Review: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

when beauty tamed the beastReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: These days kissing a man isn’t anything to write home about, but back in Regency times, merely touching a man meant ruin for the lady in question? In When Beauty Tamed the Beast: A Regency Tale, Linnet Berry Thrynne has been caught kissing a prince of all things, and the ton thinks she has slept with him – the product of their union in her womb, a royal child. All she can do is agree to marry another man, or be a woman considered the worst marriage material around.

Review: The fleeting kiss she had was with Prince Augustus Frederick, the Duke of Sussex. He had courted her, but not asked for her hand in marriage. Linnet had, without realising it allowed herself to be kissed by a sinful womaniser (who had been married once, but a woman who wasn’t deemed good enough for him). As far as her parents are concerned, what’s done is done, and they order her to marry Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, an ill-tempered hulk of a man nicknamed the “Beast.” As she is to be wedded to him, what can she do to better her situation?

Linnet isn’t as naive as one would expect. She doesn’t know what impotence is, but she does know a beast of a man when she sees one, and she sees that in Piers. She soon finds he isn’t as nasty as she has been led to believe by the ton as he had had an accident when he was younger, it has since left him unable to father a child, something most men take for granted when they have the right working equipment. He has a right to be unhappy, and sad at his own predicament, but acts more grumpy than outright cruel, which isn’t in keeping with the books blurb on him being a “Beast.” By page 72, Piers is already being nice to her, so it is up to the reader whether they think he is going to be a beast or a pushover.

Good bits:

  • Prufrock, Piers’s butler – he always has something funny to say to his angst-ridden master.
  • Piers being unable to perform in bed – not for the want of trying though!
  • Everyone thinks that Linnet is with child, even though she only kissed the prince – hilarious.

Bad bits:

  • Spending too much time on minor characters.
  • Piers’ teaching session when he first meets Linnet.

It is written in a comical way, and still keeps the Regency theme through the story, and has lots of sensual scenes in it as well. Eloisa James is the author of such raucous hits as The Duke is Mine and A Kiss at Midnight, and this one is just as fun.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: When Beauty Tamed the Beast

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Review: The Forbidden Wife by Sharon Kendrick

Before you start: Have you read Jane Eyre? Did you like it? Well The Forbidden Wife followed Jane Eyre to a Tee, which is great if you love Jane Eyre (which I do) but awful if you’re looking for new surprises (I was and there wasn’t any).

Heroine: 18 year old Ashley Jones is an orphan who grew up in the foster care system. She’s got lots of debt and so desires jobs that include room and board. She’s pretty perceptive and has a lot of insights on people’s behavior because of her upbringing. Working as Jack’s live-in assistant at Blackwood Manor is her ticket for something better, even if it’s located out in the middle of nowhere on the moors.

Hero: 30 something Jack Marchant is working on a novel about his experiences in the military where something bad happened (but is never explained). He suffers a lot from bad dreams which might be indicative of PTSD (but again never specifically stated). He wants Ashley, his little oddball, something fierce, but the trick is making her realize she wants him and can have him.

Wife in the Attic: Or in this case the cruel wife in a coma. She tricked Jack into marriage with a fake pregnancy, which he honored even after finding out because he didn’t want her to swindle him out of money for a marriage that was only 3 months old and also because his pride demanded he make it work anyway.

Review: I wanted Forbidden Wife to do more. If it explored more emotional depth out of Ashley and Jack it could have been a solid update on Jane Eyre. I found this review of the story hilarious because it really tells it like it is.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: The Forbidden Wife (Harlequin Presents)

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