Friday, April 7, 2017

Review: Beauty of the Beast

Title: Beauty of the Beast
Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Publisher: 15 March 2017 by Rachel L. Demeter
Pages: 361 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, romance, fairytale retellings, fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 cups


Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.


Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.


Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.


Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

My Thoughts

“She could only focus on the man before her—this strange man who both frightened and excited her, who cried out in the night, who could touch her with an impossible gentleness, and who knew the depths of a darkness she couldn’t comprehend.”

Beauty of the Beast is a stand-alone historical romance, an adult retelling of Beauty and the Beast (see disclaimer below). I found this version to be a great retelling of one of my favourite tales and it truly is a mash of Beauty and the Beast (following the storyline) with Phantom of the Opera (a severely scarred man who turns recluse) and finally Cinderella (two mean stepsisters).

“Adam’s external scars weren’t the worst of his pains; likewise, his true torment lay deep inside, seared across his soul.”

This is a story about bravery - a girl who ran away from an abusive relationship; a boy who endured both physical and mental scarring from an early age. When their paths cross it becomes a tale of survival to friendship to love. Adam and Isabelle are a good couple, and with so much of the book dedicated to just the two of them, it’s nice to go through every step of their relationship from beginning to conclusion. In fact even the additional characters have good depth; for example, the background to Gaston.

“Self-disgust twisted inside him. He was truly a beast, a monster, and in every sense of the word.”

It’s a rich read with a dark feel (again, see disclaimer below) but one also filled with hope. Why not five stars? One of the issues I had concerns the repetition of words/phrases throughout the story that got a little tiresome, for example:

“I am losing myself to her”

And although the chemistry and sexual tension is both profound and prolific, at times, it seemed the author just included one too many sessions that, I felt, did not fit with the story. Steamy XXX scenes that proved detrimental to that particular passage, time and place.

“It took every bit of his willpower not to scoop Isabelle in his arms and devour her lush, crimson lips.”

Overall, however, I like the artistic license the author took with this classic tale - spinning her own plot twists and turns, but still maintaining allegiance to the original story. Adding that touch of realism (there are obvious differences from the original tale)  to magical fantasy was well done. For what you have here is a new, darker, adult version that is very readable. I loved the writing, the characters even the cover truly encapsulates this clever read.

“Suddenly she felt like she’d been thrust into a fairy tale—into a world of magic and romantic hushed secrets.”

Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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