“She is afraid. Not because she is alone. Not because thick roiling clouds obscure the moon. Not because the wind rushes through the forest like a wild dragon. She is afraid because she is late. And to be late means death. Her life had been happy once. Despite the destruction wreaked by Tauscher, traitor to the King. Despite the distant war led by the Prince and fought with the help of her three brothers. Despite her own poorly-chosen nickname of Beauty, she’d enjoyed life. Of course, that was also before her father left home on a hopeful errand but returned weary and ill, bearing a velvety scarlet rose which he claimed would never wither. But even life in the ancient hall, tucked away in the center of Mosswood, surrounded by roses of every description, overshadowed with mystery and home to a scarred figure who was more beast than man, wasn’t too bad after a time. But now…now, in a flash of light, Beauty finally glimpses the truth. And the cost. The price which must be paid, or the sacrifice which must be made. It is a curse which even love alone may not be able to break.” (from Goodreads)
I read this series by Hope Ann out of order, so it was super special to hear a bit of the backstory for the second book (although they both stand alone pretty well). From the first line, this story was so good! I enjoyed revisiting the classic story of Beauty and the Beast with an absolutely new twist and some great surprises SPOILER ALERT! like Jetur–I knew he was bad, but not that bad! The romance was so sweet (and something I wouldn’t hesitate to have my younger sisters read) especially since SPOILER ALERT! the Beast’s curse could only be broken by sacrifical love. That was just too good. The Beast was portrayed so well that you find yourself “falling” for him right along with Beauty. Just a note that this book has some slightly magical elements including a very special ring and an “enchantment” on the castle.
Best quote(s): “You are rather hideous…at least on the outside. I haven’t decided what you are on the inside yet.”
“Finally outside, Beauty?” he inquired. “You spend too much time in that stuffy library.”
Altogether I found this to be a sweet read with surprising depth perfect for anyone who loves light fantasy! Can’t wait for the third book… 😉