Blog + Excerpt Tour: Beauty of the Beast by Rachel Demeter

Beauty of the Beast

by Rachel L. Demeter
Fairy Tale Retellings, #1
Publication Date: March 15, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling, Gothic Romance, Adult

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🌹 Book Blurb 🌹

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Disclaimer: This is an edgy retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

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🌹 EXCERPT 🌹

~ The East Tower ~

Arms sprang out from the darkness. They spun her full circle and slammed her body against the king’s portrait. Isabelle gasped, more in shock than from pain, as she stared into Adam’s deformed face. The lantern flickered behind his massive form, casting his cloaked body in silhouette. But she saw enough to know he was far from pleased. Rage and frustration radiated from his body like a palpable force.

“I warned you to stay out of here,” he said, his voice dangerously cold and deep. Those rugged vocals vibrated against her body and seeped into her marrow. “What part of forbidden didn’t you comprehend?” His voice lashed out from the darkness like a hurtled knife, and the word “forbidden” seemed to whisper another meaning altogether. Isabelle tried to answer but failed to find her voice. Indeed, her vocal cords had turned to solid ice, as numb and cold as the blood rushing through her veins. She couldn’t breathe; she felt like she was suffocating.

“My mother gave me that musical box on my fourth birthday,” he said, the sensual lull of his voice causing the fine hairs on her nape to stand erect. “And now your recklessness has destroyed it. Have you nothing to say?”

“I—I’m sorry.” He offered no reply; only the ragged sound of his breathing and the hammering blizzard broke the silence. “Please—I didn’t mean any harm.”

She struggled under the weight of Adam’s colossal body and battled to free herself. He merely gave a low chuckle and pressed her firmly against the portrait. He looked otherworldly at that moment, like an angel of death seeking vengeance. Both beautiful and monstrous, his cool, sapphire eyes overflowed with warring emotions. In spite of his harsh and ruthless exterior, she detected a quaver in his voice and saw that his large, cloaked shoulders trembled. The darkness in his soul cast a shadow that embraced her; as she peered up at him, she knew he was drowning in the turbulent waters of a past time.

“What a disappointment,” he went on, his voice growing deeper still, mocking her words from so many days ago, “You’re like any other woman.”

“I—I’m sorry. Please, Adam. I—” Her gaze shot past his body and over the wreckage of a past life. She thought of her private chamber again—of the stale perfumes and outdated garments.

Her flight or fight instinct seized hold of her. She attempted to scramble free, but he merely grabbed her shoulder and whirled her back against the portrait. Gloves wrapped his hands; his long, silk-clad fingers grasped her shoulder and kept her firmly in place.

He stood intimately close.

Far too close.

As close as Raphael had been that night.

“Going somewhere, ma belle? After you’ve worked so hard to find my East Tower?”

Hands like two steel bands held her wrists in place. Hot breaths, which faintly smelled of wine, seared her cheeks and assaulted her senses. Her breasts flattened against the pressure of his strong chest, and she felt that same chest swell and deflate in perfect sync with her own. One large hand slipped down her elbow and glided across her extended arm. The lush material of his gloves drew a shudder from her heaving chest. His breathing grew more ragged, shallower, and the erratic beat of his heart banged against her own.

Anger and desire warred on his face, twisting his features into a mess of both monster and man. “Find anything of interest, aside from my musical box? Come, come. You went through such great trouble to get here,” he asked, his voice now threaded with both anger and something else.

Yes, Isabelle recognized that something else. It was the same note that had entered Raphael’s voice that night…

She attempted to duck under his arm, but he moved swiftly, capturing her in the crook of his elbow. Reeling her toward him, he emitted a low, haunting chuckle that swelled the eastern tower to its rafters. She was back where she’d started—pinned against the portrait, Adam’s body serving as a flesh-and-blood blockade.

Hunger radiated from him, enfolding her in a current of sizzling power. His silk-clad hand grazed the curve of her breast as it moved down her body in a painfully slow caress. Even more alarming was her reaction to him. Her treacherous body responded with a crush of hot and cold pulsating waves. Then he whispered a taunt in her ear, and his liquid baritone slid down her backbone like honey; it swirled inside her, finding its home in her most intimate area.

He leaned closer still. His face’s uneven skin brushed against her neck, the black waves of his hair tickled her chin… His thick arousal expanded against her, reminding her of what he was capable of—and of her sheer vulnerability.

