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REVIEW

"Hill stirs up emotions and engages readers with A WITCH'S BEAUTY"

Mina the seawitch is a Dark Spawn - a mermaid with the blood of a Dark One. Grossly disfigured as a result of the merpeople's ignorant cruelty, Mina has spent her life fighting the evil lure of her dark nature while living in a world that has shown her nothing but contempt. Her ability to resist the call of the Dark Ones depends on maintaining a precise balance of dark and light energies in her solitary existence. But when the angels engage in an epic battle against the Dark Ones, Mina unleashes impressive magical powers forcing the angels to regard her with caution - is she an ally or an enemy? Until the question can be answered definitively, Mina must be guarded at all times. Mina's dark essence and hateful disposition repulse the angels who have been trained to attack Dark Spawn, but one angel has felt a connection with Mina ever since their first encounter. The young lieutenant volunteers to serve as her protector, though nearly everyone doubts Mina has any good qualities worth defending - a sentiment that even Mina herself shares.

David became an angel when he died at age 14. He has fought with the Legion since he came of age as an immortal defender of The Lady. Haunted by the darkness that remains from his tragic short life on earth, David understands the internal struggles of good and evil. Mina's fierce determination to resist the pull of the world of the Dark Ones touches him in a way he can't deny and he refuses to allow her to succumb to evil. Guarding Mina proves perilous and thrilling as he comes to know the woman who is at once a mature witch and a lonely innocent who has never dared to dream. If he can win her trust, then perhaps he can help Mina maintain the delicate balance she requires, but David may have underestimated the depth of malevolence that dwells in her soul. His mistake could turn deadly, and he stands to lose much more than the tentative trust of the dangerous seawitch.

When the Dark Ones threaten to plunge the world into chaos, Mina and David infiltrate the Dark realm and face their worst nightmares. David relies on his faith, but Mina has endured by only relying on herself. Battle lines are drawn and the fate of the universe hinges upon the decision of the one person who has every reason to despise its existence. An angel's love may not be enough to hold sway over the temptation of the Dark Ones as Mina has never felt worthy of such a precious gift. In the end, Mina must decide if gaining the power of the gods is worth sacrificing the only person who ever cared enough to offer her hope and unconditional love.

A WITCH'S BEAUTY is the second installment of Joey W. Hill's mermaid series, and Hill skillfully maintains the sensuous mood of the first book while tackling darker themes this time around. David and Mina bear emotional/physical scars issued by the hands of abusive adults and their experiences have affected them profoundly. Mina's internal conflict comes across in horrific detail as David's guilt and pain is quietly expressed with heartbreaking intensity. Hill pulls no punches in this tale of innocence stolen, redemption, and the healing power of love. As a result, A WITCH'S BEAUTY engages emotions and satisfies with multi-dimensional characters and a poignant love story. Mina and David endure more than anyone should ever have to (real or imagined) and this reader can't think of another couple more deserving of their happy ending.

This installment can be read as a stand-alone novel, though it does contain some references to A MERMAID'S KISS. I highly recommend A WITCH'S BEAUTY and look forward to Book 3, A MERMAID'S RANSOM, due out Late 2009.

Reviewed by Sonya Harrison
Posted March 26, 2009

SUMMARY

**A PNR STAFF TOP PICK**

Mina is Dark Spawn, half-mermaid, half Dark One. A sea witch who lives in the shadows, she is shunned by the merpeople. She seeks no friendships, however, no lasting relationships. Every day is about surviving, fighting the call of the dark blood within her, which demands she submit her ever-increasing powers to their cause. But Mina submits to no one. Until she meets David.

At thirty, David is one of the youngest angels in the Dark Legion, the angelic host dedicated to eliminating Dark Ones. Unlike many of his fellow angels who feel Mina’s death is inevitable, he believes her power can be used for good. When he entreats his commander to be assigned as her guardian against the Dark Ones, he also finds himself cast in the reluctant role of her executioner, if she turns to their cause.

The only problem is he is falling in love with the prickly sea witch. Which means he might risk the universe itself to turn her away from the darkness, and into his arms.

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Mermaids, Angels

Read an Excerpt

 

A Witch's Beauty
(Daughters of Arriane: Book 2)
by Joey W. Hill

Berkley Pub Group (Sensation)
January 1, 2009
Available: January 6, 2009
ISBN #0425225674
EAN #9780425225677
416 pages
Trade Size
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Other Books by
Joey W. Hill

Bound by the Vampire Queen
Vampire Instinct
Vampire Trinity
Vampire Mistress
A Mermaid's Ransom
Beloved Vampire
A Vampire’s Claim
Unlaced
A Mermaid's Kiss
The Mark of the Vampire Queen
The Vampire Queen's Servant
Natural Law
Forgotten Wishes
Snow Angel
If Wishes Were Horses
Enchained
Make Her Dreams Come True
Holding the Cards


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