CelebrateLit Review & Giveaway: A Dark Beauty by Clarissa Kae

About the Book

Book:  A Dark Beauty
Author: Clarissa Kae
Genre: Fairytale
Release date: March 9, 2021

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.
Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.
When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.
Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

My Thoughts

A Dark Beauty
by Clarissa Kae
Book 1 in the Victorian Retellings series
Rating: 4/5

So I’ve never read anything by Clarissa Kae before so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this Victorian retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I was impressed with how natural the story felt and loved the battle of wits between the beauty and beast characters.

The mechanically talented Georgiana de Beaumont can fix anything with moving parts while her father is a genius with picking locks and making impenetrable locks. When a past tragedy and fire scar Georgiana and her family, they unwittingly scar the Queen’s cousin, Lord Pichon. Lord Pichon does not trust the de Beaumont family even when the Queen requests their help to secure an event. When Lord Pichon catches Georgiana’s father in a precarious position, Georgiana vows to serve Lord Pichon in her father’s place. Spirited away from London, Georgiana and Lord Pichon continue to get on each other’s nerves but begin to see that they are not too different especially since they both bare the scars of their past. Can Lord Pichon ever forgive Georgiana’s family? Can Georgiana ever figure out what is happening with her father and the mystery surrounding him?

Many interesting twists and turns make this retelling stand out but still feel familiar to the reader. I was impressed with how the author was able to make the reader care about her characters from the very start of the book. I appreciated the mystery that kept me reading till the end. I found the development of Georgiana and Lord Pichon’s relationship to be extremely natural and not forced.

Highly recommend if you enjoy a clean, Beauty and the Beast retelling with some mystery and humor.

My thanks to the author and CelebrateLit for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Clarissa

As a young girl most of the fairy tales talked about beauty as the only attribute but when Disney came out with Beauty and the Beast, my world was rocked. For the first time the heroine was a woman with a brain and a plan. I began researching the fairy tale and read every version. When my youngest daughter was born (with dark hair and big beautiful brown eyes) I named her Isla Belle. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling. And finally, that dream as come true.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, March 25

Labor Not in Vain, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

The Write Escape, March 26

Books and Everyday Life, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Breny and Books, March 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 29

Through the Fire Blog, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 30

deb’s Book Review, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

Inside the Wong Mind, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Inspiration Clothesline, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 3

To Everything There Is A Season, April 3

Beauty in the Binding, April 3

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 5

Pause for Tales, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Godly Book Reviews, April 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 7

Mary Hake, April 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Clarissa is giving away to two winners one $25 Amazon gift card each!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/109d3/a-dark-beauty-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: Three Missing Days by Colleen Coble

Three Missing Days
by Colleen Coble
Book 3 in the Pelican Harbor series
Rating: 4/5
Release date: April 6, 2021

Yes! The thrilling conclusion to this riveting series from Colleen Coble. I was excited to read what happened next and get some closure. There’s been mystery after mystery involving Chief Jane, Reid and their son, Will, but I was really hoping for some resolutions and the author did not disappoint. I highly recommend reading the first two books before reading this one or else you may be a bit lost. (Warning: since this is a continuing story, there are some spoilers if you have not read the previous books.)

When Chief of Police Jane Hardy begins to investigate the deaths of two people in a house fire, something smells of foul play. But as she digs deeper to find the truth, Jane’s personal life becomes even more complicated with the reappearance of Lauren, Reid’s wife who abandoned the family. Jane’s heart can’t take too much more with her uncertain relationship with Reid until Will is accused of a horrific murder. Jane and Reid must race to gather evidence to clear their fifteen-year-old’s name and get him released.

When confronted with her past, Jane realizes she is missing three days in her memory that are just blank. Can Jane figure out what happened during those missing days? Are those missing days somehow connected to something even worse? In the midst of it all, can Jane and Reid’s relationship survive all this stress?

Ahhh! Can you handle it? For me, this book was very good and helped tie up loose ends, but I also had a harder time getting into the story (since I had to remember what had happened before). However, once I was a few chapters in, I could not stop reading because the story started moving faster. I could feel Jane’s pain at feeling helpless to defend her son who she only recently reconnected with. I could feel Reid’s agony at not being able to be there for his son who was being set up for a crime he didn’t commit. I always love how real the author’s characters are – their real doubts and fears about God’s faithfulness in the darkest of times. The rollercoaster of emotions is something we all go through when our lives don’t turn out the way we think they should.

