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Friday, May 02, 2014

3.5 Sniffs Review: A WARLOCK'S DANCE by Marina Myles #Giveaway #Excerpt

Title: A Warlock's Dance
Series: Cursed Princes #2.5
Author: Marina Myles
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2014
Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Barnes and Noble  iTunes  eKensington

Encore, Please

Giselle Swenov is a radiant opera star whose beauty is second only to her voice. That is, until a jealous enchantress strips away her talent and looks, transforms her into a mute and haggard old woman, and forces her to leave the man of her dreams at the altar on their wedding day. Now there’s only one person able to reverse the spell: Giselle’s warlock ex-fiancé, Lucian Ivanu.

But three years have passed, and the ever-dashing Lucian seems to have moved on―he’s inherited a vast fortune, forsaken his scandalous powers, and is even set to marry again. Will he recognize his former flame when she shows up at his engagement party and begs for help? Can she recover the powerful magic ring needed to break the curse before it’s too late? Giselle’s plight has a darker twist as she discovers just how far the enchantress’s grasp reaches…

A WARLOCK'S DANCE is loosely based off of Swan Lake. Giselle is a beautiful opera singers with an equally stunning voice. She has it all: a promising opera career and she's set to marry the man she's madly in love with. But a jealous enchantress has other ideas. She curses Giselle to take on the form of a mute, old woman; taking away her beauty and angelic voice. What's worse is that this all happens on her wedding day to Lucian Ivanu. She is chased out of the church and forced to be the enchantress's servant. Three years pass before Giselle is able to flee and she seeks out the man she was forced to leave at the alter, warlock Lucian Ivanu. Will he recognize her this time, or will he dismiss her like the did on the wedding day three years prior? And what other sinister plans are laying in wait for Giselle and Lucian?

A WARLOCK'S DANCE shows us that beauty goes farther than the outward appearance, and that even the most beautiful person can be ugly on the inside. Giselle took her beauty and voice for granted when she had them, but when she was stripped of them and suffered because of it, she really came to appreciate them. We also are shown that we need to appreciate our own special gifts, as Lucian learns in this book. He made on mistake when trying to reverse a curse and the boy died. Instead of working to improve his skills as a warlock so that it doesn't happen again, he throws his gift away. It isn't until he desperately need them again to save Giselle's life, that he realizes just how much his gift can be useful and save people's lives. 

So basically the message of this story is to appreciate the gifts and blessings that you have, because they can be taken from you when you least expect it.

Lucian: A warlock who gave up his powers when the love of his life, Giselle, left him at the alter. He didn't know what happened to her, and became distant emotionally for other people. He gained a vast fortune after saving the life of a Baron, who had no heir.

Giselle: An opera singer with a promising career. Her beauty is just as stunning as her voice. She was set to marry Lucian until a jealous enchantress stole her beauty and voice, cursing her to become a mute old woman.

Taur: Lucian's valet and friend. He hates graveyards and dungeons. He encourages Lucian to help Giselle when he refuses to use his warlock powers.

Ileana: The enchantress to cursed Giselle. She is trying to murder her step-daughter Snow White, jealous of her beauty. She forced Giselle to become her servant to help her in her plan, but Giselle refused and escaped when Ileana went into a rage.

Elizabeth: Lucian's current fiancee. She's shy and meek, but is she really? Giselle believes that Elizabeth is hiding something.

Ileana Za^pa^da is an enchantress of the Dark Arts. She is jealous of anyone more beautiful than her. She cursed Giselle because she was jealous of her beauty and her operatic voice. And she put her plan in action on the day that Giselle is set to marry her fiance, Lucian Ivanu. She then forced Giselle to become her servant.

She wanted Giselle's help in putting her plan to murder her step-daughter, Snow White, into action. But Giselle refused and her plans came to a screeching halt. Giselle escaped, but the curse has a nasty little side effect. The further Giselle gets from Ileana, the faster her aging will progress.

Lucian worked at the opera theater where Giselle was singing and fell in love with her. He fore went etiquette and waited for her outside her dressing room. They both were from different social classes and Giselle's parents didn't approve of her relationship with Lucian, much less her plans to marry him, so they disowned her. Lucian and Giselle are both excited to finally be married, but all happiness is taken from them when Giselle is cursed.

Three years pass before they are reunited. Giselle made her escape and went to Lucian for help in reversing her curse. What she finds is that Lucian is set to marry another woman named Elizabeth. Even with her heart broken, Lucian is her only chance to regain her life, so she pleads for him to help her. Another blow is taken when he tells her that he's given up his warlock powers.

But their love is still strong, even with all the time that has gone by and the events that have taken place. Even with evil forces still trying to keep them apart, they push forward to their goal of returning Giselle to her former state.

