Book Review: Blossom and the Beast (The Alder Tales #1) R.S. McCoy

Title: Blossom and the Beast
Author: R.S. McCoy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Pages: 269
Source: Author
Format: eARC
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy

Blossom Frane is only weeks away from her transformation. On her eighteenth birthday, she’ll find out her future branch of society and her totem, the animal form she’ll be able to take at will for the rest of her life. Like her brothers, she’s expected to be a brown bear of the religious branch known as Terra.

In the Alderwood forests, Blossom’s bear blood is a valuable asset. Any day now, a rival clan leader will step forward and offer her father a hefty bounty in exchange for her hand in marriage. Blossom can do nothing more than sit back and wait to be traded to the highest bidder.

Determined to spend her last weeks exploring the Alderwood, Blossom sneaks away and manages to find Kaide Landel, a rising political star of the Pyro branch. Known for his violence and disregard for the religious teachings of the Terra branch, he’s all wrong for the bear clan’s prized daughter. But when the politician uses his wealth and influence to secure her hand, Blossom has no choice but to leave her family and marry him—if she lives that long. 
When indie authors contact you and ask you to review their books, I am always a bit leery. I find that, most of the time, the books are not really written to my high literary standards. However, every once in a while, I find a diamond in the rough.

Blossom and the Beast is such a diamond.

What attracted me to this book was that it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I LOVE LOVE LOVE retellings, I can never get enough. Pair that with the fact that our "Beauty" is a member of a clan of bear shifters...I simply could not pass up reading Blossom and the Beast.

In McCoy's magical tale, the world is filled with shifters. These shifters are broken up into several branches, based on the attributes that each of the animals possesses. The Pyro branch is made up of the most lethal animal predators. The Terra branch is made up of woodland animals, large and small. Think bears and squirrels and bunnies. The third branch is Aero, made up of flying creatures.

This novel is also filled with political intrigue and maneuverings. Within each of the branches, there are various levels of leadership. With each branch vying for the most power and control over the other branches.

In Blossom and the Beast, Blossom is essentially bought by the most powerful and lethal member of the Pyro branch, our "Beast", after he encounters her in the woods near her home. He wants her for his, and he always gets exactly what he wants. He sees something in her that calls to the beast within.

Blossom and Kaide are two alphas. All of their interactions are explosive in one way or another. Kaide is always trying to keep the beast inside in check, while Blossom demands her independence at every turn. She has always been free, and is determined to remain so. However, Blossom does not understand the dangers of living in Pyro's capital city, filled with deadly predators who are accustomed to taking anything they want, by any means necessary. Add that to the fact, that she is betrothed to Kaide...let the wild rumpus ensue!

Blossom and the Beast is the first book in the Alder Series, and it was a stellar first installment. The ending was EPIC! Talk about a cliffhanger. What sucks is that the next book is not from the perspective of the same characters! It takes place in the same world, with familiar characters, which is all well and good, but I NEED to know what is going to happen with Blossom and Kaide, because the cliffhanger ending seems insurmountable.


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