This book was good, but I do not think it was the best of the three; hence, the 4 stars. However, I loved the closure I got at the end and I loved to see the character growth. You will still definitely want to read this book after reading the first two to find out what happens.

Highly recommend this Christian suspense with romance, action, and mystery.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: Dreams Rekindled by Amanda Cabot

Dreams Rekindled
by Amanda Cabot
Book 2 in the Mesquite Springs series
Rating: 4.5/5

Wow. I forgot how much I loved Amanda Cabot’s stories. She knows how to weave a heartfelt romance with a dash of mystery and suspense and is not afraid to address psychological trauma from her characters’ past. This is book two in the Mesquite Springs series, and I now must go back to book one to find out what happened (this book can be read as a standalone).

After Dorothy Clark read Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she knew she wanted to write something like that. She wanted to make an impact and change the world with her written words. How would she ever get that opportunity in small town Mesquite Springs? When Brandon Holloway arrives in town to start a newspaper, she secretly hopes that the dashing young gentleman is willing to give her a chance to write. While both parties excel at the written word, the couple both struggle with their own past tragedies but are determined to discover who is stirring up trouble and spreading rumors. Can they expose the truth and find a way to save the town they both love before it’s too late? Will the past repeat itself if they aren’t too careful?

“With this second novel in the Mesquite Springs series, bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you to discover the healing power of truth.” – Book description

I really enjoyed that this story was more than just a light rom-com read. It’s so much more. Dealing with trauma from the past is not something every author can write about. Cabot addresses real issues that can haunt people but she also leaves room for healing and forgiveness that can only come from God. She weaves redemption into her stories, which is something I really appreciate as a Christian.

My favorite character is Nutmeg, Dorothy’s dog, and I even loved her part in the story. Dogs can definitely be therapeutic for those with past trauma.

Highly recommend this Christian historical romance with a dash of mystery and suspense from Amanda Cabot. As a fan of her previous books, you will not be disappointed.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: Can’t Buy Me Love by Andrea Christenson

Can’t Buy Me Love
by Andrea Christenson
Book 2 in the Deep Haven Collection
Rating: 4/5
Release date: March 16, 2021
Purchase here.

Who doesn’t love a good Cinderella retelling? LOL. The romantic in me just loves the idea and I must say that Andrea Christenson does a good job of blending a contemporary love story in a classic fairytale complete with a “glass slipper”.

Spurred on by the tragic death of her mother, Ella Bradley is someone who wants to make a difference and has found a way to do that with the cleaning products she developed. She sets out to make a deal with the hotel conglomerate she owns a half-share in but is thwarted by a malfunctioning elevator. However, she finds the hour or so stuck with a handsome stranger a big plus until she finds out his true identity is not just Roger but Adrian Roger Vassos, the notorious but charming son of the man she plans to make a deal with. Meanwhile, Adrian’s lie may have long-lasting consequences if he wants to pursue a relationship with the beautiful and intelligent Ella Bradley, who he can’t seem to get out of his mind. His waterpark resort proposal must pass so he can prove to himself and his father that he is not a failure. When Ella discovers he plans on building that monstrosity of a waterpark in her own town of Deep Haven, she gets even more frustrated with the man. Misunderstandings and circumstances ensue and bring the two back together to do some community service in Deep Haven while Adrian and Ella try to convince each other that their own ideas are better. However, spending so much time with each leads to heartfelt conversations and realizations, which neither could confront before. Will misunderstandings continue to plague this would-be relationship? Can Adrian find his true purpose for being in Deep Haven? Can Ella escape the shame of her past and find a way to pursue her dreams?

Wow. I always love a good Deep Haven story. I was excited to receive an advanced copy of this new book. Although Andrea Christenson is a new author to me, I felt she did a good job of writing the beautiful love story with its fun quirks and antics. I found the spiritual parts not quite as emotional as Susan May Warren’s writing but they still held really good biblical truths that were relevant and genuine. I loved getting to know her new characters as they were introduced to the magic of Deep Haven. The misunderstandings that occurred with Ella and Adrian were hilarious as each just kept getting worse and worse. I enjoyed reading about the beauty of Deep Haven and the different activities available to tourists. (I wish I could go visit this beautiful place).

Highly recommend if you enjoy clean, Christian romance with humor and heart.

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.