Good day everyone! We have a YA fantasy and fairy tale retelling book today as we bring The Artisans blog tour to you. We hope you like our review. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!
Title: The Artisans
Publication date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Julie Reece
They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.
To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.
Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.
But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.
Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.
Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?
Rating: 5 (Beware: I use the word 'love' a lot in my review)
Cover comment: This may seem like a 'simple-looking' cover and I think that's what drew me in. The striking green color, the curves and swirls, the font, I like it.
Book source: I received a promotional copy.
Ask my family what I was doing the other day and they'll tell you I was "lost." In a book that is. Which one? The Artisans by Julie Reece. I was glad I didn't remember the synopsis when I began reading this book because what I found on its pages surprised me. I really fell into this story, totally loved Raven and her cool talent to design and create unique clothes (those steampunk watches--very cool!), and her two closest friends, Dane and Mags, were what the word friend means. Raven's world has been dealt a bunch of changes and she held everything together the best way she could, but living with her alcoholic stepfather Ben wasn't easy. His depression over losing her mother and the lawsuit took its toll on him and he caved in to the pressures. Raven was determined to keep what remained of her family intact and her insistence (even when things didn't sound hopeful) to keep going on was admirable. When she took up Gideon Maddox's offer I realized this was a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales, Beauty and The Beast (which I'd recently reread a bunch of versions of late last year). Yay! Talk about being happy.
Julie Reece's writing style drew me in with an intriguing beginning, a strong-willed seventeen year old main character and a brooding yet charismatic mystery man in Gideon (I've always loved that name). Add in a spooky house, ghosts (hello Cole!), a nice cook, and other mysterious things, and I'm ready to leave planet earth for awhile. I found The Artisans engrossing, addicting (since I didn't want to stop reading), and fun to read. The Victorian Gothic setting really provided the perfect ambiance for the story, along with the Maddox house and property and Raven's love of Edgar Allen Poe and poetry all combined into a perfect backdrop. Can I say I loved that she had a Maine Coon cat named Edgar (I have a Maine Coon too-they're big and lovable like stuffed animals with paws)?
I really liked the author's style and found this story easy to visualize. The visuals were wonderfully described and Raven's voice had this striking combination of honesty, raw emotion and grit with moments of humor I simply adored. The chemistry between her and Gideon literally jumped off the page and I found myself anxiously waiting for their next scene together. The story line was easy to follow, the plot, though predictable in parts, still managed to surprise me with some twists and turns I did not expect and only made me delight in the story more. Being a reader for so long, I still enjoy finding new authors to admire and stories to fall in love with. I can honestly say I LOVED The Artisans. Engrossing, with a unique main character, a charming leading man, a strange house and gripping mystery, this YA fantasy/fairy tale retelling is a delight. Thank you Julie Reece and Month9Books!
About the author:Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.
Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.
Then I thought I’d write one down…
Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Artisans by Julie Reece (INT). Winner will be drawn June 19, 2015.a Rafflecopter giveaway