Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review♥Interview: Tangled Web by @crista_mchugh

The deadliest assassin in the empire just got too close to her target…

Azurha, a former slave turned deadliest assassin in the empire, has just been offered the ultimate challenge—seduce, then murder the new Emperor. But Titus is not the tyrant his forefathers were, and his radical ideas might be the glimmer of hope the empire needs.

Titus Sergius Flavus has yet to master the powerful magic of his ancestors—magic he must wield if he’s to protect his people—but his father’s death has left him no choice. Rule the Deizian Empire and attempt to right his ancestors’ wrongs, or watch her fall to his greedy kin.

More than just Titus’ ideas hold Azurha captive. Night after night, he awakens desires she thought lost, and uncovers the magic of her hidden lineage. As her deadline approaches, Azurha is forced to make an impossible decision—complete her job and kill the man she loves, or fail and forfeit both their lives.

A ecopy was provided by the publisher for a honest review. :)
Okay, this might be a little shallow of me, but when I saw the word "assassin" I knew I just have to read this book. :P The synopsis immediately got me. The civilization described seemed to reflect that of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Can I get a happy sigh? Ancient history? Me gusta!

Most of you probably imagine from the synopsis, that his book would follow the assassin-falls-in-love-with-the-man-she-has-to-kill plot, well it did. It was quite predictable in that sense but it was still entertaining. The chaos within a civilization like the one in the book would always keep you on your toes. You never know what might happen. It kind of was mind boggling with the complexity of the empire. Just thinking back to the Roman Empire, there were tons of backstabbing and espionage. I really like that.

The world building was quite good. I like when authors don't overdescribe the environments. I like when I have some room to imagine and build up the worlds myself, and I think Crista did a great job of that. I mean the first paragraph really just captured me into the novel. I thought I was there with Azurha. I felt pain, frustration and fear. If I was in her shoes, being a slave, I think I would have given up but Azurha didn't. And from the first chapter Azurha demonstrated to me how strong she was. I was picturing a mature Arya from Game of Thrones, awesome!

Azurha and Titus were both loveable characters. Oh Sarah, if you are reading this, please don't laugh at what I am about to say, okay? Their passions for each other could definitely be felt. It was HOT, HOT, HOT! This was definitely a great romance and a good break between doing my chemistry homework. Oh, with the mention of chemistry, Azurha and Titus had a lot of chemistry. It really did tangled you in a web of love, danger, and mystic.

Overall, this was a fabulous read. If you are looking for a fabulous romance novel, I suggest you try this out.

Interview with Crista McHuge
What's your favorite part of a book? I love the black moment. It’s the part of the book where the characters are tested and discover who they truly are and what’s really important to them.

When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning? Sometimes. Most of the time, they tell me what their names are, and I just go with it.

How do you get started with writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it)? I usually begin with a flash of dialog or the image of a person in my mind. Then I go from there. I never start writing until I have a full story plotted out because I like to weave little details throughout the story that show up again and again.

What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing? Skipping around has helped me, as well as journaling from a character’s point of view. Usually, if you hit a roadblock, it means you were driving down the wrong road.

How long did it take you to publish your first book, after you started trying? I’ve been writing since I was a teen off and on, but I didn’t get serious about writing until 2007. It took me one year to get my first contract (for a short story), and I eventually ended up self-publishing the book I wrote originally wrote in 2007 last year

How did you come up with the title? For Tangled Web, it came from the words of the soothsayer.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Don’t try to conform. Be yourself, and you’ll find someone who loves you for who you truly are.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Kate Pearce has been a wonderful mentor for me, especially with this book

What book are you reading now? Fortune’s Hero by Jenna Bennett

What are your current projects? I just wrapped up A Soul For Chaos, the second book in the Soulbearer Trilogy, and I’m about to start the third book

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’m a Southerner, and we’re all full of tall tales.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Finding time to write. I’m a doctor with two small children (a 3yo daughter and 5mo son), so my time to write is usually on my one day off or when my sitter comes over on Saturday mornings.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? The middle. I know how to open the book, and I know how I want it to end, but it’s all the little details and character growth in the middle I find challenging. I want a smooth journey from beginning to end, but I don’t want the reader to fall asleep.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Don’t try to fit something into a book just because it’s a hot trend (in Tangled Web, I tried to include a BDSM scene, but it didn’t fit the character arcs)

Do you have any advice for other writers? Write the book you want to write, not the book you think the market wants. The market changes all the time, but if you write from the heart, you’ll connect with readers.


  1. Oh my gosh, this sounds like my kind of book! Great review :)

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. Awesome review !! This definitely sounds like my kind of book, I really need to look into this!

  3. Great review! Honestly, the word "assassin" is like chocolate for me - I see it and can't resist. I hadn't heard of this one, but I'll be checking it out now.

  4. Thanks for the helpful review! I barely noticed this book yesterday on goodreads and I wasn't sure of going out to buy it. After reading your review I am definitely going to go and buy it :D!


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