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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Iloria

Title: Iloria
Author: Moira Rogers
Page Count: novella length (54 pages according to Goodreads)
Publisher: self-published
Genre: romance, fairy tale retelling
Copy for review was purchased by me

Back Cover Summary:
After three years at war, the First Warlord of the Forest alone faces the newly won peace with trepidation--a curse ensures the wolves of Farran’s family line are fit only for violence. Denied an enemy, he would prefer to return to his remote keep alone and turn that inevitable rage inward. Unfortunately, there’s the small matter of the bride he took in a moment of madness.

Iloria is a gently reared lady, trained from childhood to be the wife of the High Lord himself. Instead, she finds herself wed to his brutish commander, a man who offered kindness in her weakest moment. She’s more than willing to turn her dreams toward building a life with Farran, but her new husband seems reluctant to speak to her, much less bed her.

Farran’s isolated castle offers him little respite from the temptation of Iloria’s stubborn affections. Every encounter with her chips away at his self-control--a dangerous thing for a cursed man. If he takes her to his bed, he won’t stop until he’s mated his virgin bride...but if he fails to consummate their union, he risks losing the only person who’s ever made him feel like more than a beast.
*****

This story's release totally snuck up on me but what a good surprise!  I've read and reviewed Sabine and Kisri here at WBiT? and was totally stoked for book three, especially because I knew it was a marriage of convenience story and in the style of my ALL TIME FAVORITE FAIRY TALE, Beauty and the Beast!

The expectations were high, but the ingredients were all there for a good story and they were blended excellently.  Iloria is a great heroine who overcomes a lot of cultural baggage and indoctrination in a short while in the pursuit of her own happiness, and at the same time she manages to convince Farran that their relationship is not only a good thing, but worth fighting for and strengthening.

Farran is a beast only when he's possessed by lunacy on the night of the full moon, but since the curse is inherited, he's seen plenty of examples of how repulsive people think he and his ancestors are, or so he thinks.  His curse has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and he's convinced that the only reason Iloria married him is to save herself the shame of being cast aside by the High King.  While that may have been the first instant's motivation, she's determined to have a real, loving marriage, and he's determined not to hurt her, even if ignoring her is hurting her.  It's a sticky wicket.

This is a really, really short story so there isn't a lot of time devoted to backstory. It's a good length though, and was a perfect way to relax after work one day.  And at $2.99 per story, I can highly recommend buying all three and enjoying them one after the other.  Do yourself a favor!

Overall Rating:

 
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