A fairy tale full of twists... First Light by Michele Paige Holmes (Blog Tour Review & Giveaway)

I still have one of Michele Paige Holmes' first books on my shelves and have followed this author ever since. This is a new genre for her and I was curious what i would think. Check out my full review and enter the giveaway below...

First Light (Forever After Series, #1)First light
(Forever After #1)
by Michele Paige Holmes
YA Fantasy, Fairy Tale
Paperback & ebook, 351 Pages
February 25th 2016 by Mirror Press


From Amazon's Top 100 romance author Michele Paige Holmes, comes the beautifully-written fantasy novel FIRST LIGHT, from the Forever After Series:

Seventeen-year-old Adrielle doesn’t believe in magic; she merely possesses it, though no one has ever mentioned that her unusual gifts—exceptional speed, a flair for fire, and an intimate knowledge of flora—aren’t things she was born with. When Adrielle starts a fire that burns down the family home, she must deal with both her grief and her siblings’ hurtful rejection.

While journeying to far away Tallinyne, in search of her older, estranged sister—the only relative who might take her in—Adrielle is separated from her escort when the carriage is beset by thieves. Alone, she is thrust into a dangerous and unfamiliar world where she encounters fairies and gypsies, a wild boar, a drunk cook, and an evil queen whose curse is sweeping death across the land. Adrielle also finds love, falling hard for a kind, funny, handsome—and completely unavailable prince.

From the glowing pearls tucked beneath her mattress and keeping her awake at night, to Queen Nadamaris’s curse that seems to thwart Adrielle’s every effort, Adrielle struggles to navigate a world of magic she never imagined, where people she knows and loves are not always what they appear to be. With the glowing pearls—and her fondest desire—within her grasp, she is forced to make a choice no girl should ever have to—satisfying her own heart or saving the kingdom.

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My Review

FIRST LIGHT was a fairy tale with plenty of references to the ones we know, but all twisted up into a delightfully new adventure! With dashing and lovable characters, a kingdom in peril, and a destiny and romance to fight for, this was an enjoyable and entertaining read.

The characters had to be my favorite aspect of this story. They were great. Truly. I loved their weaknesses and their strengths, their good intentions and desires, their courage, and the way the relationships developed and didn't feel rushed. I loved Adrielle (I really like that name!) and Cristian the best, of course. I also enjoyed the other characters, especially the fairies who added some comical relief.

I also loved all the quirky mentions of classic fairy tales. It was especially humorous when the fairies reference them. At first I tried to fit this story into a remake of one of them, but found that even though it closely resembled Sleeping Beauty, it was quite a bit different and another story on its own.

There were some things I wanted more of or didn't quite like... The story dragged and stretched in places for me. I really wanted to be immersed in the story, but some unrealistic aspects, drama, or slower-paced sections kept pulling me out of it. Parts didn't feel consistent, like it raining or the sun appearing when a couple touched, but not when they touched all the time, and black magic working a certain way one time, but then not another. I like things to make sense to me and there were parts that didn't work for me.

Overall, FIRST LIGHT was an enjoyable read, especially for us fairy-tale lovers. It's a nice start to a new series, of which I definitely plan on continuing to read. From what I've gathered, the next will be loosely based on Beauty and the Beast and I'm looking forward to it!

Content: Some violence, but clean.

Source: I received a complimentary copy from a tour host for the purposes of a virtual tour, which did not affect my review in any way.

About the Author

Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children’s literature.

Her first novel, COUNTING STARS (Covenant Communications 2007), won the 2007 Whitney Award for best romance. The sequel, a romantic suspense titled, ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN (Covenant 2009), was a Whitney finalist, as was her first historical romance, CAPTIVE HEART (Covenant 2011). MY LUCKY STARS (Covenant 2012) completed the Stars series.

In October 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE (Mirror Press 2014). The companion novel, LOVING HELEN (Mirror Press 2015) was released in February 2015. A third book about this same family, MARRYING CHRISTOPHER, (Mirror Press 2015) was published in August 2015, with a Christmas novella, TWELVE DAYS IN DECEMBER (Mirror Press 2015) released in December.

The next Hearthfire historical romance will be published in early summer of 2016.

In February 2016, Michele is launching the first book in the FOREVER AFTER young adult fairy tale series. FIRST LIGHT (Mirror Press February 2016) will be followed by a sequel LAST DAY in fall 2016. A third fairy tale, PARADISE, will be published in 2017.

Michele attributes much of what she knows about good writing to time spent with her critique group and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.

When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on the web at michelepaigeholmes.com and on Facebook and twitter.

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