Title: Beastly Manor
Author: Alex Hall
Series: – –
Genre: M/M Fairytale Fantasy
DNF @ 20%
Once upon a time in a faraway land a very wealthy merchant lived on a good piece of property just west of the hamlet we now call Littleton. The merchant was blessed with luck and guile, strong bones and sharp eyes, a pretty wife of gentle spirit, and four healthy children whom he called: Faith, Hope, Beauty and Corbin.
An LGBT twist on the classic love story.
Source: Review copy from Madison Place Press via email
I love Beauty and the Beast, it’s one of my favourite fairytales (East of the Sun, West of the Moon edges it out because it’s more complete), so the idea of a LGBT version with a male lead sounded right up my street.
Alas, I bounced off this one. Hard.
I’m never the biggest fan of omniscient narrators, and although I get that it was trying for a fairytale feel, it pulled in far too much erroneous detail and I found myself skimming after only a couple of pages, which is never a good way to begin. I kept waiting for something to happen, but instead was reminded over and over again that this setting is France! Cheese! The Seine! French words! Yet Littleton couldn’t be a more English name *sigh* Since this book seems to be all about the details (this cheese is made with brandy, special brandy that no one knows how to make… Unless this cheese is called Horace and is a cheese with Personality, I don’t care! Well, I might if it kills someone and becomes a major plot point, but I gave up long before that might have happened)… anyway, yes, since this book is so keen on details, this seemed like a lazy mistake to me.
Stuff does happen, but tiny details wash the interesting stuff away and I kept skimming, hoping that maybe it would get better when Corbin grew up. Nope. Still too much stuff. I just couldn’t get into it. I tried slowing my reading, but my interest waned and my attention wandered. Not even a fight with an ax wielding monk (maybe) was enough to draw me in.
I’m afraid this book and I just did not get along. If, however, a LGBT retelling of B&tB with lots of detail sounds like your kind of thing, then I wish you luck. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people out there who enjoy this style, sadly I’m not one of them.
Beastly Manor is Out Now.