Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Fair of face and figure, Kristine is young, innocent, pure. Yet she has been condemned to the gallows for killing a man. The only one who can save her is a lord so infamous that some say he is the son of the Devil himself…
And the Beast
Erik Trevayne is called the Demon Lord of Hawksbridge Castle, but few know of the curse he lives under. Or the terrifying changes gnawing away at his humanity. When he weds her, all he wants of Kristine is a son. But when he beds her, a wild hope is born—that love that can tame even the most monstrous of beasts…
This blurb came from the author’s website.
Show me a variant of Beauty and the Beast and it will go on my list of books to read. It is one of my favorite fairytales for retelling because there are so many different things possible within the framework of the story. I had high hopes given the heroine was a condemned murderess that this version would contain some fire but sadly this was a rather mellow version with main characters I struggled to like at times.
I enjoyed the opening of the story and learning what was behind Erik’s curse. I also liked how he came into Kristine’s life and appreciated what Kristine had done to become a murderess. Sadly, I did not like how the hero’s behavior copied that of the man she murdered for much of the first half of the story. However, as the story progressed he did realize that he needed to change his ways and did so even as he continued to lose his humanity. And I felt by the end he had indeed suffered but I wasn’t sure I wanted him with the heroine. I ended up disappointed in Kristine for a couple of different reasons. She was almost passive to an extreme, which did not seem to fit the person she was before. Then when she did start to take action, I wasn’t happy with what she was willing to sacrifice for Erik regardless of her feelings towards him.
Ashley included some other changes in her version that I really enjoyed. Erik’s mother was still living and involved in his life so he wasn’t completely alone. The creator of the curse also still lived and wasn’t exactly content to let things play out as they would. The question of balance between good and evil also came into play so I appreciated how that particular theme was carried through to the end of the story. It was also interesting seeing what finally tipped the scales to Kristine and Erik’s benefit but I was left wondering about the particular timing or trigger needed for the extra help. I didn’t spot any lead up or hints about the extra help so I was left feeling as if evil in this case so out matched Kristine, Erik, and their allies something else had to be brought in to provide a HEA.
Beauty’s Beast while containing some interesting changes in the Beauty and the Beast storyline unfortunately didn’t work for me. I had issues with the main characters and how they received their HEA. I did like some of the other characters involved and wished they had more organic involvement and some assistance in the final HEA.
I give Beauty’s Beast a C-/D