My Review – How To Tame a Beast in Seven Days

review iconKerrelyn Sparks has long been an author on my “one day” list. As in, one day, I will actually get around to picking up one of her books. And when I saw she was starting a new series called The Embraced, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dive in. I was excited when I got a review copy of How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days from NetGalley, but  unfortunately it didn’t work out quite as well as I had hoped.

In another time, and another place, there are five kingdoms that make up the world of Aerthlan. Four of these kingdoms are ruled by kings who worship the sun, and anyone who does not follow the faith is subject to death. But the fifth kingdom, made up of two small islands, worship the Goddesses of the Moon. Twice a year, the two moons align, and children born on those nights are called The Embraced. Because they are often born with supernatural powers, they are considered abominations against the God of Light, and to escape certain death, often these children are smuggled to safety on the islands.

It is into this world that Luciana was born. As one of the Embraced, she has spent her entire life in an island convent, believing she was an orphan. She has lived a happy life, making her own family with her fellow “orphaned” Embraced and worshiping the Moon Goddesses. But her entire life is turned upside down when her father arrives, needing Luciana to take the place of her murdered twin sister. If Luciana does not become Tatiana – and marry the man known as The Beast of Benwick – her father will be killed on orders of the king, his lands and property seized for the crown. But to do so means leaving behind everything Luciana has ever known.

While I liked the idea of the book, I had a hard time with it, too. If it hadn’t been a review copy, I probably would’ve DNF’d it at about the 10% mark. It wasn’t that it was bad at all, but it just didn’t engage me at the start. Things did get better as I went on, but my main problem was just that everything was too…easy. I liked Luciana, I liked “the Beast”, I liked them together, but there just wasn’t any sense of drama. Long-lost father shows up, and within a couple of pages they have a strong father/daughter bond and Luciana changes her whole life for him. No anger, no hurt, just one conversation and all is well. And that just kept happening. Everything just kept falling into place way too easily. Even the dramatic showdown at the end was anti-climactic because everything for everyone is perfectly wrapped up in literally a couple of pages. It was too perfect, too happy, too quickly.

So, in summary, I can say I liked the main characters and i enjoyed their relationship, but there wasn’t anything that grabbed my attention, either. Maybe I am used to darker and more dramatic stories, but for me this one was just too light. Am I sorry I read it? Not really. Do I feel the need to pick up the next one? No. It was a fast, uncomplicated read that unfortunately didn’t live up to the potential I thought it had, and sadly it will probably be the only Kerrelyn Sparks book I end up picking up. I would give it 2 stars out of 5.

I know Kerrelyn Sparks has a lot of fans out there, so this is probably not going to be a popular review. Is her work usually so…easy? No drama, no sense of urgency or danger, just light and breezy romance? Just curious, since it is the first book of hers I have ever tried.


22 thoughts on “My Review – How To Tame a Beast in Seven Days

  1. cheryl says:

    I always go to her books as something light and not too conflicted.
    They are what I would call an easy read and not something I have to figure out any complex plot. I don’t want to make it sound like I don’t like her work but it is not a can’t wait to read the next one author for me… she is good just not a must read.

    • kaleigha says:

      I have a few authors like that – like them when I read them, but I don’t go nuts waiting for the next one. Sometimes just a quick read in between some favorites, too.

  2. shannon c says:

    Kerrelyn Sparks is similar in style to the Lynsay Sands, Katie MacAlister, Erin McCarthy, and Kathy Love. Humorous PNR. I have to admit they are a bit fluffy for me generally.