His lips teased the base of her throat. Cursing her traitorous body, Isabelle gasped at the gentle scraping of his teeth. His tongue and lips tormented her throbbing pulse—just barely, stirring her skin in a mere ghost of a touch.

🌹 Meet the Author 🌹

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of fourteen years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.

Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.

Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.

Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

Don’t be a stranger! Rachel loves to connect and interact with her readers:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile | Instagram

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Favorite Quotes from CONFESS by Colleen Hoover

 

 

I’m still reeling from the brilliant masterpiece that is CONFESS.. So let me share some of my favorite quotes from the book. 


 

“No one deserves you like I do…”

“No one sees you like I do…”

“No one understands you the way I do…”

“No one makes your heart beat like I do…”

“And no one else deserves to be inside you if they can’t get there through here first..”


“I’m selfish. And if one night with you is all I can get, then I’ll take it.”

I’ll take whatever you’re willing to give me. Because I know that if you walk out that door, then ten years from now . . . twenty years from now . . . we’ll wish we had listened to our hearts when we think back on tonight.”


I want you to remember how it feels when I look at you.

I want you to remember how your heart reacts every time I kiss you.

I want you to remember my hands and how they can’t stop touching you.

And I need you to remember that anyone can make love. But I’m the only one who deserves to make love to you.


“I’m scared I’ll never feel this again with anyone else,” I whisper.
He squeezes my hands. “I’m scared you will.”


“I love you so much.” His voice is breathless and full of fear. “I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.”

My tears fall harder at his words. “And I’ll love you forever. Even when I shouldn’t.”


“Sometimes I miss them so much, it hurts me right here. It feels like someone is squeezing my heart with the strength of the entire goddamn world.”

“Every day of my life it feels as if I’m fighting my way up an escalator that only goes down.
And no matter how fast or how hard I run to try to reach the top, I stay in the same place, sprinting, getting nowhere.”


“She deserves better. So much better.
She deserves me.
If only she knew that.”

Review: Pucked by Rachel Walter

Pucked
By: Rachel Walter

Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warriors Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warriors’ number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?


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This has been heart-breaking, mind-blowing, tear-inducing, soul-searching, chest-pounding story, where winter meets spring, creating a spectacular autumn that two bruised hearts call home.

Aubrey Jacob is fire, spring, a blooming dandelion in the mud. Yes, mud.. Because Aubrey girl loves mud and muddin’, and that’s something that make her unique.

Riley Silk is ice, winter, a frost that intensifies the ice surrounding his heart. Because Riley has been through a lot in the homefront, to him, love is cruel and cold and chilled.

Together, they are autumn. Together, they are fire and ice controlled. Together, they are unbreakable.

I loved everything about this book – the tears, the fights, the anxiety attacks, the milkshakes, the mud, the ice, and most specially – the one armed, one legged booty shaking dance.

I love Pucked!

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Review: CONFESS by Colleen Hoover

Confess
by Colleen Hoover

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

Right from the start, I told myself to expect the unexpected when it comes to Colleen Hoover. I’ve read most of her books, I always get surprised with the twists, and I always end up loving them. So I knew first hand that Confess was gonna be different, unique and brilliant.

But my heart wasn’t prepared to break, my mind wasn’t ready for the clusterfuck of emotions and my eyes refused to release the tears threatening to open the floodgates. Damn that prologue, it really had me worried. Auburn’s pleas and heartfelt farewell with  Adam deeply penetrated my heart. I thought I would never be  able to finish the story, because damn, first chapter in and I was already wailing.

“I’m selfish. And if one night with you is all I can get, then I’ll take it.”

But I refused to give up. I, for  one, do  not  have  the  habit  of  DNFing  a  book. So I devoured each and every page of Confess, I dissected Owen’s obsession with confessions, I recoiled from Auburn’s cries for her child, and I tortured myself to tears, until the last page. Good thing I wasn’t wearing makeup nor mascara that day, or else, I’d look like Alice Cooper with all the tears that I’ve shed.

I’ll take whatever you’re willing to give me. Because I know that if you walk out that door, then ten years from now . . . twenty years from now . . . we’ll wish we had listened to our hearts when we think back on tonight.”

