Goodreads Monday: Druid’s Moon by Deniz Bevan

Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press

Date of Publication: September 20th, 2022

Genre: Romance, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Goodreads Synopsis:

Beauty to his Beast…

Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.

And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever.

Now both spell keeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart


“The Curse of the Octopus,” Lyne read, translating the Middle English script.

druid’s moon by deniz bevan

I didn’t pay attention when I read the blurb for Druid’s Moon. I skimmed it and accepted the book because it was a fantasy romance. But then I started reading and realized that it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. When that lightbulb flashed over my head, I did get excited. I have read many fairytale retellings, but I haven’t read one about Beauty and the Beast. So, I settled back and let myself be taken away by a tale as old as time.

Druid’s Moon, as I mentioned above, is a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Lyne is an archaeologist who is excavating a cave on the shores of England. On her first day, she finds and sets loose a Druidic curse. She also discovers a giant Beast who lurks in the coast and wooded areas, preying upon sheep and campers for his Mistress. But it is who the Beast is that shocks her. Determined to break the curse, Lyne must battle an unseen horror that lurks beneath the ocean as well as a Druidess, who is determined to keep the Beast as is. Will Lyne win? Will the curse be broken for good? Or will Lyne fail?

Druid’s Moon is a medium-paced book with a flowing plotline. There were some areas where the book did lag a little, but it didn’t affect my reading.

I thought that Lyne was an interesting character to read. Her character growth throughout the book was excellent. She went from a sheltered woman who relied on logic to explain things to a woman who wasn’t as sheltered and understood that there was mystery, magic, and reasoning. I loved watching her gradual acceptance that she was Beauty. But once she accepted who and what she was, she was all in.

I didn’t connect as much to Frederick as I did to Lyne. He came across as too nice (if that is such a thing) when he was in human form. He also came across as resigned to going back to being the Beast. He didn’t even try to fight when the Druidess recaptured him. But he did show Lyne where the counterspell was, so, in his way, he did fight back.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I haven’t read a retelling about that particular fairy tale, so I was pretty excited about it. I will say that it was an exciting and imaginative retelling. I would have never expected a werewolf/Druid spin on fairytales. It did make it more interesting to read.

The fantasy angle of the book was well written. I wish that the author had gotten more in-depth about who Octopus/The Mistress was. The brief glimpses that the author gave weren’t enough for me!! The same goes for the Druidess and her spell. The author presented the background, but nothing gave me anything. I wanted meat. I wanted a reason more than what was provided. Instead, I had to settle for something that made me wish for more.

The romance angle also left me wanting more. It started as a semi-triangle that morphed into Instalove. I am not a fan of Instalove (even with this particular fairytale), and I felt that the romance did seem forced at times.

The end of Druid’s Moon was interesting. I liked how the author wrapped everything up. I was pleased with what happened. But I felt that some plotlines were left hanging. I was also not a fan of the epilogue.

I would recommend Druid’s Moon to anyone over 21. There is violence, mild language, and mild sexual situations.

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (High Tower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: December 30th, 2021

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance

Series: High Tower Fairy Tales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast

Depths

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid

Storms (review here)

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (review here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (review here)

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella (review here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella (review here)

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Who is the power behind the throne?

Marian has risked everything to bring King Richard the Lionheart to England.

But as the king’s heart turns toward vengeance who will be left to stand in his wake?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and non-stop twists and turns, this action-packed fantasy retelling is for you!


There are so many stories I could tell of Robin Hood.

Lion’s Heart by jacque Stevens

I was very excited when I got Lion’s Heart’s mobi in my inbox. I enjoyed the other books in the series and couldn’t wait to see how Marian and Robin’s romance ended. Plus, I wanted to know how the author handled King Richard coming back. I wasn’t disappointed.

Lion’s Heart is the 3rd and final book in the Robin Hood part of the High Tower Fairy Tales series. This book picks up almost immediately after the events of book 2. Marian is traveling to Germany with Queen Eleanor to free King Richard. While in Queen Eleanor’s company, Marian learns to hone her power and spirit. She also realizes that the King Rob idolizes is impulsive and reckless but cares for his people.

Meanwhile, back in England, Rob is furious over Marian leaving him. But bigger things are happening. Gisbourne is laying siege to Rob’s castle. Rallying his friends and allies, Rob prepares to war to protect his people and home. Can Marian come home in time?

