Beauty’s Kiss & Beauty’s Gift (Once Upon A Princess Books 3 &4) by C.S. Johnson

Beauty's Kiss by C.S. Johnson

Title: Beauty’s Kiss (Once Upon A Princess book 3)
Author: C.S. Johnson
Published: 
July 2017 by Dire Wolf Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, retelling
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from the author for the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Rose, the Princess of Rhone, doomed to fall into a sleeping death on her eighteenth birthday, has only ever wanted two things in all her life: to be free of her curse, and to never fall in love. After securing the dragon’s blood from the Serpent’s Garden, Rose is confident she has all she needs to free herself from Magdalina’s curse. But when Magdalina comes to offer Rose a new deal—one that would free her from her curse, while also eliminating future threats—Rose is forced to confront the truth of her feelings for Theo.

As Theo’s past and new troubles interrupt their journey back to Rhone, Rose knows she must make a devastating choice. Will she let herself fall in love? Or will she break her own heart instead?

My Review:

 

rp-plot

Rose fights another conflict as she’s faced with Magdalina herself and given an ultimatum. If she does one thing for Magdalina, then the curse will break. However, this may be worse than a sleeping death.

I won’t spoil what the ultimatum was, but that’s Rose’s inner struggles throughout book 3. I found it to be an interesting twist, but Rose being Rose, I don’t think she handled it well.

Sparks fly as Rose and company make their way back to her kingdom of Rhone where she will not only have to figure out her next course of action, but also face her father, the king.

rp-characters

The characters haven’t changed much since the last two books. Rose is still stubborn and snippy with everyone. I understand why, but if I were there I would have left a long time ago. She didn’t treat her companions very well, especially Theo, who is the kindest to her. That’s usually how it goes, though.

Theo is still my favorite character. Even though I kept rooting for him to walk away, he was still kind to Rose and took care of her. However, he increasingly grew tired of fighting her and did eventually leave. I’m sure I was supposed to be rooting for him to stay, but… I really can’t see myself relating to Rose at all.

rp-writing-style

Just like the first two books, this was short and sweet. It was easy to read and understand. Aside from the occasional typo here and there, it flowed well.

rp-overall

I didn’t feel as though much happened in this book. Rose was conflicted with her ultimatum and she and Theo were too busy loving each other without really admitting it (until the very end, but even that caused problems). It got old pretty fast which made some parts kind of boring to get through.

Beauty’s Kiss (Once Upon A Princess book 3) by C.S. Johnson gets…
3 Stars 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“Beautiful things can hide ugly secrets.” -C.S. Johnson, Beauty’s Kiss

Buy the book

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Beauty's Gift

Title: Beauty’s Gift (Once Upon A Princess book 4)
Author: C.S. Johnson
Published: 
August 2017 by Dire Wolf Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, retelling
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from the author for the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

With only weeks away from her eighteenth birthday and the fulfillment of her curse, Rose, the Princess of Rhone, faces more obstacles than ever. The kingdom, anxious over her fate, is destabilizing under her father’s rule; her mother is imprisoned, and her uncle is holding a silent coup against the crown. With Theo’s absence, she is unable to do more than brood over her fate as she attempts to solve the problems around her.

When Theo returns with surprising information, Rose knows the time has come to risk everything. Along with her friends, she prepares to face Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies, and fight the battle of her life – the battle for her freedom, her kingdom, and her heart.

My Review:

rp-plot

And now we have come to the epic conclusion of the Once Upon A Princess saga. Rose’s birthday is arriving faster than ever, but they have a plan to defeat the evil Magdalina. They just need to hope that it works.

We open with Theo on his own journey, seeking revenge and trying to find his aunt. It’s when he fulfills that task that discovers interesting news for Rose.

Even though this is the end, I still felt as though not too much happened. Throughout the book, Rose and Theo fought with their own (and each other’s) hearts. It felt like a game of, “she loves me, she loves me not.” It wasn’t until the very end of the book that their plan to fight Magdalina comes into play and even that was short.