Confess is really a surprisingly unique story. The idea of writing confessions and having them illustrated in an artwork was a totally amazing, intriguing and engaging idea. I don’t know how CoHo get her book ideas, it’s like every book she writes is like Pandora’s box, opening new and different surprises that tempts the readers to crave for more.
Owen Mason Gentry had a great impact on me. OMG, I want some lovin’ like Owen. This book totally blew me away.  I regret not reading it immediately after I got it a year ago. What was I thinking,  right?  I’m so grateful to my reading buddy,  Jel who inspired me to read this masterpiece.  I couldn’t ask for any other book to read with a dear friend.

Confess is definitely a must read,  highly recommended and totally worth every tear. I think I can safely say that Confess is now my most favorite CoHo book.

Review: The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft)

 

The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft

(Lara Craft Saga #1)
by Lola Salt

From bestselling authors Becky Wicks (Before He Was Famous, Before He Was Gone) and Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila, Fated, Come Back to Me) comes a new romance with a difference…

 

After losing her job and her boyfriend on the same day, Lara’s beginning to wonder if her life can possibly get any worse. Then along comes Jamie, a childhood friend, offering her a job delivering mysterious packages to random destinations around the world. Suddenly, things are looking up.

Lara packs her bags and sets off on an epic adventure, meeting billionaire Arabic Princes in Dubai, rugged cowboys in Australia, a sparkling wannabe vampire in LA, a love guru with sex on the brain in Bali and Angelina Jolie’s bodyguards in a hostage situation that can only be resolved with some very special eggs. But though trouble always seems to find Lara, it seems love is rather more elusive.

Pack your bags. The adventure’s about to begin!

I swear this had been one of those stories that really had me rolling on the floor, laughing out loud! Lara Craft, not Croft, is hilarious and witty, traits that I would want to have one day. Ha!

The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft tells about Lara, who serves as a messenger of sorts for high-profiled people while gallivanting around the world. Before she became involved with a Hugh Jackman look-alike and Angelina Jolie’s bodyguards, Lara worked at Cirque du Feteesh-Folie doing behind-the-scene/backstage duties. The day she got the boot from her job was also the day she got dumped by her ex-boyfriend slash circus aerial artist. Things weren’t looking up for her, so when a former acquaintance, Jamie recommended her to a concierge company, she took the job eventhough she had no idea what she was going to do. In the end, she proved to be qualified for the job and had come and gone to places I would want to visit someday. Australia, Dubai, Bali, etc. And of course, Cupid seemed to follow her everywhere she went, because she always received proposals and love proclamations around the globe.

The book is star-studded! I think this is the only novel where all the stars in Hollywood are present, not that I’m complaining. I guess the only thing that pissed me off was the swearing guy named Alf, seriously, what’s wrong with him? Ugh. But swearing men aside, I believe this book from bestselling authors Becky Wicks and Sarah Alderson got an edge, a gem of a novel and a truly exciting read! Seriously, if you want to have some fun while trotting the globe, reading this book is the way to do it, Lara Craft style.

Excerpt Book Blitz: Pucked by Rachel Walter

Pucked
By: Rachel Walter
 
 

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Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warriors Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warriors’ number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?

**Warning- Several abuse topics are discussed in this story, which includes parental alienation, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, and mild drug abuse.**

 