I liked Marian in Lion’s Heart, but I wouldn’t say I liked how she confirmed when she was with Queen Eleanor. Marian was a folk hero and used to running wild. I loved that part of her, and honestly, it made the previous books. To read and see her transformation didn’t jive with me. I understood why the author had her do it. She needed to fit in during the journey to Germany, and she needed not to draw attention to herself. But still, I wouldn’t say I liked it. It didn’t fit with the character presented during the first two books.

I loved Rob in Lion’s Heart. I felt that I got to know him better in this book than in books 1 and 2. I loved how the author had him actively dealing with his PTSD while trying to defend his people against Gisbourne’s forces. That scene where he told Will to take the bottles away (so he wouldn’t drink) stuck with me. What also stuck with me was that he was afraid he would hurt Marian, so he didn’t sleep (like sleep-sleep, not having sex) with her. It broke my heart and made me want to hug him.

The author didn’t discuss the plotline with Gisbourne until about the middle of the book. I had wondered what had happened to him after the events of book two, and the author answered my questions. I felt a little bad for Gisbourne initially, but that faded around the middle of the book. Then I started rooting for Marian and Rob.

The plotline with Marian going with Queen Eleanor to rescue King Richard was exciting. I enjoyed reading about medieval England court life, putting aside Marian’s change. I also thought that Queen Eleanor was a badass. She handled everything like a boss!!

The romance angle of Lion’s Heart was sweet. I loved the chemistry that Rob and Marian had.

The end of Lion’s Heart was a little bitter-sweet. The author was able to wrap up all of the storylines across the three books in a way that satisfied me. I also liked the epilogue!!

I would recommend Lion’s Heart to anyone over 16. There is light sexual content, mild language, and mild violence.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales: Book ) by Jacque Stevens

Book Cover

Publisher:

Date of publication: January 1st, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (Review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 1

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Depths—Book 6

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 7

Storms—Book 8

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 9

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 12

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: ARC

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

ROBIN’S HOOD is the first novella in the High Tower Robin Hood YA medieval fantasy series. If you like strong female characters, friends-to-lovers romance, and non-stop twists and turns, then you’ll love this gender-bent twist on the Legends of Sherwood.


First Line:

I have heard ballads of our adventures already. A few favor the sheriff, saying we’re all cutthroats and devil worshipers, but most speak of the merry outlaws doing clever deeds.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Out of all the fairy tale retellings I have read, I don’t think that I have read a retelling of Robin Hood. So, when I saw that Jacque Stevens had written a feminist retelling of Robin Hood, I was intrigued and I decided to read it. I am glad that I did because Robin’s Hood was a homerun for me.

I liked seeing a woman in the role of Robin Hood. It threw an exciting spin on the myth, one that, truthfully, I haven’t bothered to imagine. I was always stuck on Robin Hood being a man. I never thought to imagine a heartbroken woman who was trying to do what she thought was right in the role. The author was able to do that and more.

Robin’s Hood is set in medieval England, and the book reflects that. Women were often viewed as property and treated as such. So, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that Marian’s guardian decided to marry her, at 5, to his eight-year-old son. He did that to secure his son’s claim to her lands. I also wasn’t too surprised when the Sherriff of Nottingham decided to marry her to his cousin (for the same reason). There are also other examples. A woman was sent to a convent for her “confinement” (women were not allowed to be seen during pregnancy). Marian’s maid was beaten when she refused the advances of the Sherriff of Nottingham.

I enjoyed reading about Marian’s exploits as Robin Hood. I loved how she recruited her band of merry men. That one scene with Little John made me laugh, including how she tried to save him after knocking him into the river. The same goes with her scenes with Friar Tuck. I think he had no clue who Marian was because he was toasted 95% of the time.

The last few chapters of Robin’s Hood did send me into a tailspin. Everything happened so fast!!! But I still loved it. The author wrapped up most of the storylines for this book but left them open enough for the next one.


I enjoyed reading Robin’s Hood. This story was an enjoyable retelling of the myth.

I would recommend Robin’s Hood to anyone over the age of 13. There is mild violence.

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by [Meredith, David]

Publisher: David Meredith

Date of publication: October 2nd, 2013

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Adult, Retellings, Fairy Tale, Fairy Tale Retellings, Magic, Adventure, High Fantasy

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible

Goodreads synopsis:

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished, and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.


My review:

I have always wondered what happened to the fairy tale characters after the tale’s end. What was their life like after the words “Happily Ever After” were written? I know I am not the only one who has thought this. I mean, it’s hard not to think about it.