  3. dougmeeks says:

    Well I just finished it and loved it, but then again I was a big fantasy fan long before I started reading PNR/UF and this was pretty much pure fantasy although I do agree with some of the shortcuts in the relationship with her Father. It was a 4 Star reading for me since it was entertaining and the premise was enjoyable, I will pick up the next one just to see where it goes but obviously each of the “sisters” looks to have her own book (and probably her own prince, this is HEA territory for sure LOL)

    • kaleigha says:

      Yeah, it looks like Brigitta is up next in So I Married a Sorcerer…

      “Growing up on the Isle of Moon, Brigitta knows nothing of her past, except that she is Embraced: born with powers that forced her into hiding. Everything changes when she learns she’s a princess, hidden away from her villainous half-brother who now rules the kingdom. But he knows about Brigitta, and he’ll do anything to get her back. Unless a certain roguish pirate has anything to say about it…

      Rupert is both an infamous pirate and a sorcerer with the power to harness the wind. He’s been waiting nineteen years for revenge—and he needs Brigitta to get it. What begins as a kidnapping of the fiery beauty turns into a fierce attraction. But can he win the captive princess’s heart?”

  4. Emily says:

    I read her Love at Stakes series and it really focused more on humor than drama. Not my preference, but was okay every once in awhile for me. The series was about 3 books from the end when I started reading it, and I couldn’t read more than 2 in a row before taking a break. I did enjoy them and finished the series, but haven’t reread a single one of them. Although her books are pretty light-hearted, there was still conflict and a little action in that series. Doesn’t sound like that’s the case with this book, though.

    • Iain says:

      I read How To Marry a Millionaire Vampire 3-4 years ago now… I rated it 3 stars… haven’t continued the series… I don’t think I could handle another book of “God’s Blood” being used as a vampire swear every other page, let alone 15 more books… that’s all I really remember of the book…

      • kaleigha says:

        Yeah, when something sticks in your memory that many years later, you know it ticked you off. I have a few Feehan-isms that get me every single time, and I find myself searching for them in every book.

        • Iain says:

          I had to pull the ebook out to find the phrase, but I knew there was a phrase to remember… it was like… for god’s sake wasn’t good enough… so they went with God’s Blood… cause vampires…

  5. Monika says:

    I like your review; you make me never want to read the book. Trying to be nice while eviscerating the book just makes it worse somehow 😉
    What I don’t understand from your review, though, is why Luciana, who was born when the moons aligned is one of the Embraced and had to be smuggled to the island to be saved and her twin sister wasn’t; weren’t they born on the same date (as twins usually are)?

    • dougmeeks says:

      The mother had her smuggled off and they had her isolated to made it look like she had not had her child for a few days after the conjunction of the moons to cover it up. As a fantasy romance lover I thought it was a great book BUT the situation KALEIGHA described at the beginning (basically changing her whole life for someone she knew for a few hours) and the ending that felt a bit rushed was true but did not diminish my enjoyment of the book.

  6. Redbutterfly says:

    Ok and in a totally off-topic comment Ilona Andrews just posted on her blog that Kate 10 is going to be released in 2018… and surprisingly I’m fine with that. First because I understand their reasons, second I want a really d@mn good book and third I already had a feeling that this book wasn’t going to come out this year anyway.

    Just wanted to share the news in case you haven’t seen it yet.

    • Monika says:

      I’m a ok with it, too. We have the two Hidden Legacy novels to look forward to (at least some of us have 😉 ) which I might like even better than KD and I hope the “Hugh” book is also going to come out this year one way or another. I am very excited as Ilona announced that it will be very intense, with lots of violence and sex!

      • kaleigha says:

        I am still really, really hoping that there will be more Hidden Legacy books beyond the proposed trilogy. The world is so interesting and well thought-out that it could continue on indefinitely, or at least I think so.

        • Redbutterfly says:

          Like you two I’m really looking forward to finally reading the rest of the Hidden Legacy and I’m also praying that we will get more books, that series is amazing, but Ilona also said that someone liked the proposal for a new book and it made me afraid that it’s going to mean no more Hidden Legacy books ;_;

          I’m also not ready to let Kate go, getting to move forward the goodbye date is kinda relieving lol and I’m really bad at reading the final book in a series, there’re a ton of series I like and I still haven’t got the courage to read the last book (*cough*Night Huntress*cough*)

  7. kaleigha says:

    I just saw it now, and I am more than ok with it, too, weirdly. Not looking forward to KD ending, and since there are already a ton of series wrapping up in 2017 I am happy to not have to say goodbye to this one, too.

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