Welcome to my stop for this gorgeous dark fairy tale retelling by Hailey Jade called Her Dark Reflection! Read on for more info, my review and a chance to win a great giveaway!
Title: Her Dark Reflection (The Dark Reflection #1)
Author: Hailey Jade
Publication Date: June 15, 2022
Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Dark Romance/ Fairytale Retelling
“They called me the Whore Queen. Some even called me the Evil Queen.
But they could call me whatever they wanted. I was still queen.”
Rhiandra Tiercelin hungers for power and her charm has always been her sharpest weapon in hunting it. So when a brutal attack leaves her physically scarred, desperation drives her to make a deal with Draven, a magic-wielding stranger who is inexplicably compelling and definitely dangerous. She knows she can’t trust him, but he when he offers to make her a queen, the temptation is too enticing to resist.
Armed with a glamoured face and an enchanted apple, Rhiandra is determined to scheme her way into a crown, even if it means risking the deadly punishment for unsanctioned magic use. But Draven is playing a bigger game, and she is just one piece on the board.
Can she keep her wits about her long enough to uncover his secrets, or will he lure her down a path she will come to regret?
Her Dark Reflection is the first book in a new dark romantic fantasy series perfect for fans of Raven Kennedy, Jennifer Armentrout and Sarah A. Parker. If you like cunning, ambitious heroines, morally ambiguous men and romance that toes the line between love and hate, then you’ll love Hailey Jade’s dark reimagining of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
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The Winking Nymph was always flooded with patrons after the Burnings.
The atmosphere wasn’t the same as it would be on a busy night at a regular tavern; the dim lighting fed rather than banished the shadows, encouraging them closer, leaving pockets of space where patrons could lurk without being recognized. Men – and the occasional woman – drank, sometimes in groups, but for the most part they didn’t engage themselves with singing bawdy songs or telling dirty jokes. Perhaps the place was debauched enough on its own and so they didn’t feel the need.
Women drifted in and out of the shadows, flirting with the light as it caught on their spangled wrists and ankles and throats, and at the front of the room a beautiful redheaded girl sang with a voice as sweet as sun-warmed strawberries. It was going to be a big tipping night; the city was beginning to bulge with visitors attending the treaty celebrations, and the moon cycle holiday had beckoned them all to the streets, thrilled by the morning’s violence and drunk on bloodlust.
I was eager to get out on the floor, but Madam had saddled me with initiation duties, so I was instead lingering in a corner by the bar, doing breathing exercises with the novice.
Aalin’s perfume was thick, a ghastly confection of jasmine, violets and something sugary that made my head ache. I could pick a new girl a mile away – they wore thick makeup obscuring their faces, chains and sparkles everywhere one could hang a jewel, and gowns in gaudy colors that revealed more than they concealed. They thought they were channeling desirability, but in reality, all the decoration was just a screen to hide their nerves behind.
I was long past those sorts of naïve assumptions. I’d worked at the Winking Nymph long enough to know that calculated vulnerability earns more than donning the generic armor of maisera. Aalin wasn’t ready to hear that, though. That night she just needed to feel like she belonged, and all that perfume was a part of the uniform.
‘They’re just men,’ I soothed as she chewed on her lip and smoothed her dress over and over again. ‘And they’re mostly drunk men. They want to be pleased. And they’ll be excited to see a new girl.’ I tucked a lock of wiry hair back into her updo.
‘I don’t think I know how to be sexy,’ she admitted in a small voice. ‘I thought I did, but now that I’m standing here…’
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Thank you to the author for providing me with an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review and thank you to R&R Book Tours for allowing me a spot on this tour.
This is a dark fairytale retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I was immediately drawn into this book and felt for the main character Rhiandra, however that completely changed once she got what she wanted. I started to hate her so much. I don’t know if that was the intention of the author, but I hated the changes in her after she became Queen.
Draven is the mysterious guy who helps Rhiandra throughout the book. He’s so mysterious that he only pops up a few times. I wish we would have gotten more of him because despite knowing he’s not a good guy I kind of liked him and thought him and Rhiandra were good together.
There was a lot of politics all throughout the book. Those parts bored me, and I found myself not caring about any of it.
This book ends in a cliffhanger. I’m not typically a fan of cliffhangers but I understand their purpose and can even get behind a good one. However, when a book ends even if it’s with a cliffhanger, I expect to have at least some of my questions answered. Like I mentioned I understand leaving readers wanting more however when I finished this book, I was left asking myself what the point was. Like I literally don’t know why any of what happened in this book happened.
Was I hooked? Yes! Was it perfect? No! Will I continue on with the next book? Absolutely!! I need to know what’s going to happen.
My Rating: 3.5 stars
About the Author
Hailey Jade has tried to quit writing, but alas, the characters who live in her head will not stop yammering. She’s hoping that building them ink-and-paper homes will make them pipe down long enough for her to get some sleep. She likes creating fantasy worlds populated by complicated, morally-grey characters who try to resist their attraction to other complicated, morally-grey characters, but who inevitably fall in love, because everyone needs a Happily Ever After.
Hailey has completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Teaching at Flinders University, and spends her daylight hours trying to convince reluctant teenagers to love books. She lives in regional South Australia with her partner, bouncy baby boy, and feline overlord.
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