Welcome to another edition of Wine and Books Wednesday. This week's pairing is brought to you by Author Astrid V.J.'s fairy tale retelling, Gisela's Passion and indie wine maker, Frank Massard's Verdejo. And what a beautiful couple these two make! I fell in love with both the book cover to Gisela's Passion and the gorgeous label on this Spanish bottle. As soon as I laid eyes on them, I knew they were a match. Your going to want to make sure you have them both for your summer reading time. So, pour yourself a glass of this light, citrusy wine (perfect for the season) from Naked Wines' indie winemaker's Angels series, grab a copy of Gisela's Passion and enter an enchanted folktale world. Ah, enjoy. Happy Wine / Book Wednesday, everyone and happy reading!
Ever since she can remember, 18-year-old Gisela Winry has wanted to dance. Her strict father sees dancing as the path to immorality, licentiousness and debauchery. Devastated at his wrath after she secretly auditions and wins the title Harvest Queen of Ylvaton, Gisela turns to her best friend, Hilarion, who proposes a path she cannot take. With their friendship broken, Hilarion retreats to the solace of the forest where he lets his hatred and jealousy fester. Meanwhile, Gisela meets Vincent, a young nobleman seeking to escape his dead brother’s shadow.
Will Gisela be able to uphold her family honour and get to do the one thing she’s always been passionate about?
Will Vincent’s chance encounter with the lovely harvest queen from a tiny village become more meaningful than earning his father’s approval?
And will Hilarion fight for the love of his life or give in to the darkness within him?
Immerse yourself in the life of the common people of Vendale in this prequel to The Siblings’ Tale. Gisela’s Passion is the retelling of a lesser-known Slavic folk tale, which is better known in its incarnation as a French ballet.
The e-book of Gisela's Passion also includes exclusive access to "Vincent's Dream OR The Power of Decisiveness". This alternative ending to Gisela's Passion, which explores the possibility of a different path for the three protagonists of this story, is not intended for wider publication. The link to Vincent's Dream is embedded in a hidden place. This is a treasure hunt. Good luck!
From my review:
A Beautiful Ballet Fairy Tale Retell
I’ll start by saying that I am I love with the classic story ballet, Giselle. I was very excited to find a retelling of it in written form. The author’s description of setting was absolutely beautiful and probably my favorite part of the book. Seriously, I want to find this story book world so rich in the landscapes and culture I’ve always imagined when thinking of regional Eastern European folkdances and set up camp. Gisela’s village was vibrant and her vineyard home quaint. All the characters from the original story make an appearance in V.J’s retelling and I like what she did with the male MC’s character especially.
It is no secret that Gisela’s passion is her dancing and the dance scenes were very nicely described, I thought. The connection and romance between the leading pair was somewhat brief. What we learn about the characters mostly revolves around each one’s personal internal struggles. I do wish there had been a little more ‘Gisela and Vincent’ before the book’s dramatic end. But we have it from the author herself that this book is a precursor to other stories set in the same world with more magic to come. All in all, a beautifully written interpretation of an old tale. Would recommend to readers who love old world romance with a touch of magic woven in.
*Small spoiler and WARNING to romance readers with a penchant for HEAs. This retelling stays true to the classic folktale and ballet that it is derived from which is, in essence, a tragedy. As such, it was written sans a romantic HEA, but is still a lovely rendition of the story that remains one of the most well known and beloved ballets of the Romantic Era.
About the Author
Amanda V Shane is an author of paranormal and fantasy romance and is currently working on her Tides of Atlantis series about the super hot lost kings of Atlantis as well as her Enchanted Lands Romances.