Hi all! I’m Cathie, a reader who met Limecello in chats over the last couple of years and always enjoyed getting recommendations from her as well as giving her recommendations books to read. We’d have some in common and then some we’d be on the opposite ends of. Its all about us being our own reader with our own likes and dislikes as well as what works for one, might not work for another. So this made it fun with Limecello. I had told her I was reading a book to review and was thrilled she asked me to post on her blog. One thing I love to do is to try to tell other readers, as many as I can, what they are missing reading. So thanks Limecello.
Jeweled by Anya Bast
Historical Fantasy released by Berkley Heat Nov 2, 2010
A new series of erotic magic and fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author.
In the Court of Edaeii, magic-imbued Evangeline is rewarded for her gift in manipulating emotion with a sapphire stone set into the perfect curve of her lower back. Her greatest rival in the royal court is the enigmatic Anatol, instilled with the power of illusion. He may best her in magic, but he is her absolute equal in passion.
They share something else—they’re both targets of low-born revolutionaries. Rescued by Gregorio, the brilliant revolutionary mastermind, they’re given sanctuary. But in this warm refuge, Evangeline soon finds herself torn between the magic of one man she has always desired, and the excitingly new and radical moves of another. For her, there is only one choice: indulge in pleasure without limits.
I had the opportunity to review JEWELED by Anya Bast and grabbed that chance! I’ve read various books of Ms. Bast’s but never have read a erotic historical fantasy. I have read very little of fantasy romance, and pretty much none of straight fantasy, so I then worried I wouldn’t do so well with a review of this genre. I started out with taking notes and it was taking away time from the book, but also, being able to enjoy the book. So I put all the notes away and just sat and read this book from beginning to end in enjoyment, and so glad I did!
JEWELED is an oh so fascinating read! And so passionate! I firmly got caught up in this world and still haven’t left it. Its set in no certain time period that was indicated, thus, an ‘alternative historical’. There’s some indications with one of the themes of the heroine being fascinated with the inventions that were happening (sewing machine, printing press). But as you read, its just ‘the time it is’ in the story and works! Set in a unique and creative world, I could feel that Ms. Bast really had a world planned out and everything flowed smoothly into it. Its set in a country called ‘Rylisk’ and they are in the city called ‘Milzyr’. The heroine, Evangeline has been in a palace called ‘Belai’ where all those with Magick in their blood reside . Evangeline was taken from her family at age 4. She is isolated within the Palace with others who work on their Magick over the years. The Magicks started with the family of ‘Edaeii’ but with very little family left, they relied on finding those with any Magick and building on it through the years by isolating them. This family of the Edaeii also took over the city with their wealth and power, leaving the poor not taken care of.
Evangeline’s Magick is consisted of feeling both physically and emotionally cold, but no other emotions are with her. She instead draws emotions from those around her and weaves those feelings back to those around her to manipulate what feeling they have. In other words, she can control and change the emotions around her. Anatol’s Magick consists of illusion and light.
As Evangeline comes of age, she becomes jeweled by performing her Magick skills in front of the Edaeii family. Once she is chosen to be part of their Magick family, she is jeweled with a sapphire stone placed in her back. In the men, its placed on the back of their neck. Its here we meet one of the hero’s, Anatol, who goes through the ceremony to be jeweled but wants nothing to do with the Edaeii family as he has heard the rumors of a possible revolution happening to take out this family and palace. When this does happen, Evangeline is totally unprepared to live outside of the palace while Anatol plans to survive through this. Anatol has falling in love with Evangeline from afar for many years. As the city takes over the palace, there’s violence that occurs which I do tend to skip over. But its necessary to the story in the power of how this city took over.
As Evangeline and Anatol survive trying to blend in as well as hide at other times, Evangeline has a difficult time dealing with not using her Magick but also learning to be herself, to feel herself for basically the first time in her life. As their relationship grows strong, Evangeline has strong feelings for Anatol but its not complete. Its here we meet Gregorio who is helping the city take back their home and life and make their government for everyone. Gregorio may be the missing part that makes Evangeline complete. Evangeline struggles with her own self esteem and feeling emotions again, especially determining what love is, and mostly wondering if she’s good enough for both Anatol and Gregorio.
As a reader I was enchanted by Anya Bast’s JEWELED. Evangeline goes through so much within this story that I felt I could see her grow from the beginning of the book to the very end. I could feel empathy for her feelings of her being worthy. Both Anatol and Gregorio are so different but with the same goals. I did look up to both Anatol and Gregorio for their protectiveness of her. She had her own strengths and other times her strengths were with them and I didn’t find this as a weakness of her. I found it made her stronger knowing she could depend on others in her life but also that she could include them as part of her life as well. The passion that was shared through this story grew from two to three and it worked. I realized that it couldn’t be any other way but the way it was told. I found this book not only a gripping adventure with an exciting fantasy to read, but also breathtaking in the love that grew between them all to become one in love. Ms. Bast has created an erotic historical fantasy that I’m already waiting for the next book. Its been awhile since I read the book and I can still visualize as well as see the scenes still within me as a reader. This one’s a keeper, an A for me!