Dark Fairy Tales Anthology

 Check out my reviews for each of the fairy tales included in this collection. Happy reading!  The book is now available, if you’re interested in reading it yourself. 

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

In a castle adorned with gems, coated in gold, and dusted with luxury, the youngest of the Constantine Family will be introduced to the elite of New York. But the party isn’t all glamor. Villains lurk in dark corners, evil deals are struck, and starcrossed loves are born.

FAIRY TALES INCLUDED:

The Ugly Duckling by CJ Roberts
Beauty and the Beast by Willow Winters
Cinderella by Aleatha Romig
Little Red Riding Hood by Karina Halle
Jack & the Beanstalk by Marley Valentine
Snow White by T.M. Frazier
Rumplestiltskin by Celia Aaron
King Midas by Skye Warren
King Thrushbeard by Cora Reilly
Princess and the Pea by Sierra Simone
Swan Princess by Natasha Knight

Attend the ball, wear a red cloak, lose your shoe, spin straw to gold, or fall prey to a witch. In these fairytale retellings from bestselling authors, you will find a prince, but you might choose your happily ever after with the beast.

DARK FAIRY TALES is a limited-time anthology of modern fairy tales containing all NEW novellas. Download your copy and tell a book-loving friend, because it won’t last long.

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— MY REVIEW —

This was one hell of a romance anthology (and it couldn’t have come at a better time with lock down still very much in place here in Australia)! Some of these authors are new-to-me, as well as some of the tales included, but they made such an impact in making me want to check out other books written! I only wish these stories were longer. I’ve had to settle for rereading them! 😅

King Midas by Skye Warren

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

🎵 “I’ve got the Midas touch. Everything I touch turns to gold…”

And boy, did Raoul Midas certainly do that! A rich, successful, and powerful man paying for an escort, but finds himself enamored by the young, beautiful, and innocent Anita. This romance trope has been done plenty of times, and I’ve read a handful of them in the past, but this one had me curious from the get-go what with Raoul’s affliction at being touched. Yet, if Raoul was to let anyone break this barrier he puts up, Anita would be the one. Loved the intrigue, their instant connection, and their little chats! 🥰

Rumpelstiltskin by Celia Aaron

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

One of the old time classics. I don’t think there’s a lot of people in the literary world who wouldn’t have heard of, or read this tale of shifty dealings with the one and only Rumpelstiltskin — or in this case, the name is Clark. To be honest, I haven’t read any retellings of it (it had never been one of my faves growing up), but this was such a good one to start off with, and if anyone was every looking for dark, swoony versions of it, I wouldn’t hesitate to mention this novella! 😍 It’s modern, very well written, and oh-so gripping!

The Princess and the Pea by Sierra Simone

RATING: ♥♥½

Meh. I think I stumbled into the middle of the story because I was lost for a good chunk of the first half. It reads like you’re familiar with the characters already and their situation from the get-go, but I felt like I was trying to play catch-up. This is a Dom/Sub, second chance romance with some BDSM. There are plenty of romance readers who enjoy this type of romance, it’s just never been a preference of mine. So for that reason, I couldn’t connect as much as I would’ve liked with this story.

The Little Red Riding Hood by Karina Halle

RATING: ♥♥♥½

👩‍🦰“My what big teeth you have.” 

Seduction, mystery and murder, oh my! Starts off with so much intrigue already, until it slowly unveils the truth and you realize that this is definitely a dark and bloody tale. An enjoyable novella, that manages to create world-building and development between Red and Wolf within a good story line in a short span.

The Ugly Duckling by CJ Roberts

RATING: ♥♥½

As much as I would’ve wanted to like this story, I just couldn’t connect with it as much as the others. It’s detailed and somewhat wordy, and for a novella it surprisingly dragged a little for my liking. It did have elements from the original classic, e.g. being a little bit different from the rest and finally having the courage to stand up for yourself, but other than that this was a whole new story. Contains F/F romance. There’s sensitive subject matter within that may trigger some readers.

Beauty and the Beast by Willow Winters

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

“It’s a tale as old as time, isn’t it?”

I’ve read quite a few Beauty and the Beast inspired stories and retellings, and I still can’t get enough of them. This was a deliciously, dark and sensual version. It kept a lot of the elements we all know so well from the classic but wonderfully written in a modern setting. So much spark and heat between Calum and Annabelle that I could not turn the pages fast enough to see how things would unravel between them. Such world-building and build-up between the hero/heroine from start to finish.

Jack & the Beanstalk by Marley Valentine

RATING: ♥♥♥

Damn. This was one of those fan-your-face type of romance read. 🙈 I honestly couldn’t picture a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling as an adult M/M romance (or any romance for that matter), yet lookey here! And this one’s full of betrayal, revenge, and unrelenting love. If you’re a fan of enemies to lovers/ hate to love romance tropes, like I do, you’ll enjoy this one.

King Thrushbeard by Cora Reilly

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

A tale I was not at all familiar with. Now? I am obsessed with the tale! Or maybe it’s just Cora’s version of it, who knows?! 😄 Arranged marriage. Hate-to-love romance trope. Some mystery. With very hot and heavy scenes between Jean and Peyton. This story had me wanting more!