I really enjoyed Lucian and Giselle's love story. They fight for their lives, they fight for their love, and they fight for each other. No amount of time or curses could keep them apart.

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Giselle Swenov adjusted her bridal veil with a smile. At the thought of marrying the most wonderful man in the world, her heart beat melodiously—and as Bucharest’s leading operatic protégé, she nearly belted out a glass-shattering note, too.

Restraining herself, she cracked open the dressing room door and stare into the chapel. She knew her family members wouldn’t be in attendance, but she scoured the pews for them anyway. From day one, her mother and father had disapproved of her groom. What was they’d said? “Are you mad, Giselle? Lucian Ivanu is socially inferior—and his connection to the Dark Arts means he isn’t right for you.”

Giselle’s pulse leapt as she glimpsed Lucian at the altar. Ironically, he looked nothing like a warlock. With flowing white-blond hair, gray eyes that reminded her of storm clouds over the Black Sea, and a knee-buckling grin, he resembled a prince ready to sweep her off her feet.

Although Giselle wanted to stare at him all day, she shut the door before he saw her in her bridal gown. She refused to let bad luck seep into their wedding ceremony.

“You look beautiful, my dear,” Ileana Zǎpǎda, Bucharest National Opera’s premier patron, called out behind her.

“Thank you Doamna Zǎpǎda,” she replied anxiously. At least Ileana was here to help, unlike her mother.

“Come,” the elegant woman urged. “Take a final look at yourself as an unmarried woman.”

Giselle swiveled around to survey her appearance in the mirror. Cascading golden-brown curls framed her carefully made-up face and a sense of optimism lit her eyes. She had become the bride she’d envisioned as a girl and she could hardly contain her excitement.

“You look a stunning.” Ileana Zǎpǎda stepped in beside her and met her gaze in the mirror. “But you are a little pale.”

“Nerves, I suppose.” Letting out a self-conscious laugh, Giselle studied Doamna Zǎpǎda. Her refinement spoke of the lofty social standing Giselle’s family wished she would reach. She winced.

“Sit with me and have some tea,” the socialite proposed. “Tea studied my nerves before I married my second husband.”

Giselle swept her train off the floor and settled into a chair at a small table. While she laid her bridal bouquet in her lap, Ileana poured two steaming cups.

“Why are you being so nice to me, Doamna Zǎpǎda?” Giselle asked as she accepted the tea cup.

The woman sighed. “It broke my heart to learn that your parents disowned you. Word spreads quickly through the opera house—and because I’m a mother hen to all my celebrated singers, I knew you’d need some moral support on your wedding day.”

“You must be a loving mother to your own children,” Giselle said gently.

Ileana’s expression turned icy. “I never had children of my own. I have a stepdaughter, but we aren’t particularly close.”

“Well, I sincerely appreciate your help.” Giselle smiled. “Clasping the buttons on the back of my dress would have been impossible on my own.”

As she sipped her tea, her entire body warmed instantly and she began to perspire. I must be more nervous than I thought…

Ileana went on. “I greatly admire your vocal talent, Giselle. I also admire your extraordinary beauty. Unfortunately, I’m about to sabotage both of those exceptional attributes.”

Alarm pierced through Giselle. She tried to protest but before she could speak a word, her throat burned as if she’d ingested hot coals. She clawed at it while Ileana studied her the way a snake zeroes in on its prey. Giselle tried to extend her hand, but her limbs prickled with pain. In an instant, her skin shriveled dramatically and her knuckles became hideously gnarled.

“Poor, unknowing girl.” Ileana stood over her. “I’m an enchantress of the Dark Arts and I slipped an accursed potion into the tea pot when you weren’t looking.”

Giselle opened her mouth to scream, but no sound escaped her lips. With great effort, she crawled to the mirror like an invalid and stared at her reflection. My God! I’m a mute, old woman!

Heart stuttering, she managed to pull herself to her feet. She flung open the door and entered the chapel. All heads jerked in her direction. When she locked eyes with Lucian, he stared at her in astonishment yet without an ounce of recognition.

All hope evaporated from her body as he thundered, “Is that woman wearing my bride’s dress? Somebody find Giselle!”

“The hag must be playing a cruel joke!” a guest accused.

“Escort her outside,” Lucian roared to an usher.

A burly man took Giselle by the arm and dragged her out the front door. Once he disappeared back into the church, another strong arm grabbed her unexpectedly and thrust her inside an awaiting carriage.

Giselle quaked with terror as she stared at the enormous man hovering over her.

“I work for Ileana.” He grunted. “She commands that you become her servant woman—until she grows tired of you and decides to turn you back into your normal self.”

Giselle made another futile attempt to cry out.

The henchman crossed his arms and shook his head. “You won’t be talking, singing, or screaming for a very long time, Miss Swenov. That should make for a quiet ride to Dantel House.”

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