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Category Archives: Retelling

Hansel, Part III (Hansel #3), by Ella James

Hansel 3_______________________________________________

In part three of Hansel’s story…Limits are pushed, walls come down, and secrets are revealed. Fairy tales are cautionary tales, remember? *This is a dark, erotic romance, and is part three in a four-part serial series.

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I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the last two. Nothing really happens in this book. Hansel/Luke and Leah spend most of the book in a car driving, and even though it’s the perfect time for them to talk and for us to learn more about the both of them, well they spend the majority of this time in the car not talking to each other.

Things started to get more interesting the moment they arrive at the motel for the night. After that night, Hansel becomes more approachable and a lot less guarded with Leah, which made things more interesting for me.

“He’s full of shit.
He thinks he can fool me?
He thinks I don’t know him?
He’s lying to himself.”

We do get to know a little bit more of Hansel’s story as a kid after he was taken by Mother. Their relationship during the time he was alone with her is definitely twisted and even though nothing is really described or said, well it gave me the creeps.

And from what we read in this book, it seems there is a little more behind Leah’s abduction than we thought.

“Leah is a fairy tale.
A princess…
I know I’m not her prince.
I’m not the happy ending for her…
The goal is not to keep my princess.
I brought her here to set her free.”

So even though I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the last two because there isn’t much action or revelations in this one, the bits we do learn and the last page of the book still left me curious to read the last part of the story and finally get the answers to my questions.

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I wasn’t supposed to tell her, but I have to.”

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Hansel, Part II (Hansel #2), by Ella James

Hansel 2_______________________________________________

He was Hansel.
She was Gretel.
Once upon a time, they shared a prison wall inside a crazy woman’s house.
When they meet again, he has a whip. She wears a mask. And fear runs high – for so many reasons.
What will happen when the mask comes off, the walls come down?

Fairy tales are cautionary tales, remember?_______________________________________________

“The past can find you anywhere you go.”

I still have a lot of questions after this book even though some of my questions got answered while I read.

“I don’t talk about my past, Leah. Not ever. Not with anyone. If that’s what you’re here for, you should leave.”

I enjoyed reading more about Leah’s past and how she was kidnapped ten years ago. It was especially creepy when Mother rambled on to Leah on their way to The House. This woman seriously gives me the creeps.
I loved even more finding out about Hansel’s past in this book. His story is truly heartbreaking but I have a feeling it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to him…

“It seems to me like love should be a literal shield. It should offer physical protection; it should be a balm that heals real wounds. I lay back down beside him, and I wonder why the opposite is true – why loving someone almost always leads to pain.”

Things between him and Leah don’t get any easier though. I loved seeing how they connected with each other when they were captive, but unfortunately, ten years later, it’s way different between them and at the same time, some things don’t change.
Hansel is scared to let Leah see the real him. He’s always been her protector and now, showing her his weakness scares him. Which doesn’t make things easy between them after all this time apart.

“This man is mine. No one else’s. Only mine.”

I have a feeling Hansel is going to do something really stupid in the next book so I’m crossing my fingers for Leah to change his mind before that or for him to make some really good groveling once he messes up.

Hansel, Part I (Hansel #1), by Ella James

Hansel_______________________________________________

FROM USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR ELLA JAMES…

One boy. Mother calls him Hansel.
One girl. Mother named her Gretel.
Locked in little rooms, in the mountainside mansion of a crazy woman.
Until he saws a hole into the wall dividing them.
Then at least, they have each other’s hands.

It doesn’t end well at Mother’s house.
Everything gets…broken.

Ten years later, they meet again in an exclusive Vegas sex club.
Whips.
Chains.
And most of all, a mask.
What happens to love when it gets twisted?

Fairy tales are cautionary tales, remember?_______________________________________________

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I started this book. All I knew was that there would be elements from fairy tales and I usually like that in my contemporary books once in a while. It was a first though for me that the story was an erotica. So I was curious about the story.

And well I liked this book as far as introductionary books go. It gave just enough info on the character’s back story to make me want to know more and just enough new elements to make me want to know how Hansel and Leah reconnect in the coming books.

“It’s fucked up, I know, but I still lust for Leah.”

The story is definitely twisted and there were enough clues in this first book to let us know that some twists will be huge and a little unsettling, like for example, why does Mother kept them locked in rooms? Or why did she pick Leah in particular? How was life for Hansel and Leah during all those years apart? And why does Hansel recreated their “cells” in his sex club when they are such traumatic places from both their pasts?
So yeah, I see many many mysteries to come in this serie.

“Pretty little blondes girls. That’s what I needed. A pretty little blonde to be my Gretel.”

Because of the format (which is a format I like less and less when it comes to series) we don’t get to know Leah and Hansel a whole lot in this book, both when they were captives and when they find each other again ten years later.

“I start to cry – quiet, tired weeping – because I want to see him and I’m scared to.”

But I liked the connection between Hansel and Leah. I liked how even without knowing it is her, Hansel recognizes Leah on an instinctive level. I’m really looking forward to more of their interactions and knowing more of their past together.

This first book made me curious and willing to read more of the story.

Ps: Also, this first book for free while the other three are not. So if you’re still unsure this is for you, you can still get the first one and decide later.

Epic Fail, by Claire LaZebnik

9266776

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At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

– As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school–not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
– As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

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This one was a nice, sweet read. I read it a few years ago so I don’t have a very vivid memory of the whole book, but I know I liked it so much I forced it upon a friend of mine. Yeah, I’m that bad. And she liked it too.

I was in a Jane Austen phase when I read it, and it can be both a good or a bad thing to have expectations when about to start a book. In the case of Epic Fail, it was an epic win. I truly loved the book. The story pretty much sticks to the plot of Pride & Prejudice, only in our time , where tea parties are replaced by teenagers hanging out at a diner, social gathering with gossiping posse turned into cafeteria gossip and a ball becomes prom night. Oh and they don’t need to marry for money or connections anymore. Ah the dear Victorian Era!

Anyway, I also really liked the main characters. Our Mister Darcy was somewhat a little more broody even though very charming as Derek Edwards. You guessed it, he is very popular in his high school, super cute of course and quite unreachable for most girls on campus. And actually, he’s not very interested in having a girlfriend on his arm.

“He was wearing a plain white oxford unbuttoned over a T-shirt, but something about the way they fit made him look put together, like an Abercrombie model (well, like an Abercrombie model who had remembered to put on a shirt that morning).”

On the other hand, we have Lizzie Benton, our very own Elizabeth Bennet. And like her character in Jane Austen’s book, she is quite opinionated and isn’t easily impressed. She’s just a little bit more to the point than E. Bennet.

“Juliana’s a year older than me, but she sometimes seems younger – mostly because she’s the opposite of cynical and I’m the opposite of the opposite of cynical.” 

That said, I loved the relationship between those two, the banter and the sort of love-to-hate-you dynamic they had.

The characters deal with teenage related crisis, which made the book and what happened in it quite believable with a touch of high school drama in the mix (Miss Popularity acting out, rumors, Prom scandals, etc…)

All in all it was a very enjoyable read, of which I keep a very nice memory. Also, true to the form, the book ends on a HEA note.

“He only invited me because of you and Chase.’
‘Right,’ she said, following me inside. ‘He’s never shown the slightest interest in you before. I mean, he’s never stared at you like you’re the only person in the room when we’re all together. Or sulked around for days because you turned him down for a dance. Or touched the sleeve of your sweater when he thinks no one’s looking-‘
‘He’s never done any of that,’ I said. Then, less confidently, ‘Has he?”

Happy reading!

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