📔 Read my full review: King Thrushbeard by Cora Reilly

The Swan Princess by Natasha Knight

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

One of my fave tales growing up. This is a must read. I thoroughly adored Knight’s take on it. I couldn’t get enough of the anticipation and build-up, and chemistry between Salvatore and Lucia.  Knight’s dark mafia spin was a refreshing take, with the prince in this version being the villain. Enemies-to-lovers at it’s best! 😍😍

📔 Read my full review: The Swan Princess by Natasha Knight

Cinderella by Aleatha Romig

RATING: ♥♥♥

I thought this was an interesting take on one of my all time favourite fairy tales. Whilst it does have the main elements of the classic — like the shoes, the ball and evil stepsisters, it also has a lot of new elements that really make the story Romig’s own. She’s incorporated her book series (which I’m not familiar with) into this novella. It’s special-ops/ military type romance. If you like reading from that romance sub-genre, you’ll like this one.

Snow White by T.M. Frazier

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

Oooh. This was a deviously grimy read, and I didn’t expect anything less from Frazier. I’ve read quite a few dark versions of Snow White and this was probably one of the more twisted of the lot. It’s icky…yet not? 😅 All I can say, is if you’ve read quite a lot of dark romance books, and/ or familiar with Frazier’s style of romance, then the things that with these characters is nothing new to the world. Either way, I loved the intensity between Chase and Neve.

If you love dark versions of fairy tales, a modern retelling, and/ or stories inspired by them, then I think you’ll enjoy this anthology. There’s amazing romance authors included and their take on these classic tales are addictive that you won’t be able to put it down.

Whilst I’ve always been a fan of fairy tales, I admit some of these classics were unfamiliar to me, but after having read these ones, it’s completely made me fall in love with them. I highly recommend it.

Perfect to read in one sitting, or a couple at a time between your other reads.

OVERALL RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

Thank you Skye Warren and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗

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Hope you enjoyed it. Catch you in my next one, guys! Xo

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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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— BLURB —

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles.

She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life.

When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own. As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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— MY REVIEW —

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

Spoilers ahead. Read at own risk!

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LOVED IT! I think I read this book at the perfect time. I was on the verge of another mini reading slump and when I started Scarlet (not even 1 chapter in) I knew the slump wasn’t going to hit me. I love Scarlet as much as I loved Cinder. Although their stories are different, they both had the same feel that made me fall in love with both character’s stories.

Another reason I love both books is because Cinder has Kai… and Scarlet has Wolf! Eeeeeeep! 😄😄

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I knew after reading Cinder that it wasn’t going to be the typical Cinderella story that we all know of. So I was going into Scarlet knowing that it wouldn’t be typical either, which I’m kind of glad because when Wolf first comes into the scene, I just knew… I had a strong gut feeling that he wasn’t the “big bad wolf” that little red riding hood would have been afraid of. Don’t get me wrong… he’s still a bad boy but the good kind of bad, if you get what I mean… 😉😉

I don’t know how Marissa Meyer was able to take our childhood fairy tales and retell it in a way that still has the core storyline but also make it into something new and different. It’s quickly become one of my fave fantasy series ever!

I got to be honest though, Little Red Riding Hood wasn’t my fave tale growing up. But Scarlet totally changed that…especially since this one has a hunky, somewhat dangerous Wolf in it! *drools* 🤤

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Since I’m drooling already, let’s move on from one hunk to another. Carswell Thorne. He made me crack up from the moment he opened his mouth. I love a guy that can make me laugh and with Thorne around, there was no shortage of it! LOL! I love that he was cheeky and a bit vain but it all adds to his charm, I say! 😉 It’s clear when you’re reading this book that the main characters are Scarlet and Wolf but with Cinder (and Kai) still included, you can see that Cinder’s story from the first book ties in well with what’s happening now. I love that the brooding war with Queen Levana is what ties all the characters and their stories together. It was very well written!

I will say this though, I did find Scarlet at times to be bit irritating. Her focus was always on finding her grandma. Yeah, yeah I get that that’s her only family and I wouldn’t want anyone hurting anyone from my family either but I wish she wouldn’t act like she doesn’t care about anything or anyone else besides her grandma. I hate that Scarlet doesn’t even think about the consequences until it’s too late and by then you’re already yelling at the page saying “I knew it!” Lol.

Scarlet (in my opinion) yelled a lot throughout the book. She did a lot of overreacting and finger pointing and blaming of others. Which in some parts was justified but in others it was just too damn rude and I’m just going to say it… I would’ve punched her for it! #sorrynotsorry

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I think Scarlet needs to realize there’s a bigger picture than just saving her grandma no matter what. I wanted to shake her and tell her to shut up for a second and listen lol. Did anyone else feel that way too? (Or was it just me? Haha)

But other than that, I love her with Wolf. I think they are perfect for each other. I love Wolf’s (for lack of a better word) ignorance.. Of course he’s from Luna and is unfamiliar with human-related things but I think that’s why I liked him as a character. It makes him all the more cuter because he’s different and doesn’t know any better.

Oh before I wrap up this already long review up, who else thought that Wolf wasn’t going to make it out? Who thought he was going to be left behind whilst the rest fly off? For a second there I thought so. I was ready to cry out it anger and slam the book shut 😛 Let’s just say it was a close call.

But I do like how the book concluded. Yeah sure, a lot of things finally came out in the end and more problems have popped up because of it but the way it ended makes me excited to read the next book. 😊

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

Highly recommend read! I found this book to be an easy read just like Cinder. The pace was great and had a nice flow from Scarlet story to Cinder’s and then back again – I never had a dull moment reading this book.


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Hope you’re all well. Happy reading, and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo

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