Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: The Artisans by Julie Reece

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Welcome to my tour stop for The Artisans by Julie Reece. This definitely was a unique,
harrowing, and sizzling story. Check out all the info, my review, and giveaway below...

The-Artisans-coverThe Artisans
by Julie Reece
YA Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Paperback & ebook, 344 Pages
May 12th 2015 by Month9Books, LLC.

Summary

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

   
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My Review

I've always loved the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. The Artisans felt much like the fairy tale, but re-imagined and twisted in a very interesting way. I loved the beginning of the story and then when the main character, Raven, meets Gideon for the first time and every interaction thereafter. The tale had paranormal and magical aspects, while also giving romance a prominent role as well.

Raven, or "Rae" as her friends call her, was an interesting and realistic character. She is living in less-than-ideal circumstances, but is loyal, forgiving, and extremely talented. She has two best friends and a step-father who she cares deeply for. Life has been tough for her and gets tougher (she feels) when she accepts Gideon's deal. Gideon's life has also been less than perfect even though on the outside he appears to have everything perfectly together. He comes off as dangerous and a rogue. He is cunning, determined, and intelligent. I loved his sardonic and flirty smiles and the way he bantered with Raven.

I pretty much ate up the beginning two-thirds of the story. I loved the mystery and romantic tension. I loved seeing how Raven softened toward Gideon and how she begins to figure things out. I also liked getting to see her relationship with her friends and how they were there for each other. The last third of the story slagged for me a little in places. I don't know that I can exactly put my finger on why. Some of it would be the romance becoming more forefront in the story - although still swoon-worthy. Another might be the believability of a certain person's physical control over another. Or maybe that a problem was solved a little too quickly. Then the very end wrapped up nicely and I loved how Gideon didn't let things go. 

Overall, I really enjoyed The Artisans. It was nice to read a stand-alone and to have a story that felt unpredictable in some ways with some interesting twists. If you enjoy paranormal romance or Beauty and the Beast retellings I'd definitely recommend this one.

Content: Mild to moderate swearing off and on (wish it wouldn't have been included), heavy making out, innuendo, some violence.

Source: I would like to thank the publisher through the tour host for my complimentary eARC, which did not affect my review in any way.

About Author Julie Reece

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!


Tour-Wide Giveaway

Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Artisans by Julie Reece (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 comments

  1. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

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  2. Zonell Conant5/30/15, 11:23 AM

    Great review. I added this to my buy list

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  3. Megan McDade5/30/15, 2:21 PM

    This sounds really good. Glad you enjoyed it :)

    Megan @ reading away the days

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  4. I actually just watched the movie Beauty and the Beast the other day! As soon as I read the synopsis I knew this is one for me and I have it added to my list of wanted books. I love the way they handle this modern day retelling and your review has me convinced it is just as good as it sounds.

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  5. Julie Reece5/30/15, 8:58 PM

    Hi! *waves* just wanted to drop by and say thank you so much for reading and reviewing The Artisans. I'm so grateful. :) Glad you enjoyed the story! And thank you again for your kind words. XOXOX

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  6. Hello Julie! So nice of you to stop by!! :) I loved the way Gideon appeared to be a beast and how he changed as he was around Raven more. I also loved their banter. I'm looking forward to your next book!

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  7. It's through the tour host and author. Good luck!

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  8. I hope you really enjoy it!

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  9. It was done really well with the way the fairy tale was re-imagined. It's one of the things I liked the most about it. :)

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