A Ruin of Roses by K.F. Breene — Erotica Book Review
A Ruin of Roses by K.F. Breene — Erotica Book Review
Review By Dr. Tiffany “K.”
Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, Slow Burn, M/F
Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Audible, Paperback, Hardcover
I could save him, but he would ruin me.
The creature who stalks the forbidden wood.
The dragon prince.
He has suffered a fate worse than death. We all have. A curse put upon us by the mad king.
We are a kingdom locked in time. Shifters unable to feel our animals. Stuck here by a deal between the late king and a demon who seeks our destruction.
The only one keeping this kingdom alive is Nyfain, the golden prince to a stolen throne. The last dragon shifter.
He’s our hope.
He’s my nightmare.
When he catches me trespassing in the forbidden wood, he doesn’t punish me with death as he’s entitled.
He takes me, instead. Forces me back to the castle as his prisoner. Seeks to use me.
Apparently I can save him. I can save the whole forgotten kingdom, locked away by the demon king’s power.
But it would mean taming the monster beneath his skin. It would mean giving myself to him.
It would mean my ruin.
My Rating: 4 out if 5 Stars
R — X (Violence, explicit sexual behavior, mild drug use) — intended for 18+
First person, single POV
It’s a fairytale retelling with sexual explicitness…that might be a kink to some. The characters of the castle indulge in demonic sex, orgies, drunken sex parties, and one made seems to be very into BDSM, rope bondage, and primal breath play.
Character Age Range:
Total cliffhanger. Shocking and brutal as well.
A Brief Overview of the Down & Dirty Bits:
This book is an adult retelling of Beauty and The Beast with crude humor and dark fantasies that come to life. However, the beast is not the only one with primal tendencies.
The land is one of the shifters, but with a curse placed on it by the Beast’s demon-king father. While there is no “Belle”, there is Finley, who is trying to save the town with herbal elixirs and knowledge from books before the curse devours her hometown with death. Demons abound to keep villagers at bay (as well as distracted) from looming doom, but Finely refuses to allow her family to fall victim to the power of the curse. She carries a bratty attitude that the Beast takes a shine to, and to her surprise, she finds her “animal” deep within her shifter’s spirit enjoying his cold and dark nature as well.
Note from the Publisher:
This is a dark and sexy Beauty and the Beast retelling, featuring a strong heroine, a dangerous anti-hero, and a humorous supporting cast. It is a full-length novel at 80k words and suitable for 18+. This is the beginning of a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger. Buckle up. The author was let off her leash.
My Thoughts on the Book:
This book was a fantastic read and was recommended to me by a fellow erotica enthusiast. Now, I won’t beat around the proverbial rose bush: I am always on the lookout for the darkest, filthiest, most intense smut I can get dig my nails into. I came into the world of smut by way of Anne Rice’s Beauty Trilogy and I have been hard-pressed ever since to find anything that comes close to the level of delicious depravity as that literary treasure. Nevertheless, I continue to pour over every smut-filled book I can find, and sometimes find a gem that can still “get me going.” This is one of those books.
While most of us know the tale of the singing candelabra and his cursed furniture friends, this book is very different with nods to the Disney tale rather than direct adaptations. My favorite character next to our retelling of “Belle”, in this case, Finely, and the Beast, Nyfain, was Hadriel; the mediocre butler who was not shy to self-depreciation and a sense of humor about the kinky fuckery that resides in us all. At every introduction in the book to his character, I knew I was in for a few dirty laughs and I loved every bit of it!
The relationship between Finley and Nyfain was one I loved to hate and hated to love. Looking at it from a kinkster point of view, I could see distinct elements of brat/brat tamer dynamics at play which made me love it all the more.
The world in which this story was told was built on a shifter’s foundation. Prior to the curse, the people had a connection to their inner animal and could learn to shift when needed; two spirits residing in one body. When the curse hit, the connection between the mind and the inner animal was lost and Finely had never learned to connect with her own. The connection between her and Nyfain brings something out in her and she begins to experience this connection with strength. I enjoyed this example of building a connection to instinct against reason very much.
Moving to the sex scenes…while the burn was SLLLLOOOWW, once the fire was lit, boy did it explode! The sex scenes were amazingly well done, hot, and extremely dirty in all kinds of juicy ways. The brat/Tamer dynamic is felt throughout the scenes where Finely takes the reigns, and then Nyfain tops her nicely. I really enjoyed this game between the two of them that picked up heat toward the end of the book.
However, my chief complaint and the reason I couldn’t give the book a full 5 stars was the dialog. While the book seemed to want to have a Game of Thrones sort of vibe, the dialog simply didn’t match it, often seeming far too modern for the environment and era of the plot. Finely’s thoughts and dialog with others sometimes felt like over-dramatic attitudes rather than part of the plot. There were random sex parties and orgies that sprang up at the castle out of nowhere that didn’t seem to quite fit the story itself and could have used a bit more weaving in before catapulting the reader into the middle of costumes and fetish-filled escapades.
Overall though, the book was a great read, and it certainly left me wanting to know what happens next! I instantly purchased the other two books in the series and will provide a full report as soon as I finish those too!
On a side note, I flipped back and forth between the audio version and the paperback of this novel. The narrator for the audio version did an absolutely EPIC job and her ability to change voice between characters made it an audio I simply couldn’t stop listening to! I highly recommend listening!
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