review; wolves & roses

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Wolves & Roses
by Christina Bauer

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races – shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

“Should” being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that – if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who – or what – she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

Review:

I received this copy in exchange for an honest review from Monster House Books LLC. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you Monster House!

Wow, what a rush. I’m usually not a huge fan of insta-loves and mates. But something about the way it was done in this whole story worked.

The concept was such a fascinating one! It’s what drew me to requesting the book. And I am so glad I got approved. It was a quick and fun read with engaging characters and a conversational type narrative.

Bryar Rose was a strong character from start to end. Her attraction to Knox was not just physical, and she stood her ground and found her way around things she thought should have stopped her. Even when she was scared, she fought through it. I was rooting for her throughout the story.

 

I thought Knox would be a typical ‘bad boy’ trope, but he had layers. Seeing things from his perspective definitely added weight to his character, and it was great that his relationships with other people felt developed and grounded. I would have enjoyed more Knox/Elle interaction if only because I feel like it would have been amusing.
Alec and Elle were great supporting characters who did not feel flat or one-dimensional in anyway. Their connection is not as easily explained as Knox and Bryar’s but I have some suspicions, and I wish we had some of their point of view as well. Their friendships with Knox and Bryar respectively were handled really well.

 

I really, really enjoyed the strong relationship between Elle and Bryar. It felt very real and believable. Even their secrets from one another were forgivable because the girls communicated and trusted one another. It was probably my favourite thing about the novel.

 

Some of the twists were easily predictable – such as Elle not being entirely human, the aunties having a hidden agenda, Madame being untrustworthy, and Philpot having an agenda – but some I did not see coming. I actually expected Bryar to be the third warden, not a part shifter, part fairy, part warlock? (Now I think the third warden is Elle.) I expected Philpot to be in league with the bad guys, especially after Reggie’s introduction, but not to be The Bad Guy.

 

It definitely made for a great read, when you know a twist is coming but the actual reveal still takes you by surprise. I’m definitely going to try and read the others in the series.

Author: Ara

I’m Aradhna, a 25 year old who someday hopes to have published a novel, and who is currently losing herself in the worlds created by others. Recently graduated with a degree in Communications and currently completed a Masters course in Creative Writing (Screenwriting), this blog is a chronicle of all things to do with my Masters project, as well as other general geekiness. I get distracted and sidetracked easily.

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