Wednesday, May 19, 2021


Entreat Me by Grace Draven


When I saw what the theme was in May for Super Librarians (Wendy) TBR Challenge, I wasn’t sure if I had anything that would fit the bill.  The month’s theme is Fairy Tale/Folk Tales.  I think you get those tropes more in Fantasy and I don’t read Fantasy very much at all so I wasn’t sure I had a book that would fit the bill.  I do!  I hit the jackpot with this one.  I’ve had Entreat Me by Grace Draven in the pile since 2015; just sitting there, unread.  I picked it up after reading Radiance ad Eidolon and loving them.  Then I tried getting into Master of Crows a couple of times, unsuccessfully and forgot I had this book.


This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  Louvaen is our Beauty and Ballard is our Beast.  Now in this story, Cinnia, sister to Louvaen is the real beauty and Louvaen is the mother lion, doing everything she can to protect her sister.  Their father is ineffectual at everything and has put them all in debt to the evil villain who is willing to overlook the debt if he can have the hand of Cinnia.  This will be only over Lou’s dead body.  Cinnia is smitten with the handsome and dashing Gavin and the two of them run off to his mysterious castle.  Lou is hot on their heels, bound and determined to save Cinnia’s honour.


Ballard is the father of Gavin and he is under an evil spell.  He routinely goes through times where he turns into a beast.  Gavin does too but not to the same extent.  Ballard’s wife and Gavin’s mother put on an evil spell as she lay dying after giving birth to Gavin.  She hated Ballard with a burning seething passion and wants to make his life hell.  None of the castle inhabitants have really aged since she put the spell on them, which includes a few servants and one caster of spells, and they’ve been living in the run down and isolated castle for over 200 years now.


There is instant chemistry between Ballard and Lou.  Even when not in monster form, Ballard still bears the aftereffects and is hideously scarred.  He can’t see how Lou would find him the least bit attractive.  However, Lou sees beneath his scars to the truly fine person that he is.  He makes for a wonderful hero.  This felt a lot like a medieval and I love the atmosphere that Ms. Draven creates. I love the relationship between Ballard and Lou.  She is a very prickly type heroine and so overprotective of her sister.  Ballard gets more of a kick out her for it.  Ballard is also an amazing father.  We learn right at the beginning that his wife was not a faithful one and Gavin’s father is Ballard’s enemy but not even for one moment does Ballard not love him and consider Gavin as his.  We learn later what a sacrifice Ballard has made to help his son, to the point of being willing to give up his own life. 


I love the secondary romance between Gavin and Cinnia.  Also the bickering between Lou and Ambrose, Ballard’s magician and good friend.  Lou has inherited a bit of magic from her mother and hates it.  She and Ambrose do quite a bit of bickering and I admit I love some of the names they came up with for each other.

Moreover, the villain sure is good and villainy.  Though we don’t see her, there are a few flash back scenes with Isabeau, Ballard’s wife is truly evil.  It is bad enough to put a curse on your hated husband, but to put one on your newborn son is beyond the pale.


Except for Lou being a tad overprotective, this book is perfect.  I can really see me reading it again.  I was very impressed with this book.  While I was reading this book, I picked up a couple more of her books.  The third book in the Wraith King series is out and somehow missed that and I picked up another one of her books at the same time.  One other thing I have to mention is the absolutely beautiful covers she has for all her books.  I love all of them.


Therefore, this month’s TBR Challenge was a complete success.  I love the book.  I’d forgotten I had it so finding it was a real treasure and I loved enough to get back on the Grace Draven train.  Win, win  This book gets 4.5 stars and comes oh so close to 5.  I very happily recommend this book.

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