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The Innocent: A Novel by [Lee, Candice Raquel]
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The Innocent: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


GoodReads reviews:

"Seductive, intoxicating, and completely enthralling"
"Was amazing and beautifully written....the poetry and the angst the love story and the metaphysical and the spiritual aspect of it all."

"A beautiful love story"

"Sweeping love at first sight!"

"A beautifully written paranormal romanceunlike any I have read. The superb writing ties in classic literature, poetry,humor, and philosophy, to a fascinating supernatural romantic storyline."

"A beautiful and passionate love story."

"The story takes an entirely unique twist on the mythical figures of incubi and succubi, weaving them into a powerful,enthralling tale of love.

"This modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast won't let you down.  The Innocent stays true to the formula of supernatural love stories, but includes enough mythology, poetry, unique elements, and humor to keep it fresh. . . .The Innocent is populated with well-developed characters who draw in the reader, making them want to know them better. Characters like Chandraswami, Lance, and the evil Lilith will bring the reader back for the second book in this series." Underground Book Reviews

"This is a love story in the style of Twilight. (Cristien and Alexa have) "a relationship to daydream about." The San Francisco Book Review

From the Author

Q&A with Author Candice R. Lee 

Q. This is a passionate and unique story. How did it first come to you--through a dream, an idea, or an emotion?

A. I've always loved the story of Beauty and the Beast, ever since I was a little girl. There was something about the Beast that fascinated me. He was just so human. He was not perfect by any means but somehow lovable. I wanted to make Cristien that kind of mixture of attractive yet scary, bad yet good, cursed yet blessed. I did not want Cristien to be perfect but someone who desires to be "good," but feels too human and flawed to forgive himself for being human and flawed.

Q. Why is your book called The Innocent? Is there a special significance to the title?

A. The word refers to a lot of things in the book: to Alexa's youth, her lack of sexual experience and her views of life.
The title is actually taken from a poem by Byron called, "She walks in Beauty." It is quoted in the book. The poem is about a girl who is a mixture of shadow and light and yet is pure and innocent. The last line refers to "A heart whose love is innocent," and I thought that the whole thing fit Alexa perfectly.  It also refers to the stage in life we all go through,monster or not. We were all once new in the world. We all walked around with rose-colored glasses until someone knocked them off our faces and made us see the world as it is, full of grey. The novel also explores the destruction of innocence, specifically the ones who through their cruelty show us that life is not all roses but also full of thorns. Do we hate them for hurting us or thank them for teaching us a valuable lesson? That is very much a question that Cristien struggles with through most of the book.

Q. What was your inspiration for The Innocent?

A. I was inspired by the myth of Cupid and Psyche. It's supposed to be this light story about how Psyche becomes a goddess, but it is really about growing up and becoming the hero of your own life. Some really terrible things happen to Psyche. She is kidnapped, has sex with a thing she cannot see, is abandoned and left to wander until she is enslaved by a Goddess who only wants to destroy her. Psyche is kept in the dark or innocent, like my character Alexa, to the true nature of her lover. Psyche assumes with the help of her sisters that Cupid is evil. When Alexa finds out what Cristien is she is petrified out of her mind. I liked the idea of mistaking a god for a devil, for confusing good and evil because it shows how our interpretation of an event or a person can be wrong. I also liked the suggestion that we don't really truly know the people we love. We think we do, but we are always surprised by something and it is the reaction to this knowledge that determines how well or badly a relationship will go, for a while at least.

Q. Do you have a favorite character?

A. I love them all, but I am especially fond of Lance. He makes me laugh. He's always so calm. He's nothing like me. Then there is Chandraswami; his very Indian attitude toward life is quite enlightening and a thing to aspire to.

Q. What was the most challenging aspect of developing this story?

A. Well, the story is a kind of a masala. It starts out like a paranormal romance. A girl goes out on the town and meets a monster, but then it becomes something else entirely. It takes you down the rabbit hole of love,into the good, the bad and the obsessive. The monsters are real in the story,but they are also mythic, meaning they are stand-ins or allegories for those shadowy or rejected aspects of ourselves. Those parts that don't fit our perfect dream of who we are supposed to be. Alexa changes dramatically in the story because none of us are perfect. I wanted her to have a bit of darkness in her. I didn't want her to be so good and Cristien so bad that they were opposites. I wanted them to be each other's mirror reflections. I wanted them to see the other in themselves. I wanted Alexa to learn that she isn't perfect either. In that way, in accepting her own imperfections, she could forgive Cristien's and help him forgive himself.

Q. Is there an emotion that you had to spend a lot of time with that made you uncomfortable?

A. The scene when Alexa is attacked was one of the hardest I have had to write. It remained a sketch for a long time. I finished the whole novel and edited it before going back to fill in the details of that scene. This isn't a fantasy fight where she wins against impossible odds. She loses. Knowing she loses and that she is a victim is very hard for me. I have been a victim of abuse. It was difficult to be on the receiving end of violence again even in my own imagination. What happens to Alexa is unfair. It is wrong, but I wanted to take the reader into the unfairness of life. I wanted them to confront it. I wanted them to see how the different characters respond to it for better or for worse.

