Title: Druid’s Moon
Author: Deniz Bevan
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Book format: Digital pre-publication copy
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: Beauty to his Beast…
Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.
And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast-and break the curse forever.
Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick-and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a brilliant story and an interesting modern retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story.  Canadian Lyne is on an archaeological dig in England and wants to impressive Professor Meadwell with her work.  The team find a paper which seems to hold a strange curse about an octopus, but Lyne isn’t sure what to think of it.  As the dig continues, parts of the curse affecting the weather and ground begin to come true.  Lyne is determined not to let the idea of a curse stop her from getting her job done and getting a good reference, but one night after everyone has gone home she finds herself alone and comes face to face with something terrifying.

This is an interesting story and I love the way this is a sort of re-telling of Beauty and the Beast but with an interesting twist.  The story is split between two viewpoints, sometimes focusing on Lyne and sometimes on the Beast, though always written in the third person.  At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the story, I thought there was too much explaining about the Beast from the start rather than having it slowly become apparent what was happening, but as the story moves on and we get to know both Lyne and Beast better the book became so exciting and in the end I just couldn’t put it down!  Lyne is busy on the archaeological dig which is happening on the land of the Cockerell family, but as time goes on it starts to become clear that there’s more to Lady Cockerell than Lyne first thought.

The story is an interesting and different take on the Beauty and the Beast legend.  You sort of know what will happen in terms of that classic fairy tale, but what’s interesting is how things work out and how the curse involves Lyne, the Beast and some others too.  I just love how this story sucked me into Lyne’s life, working on the dig and later encountering the scary Beast which she later encounters again in a different light.  I love how things end up happening and how everything is slowly revealed with a lovely romance blossoming for some characters too.  It felt like a perfect speed for the romance to blossom and it was lovely to read.

The story has some predictability to it in parts, certainly the general idea of what happens to Lyne and the Beast is obvious, but at the same time there are moments I really didn’t know how this story would go, and the Beast’s story is more complex than you first think.  I also love the twists involving the Cockerell family and how the curse and legend affects all of the characters in a deeper way than you first think.   The build up to the ending is so good and I love what happens later in the caves near the end and how exciting the story became.

The tale ends well, things wrap up nicely although the actual ending in the last chapter is quite abrupt.  There is an epilogue which helps you to see what happened to the characters after the events of the story, but I still would have liked a bit more when the chapters end, rather than just going straight to life a few weeks later.  Despite my criticism on this though, there really isn’t much else I disliked.  I wasn’t sure at the start if I was going to enjoy this book that much, but after sticking with it for a few chapters, I was really hooked and couldn’t stop reading!  I have loved this story so much.  The romance is beautiful and makes you smile so much, and there’s some interesting stuff about the curse and legend that keeps you wanting to read to see what happens.  I even love how some of the story in terms of names seem to be based (loosely) around some Welsh folklore, although there are no author notes about this which is a shame.  Overall though, this is a lovely story and one that’s perfect for anyone who enjoys a Beauty and the Beast modern retelling in a story which is quite short and isn’t too dark.

What do you think of this book?  Do you like fairy tale retellings?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