Thursday, March 12, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Crave the Rose by Karen Kincy

4.75 Stars

Bram Winterbourne is an Irish nouveau riche boy studying at Oxford. Or failing at Oxford might be more apropos. Bram has a little problem that’s interfering with his advanced studies.  But that doesn’t stop him from falling in love at first sight with the tattooed American beauty Cassia Santos studying botany abroad.

The first portion entitled “Before” sets the stage for the dynamics between Bram and Cassia’s seemingly fated relationship. 
“‘We seem to be inevitable.’” — Bram
This initial section (included as part of the sample) is more plot driven than character driven in contrast to the remaining bulk of the story entitled "After," which really captures the depth of the romance.

From there, Bram and Cassia’s real love story takes off. Or more accurately and descriptively, it flies ahead of them while at the same time struggling to get off the ground. Neither Bram nor Cassia (especially Cassia) are prepared for the feelings that develop between them, and they aren’t necessarily at a time and place yet alone state of mind to deal with them. But yet there they are and neither the couple nor the reader can turn a blind eye to it. This is a story about finding love when you weren’t looking or even willing to take a chance on it.

This is also a story where the setting contributes to the tone while mimicking the state of the characters. The crumbling Wolfenwold Hall and the corresponding neglected gardens reflect Bram and Cassia’s broken state of existence. Atmosphere is key, even present in the love scenes.

Bram exudes charm and vulnerability all at the same time. He’ll remind you more of a damaged hero from classic literature than a contemporary heartthrob book-boyfriend, and I found that a refreshing change of pace. But, make no mistake; Bram still makes the book boyfriend cut. He’s sweet, fragile, and struggling to stay in control.

Cassia—sometimes I wanted to shake her, other times I felt bad for her for the way she guilted and shamed herself.  At places (particularly the beginning and the end) I craved a little more development on her part to truly understand the real Cassia. This is where a little more background on her life before Oxford and her family might have been beneficial.

He’s broken physically; she’s broken emotionally/psychologically broken, and as their relationship, partnership, progresses it’s hard not to root for them to heal and be together.  
“I’m already wet and aching for him. I would die to see him glistening with his own cum, but I would live to feel him inside me.” — Cassia
The overall tone of the book blends melancholy with sensuality while allowing love to seep through. Though the mood is at times peppered with sadness and a sense of failure, it avoids the contemporary device of angst.

Though a part of me craved an epilogue for just a little more of Bram and Cassia down the road, at the same time it felt like it ended at a fitting place and on a positive vibe.

Crave the Rose is a captivating stand-alone new adult romance told via dual first person point of view.

*Read the blog's character interview with Bram and Cassia: HERE*

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