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Pre-Release Review! ABEL by Katee Robert (Sabine Valley #1)

Abel cover

Seven Brothers. Seven Brides. A revenge seven years in the making.

Eight years ago, my family was betrayed by those closest to us. Now we’re back in Sabine Valley, staging our return during the feast of Lammas, where I step into the ring and ensure we’re given what we’re owed. Who we’re owed.

Our enemies send their seven best warriors against me. With each victory, I win a Bride for each of my brothers. And for me? I’m saving the best for last. My Bride is Harlow, the woman claimed by the man I used to call friend—the one responsible for our exile. Eli.

And if Eli has a problem with it? Well, then I’ll take him as my Bride, too. All the better to enact my revenge…and bring Sabine Valley to its knees.

The Paine brothers are back, and we’re here to stay.

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Review:

A thrilling start to a new series!

The Sabine Valley series is apparently loosely based on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, but darker and with (of course!) menages 😉 I admit I have zero experience with the movie, so I can’t attest to any similarities or differences (though surely there aren’t any out-in-the-open thruples in the musical?), this book serves well to throw us into the Paine brothers’ world of revenge and redemption.

I admit that Eli is a bit hard to like in the beginning–with the hand Abel believes he had in events the night the entire Paine family was almost eliminated, plus his complete refusal to see Harlow for who she really was instead of who he wanted her to be–he wasn’t the most sympathetic character, but he does a decent job of redeeming himself by the end. Abel, for all of his supposed “bad”ness is really just a guy trying to get back what was taken from his family…and okay, maybe a teensy bit of revenge too. (Plus, the inconvenient lust he finds himself in for his ex-best friend might be kind of hot.) Harlow is possibly the most sympathetic character, as she is first completely misunderstood and underestimated by the man she is in a relationship with and then finds herself in the middle of Abel and Eli’s hate/lust storm–which sometimes works out fairly well for her and other times is just maddening.

Hot as heck, of course, but still maddening.

There are elements of dark suspense to this book, very similar to Ms Robert’s O’Malleys books (and to a lesser extent, her Thalanian Dynasty series) that add to its can’t put down-ness. Seriously, this was a single day read for me!

Though I would have liked a bit more world setup–more background on the factions, the particular politics of the world (they’re a pagan society, apparently? And exist in the same universe as the Wicked Villains, but also Hollywood and Chicago…) especially since we will be engrossed within it for six more books–it was a thoroughly engrossing read. I cannot wait for the next book! ( Broderick )

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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