Title: The Rose Kiss: Beauty and the Beast Retold
Author: Esme Rome
Pub. Date: May 1, 2020
Pub: Parako Press
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Trapped by a curse. Running from destiny. Can their bond bloom in the face of a sinister enchantment?
Provincial France, 1700. Lana Moreau, beautiful daughter of a bankrupt nobleman, is desperate for a suitor with a brain. But things don’t go as planned when her father takes her to the local prophet, looking for insight into her many failed courtships. When the seer names her as the Belmorta, a woman doomed to love a beast and bring famine and destruction, Lana flees in hopes of reversing her dark fortune.
Escaping the wrath of the frightened villagers, she finds salvation in a seemingly empty magical castle. Entranced by the estate’s mystical marvels, she discovers choosing to stay may mean giving her heart to the monstrous owner and fulfilling the evil curse…
Can Lana survive her wicked destiny and claim her happily-ever-after?
The Rose Kiss is the mesmerizing first novel in the Fairy Tale Love Stories YA fantasy series. If you like plucky heroines, enchanted romance, and riveting retellings, then you’ll adore Esme Rome’s captivating story.
This will be a short spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I’m a sucker for a BATB retelling, so when I saw this pop up on NetGalley, I knew I wanted to give it a go.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what happened in this book.
It honestly started off strong. I was pleasantly surprised with how vivid and engaging the start of this book is. The way it open is an instant hook and it made me think that this was going to take the typical BATB format, and really turn it into something new.
And I think that was the goal. But in doing so, in adding so much extra stuff, and switching around the plot, it became confusing.
I know I was confused.
I finished the book and just sat there trying to process what I’d just read, and I was coming up blank. Where there needed to be detail and description there wasn’t, and when it was mundane stuff, it was overly detailed. It kind of felt like maybe the author took all her favorite parts of various BATB stories and tried to mash them into one.
It didn’t work for me. I thought a 200-page book would be easy to fly through, but I kept putting it down with no real drive to pick it back up. I just didn’t care and as the story progressed, the vividness never went away, but engagement vanished. I kept hoping that it would pick back up and get better. But ultimately, I think that there was too much going on and everything got lost in itself.
I’m bummed this was a miss for me, but it happens.