Everything was tied together nicely, there were no loose ends, which was great. However, I felt the ending was rushed and definitely wanted more of a fight.

rp-characters

While Rose is much nicer now, I still can’t seem to connect with her. She’s not a favorite character of mine, so I didn’t really care if she broke her curse or not.

I did enjoy all the other characters though. I was really fond of Philip and Isra, though they weren’t in this book as much.

I especially loved Theo. If Theo had his own book, I would totally read it. He had a wonderful backstory, a cool job, and a great personality all around. He was by far my favorite and I honestly think he’s the reason I enjoyed this book the most. At the end of book three, he leaves Rose’s side. So, for a decent amount of time during this book, Theo is by himself fulfilling his own destiny, as we focused on him. And it was great.

rp-writing-style

Not much has changed in the writing style from the previous books. Everything flows well and easy to read. I just felt as though some parts, like battle scenes, seemed a bit rushed.

There were also a lot of typos in this book that kept bringing me out of the story. There were two chapters labeled “18,” which certainly threw me off.

rp-overall

This wasn’t a bad book. As I said before, this is my favorite one out of all four. As a series, this isn’t my favorite. The plot was clever and was well executed, but it sometimes felt rushed or there wasn’t enough action. I couldn’t get myself to like Rose as a character and, as the protagonist, that’s a dealbreaker for me.

Beauty’s Gift (Once Upon A Princess book 4) by C.S. Johnson gets…
3 Stars 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“He could hear Bachas cackling happily, which likely meant he had found someone to fight.” -C.S. Johnson, Beauty’s Gift

Buy the book:

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About the Author

C.S. Johnson authorC.S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.

 

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  | Pinterest  | Google Plus 

Giveaway

Want to participate in a treasure hunt?

At the end of each book in this series is a special collectible clue. Collect all four books, and get all four special prizes, FREE!

Love reading fairytales? Enter to the world of C.S. Johnson’s Once Upon A Princess Saga by entering to win a paperback of Beauty’s Curse, the entire saga in ebook format, four specially designed t-shirts of a quote from the series, and two handy mugs for your favorite drink.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Beauty’s Curse & Beauty’s Quest (Once Upon A Princess Books 1 & 2) by C.S. Johnson

Beauty's Curse(Once Upon A Princess book 1) by C.S. Johnson | Book Review

Title: Beauty’s Curse (Once Upon A Princess book 1)
Author: C.S. Johnson
Published: 
January 2016 by Dire Wolf Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, retelling
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from the author for the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. However, the book was free on Amazon, so I downloaded it onto my Kindle.

Summary:

For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

When I was approached to read this book (and the three books that follow it), I was intrigued by the summary. If you know me, you know I love retellings and oddly enough, I have yet to read any Sleeping Beauty retellings.

rp-plot

Time is running out for Rose. Her 17th birthday is approaching which means she only has one year left before her curse of pricking her finger on the spinning wheel on her 18th birthday is fulfilled. On a journey with a few friends, Rose returns back to her kingdom as she spends every waking moment trying to find a way to break the curse.

And that’s about it.

Being the first book in a series of four this felt more like an introduction. Not too much happened as Rose and her companions made their way back to the kingdom before they set out on their next adventure. There seemed to be a lot of build-up, especially where the king wants Rose to get married, but not much came from it. While they came to an agreement, it was swift and a bit anti-climactic.

The book ended on a cliff-hanger setting up the second book, but nothing from the first book, other than introducing the characters, seemed to be a big deal.

rp-characters

I’m not sure how I feel about Rose as a protagonist. Yes, this is a Sleeping Beauty retelling so it’s only natural she would be the center of attention, but she just seemed a little flat to me.

Theo, Rose’s priest companion and friend, was a wonderful character. He seemed fleshed out and was kind putting Rose’s needs before his own and he really seemed to know what he was doing.

Mary, Sophia, Ethan, and later Prince Philip, were good characters as well. They all have good personalities which made them fun to read.

rp-writing-style

This seems to be told in third-person omniscient, which isn’t my favorite POV at all. There were times when a character would state the obvious or mention something that I wanted to figure out on my own or wait and see what happened.

