Title: The Beauty’s Beast
Author: E.D. Walker
Series: The Beauty’s Beast #1
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Length: Short novel
Lady Kathryn’s father sends her to court to find a husband, but being penniless and disinterested doesn’t bode well for her success. Bored by the petty intrigues of court, her frustration and loneliness are eased when the king charges her with the care of his newest acquisition: a wolf he and his hunters have recently captured. What the king doesn’t realize is his remarkable pet was once Gabriel, his favorite knight, cursed into wolf form by an unfaithful wife.
The beast’s too-knowing eyes and the way he understands and responds to her every utterance convince Kathryn he is more than what he seems. Resolving to restore him, she doesn’t count on the greatest obstacle being Gabriel himself. The longer he stays in wolf form as a captive of the court, the harder it becomes for him to remember his humanity and to fight his wolfish urges to maim and kill.
Only Kathryn’s affection and determination stand between Gabriel the wolf and Gabriel the man. But when the one who betrayed him returns to court, will Kathryn’s love be enough to keep Gabriel from exacting a brutish revenge that will condemn the wolf to death?
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
This is a sweet Fantasy read with a distinct fairytale feel that was easy and enjoyable. The good people are really good, the baddies are horrible, there’s love, romance, a bit of retribution, betrayal, tested loyalties and a strongly determined female lead who isn’t afraid to stand up for her hero – even when he is furry and running around on four paws.
If you’re looking for something deep, dark and menacing with meticulous political machinations to tangle yourself up in and a plot that leaves you guessing throughout – you won’t find that here. Instead this is a pseudo-Medieval court in a France-like setting, with lordly knights, ladies in waiting and a straightforward tale that leads you exactly where you’d expect it to.
Kathryn is a bit of a misfit, too smart and forthright for marriage, with no money and a disinterested father. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, has no patience for bullies and is more than capable of standing up for herself. In truth she’s a thoroughly modern miss and I liked her, even if I’m still a little confused as to where her in-depth knowledge of werewolves came from.
Speaking of wolves, it might have been nice if there had been at least a little mystery as to his identity, but never mind. I would also have liked him to have been slightly more wolf-like, rather than essentially being an overgrown dog throughout. It might also have been nice to have experienced more of his change of heart towards Kathryn, because one moment all women are evil, the next she’s the most beautiful and wonderful person he’s ever encountered and he loves her forever!!
So overall this is an enjoyable, if slightly predictable, tale that definitely falls back on a few genre clichés to pull it through (the ladies in waiting definitely came out of a one-size-fits-all box). If you’re looking for a fairytale romance that demands nothing of you but time and attention, then this ticks all the right boxes. It’s romantic, the characters are likeable and it follows the Beauty and the Beast trope perfectly. As a piece of escapist romance it does its job well.
The Beauty’s Beast is Out Now!
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