Rating: 2.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Abel’s brother has gotten himself kidnapped for a very stupid reason. He broke into someone’s house looking for something worth stealing. The house he broke into, however, belongs to a mafia guy none too impressed with Cris’ actions. In order to save his brother from whatever the mob has in store for him, Abel offers up himself instead. For one year, he’ll do anything and everything it takes to save his brother’s life. Hopefully, it involves lots of blowjobs and fucking, because one look at the tall, dark slab of meat that is Savage Benavelli has Abel wanting to get on his knees and on his back in the worst way.

Taming Savage is book one in the Tales Reimagined series and, unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. In theory, this is supposed to be a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast with a dark mafia twist. Instead, the story features an obnoxious brat of a boy wanting to be put in his place by his six-foot-plus sugar daddy. It’s sunshine meets grumpy with spankings; while there’s a gunfight and a casual, off-handed mention of Abel being tortured by some rival mafia goons, very little darkness is involved.

Abel is a petite, 5’3” wisp of a 22-year-old young man. When his brother is kidnapped, Abel’s suitably confused and more than willing to do what he can to keep his brother from unpleasant consequences. He seemingly does so with the idea he’ll face no consequences of his own. While, in theory, Savage will own him for a year, Abel still intends and expects to go to college, go to clubs, hang out with friends, and pretty much just live his life … only with the hope that Savage will let him go to his knees for him, and maybe Savage will fuck him. A lot. It’s mildly disappointing for him that Savage doesn’t bend him over the nearest surface immediately.

Abel is all snappy comments — though rarely clever ones — more sass than sense, and Savage gives into his every demand. Savage pays for his car, his phone, and anything else he wants or asks for. Abel comes across like he has no real reactions to anything, no real thoughts or feelings. He lives in the moment with no attention span or real character development. He’s not a jerk or cruel; he’s just feels like nothing. Abel came across as thoughtless, flitting from one moment to another without reaction or understanding or care. He’s also stupid, and his actions reflect this. However, these actions seem to have no consequences for him, because nothing ever does. Even being beaten for hours and hours has him still sassing back and smirking at his own cleverness. He doesn’t feel affected by … anything. Personally, I did not enjoy this character.

Savage sees Abel, wants Abel, and will do whatever it takes to please Abel. That feels like the majority of his personality. Born into a mafia family, Savage has wanted out for quite some time, and Abel is his excuse. To settle down with Abel and a dog in a house with a yard is his only dream. Fucking Abel is his only thought. Oh, and he occasionally thinks he’s ugly — horribly, monstrously so — for having some burn scars on his face. But at the end of the book, Savage has surgery to get rid of most of them. The ableism of that was uncomfortable and I really did not care for it. The scars were presumably there to sell the Beauty and the Beast angle, which was then capped off by having them just whisked away, leading to the transformation at the end of the story. It didn’t sit right with me at all.

To be honest, I didn’t enjoy any part of this book. The characters felt empty, the hand waving at the “mafia” family gimmick had little bearing on the characters, and as a plot device, it was so clumsily inserted that I honestly think the book would have been better without it. The romance didn’t feel genuine and the hook of it being a Beauty and the Beast retelling was only in the blurb. So much of this story fell apart when I tried to actually think about it, and I have no interest in reading any other books in this series. If the author moves away from the retellings and on to other stories, I might give them another chance, however this book is not one I recommend.