Despite this, Rose is the main focus. Yet, sometimes we would switch to someone else for a moment just for the sake of them talking about Rose behind her back or thinking about her. I didn’t care too much for that.

rp-overall

I liked this book, though it’s not my favorite. I wish there were more high stakes against Rose and her friends. Still, it was enjoyable enough that I kept reading on.

Beauty’s Curse (Once Upon A Princess book 1) by C.S. Johnson gets…
3 Stars 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“He was not fooled by the calm look on her face; there would be a battle in getting her to agree.” -C.S. Johnson, Beauty’s Curse

Buy the book – Beauty’s Curse is FREE on all platforms!

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Title: Beauty’s Quest (Once Upon A Princess book 2)
Author: C.S. Johnson
Published: 
June 2016 by Dire Wolf Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, retelling
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from the author for the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

In order to defeat the sorceress Magdalina, and free herself from her curse, Rose, the Princess of Rhone, has set out to find dragon’s blood. As she travels toward the Romani territory, where the Serpent’s Garden resides, she is accompanied by her faithful group of friends, including their newest member, Prince Philip of Einish.

But when the group ends up shipwrecked on the small island of Maltia, they find themselves trapped without supplies and a way off the island. With time, money, and new enemies working against them, Rose remains determined despite her despair to rise to each challenge. But can she face the growing fear—and longing—inside herself?

Sweet, suspenseful, and full of surprises, Beauty’s Quest is the second book in the Once Upon a Princess series from C. S. Johnson.

My Review:

rp-plot

Rose, Philip, Theo, Mary, Sophia, and Ethan set out on another journey to slay a dragon for its blood. However, their adventure takes some twists and turns once they’re shipwrecked and they become stranded on an island. Now they have to get back their money and supplies in order to continue their quest.

There was more action in this book than the last as Rose enters a tournament. She ends up making rivals with the champion and that tends to be the forcing drive behind most things she does in this book. Rose has a temper and she’s not afraid to use it.

Still, they’re trying to make it to the dragon. Once they do make it, it’s the very end of the book (one or two chapters) and it’s anti-clamactic again.

rp-characters

I’m still enjoying all the characters. My respect for Theo and Philip have especially gone up. I don’t care much for love triangles, but this one between them and Rose is working quite nicely.

However, I don’t like Rose. She was mean in this book. She’s stressed and worried about her curse, but she doesn’t treat others well and nearly kills two men. This is okay some of the time, of course, but it was constant in this book. I no longer have any sympathy for her and it’s hard to root for her to overcome the curse.

rp-writing-style

The writing style is the same as the first book. It’s still not my favorite, but that’s just my preference and I’ve gotten used to it since that happens to just be the style of this series.

However, there were a few typos here and there and the “thoughts” weren’t consistent. Sometimes they were in italics and something they weren’t.

Other than that, it was pretty easy to read and flowed well.

rp-overall

I liked this book better than the first one. There was more of a plot to it, but I still felt the need to give it only three stars because I couldn’t care for Rose. And, for me, characters are everything in a book.

Beauty’s Quest (Once Upon A Princess book 2) by C.S. Johnson gets…
3 Stars 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“Your arguing skills are as sharp as ever.” -C.S. Johnson, Beauty’s Quest

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

About the Author

C.S. Johnson authorC.S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.

 

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  | Pinterest  | Google Plus 

Giveaway

Want to participate in a treasure hunt?

At the end of each book in this series is a special collectible clue. Collect all four books, and get all four special prizes, FREE!

Love reading fairytales? Enter to the world of C.S. Johnson’s Once Upon A Princess Saga by entering to win a paperback of Beauty’s Curse, the entire saga in ebook format, four specially designed t-shirts of a quote from the series, and two handy mugs for your favorite drink.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Calling all book readers! Join us as we celebrate C.S.Johnson’s ONCE UPON A PRINCESS SAGA on October 6th from 8:30PM to 10:30PM EST (7:30PM CDT and 5:30PM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun night of chatting with the author and special guests, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Chandler Brett, Jeff Sartini, and Disney Princess Addict will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun.

As a note: The giveaways held on this event page are in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Any questions or comments regarding the party will be directed to the host (Laura A. Grace), not Facebook.

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