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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

REVIEW, BOOK TOUR & GIVEAWAY - Hemlock Veils by Jennie Davenport

Hemlock Veils

by Jennie Davenport 

Release Date: 11/25/14Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

When Elizabeth Ashton escapes her damaging city life and finds herself in the remote town of Hemlock Veils, Oregon, she is smitten by its quaint mystery; but the surrounding forest holds an enchantment she didn’t think existed, and worse, a most terrifying monster. The town claims it vicious and evil, but Elizabeth suspects something is amiss. Even with its enormous, hairy frame, gruesome claws, and knifelike teeth, the monster’s eyes speak to her: wolf-like and ringed with gold, yet holding an awareness that can only be human. That’s when Elizabeth knows she is the only one who can see the struggling soul trapped inside, the soul to which she is moved.

Secretly, Elizabeth befriends the beast at night, discovering there’s more to his story and that the rising of the sun transforms him into a human more complex than his beastly self. Elizabeth eventually learns that his curse is unlike any other and that a single murderous act is all that stands between him and his freedom. Though love is not enough to break his curse, it may be the only means by which the unimaginable can be done: sacrifice a beauty for the beast.

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4 out of 5 (really liked it)

I received this book from YA Reads as part of the blog tour in return for a fair and honest review.

This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast in an almost timeless contemporary setting. When I say timeless contemporary, I mean there are things that date it - the car she drives for example - but nothing really stands out and screams at you what decade it is.

Elizabeth is someone who has always tried to do the right thing but has still had to make decisions and choices that haven't been easy (or legal at times) and usually are based on what someone else has done. The story starts with her driving at night, in a rainstorm, and you have no idea where she's going or why she's going there. You are fed her story in drips and drabs but it all holds together perfectly and her story slowly starts to make sense as you learn more about her. You understand why she comes across as fearless - when you have reached rock bottom sometimes it just takes too much energy.

The love story between Mr Clayton (Henry) and Ms Ashton (Elizabeth) is beautiful in its simplicity and yet Henry will insist on making it complex by taking one step forward and three steps backward. Yet Elizabeth won't give up and just carries on trying to do the best she can.

With the help of some friends and acquaintances, along with the book her father used to love, she finds out all she can about the beast that is terrorizing the town. Somehow, she just doesn't find it as horrifying as they keep telling her she should. Although most of the town is friendly, there are some characters that I didn't warm to such as Taggart. Although, to be fair, he threw me off balance as one minute he seemed friendly and the next, not. 

This story is incredibly well-written and will draw you in. The love story is beautiful and it is all written with a steady pace that will keep you turning the pages. Be prepared for leaky eyes towards the ending though, just saying! On the whole, a brilliant re-telling and I can highly recommend it to all! 

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About the Author

Though Jennie Davenport was raised throughout the Midwest, she now lives in the little desert mining town of Bagdad, Arizona, where six guys beg for her constant attention: a husband, three young, blond sons, a German shepherd with a name much mightier than his disposition (Zeus), and a black cat named Mouse. When she isn’t trying to run her home with as little casualties as possible, Jennie loves snuggling with her family, laughing with her friends, delving into brilliant entertainment of any vein, and playing outside. Despite the way being a writer is in her blood, and the wheels of her writerly mind are constantly turning, Jennie likes to think that in another life, she would have been a Broadway star. Or an American Idol finalist.

Jennie lives for the fall, and not just because of her adoration for the NFL (Go Broncos!). In her perfect world, she would have the springs, summers, and falls of Colorado, and the winters of Arizona—someplace where the climate and weather would allow her to go on a trail run all year round. But even though she prefers the pines and mountains, she is a devoted fan of all nature, from sandy beaches to woodsy cabins, and all are her greatest inspiration. She believes nature is one of the best healing remedies, with a magic all its own.

Jennie’s passion for writing is the way she survives, and is as vital to her sanity as oxygen, caffeine, food, and music. Even before she began writing it, well-told, original, and character-driven romance was always her weak spot. Add the paranormal or magical realism element and she may never make it back to reality. 

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