Q. What's the one true thing you learned from your characters in this novel?

A. Well, the book explores the nature of what we call "evil." It explores how we can define ourselves by this term thus making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think we are bad then we feel we don't deserve good. We sabotage our own happiness. We think people are better off without us. So, we end up alone. But the truth is we all want to be loved no matter what we look like,what we believe, what race, gender or orientation we are. We want to be forgiven for our failings and loved for ourselves. I still believe, as I always have, that in the end (even if it takes trillions of years,) love will conquer all.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2449 KB
  • Print Length: 459 pages
  • Publisher: Readerly Books; 2 edition (February 2, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 2, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HV6WT4Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,996 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Incredibly well written and engaging, this book sucked me in with the very first paragraph. The characters definitely pop and feel like real people that I would befriend. Alexa, the protagonist, is on scholarship in college and dedicated to excelling. She actually reminds me myself when I was in college, so it was easy to relate to her struggles. Sheltered as child, college life opens her eyes to the real world, especially when she meets girls that would rather her party instead of study. An intriguing situation, and Alexa acquiesces. A series of events lead her to her first experience with love...with someone who is not what he seems. Nonetheless, you'll find it beautiful, enchanting, and a bit dangerous. I must say, when I picked up this book, I was not expecting the supernatural treasure it turned out to be. The story was well done, with great characters, cool action scenes, and even cooler creatures. This is a must read for anyone into modern fantasy. What I enjoyed more than anything, was the original way the author weaved the supernatural characters into the story. AMAZING!
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Innocent is an exciting read about love and romance and how difficult and tragic this beautiful dream can often be.

The protagonist, Alexa Wyndham, is a good girl from Brooklyn with an unusual past. She understands the world through the lense of whatever she reads.

Finding herself alone in Manhattan the city is intimidating but exhilerating. For Saint Valentine’s Day she goes out on the town with her friends. She kisses passionately with a stranger and is inducted into a new world. This man wants her body, mind, spirit and flesh.

The only person she can rely on is the ancient Cristien LaRoche, but he too is a murderer. He may protect her from those who lust for her energy, but how can he protect her from herself?

The Innocent takes us through the journey of Alexa and Cristien and their rocky road to love. But can love conquer all, even death? The dialogue is witty and engaging and the plot is great. It is a very well written book and I will definitely be looking out for more from this author.

Totally reccomended. Just buy it. You won't regret it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a refreshing take on myths and legends. When I read the description, I was not 100% sold that I would enjoy the book, but I gave it a chance anyway. I'm pleased to say it was well worth the read and I am very happy I took the chance on it. The characters are engaging and likeable; further, the plot is interesting with an unexpected twist toward the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more books from this author.
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By F.A. on May 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I truly enjoyed reading The Innocent: A Myth. At first I thought that the pacing was slow but as it turns out it isn't. It was written in a dual pov between Alexa and Cristien. Reading from both their perspectives made me liked them more especially Cristien. Alexa is your typical shy/ nerd girl and Cristien is that has that bad boy type but there's more to him especially when their relationship starts to bloom. The pacing between their romance was just so right and although I do understand Cristien's feelings when he gets frustrated but at the same time I'm glad he didn't cross the line with Alexa. You would think it started off as ordinary but there's more to the plot especially between the H/h.

I really like Alexa especially when she grew a backbone. I disliked her relationship with her mother who seemed to be a control freak and over the top protectiveness despite there being a reason for it. I loved the poems she write for Cristien. It was so romantic and when they started reading lines from other poems I thought they were really a match made in heaven.

I felt for Cristien the most because of his past especially that of Lily (I really hate her but I got m wish about her). Their first meeting turned out not to be so great but of course what he wants he gets, so he was able to do the dating thing that he never did before. His feelings for Alexa was confusing but he thought it was because of the Compulsion. But due to the help of Chandraswami his feelings for her was cleared up and he was able to make things right with her. When he was reminiscing about his past you could really feel his pain and his decisions of what he does now. It's nice that he changed and especially since he met Alexa because he started living.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never been into paranormal romance stories so was hesitant after beginning this one when I realized what it was, but I have to say I am really glad I kept reading. this was much more than a romance. it is a story of life. you need to read this book because I'm not giving anything more away.
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Format: Paperback
Well, I am a pretty fast reader but I finished the book in about 6 hours and avid readers know that hunger to turn page after page increases when a story is well written and exciting. I definitely recommend this book. It is WAY BETTER than other books I've read in this genre and the author really does a great job with the characters.

This is reminiscent of, but MUCH BETTER THAN TWILIGHT. While I read the Twilight books mostly out of forcing myself through them, hoping the story would be better, muster some strength and not just kind of flicker out until the last novel, I never felt this book dragging on. In fact, I definitely devoured it and cannot wait to read more from this author. The characters in the story are new and have distinctly different personalities than in your typical Bella falls for Vampire or 50 Shades type deal. While it does have elements of those as the authors all drew their stories from Classics, it is orchestrated at a higher intelligence level and is far more cohesive.

My favorite part of the style of writing is that the author lets the reader enjoy the thoughts of both main characters which makes the story even richer. It's done much better than most books that try to do this by not switching back and forth after too long breaks or going over the same events in each persons perspective; simply put, this novel has GREAT FLOW. It is a VERY ENJOYABLE read.

The author sums up the foundation for the story in the epilogue pretty well:
"It is based on Jane Eyre, the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast and the myth of Cupid and Psyche. It has elements from these stories, but it is written in the style of a myth."

I also enjoyed that the diversity in the story and the discussion of it.
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