If you are like me and have wondered about “Happily Ever After, “ you should read this book.

It was a wonderfully written, descriptive book about Snow White and the aftermath of Prince Charming’s death. It also tells how she finds the Magic Mirror and uses it to see her true self. The flashback scenes are all heartbreaking. The author, for the most part, stayed very true to the fairytale.

The ending was not what I expected, and it did delight me.


If you enjoyed reading The Reflections of Queen Snow White, you will enjoy these books:

Moonlight (Crowns of the Twelve: Book 2) by Ann Hunter

Book Cover

Publisher: Afterglow Productions

Date of publication: March 3, 2014

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Romance, Fairy Tales, Fairy Tale Retellings, Magic, Fantasy Romance

Series: Crowns of the Twelve

The Subtle Beauty—Book 1 (review here)

Moonlight—Book 2

Fallen—Book 3 (review here)

A Piece of Sky—Book 4 (review here)

The Rose in the Briar—Book 5

Ashes—Book 6

In The Mean While—Book 7

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible

Goodreads synopsis:

One vow. One curse. One thousand moons.

While Princess Aowyn’s six brothers are favored by their father, Aowyn is the jewel in her mother’s crown. When the Queen dies, Aowyn takes a vow to protect her brothers and father from the hungry eyes of the queen’s handmaiden, Ciatlllait – who is more than she seems.

In order to save her family, Aowyn risks a dangerous deal with the dark creature Sylas Mortas. But magic comes with a price: and Aowyn soon realizes the one she has paid is too steep.

Only true love can reverse the spell…but it will take one thousand moons.

Set in a Celtic world, “Moonlight” is the story of faith and true love woven through a breathtaking retelling of the classic folktale “The Swan Princess”.


My review:

Another fantastic book by Ann Hunter!!!

As said in the synopsis, this is a retelling of The Swan Princess, and what a retelling it is!!! It is also the love story of Xander and Aowyn (told in her first book of the series: The Subtle Beauty).

I loved that again; the story featured Celtic lore. If I haven’t mentioned before, I love anything Celtic. This obsession started in my teens, and I haven’t lost my love for it over the years.

I loved Aowyn’s devotion to her brothers and her mother’s memory.


If you enjoyed reading Moonlight, you will enjoy reading these books:

The Subtle Beauty (Crowns of The Twelve: Book 1) by Ann Hunter

The Subtle Beauty: A fractured Beauty & the Beast retelling (Crowns of the Twelve Book 1) by [Hunter, Ann]

Publisher: Afterglow Productions

Date of publication: January 2nd, 2014

Series: Crowns of The Twelve

The Subtle Beauty—Book 1

Moonlight—Book 2 (review here)

Fallen—Book 3 (review here)

A Piece of Sky—Book 4 (review here)

The Rose in the Briar—Book 5

Ashes—Book 6

In The Mean While—Book 7

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Young Adult, Beauty and The Beast, Retellings, Romance, Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy Romance, Magic

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo |Apple Books


Goodreads synopsis:

A cursed prince. A vain beauty. Glory is the seventh daughter of Balthazar, High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. Glory hopes that – of all her sisters – she can escape the fate of a loveless marriage. But on the night she plans to elope with the royal falconer, her world comes crashing down: Her father announces Glory’s betrothal to Eoghan of the Blood Realm – a prince no one has ever seen. The prince is said to be a recluse, cursed and deformed by the gods for the sins of his power-hungry father. Yet when Glory is trapped in Blackthorn Keep she discovers that not everything is what she expected. An insulting gryphon, a persistent ghost, and a secret plan to usurp the prince keep Glory reeling.

In this retelling of BEAUTY & THE BEAST, can Glory overcome her vanity to learn that what she wants isn’t what she needs—and save the cursed prince?


My review:

I enjoyed reading this book. The first chapter (where we meet Xander and Aowynn) hooked me. Put it this way; I finished the book in a day, which never happens these days.

The combo of it being a retelling of a fairy tale and the fact that it takes place in Ireland made me love it. The author included Gaelic phrases and put a directory at the end of the book so you could reference it.

The Colin/Eoghan/Glory triangle was heartbreaking. I did like seeing Glory’s character change. It was a huge transformation.

Oh, and Colin got what was coming to him, just saying.

The ending made me cry. I mean, who wouldn’t? It was the perfect ending to the book.


If you enjoyed reading The Subtle Beauty, you will enjoy reading these books: