Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Blog Tour & Review: The Maiden - Celia Aaron

The Maiden (The Cloister Series)
by Celia Aaron 
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Dark Romance, Taboo
I joined the Cloister to find the truth. But I've discovered so much more, and the darkness here is seducing me, pulling me down until all I can think of is him. Adam Monroe, the Prophet's son, a dark prince to an empire that grows by the day. He is tasked with keeping me safe from the wolves of the outside world. But the longer I stay at the Cloister, the more I realize the wolves are already inside and under the Prophet's control. If Adam discovers the real reason I'm here, he'll bay for my blood with the rest of them. Until then, I will be Delilah, an obedient servant of the Prophet during the day and Adam's Maiden at night.

Free in Kindle Unlimited
5 and then some Stars 
Also, I apologize in advance for this review being as long as a book.

Oh my lanta, Celia Aaron, I thought I loved The Acquisition series (and Lucius is still my number one man), but The Cloister series is my new FAVE. Okay, yes, I've only read The Maiden so far, but it has already made my thoughts on this series firm. Things I love: Cults, hot yet bad heroes, brave heroines, secrets, and books that verge on being almost too dark for the general public. The Maiden? Checks all those boxes off and then some. It's a perfect combination of the horrifying stories we've heard about real life cults mixed in with the right amount of fiction to make it an enjoyable read. It's a twisted story, filled with things that might horrify you, but the ending of just book one alone promises that revenge and redemption is still to come. These girls, the maidens, won't be going down without a fight, and some of the twisted followers of the Prophet may not be as firm in their faith as they let on.

"Just another lamb to the slaughter"

It's pretty impossible for me to write this review without stopping every second to just say, OH MY GAH I LOVED IT. I'll try to edit those out... I've needed a good dark book, particularly a series, and there is no better person suited for the job than Celia Aaron. The Maiden, told from the alternating perspectives of Maiden Delilah and the Prophet's son Adam, is part terrifying brainwashing of innocent women and part taboo romance with a healthy helping of smut. My obsession with cults started when I was young, so I can absolutely say much of this book has probably happened to blind followers in real life. Celia focuses in on the power that comes with being the leader, the power and harm that comes from being related to The Prophet, and the lack of power that comes with being a naive follower seeking the path of the chosen One. The path they'd been lied to about. There's a mystery to it, something we aren't yet privy to knowing the full details of, but our glimpses into the the maiden's daily lives gives us enough information to let us know things just aren't right around here. 

"Square jaw, sharp nose, full lips, dark hair, and those unreadable eyes-he is handsome. I assume Satan is, too."

Though Delilah is as innocent and ethereal looking as they come, she's hardened, brave, and smart. Her desire to become a maiden is different than the others and her attitude is something that draws Adam to her. Adam is the hot and sadistic son of the Prophet, he does the number crunching and though he does his father's bidding, he too carries the weight of knowing what life was before The Prophet outgrew his humble beginnings. He's disenchanted by the drugs, the lies, the bevy of women available to sample from, and something in Delilah brings him back to life. Their role as Protector and Maiden is threatened by the romance the sparks between them. I'm sorry, I tried to hold off as long as I could, but its just so good. I LOVED THESE TWO. Loved. I want to be Delilah, well not for this cult, but so I can get my hands on Adam. They are both incredibly complex characters and much of their past and secrets have yet to be revealed. Their draw to one another is immediate, though for different reasons, and as they come to know one another in an odd sort of way we get to see a glimpse at how these two could possibly be the beginning of the end for The Cloister. There are also some really strong secondary characters in this book, beyond The Prophet himself, there are other maidens, Adam's brother Noah, and several others that carry just enough weight in the book to let us know that there is more to them than first meets the eye.

"Once I do, I'll never let you go."

The Maiden is a well-developed, detailed, and incredibly intriguing dark read that gives readers just the right amount of story to draw them in to this new series. Cults have drawn in outsiders and followers alike with their secrets, the general public fascinated by what lies behind the walls and how one person becomes so powerful in the eyes of their faithful servants. Celia Aaron takes that fascination and gives us the truth, that the walls hold secrets, deadly lies, and breed fear in those that question anything. She also gives us a heroine, and maybe even a hero, that we can root for and fall for. Revealing that the bad and the dark can be turned to light, though I'm not sure how that's possible with this one just yet. For me, The Maiden is a hit and one I highly recommend to all the lovers of the dark, dirty, and taboo.
About Celia Aaron
Celia Aaron is a USA Today bestselling author and recovering attorney who loves romance and erotic fiction. Dark to light, angsty to funny, real to fantasy–if it’s hot and strikes her fancy, she writes it. Thanks for reading.

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