TWELVE HUNKS OF CHRISTMAS....on the second day of Christmas, my book club gave to me...another tasty piece of eye candy...
It's been a crazy few weeks getting ready for Christmas. Since I hate shopping, I reward myself by reading a book everytime I have to go to a store! So... I've been getting a lot of reading done. If you click on the "Bookshelf" tab above, you can see my most recent reads. Today I am focused on Anya Bast's latest fantasy romance, Jeweled. I thought it was a gem (wink! wink!). Enjoy the review and tell me what you think; i.e. COMMENT BELOW!!!
A world-building queen, Anya Bast has remarkable talent in creating distinctive worlds that incorporate unforgettable characters. Her newest fantasy romance, Jeweled, is a top example of Bast’s talent and is a must read. Her world building is fantastic with magic richly woven throughout the story, slyly creating the basis of the story’s conflict. And as the characters evolve, so does their world.
Evangeline is taken from her family as a small child and trained to excel in magic, categorized by her ability to manipulate emotions. Since the nature of a person’s magic causes the opposite reaction within themselves, Evangeline becomes closed off from her emotions. She has existed to advance in her position as a jeweled using her magic, is ruthless and highly calculating and has achieved great success. But Evangeline is not a likeable character as she uses others as means to attaining her goals, lacking compassion and devaluing her worth as a woman. It is only when the reader understands that using her magic has made her like this that we can accept her as a creature of her upbringing. While I believe it was Bast’s intention to create Evangeline in this light, my dislike for her made the first few chapters difficult to get through.
The action picks up when a revolution occurs and the common people overthrow the monarchy, leaving Evangeline’s world in disarray. Everything she knows is taken away, royalty are beheaded and she becomes just another of the hunted because of her magic ability. Thankfully, Anatol, always having longed for Evangeline, comes to her rescue. Anatol saves her not just that first day as they fled the palace but also as they settle into their new life together, particularly as Evangeline begins to feel emotions and is so uncertain.