August 23, 2013

Braine Revews: Hook's Pan by Marie Hall

Series: Kingdom 5
Format: Digital ARC
Release Date: April 25, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Author via NetGalley
Recommended by: Lily Element Blog
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords 

Trishelle Page has known pain in her life, but instead of it making her weak, she's stronger. Confident. That is until the day a fairy kidnaps her during her staring role in Peter Pan's play and tells her not only do fairy tales exist, but that she's the soulmate of the pirate they call Hook, making her question everything she ever thought she knew.

Captain James Hook is a man at the end of his rope. He's not the villainous bastard tales have made him out to be. So when the curvaceous blonde drops, literally, at his feet he aims to prove it to her. If only to get her into his bed.

What neither one knows is that fate and magic are conspiring and they can deny the attraction all they want but the end is already written, it's just a matter of getting there.
Danika worked for the bad boys of the Kingdom. The degenerates; low lifes, and naughty villains. - Her Mad Hatter
I'm personally not fond of fairy tales and their whimsical, Disney manufactured HEAs, I like the original versions better, grim, dark and a little bloody. As Disney quickly took over this genre and glazed it with false saccharine sweetness, I  shifted loyalty towards the villains instead. As I grew older I quickly became annoyed with these helpless Princesses playing the victim card including Peter Pan and his annoying sidekick, Tinkerbell. Not many people like Captain Hook and I can easily understand the mass' aversion to him: greasy hair, a hook for a hand, crooked and rotten teeth, possible scurvy and a weird paranoia for clocks. I, however, am one of the select few who likes him and hopes he captures bothersome Peter Pan, shake his fairy dust off and make him grow up! And since Johnny Depp made these infamous pirates sexy, no questions asked, I'm with these wandering seafarers. 

HOOK'S PAN is book 5 of Marie Hall's Kingdom Series and the last of the Bad Five arc. The series are quick reads due to their novella length and fast-paced plots and the "heroes" are the traditional villains of popular tales. I read Her Mad Hatter (currently FREE on Amazon) first and skipped novellas 2-4, jumping to HOOK'S PAN. I didn't have a problem getting acclimated to the stories because as each novella is unique, the setting changes depending on whose story is being told with fairy godmother, Danika, tying the stories together. In this particular novel, there are cameos made by previous characters but their stories didn't clash nor did it distract from James Hook and Trishelle Page's story.

MHall didn't change the original myth of Neverland and Captain Hook much. The notable twist is that Captain James Hook is depressed due to the loss of his mermaid betrothed, Talia, no thanks to Peter Pan who accidentally stabbed the defenseless lass. For a decade James is grieving and before the prophecy catches up with him (he'll die soon lest he finds his true love), Danika finds Trishelle and abducts her in the middle of a local production of Peter Pan where she plays the vexing boy. Given that this is an HEA tale and a novella at that, James and Trish didn't have insta-love which is a big relief. Both are jaded and haunted by their personal traumas when it comes to love, carefully working out the kinks of their "blind-date". I enjoyed the bickering between the two because Trish refuses to be intimidated by James, Hook and all, and the latter is bent on wallowing in his grief and rejecting her.
But no one person should have to bear the responsibility of being the sole source of happiness for another.
Despite its short length, HOOK'S PAN didn't rush nor is it lacking in tension, romance and a well-rounded resolution. MHall kept it concise keeping the focal of the story on James and Trish, their respective personal conflicts and its subsequent conclusion. As a series, Kingdom has a great concept, it blurs the lines of the good and bad guys giving infamous villains a chance to redeem themselves and a shot at their happiness. Even bad guys need love and thanks to Danika, The Mad Hatter, Riding Hood's Wolf, Aladin's Jinni, Beauty's Beast, and how Captain Hook, can finally rest easy in the arms of their true love.

HOOK'S PAN and Her Mad Hatter gave me an appetite for more of MHall's books. She recently shared that her Kingdom series is far from over and after HOOK'S PAN, she's about to start the next arc and this time around it'll be about Dark Princesses, YAY! But what I'm most excited about is her upcoming Grim Reaper romance series to be published by Grand Central. Not only that, she also has a New Adult series, the first book A Moment is also FREE on Amazon

For more info, visit Marie Hall's blog


  1. Great review!! Really glad you enjoyed it, I can't wait to read this one :)

  2. I love the darker Grimm tales too, and often prefer retellings that fall towards those darker versions. This sounds delightful, and I will pick up the free one and give it a go, thanks Braine!

    1. YW, the first one was good but it gets better as you move forward with the series.

  3. lols..."shake the fairy dust off of him" love that. And I agree bad guys need love too! great review Braine :) I have books 1-3 because of Melissa too, can't wait to read them.

  4. How cool! I love the sounds of this version of Peter Pan. And you're right, Johnny Depp and Hook from Once Upon a Time have definitely made pirates sexy.
    Great review, Braine. I'm so glad you enjoyed!

  5. Awesome review Braine! I've always had a soft spot for Hook as well, and this book sounds like my kind of story! I'll be adding this one to the list. =D

  6. ahhh I have these on my kindle! I picked up the first three last month when they were on sale. Gah okay gonna have to move them up the pile. They sound so darn good!


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