Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1)
By Rachel L Demeter
Summary: Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.
A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST
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.
A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE
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.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
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.
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Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.
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.
Source: I purchased a kindle copy
Despite reading a Beauty and the Beast retelling recently and deciding that they really just aren’t for me, something about this synopsis made me pick the book up. I am drawn to the themes of Beauty and the Beast, so I figured I’d try another retelling. I loved that it also included some Phantom of the Opera themes, promising a haunted Beast, but one that was still human.
Beauty of the Beast was not YA, but it also wasn’t incredibly sexual, either. There were some moments, especially towards the end, but it wasn’t like a smut filled Beauty and the Beast retelling, either. I liked that the story felt like it had some mature characters and less magic involved, especially since Adam was human.
Prince Adam was a captivating character. He watched his family suffer during a massacre that he survived, but he let the world thing he was dead. His castle was crumbling and cold, as was what was left of his humanity after the event. I could tell he was suffering and wanted to know more. Isabelle was much like the Belle most of us are all familiar with, but her “Gaston” was a much bigger nightmare for her. Her imprisonment in the castle wasn’t necessarily the worst option for her, even when she assumed Adam was the villain.
I thought both characters came together well and realized how much they had in common. Some of my favorite aspects and scenes from the original tale have a place in the book, but it was different and intriguing because I honestly wasn’t sure what would happen since the book changed the relationship between Belle and her family in many ways.
I loved that the story kind of did what Beastly did, but in a better way to get the message across. In Beastly, it was a form of magic and punishment disfiguring the “beast” and it was about learning to see past beauty (which was cool, but somehow ruined the message when the guy gets to be hot again after learning a lesson). But in this one, the beast truly was scarred by the massacre of his childhood, marring much of his body. He didn’t think he was worthy of being in society or love, giving into baser instincts. Isabelle found beauty within him and truly saw him as beautiful in the end because of who he was. There was no magic “ta-da” suddenly he’s super hunky with no scars and I LOVED that aspect. It felt more real.
If you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast retellings, I definitely recommend this one. It was one of the few I actually enjoyed more than I thought I would.