: Fiery Tales, Book 1
ISBN: 0425235564
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

For more information please visit Lila DiPasqua's website.

*Won via giveaway @ Babbling About Books

HISTORICAL ROMANCE - Three classic fairytales—“Sleeping Beauty,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Little Red Riding Hood”—cleverly retold with enough sensual twists to prove wickedly ever after does exist…

Sleeping Beau: Five years ago, the notorious rake, Adrien d’Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss—and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory. Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress—and this time, he has no intention of letting her go…

Little Red Writing: Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambelle, has been assigned by the King to uncover the secret identity of the author writing scandalous stories about powerful courtiers. He never expected his investigation would lead to his grandmother's house, or to a ravishing woman who would stir his deepest hunger…

Bewitching in Boots: Elisabeth de Roussel, daughter of the King, is accustomed to getting what she wants—and she wants Tristan de Tiersonnier, Comte de Saint-Marcel, an ex-commander of the King’s private Guard. A recent injury has forced Tristan to leave his distinguished position, but Elisabeth is determined to make him see he's every bit the man he once was—and more than man enough for her..


This is actually another first for me as I normally don't read historical romance, little lone a historical romance that has absolutely no supernatural or paranormal attributes. In truth, I always assumed the worst about anything with the title 'romance' thinking that it had little-to-no depth and was simply sappy sentimentality focused on unbelievable and overly steamy sex. I definitely had to re-evaluate that stance once I read this novel! I simply loved it and diPasqua surpassed my wildest notions with this masterful collection of re-tellings. She managed to created depth within the characters, interesting stories, and wonderful setting, but I was correct on one aspect! The sex was definitely extremely steamy and only went to show that the series title of Fiery Tales was aptly chosen.

'Sleeping Beau', the first tale in the collection, was an enchanting re-telling of the classic 'Sleeping Beauty', The story of the philandering bastard son of the King finding that one woman who steals his heart is touching. It was wonderful watching the evolution of his character from essentially a man-whore to a caring and loving man. The time period the story takes place in is well described as well, and it gives a nice sense of atmosphere. Also, the emotions evoked from the story are wonderfully realized. It draws the reader into the tryst of Catherine and Adrien and as they become closer and ignore their better judgement to stay detached, we fall in love right along with them. While sex and romance novels of this sort go hand in hand, I must say that I didn't feel overwhelmed by the scenes. In fact, I think that they served perfectly to help build the budding relationship between the two and to quickly show the building chemistry in such a short span of time.

'Little Red Writing' was definitely not the story that I thought it would be. While I didn't exactly expect a cottage in the forest and a girl running through the woods with a picnic basket, I certainly didn't expect the intrigue of a poison pen tale. However, I must say that I really enjoyed this one quite a lot more then the first. The character building was brilliant and I found all of them to be enjoyable. The way diPasqua captured the era was likewise marvelous. The lack of rights towards women, the lack of freedom of speech and the general harshness of the rule really came through. The emotions were wonderfully captured. All the desire and longing between the two interspersed with the guilt and dread that built throughout the story as to the identity of Deluc was nicely dramatic and suspenseful, adding a quick pace.

'Bewitching in Boots' was by far my favorite however. The strong alpha male Tristan is aggressive and oh so tempting while Elisabeth is feisty and strong. The two coming together set off sparks and I couldn't help but become engrossed. The setting is beautifully written as is the back story of the characters. The storyline itself was at heart sweet and kept the racy theme of the novel and had me rushing to finish. This story was by far the strongest of the three, or at least for me, and I think diPasqua chose a wonderful way to close out the novel leaving the reader more then satisfied by the tales.

Overall, diPasqua has a wonderful writing style that really drew me into the book. I found it to be highly enjoyable and I definitely won't be writing off this genre in the future! Be sure to keep an eye out for her next installment in the Fiery Tales series, The Princess in His Bed, which is currently available.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Strong Sexual Content

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