4 star reviews / Book Reviews

Review: Before Midnight by Jennifer Blackstream

Before MidnightHere’s another fairy tale twist to delight you. No, scratch that. Surprise you. For it sure as hell surprised me.

I love fairy tales. Just not all of the fairy tales. As with most children growing up in the late nights, I experienced fairy tales via the Disney Renaissance (I will stand on my soapbox on this one: I hate the fact that 3D animation has taken hold. I do love some 3D but I really miss the beauty of 2D animation).  Growing up with a mixed heritage, I didn’t have the luxury of learning about fairy tales from my parents. It was Disney and the library(when I was older).

I already touched upon Alice in Wonderland. Here is a brief summary of my feelings about the Disney version of fairy tales.

This may cause  a riot but due to a large sugar consumption, I have no fear.

  • Beauty and the Beast: THE BEST FAIRY TALE EVER. I am Belle.
  • Snow White: Hate
  • Cinderella: Hate
  • Sleeping Beauty: Hate
  • Little Mermaid: Begrudging admiration even though Ariel is silly (not even sure is this is even a fairy tale)
  • Aladdin: Love
  • The Lion King: Epic
  • Hercules: No
  • Hunchback: Never saw. Not interested
  • Tarzan: No. The look of Tarzan annoyed me. And that song….that song…
  • Mulan: HELL YEAH.

Now even though Disney brought all of these initial emotions, my curious nature always sought out the most original source. And the original source is crazy. It is full of blood, sex, human nature, and crows. And i loved them.

And yet I still lean towards fairy tales that I love. So when it comes to a fairy retwist involving Cinderella, I am very, very, skeptical. So skeptical that I it was the last book in my to read pile. So it was quite awhile before I got to it.

The elements of a Cinderella story is: a cleaning girl who is abused by a step-parent, an abusive step-parent, magic, a ball, and a prince. And that’s pretty much what you get in this retwist.

We have Loupe (the name…it’s a spoiler..), our Cinderella type who’s forced to skin the wolves that her step-mother poaches.

Wait.

What.

My attention has been grabbed.

This is a fairytale-retwist involving werewolves( although there  are two differentiations between naturally shapeshifting humans to wolves, and those that are forced), a psychotic AND scary stepmother (the women knows to how to use a rifle…yeah). and some pretty messed up sisters.

Honestly, I still find it hard to believe how the stepmothers and sisters were overcome (Not a spoiler! Every Cinderella re-twist has the Cinderella type overcoming the stepmother/sisters in some way or form). The stepmother was one bad ass motherf**ker. So you have this strong evil force on what side,what do you have on the other side? This prince,Etienne. And his parents. And some wolf pups. And  Loupe.

It’s weak.

This is what gets me rambling mad (crazy mad not furious mad). The “good” side only wins through luck and some sort of righteous ability. The stepmother and everyone else had the manpower, skills, passion, and dedication to overtake them all. Instead, through happenstance, close calls, and some magic, they lose. If I was on the “evil”, I would be pisssssssssssssssssed.

That was the only part that I had problems with but that was just a plot debate. Otherwise, the story is a fun read and very different from the fairy tale retwists I’ve seen.

Loupe wasn’t half bad.  It’s hard not to love someone who rescues wolf pups. Ahhh, the animal rescuer in me raises a fist pump in solidarity. Other than that, I can’t really love her because she does fulfill that Cinderella type. It’s not her fault.Blackstream does a great job of giving her some pretty awesome abilities. I just can’t relate.

At least, the romance between Etienne and Loupe is way more believable than other Cinderella types. Yes there is that annoying love at first sight because of beauty thing. The addition of the wolf pups helps to not set my teeth on edge. And Blackstream gave a wonderful reason for Loupe to keep running.

It’s been a quite a while since I read this novel (sorry, reality has a way of taking me from my books) so I can’t distinctly recall any sexy times. If there was one, then I must have skimmed it.

There are two reasons for skipping:

  1. For a seasoned romance reader who has read several trucks worth of books, it has to be a spectacularly unique sexy time to grab my attention. If there was one doesn’t mean it was horrible. It’s just didn’t do much to grab me personally.
  2. The story was so damn good that I wanted to get past all the annoying sexy times that wasted precious space in me getting to know the end. I am a very impatient reader. When I’m engrossed, I will speed read. I will even hold a spoon of melting ice cream midway to my mouth to get to the good stuff. Yes I will forsake ice cream.

So, my apologies to the author and you the reader. I just simply can’t remember.

This is the beginning of a series. The introduction of future heroes is introduced in the beginning. It was a bit confusing but very beautiful how it was done. I have no clue why it was introduced like that but I’m assuming it will be explained in subsequent books. From their introductions, I’m very curious on these other heroes. Very curious indeed.

If you’re looking for a great, not-cheesy fairy tale retwist, then go ahead and grab this one. It is pretty darn clever.

And anything with werewolves usually tickles my fancy,

Length: Novel

Genre: Paranormal-Fantasy-Romance

Primary Book Format: e-format

Publisher/Imprint: Amazon Digital Services, Inc

Blush Quotient: Memory loss

Smart Girls Rating:  4 stars

Can order it here: Amazon

Find out more info about the author and series here.

(Disclaimer: This book was purchased by reviewer to enjoy and review)

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