Katarina West - Witchcraft Couture

28. Witchcraft Couture by Katarina West (2014)
Length: 342 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Started: 2 July 2015
Finished: 31 July 2015
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Katarina West for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 January 2015
Why do I have it? I like paranormal mysteries and Katarina West is a new author for me.

Ever since he was a little boy, Frederico Pellegrini has dreamed of greatness. He has wanted nothing more from life than to be recognized and respected for his innate artistic talent. For the handful of people who have known him since childhood, Frederico - now known as Oscar to his friends and acquaintances - has always been considered to be something of a child prodigy. His amazing talent was something that was not only acknowledged, but also seen as extraordinarily intimidating to anyone who met him.

As a teenager, Oscar became the protégé of a very famous fashion designer, and under her tutelage he honed his considerable talent in the fashion industry; becoming a rising star in his own right. Yes, Oscar Pellegrini definitely has the talent and the drive to go tremendously far in his career, except for one deadly personal flaw: his own critical mindset. In fact, he destroys much of what he designs on a whim and slips into periodic, yet deeply depressing, artistic blocks. Actually, Oscar has been drifting along for years, gradually retreating from the fashion business he loves so much yet holding on to his dreams of success.

A highly-anticipated meeting with his new employer - who also happens to be a former girlfriend - triggers a creative crisis of monumental proportions within Oscar. His sudden depression weighs so heavily on him, that Oscar flees his home in Florence in the middle of the night and escapes to Russia. While there, Oscar suffers through a creative crisis the likes of which he has never before experienced. This time, he drinks and despairs almost to the point of no return.

Yet, just when he starts to believe that he has lost everything that matters most in his life, Oscar discovers a mystical machine that somehow turns ordinary outfits into irresistible triumphs of sartorial splendor. He takes the machine back home to Italy - and before he knows it, Oscar becomes an overnight fashion sensation. It seems that he has finally achieved the greatness he has always wanted - his name has become legendary, his designs are the most sought after creations in the world of fashion; celebrities and socialites alike vie for the honor of being the first to wear his gorgeous garments. In a shockingly short span of months, Oscar has seemingly undergone a fascinating transformation: his creative crisis has miraculously vanished, leaving in its place a reinvigorated desire to design - a second chance to leave his own unique contribution to the fashion industry.

However, the fairytale ending for the recently christened fashion mogul rapidly turns into a waking nightmare. The dresses that have become such an integral part of Oscar Pellegrini's trademark style, seem to have acquired a life of their own. Drawing their unearthly allure from the very people who wear them - in the form of that person's energy and vitality - the glamorous clothes soon gain the inexplicable ability to bewitch others; enthralling essentially good people to commit uncharacteristically malicious or immoral deeds. Haunted by his creations, and the dark secret that he is no longer able to hide, Oscar's talent has become nothing more important to him than a millstone around his neck.

He soon finds himself engaged in a valiant fight for both his life and his sanity; struggling to maintain his extremely tenuous hold on reality. And desperately searching for the answer to a question he never even knew existed. Is there such a thing as stolen genius, and if there is, can such genius turn against the very person who stole it?

I must say that despite the apparently slow reading pace that I set for myself, I was completely caught up in Oscar's story right away and avidly wanted to know what would happen to him next. I actually thoroughly enjoyed the story; the plot was well-developed and moved along in a dramatic fashion for me. The story itself was very well-written; filled with a variety of plot twists and turns that I fully appreciated. I would give this book an A! and am eagerly awaiting Ms. West's next book.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

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