Review: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks

May Contain Spoilers

I haven’t read Kerrelyn Sparks yet, so I was looking forward to giving How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days a shot.  Unfortunately, I was a bit underwhelmed. I found the book irritating at times, and the political structure made no sense.  And the Mad, Evil King – he was such a non-issue it was disappointing.  While he got his just rewards, it happened off-page, and justice was doled out by a secondary character. Disappointing!

Luciana is an orphan who lives on the Isle of Moon.  She and her fellow foundlings live a comfortable life in the convent.  The nuns earn money translating and selling books, which they are famous for, but Luciana and the other girls seem to have an idyllic life puttering around the beaches and playing fortune-telling games.  When a stranger appears, accompanied by a coffin, Luciana’s recent fortune-telling seems about to come true.

 

The man is her father, a duke, and the occupant of the coffin was Luciana’s twin sister Tatiana.  Now Luciana must pretend to be her sister and marry the Beast of Benwick.  Since twins are considered ill luck on the mainland, she must never ever let anyone know that she’s not Tatiana. She can also never let anyone know that she is one of the Embraced and that she has special magical powers. If the evil king ever finds out, she and her father will be put to death.

And this where not much made sense.  Leo, the Beast of Benwick, is also one of the Embraced.  Lightning seeks him out, strikes him repeatedly, giving him powers.  He can’t touch anyone because he fries them.  His uncle the king knows that he has these weird powers, which are justification for being killed, but Leo is instead the Protector of the kingdom.  He leads the armies against the king’s enemies, and all the while, the king tries to secretly kill him. 

If Luciana and her father don’t report to the capital, they will be put to death for not following the king’s orders.  When Leo ignores and purposefully tries to irritate the king, he isn’t punished, though the king threatens to kill him.  Luciana’s mother died giving birth to her, but the king hasn’t allowed her father to remarry, because he wants their lands, and doesn’t want any more children getting in the way who can inherit the duchy.  Instead, the king has been trying to kill the duke and his daughter.  So we have this big build up that the king is a terrible, evil guy, but then some new random bad guy shows up and kills him. Huh? Why couldn’t Leo get some revenge against the guy that killed his mother and has been trying to kill him for years. Ugh.

The romance was another let down. Leo and Luciana don’t even formally meet until about 40% into the story.  Then it’s, for all intents and purposes,  dreaded INSTA-LOVE.  There is no real build up to their romance, no courtship, no chemistry.  And because Luciana is a special snowflake, she is the only human Leo can touch without zapping the life out of her.  So of course they must be fated lovers. Luciana just accepted that she had to marry this terribly misunderstood guy without a whimper, and Leo knew he had found the woman of his dreams.  Meh. I didn’t buy it.  And I wonder if their kids will be immune to his lightning touch too.

Overall, this is a fast paced read, perfect for a  weekend afternoon.  I breezed right through it.  The pacing was a bit uneven at first, but it settled down to a fairly entertaining read. The problems mentioned above marred my reading experience, and when I  finished, I thought that while it was a fairly fun read, How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days was also a fairly forgettable read. Your mileage may vary.

Grade: 2.75 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

 

“As Sparks starts a delightful new paranormal-romance series…Luciana and Leo’s erotic tension ratchets up.

Readers will relish Spark’s lovingly detailed and memorable tale and look forward to the next.”

—Booklist

“An entertaining first entry for Sparks’ new series.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Sparks…creates an intricate, layered world that’s easy to fall into without tons of backstory needed. Luciana’s gifts were unique and made for a fun read with situations that led to all kinds of trouble, making this story a joy to read. The Beast, Lord Leo, is everything you’d want, without being so dark he irks you. Readers will be fully invested in this Embraced series!”

—RT Book Reviews, Top Pick!

How To Tame a Beast in Seven Days

The Embraced Series

By Kerrelyn Sparks

Kerrelyn Spark’s previous series, Love at Stake, constantly hit the New York Times bestseller list and created a massive fan following for her witty vampires. With the end of her vampire series, comes the start of an extraordinary new fantasy romance series called The Embraced beginning with HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; March 7, 2017). Set in a medieval mythical world, the series explores a special group of people with powers born when the two moons of the world form an eclipse. In the start of the series we meet Luciana, who can speak to the dead, and the Beast of Benwick who can controlling lightening.

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy – and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

Filled with romance, humor, and a beautifully imagined new world, HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS is a fantasy in the vein of Game of Thrones with all the fun of The Princess Bride. Luciana is a vibrant leading lady that will have readers rooting for her spunk and devotion to her family while the Beast is a swoon worthy hero worth taming.

About the Author

KERRELYN SPARKS is the New York Times bestselling author of the Love at Stake series. Visit her online at www.kerrelynsparks.com.

HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS:

The Embraced Series

By Kerrelyn Sparks

Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

**On Sale March 7, 2017**

Mass Market Paperback | $7.99

ISBN: 9781250108210| Ebook ISBN: 9781250108227

For more information or to set up an interview with the author, contact:

Brittani Hilles at brittani.hilles@stmartins.com or 646-307-5558

Praise for Kerrelyn Sparks:

“A deeply satisfying, delightfully swoon-inducing close…full of vulnerability and tenderness.”

— Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire

“Mixing paranormal romance with humor, Sparks clearly has a style all her own, one that readers love.”

— USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog

“Sparks skillfully infuses her writing with a deliciously sharp wit.”

— Booklist