Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sweet Lovin' - Review of Sweet Enchantment and Wicked Enchantment by Anya Bast

Anya Bast introduces us to the world of Piefferburg and her new Dark Magic series in her short novella and full length novel - Sweet Enchantment (from Hot for the Holidays anthology) and Wicked Enchantment. Piefferburg is a detention center for all creatures fae that was created centuries ago by the Phaendir, a mysterious and powerful group of druids that are now the enemies of the fae. Bast does a great job of world building though her two books by revealing interesting glimpses of the world of Piefferburg without making it an information dump while building on the possibilities of what could happen in the next books. The first book in this series, Sweet Enchantment, is part of the Hot for the Holidays anthology.

Only days before Yule, Bella learns that her former flame, Ronan, has been imprisoned. Despite all the painful history that lies between them and the fact they haven't spoken in the 30 years since he hurt her, Bella finds herself drawn to his prison cell and desperately trying to find a way to save his life. Ronan is shocked that Bella is trying to rescue him and the hope that she still might have any feelings for him revives his will to survive..and escape his prison cell. 

I really loved this story. After finding out how Ronan betrayed Bella, I wanted her to kick him hard in his sensitive bits and leave him. Though once learning more about Ronan's reasoning and the feelings between the two of them, I decided to give Ronan and his sensitive bits a chance and I'm really glad I did. Though really when his looks are described by Bella like this how could you not like him: "The sight of him made a woman want the iron silk of his body rubbing up against hers, made carnal thoughts crowd the most prudish of female minds." 

Overall this was a great read and great introduction to the world of Piefferburg. The characters Ronan and Bella show up again in the next book, Wicked Enchantment, though you don't have to read the two books in order (I didn't).

This story gets a 4.5 out of 5 stars from me. The story of finding love again was sweet and the descriptions of Ronan's smoking hot bod and what he can do with it were yummy too

How can you resist the seductive charm of a sexy-half incubus? Aislinn finds herself trapped between her growing physical attraction to Gabriel the half-incubus and the need to protect her heart after a terrible public break-up with her former flame Kendall. Aislinn has been assigned by the Queen of the Seelie court to play host to Gabriel, a potential defector from the Unseelie court in the Black Tower. What Aislinn doesn’t realize is that Gabriel has an agenda as well, one to seduce her into his bed and over to the Black Tower.

This book is equal parts interesting world building and sexy romance. The world that Aislinn and Gabriel occupy is fully realized, from the history of how the fae came to be interred at Piefferburg to the development of conflicts that the characters will most likely face in the future. The author Anya Bast even has a map of her fae detention camp on her website. The love story is well-crafted as well. The characters fall for each other without even realizing it at first and then almost lose everything when their insecurities and prejudices keep them for saying how they really feel. At some points I just felt like screaming at the characters “say the L word already”. But thankfully the wait is well worth it. Additionally, the secrets that Aislinn and Gabriel keep from each other, once revealed, make it all the more obvious that they belong together. And Gabriel is one naughty half-incubus that has well-written and delicious love scenes with Aislinn.

Overall I really loved this book. I feel like first novels in a new series tend to sacrifice story to world building but this is not the case with Wicked Enchantment. I also liked that the 24 hour news crew that was assigned to Piefferburg was called Faemous - very clever.  The only issue I had with the story is that the main characters use colloquial language and I wonder how they learn such terminology when they are so isolated from the human population? Maybe while humans watch Faemous the fae are watching Extra? hehe...

This story gets a 4.5 out of 5 stars from me as well. The romance is well-written and believable and the sex scenes are steamy. 

The next book in the Dark Magic series is Cruel Enchantment and features Aeric the Blacksmith who we meet in this novel Wicked Enchantment. The book is scheduled to be out in September and I can't wait!

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