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Monday, April 11, 2011

Sabine and the Beast by Moira Rogers

Sabine and the Beast by Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (61 Pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Holly

A curse can erase her from his mind, but never from his heart.

…and the Beast, Book 1

After three years at war, the High Lord of the Forest returns to his lands, a victorious wolf leader intent on claiming his mate. Instead Ciar finds an empty bed and a court with no recollection of the woman he loved. Following her long-cold trail proves far easier than facing what awaits him at the end.

Sabine’s first instinct is to beg her beloved to leave. The High Lord’s mother hired a witch to curse Sabine, desperate to wipe the lowborn wolf from her son’s mind. But the spell worked too well, and Sabine has vanished from the thoughts of everyone who sees her. Including her own family.

The edges of his memory already blurring, Ciar and Sabine must race to find a way to reverse the spell. Yet every searing moment together is not enough to stop the curse’s inexorable progress. His only chance is to bind Sabine to him too tightly to be forgotten, before she disappears once and for all.

This is a brand new fairy tale for grownups from Moira Rogers. The world building here is reminiscent of children’s tales, and the romance is sweet and poignant, with sadness mixed into the joy and love.

Everyone wants to be remembered for something. Sabine would just like to be remembered. Three years before, Ciar, the High Lord of the Forest, set out from his home to defend the lands. Before leaving, he asked Sabine to wait for him, for he wanted to claim her as his mate. His mother had other ideas for her son, and had her witch curse Sabine so that Ciar would forget the lowborn female his mother felt was below his station. But the curse was stronger than planned, and everyone forgot Sabine, even her own mother.

When Ciar returns, it seems distance kept the curse from affecting him…at least at first. But after a night of passion, where Ciar claims Sabine as his mate, he awakens with no memory of the woman next to him in bed. Brokenhearted, Sabine is ready to move on, but though he doesn’t remember her, his heart still recognizes something special. Can Ciar and Sabine overcome the witch’s curse? Will Ciar go against his mother’s wishes to help Sabine? Can these two find their way back together in spite of everything?

The characters in this story are delightful, even Ciar’s mother and her witch have some sympathetic qualities. However this is not a children’s story, but one of learning to love again after loss.

Sabine has had three years to come to terms with all that she has lost. She is a strong woman, and determined to make a new life if Ciar doesn’t remember the love they once shared. She has an inner strength that helps her to go forward in life, even after everyone has forgotten her, even her mother. I liked that she never gave in to despair, although she had reason to give up.

Ciar is the strong and victorious wolf leader of his people. He comes home to his love, not aware of what has happened, and is shocked to hear what has happened to Sabine. He is determined to right the wrong done and claim his mate, finally. At least he is, until he wakes up next to a stranger, with no memory of where she came from. Although his head doesn’t remember, something inside tugs at his to keep her close.

There are a couple of interesting turns in this book, concerning the bride chosen for Ciar by his mother, and I didn’t see the outcome approaching on that at all. This is a romance, pure and simple; a story of lovers reunited and overcoming heavy odds to be happy. I recommend this to everyone who still believes in the adage ‘love conquers all’ and loves happy ever afters.