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Riley

“This or that?” Audrey asks.
I drum my fingers on the armrest as I think. “Music or movies?”
She glances at me sideways. “Music. Fiction or non-fiction.”
“Fiction. Dancing or singing?”
She laughs. “Dancing in the rain. Dancing on ice or falling on ice?”
“I practically danced on the ice tonight!” I snort. “I don’t fall…often.”
“I don’t mean that kind of dancing.”
“Like? A slow dance or something?” She nods. “And shall I ask Rob to be my partner?”
“Well, you could do a crazy one armed, one legged, booty shakin’ dance after a win,” she offers.
I laugh, loudly. “Where do you come up with this?” She shrugs a shoulder as she merges with interstate traffic. “In that case, fall. High heels or bikini wax?”
“You say fall because you’re a chicken. Do you even know what a bikini wax is?”
“If it’s like the name…then yes, and I’m not a chicken.”
“You are too, and I’d choose high heels. Feathers or snow?”
“You’d break your ankle! Snow. I’m still not a chicken,” I argue.
“I’d likely break both, but you are a chicken.”
“Will you stop calling me a chicken?”
The sound of her laughter centers me, I was meant to be right here with her. Just to hear her voice, her laugh…
“I will stop when you do a one armed, one legged, booty shakin’ dance on ice for me.” I hang my head. “Oh, and it has to be after a win, on home ice, and everyone has to see it.”
“Not gonna happen, Aud.”
“Same as usual, Chicken?” she asks as we pull into McDonalds drive-thru.
“Not a chicken, yes.”
“Okay.” She waits with the window cracked for an employee to take our order. A feminine voice comes through, asking what we’ll have. “One chocolate shake for the chicken and one vanilla shake for the tomboy,” she replies with a laugh.
“How many piece chicken nugget?”
Audrey laughs harder. “No chicken please, just the two shakes.”
“See, a sign you should knock the chicken shit off.”
“Not a chance, Chicken.” She clucks for good measure.
“No electricity or no plumbing,” I ask, hoping to pull her away from the teasing.
“No electricity, Chicken. One girl or all the girls?”
“One,” I say, burning a hole in the side of her head.
“Aw, a romantic chicken. I don’t think I’ve ever heard about one of those.” She tilts her face toward mine. Both of us just staring at the other, with very little space between us. My eyes fall shut and I lean back further into my seat. Way to make things awkward again, idiot. Chicken.
“Pink or purple?” I ask.
She groans, passing me the milkshakes the guy in at the window handed her. “Purple. Doer or dreamer?”
I chew on the inside of my cheek as I work the straws out of their wrappers. “Doer.” I’m too much of a dreamer. Or planner, but I don’t follow through.

 

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Rachel Walter is a wife and mother first and a coffee-addicted,chuck-wearing, hockey-watching, snark-spewing author second. She primarily writes Young Adult, but enjoys challenging herself in other genres, like Adult Contemporary. In 2012, Rachel began writing her first novel, True Connection, which she published in 2013. True Connection was re-released in 2014 as part of a boxed set, Pandora, which landed on USA Today’s Best Seller list. When she’s not writing or making images for her Instagram feature, #authorslog, she can be found doing almost anything in south central Pennsylvania, where she lives, to avoid washing dishes.
Social Media links
snapchat: rachelw_auth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Rachel_Walter

Review: Unrequited Alice by Sarah Louise Smith

Unrequited Alice
by Sarah Louise Smith

“I stared at my suitcase, contemplating the following three facts:
1.After months of planning, it was finally time for Hannah’s hen weekend.
2.In just one more month, she’d be getting married to Ed.
3.I really had to fall out of love with Ed before the wedding.”

A bridesmaid really shouldn’t be in love with the groom…but Alice just can’t help herself. Ed is her perfect man, and she can’t get him out of her head.

Until she meets Toby – who offers to help her move on. But what if he’s just setting her up for an even bigger fall?

Alice had always been in love with her oldest friend’s boyfriend, Ed. She knew she wouldn’t have any space inside his heart especially now that he was gonna marry Hannah. Tough as it was, she still organized her friend’s hen weekend in Niagara Falls, hoping to extinguish any more feelings she had for Ed.

And then she met Toby over the weekend. Toby, who was hot and cold. Toby who, like Alice, held a torch for someone else, someone like her brother’s fiance. Toby, who unconsciously crawled to Alice’s heart, making her forget about Ed, but still failing with this unrequited love.

Alice is a character I’d love to comfort and confront at the same time. This girl has got a lot of love to give, and it pains me to see her conflicted and distressed over the men who didn’t love her back. Between Ed and Toby though, I’d place my bets for Toby right from the start because he’s such a kindred soul. Hannah, her oldest friend, was unfortunately lame and selfish, I disliked her instantly, and I don’t know why.

The thing about unrequited love is, it suffocates your heart, taking it all in, somehow wishing for something that doesn’t really belong to you. Yes, such is the tragedy of unreciprocated feelings. I know, I’ve been there, I’ve wallowed in it, I’ve lucked out, and in the end, I moved on. But that’s another story.

Unrequited Alice is a light romantic story that is heavy on the feelings. The story about two people not sharing the love isn’t really new to me. Surprisingly though, in this book, I was able to relate with the main characters and felt the instant connection I don’t usually get from other books. Sarah Louise Smith got me reading this in the break of dawn and reluctantly finishing it the next day. I didn’t want to part with Alice, I didn’t want to forget about the Niagara Falls, I didn’t want to forget about the wedding dances and the flights from London to New York and vice versa.

In the end, love prevailed. How it happened, it’s up to you to work on it. Read this and you’ll know.