BEFORE MIDNIGHT is a charming paranormal twist on the Cinderella fairy tale. Loupe is hiding the fact that she was bitten by a werewolf from her wolf-hunting stepmother and stepsisters, certain that she will never be able to have a normal life. Prince Etienne is a natural-born werewolf who, after a spell from a witch, is turning human, and he needs to find a cursed werewolf to save them. Of course, neither realizes the other is exactly what they need...
Certainly werewolf stories and Cinderella stories are a dime a dozen in the romance market, so it’s always refreshing to see a new and different take. The story succeeds on the strength of the characters. Despite being cowed by her stepfamily, Loupe avoids some of the more irksome qualities of Cinderella and shows herself to be a level-headed, caring and loveable heroine, while her Prince is a sexy, commanding and swoon-worthy fellow. I only wish the story were longer, so they had more time to spend together because the sparks are immediate, and their rapport is fantastic.
The story is fairly faithful to the fairy tale with the usual touchstones: the ball, the stroke of midnight and the “fairy” godmother. The author even manages to work in the magic “slipper,” albeit in a somewhat icky manner.
The novel also opens with a group of five princes (a werewolf, a vampire, a demon, an angel and a god) being drawn to the same location where...something is set in motion (it's unclear what, at this point), so I’m interested to see what other fairy tales the author decides to tackle with these various denizens of the paranormal world.
Overall, this is an enjoyable read that manages to take a tired fairy tale and give it a fresh twist with appealing characters and a sweet romance to anchor the story.
Award-winning author Jennifer Blackstream introduces book one of a magical new series with this twisted Cinderella tale of a maiden cursed to be a loup garou and the werewolf prince whose fate lies in her hands.
An alpha wolf fighting a powerful curse . . .
The werewolf prince Etienne is turning into a human. A fierce and loyal pack, Etienne and his family have protected their kingdom with tooth and claw—literally—for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the spell of a well-meaning witch is slowly stealing the beast from inside him. Only the bite of a cursed werewolf—one who was not born with the beast inside—can save him from losing everything. He has no time for anything that will not lead him to a cure for the curse. Not even the beautiful maiden whose gentle nature soothes his soul even as she tempts him into primal pursuits of an entirely different nature…
A maiden enslaved by her stepfamily, who dares to reach for more . . .
Loupe lives in terror. Terror of the bloodthirsty stepfamily who treats her like a slave, and terror of the beast trapped inside her. Bitten by a werewolf while dealing with the illegal gains of her stepfamily’s poaching, Loupe’s dreams of a strong husband who would take her away from her servant-like existence are over. A woman who becomes a mindless beast on the night of the full moon has no place in a marriage bed. Not even if that bed belongs to a prince with the manners of royalty and the hungry eyes of a wolf.
Nothing will stand between an alpha wolf and his mate . . .
A grand ball. The stroke of twelve. A magic “slipper.” All kinds of things can happen when you don’t leave the ball…Before Midnight.