Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Genre: Historical Romance
Published on: 15th March 2017
Disclaimer/Trigger Warning: 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.
*I received a free ARC by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
(via Goodreads): “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.
Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.”
“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.”
Beauty of the Beast is a darker, more mature version of the movie that we’ve all come to love; Beauty and the Beast. I haven’t read many retellings in my life so far but I particularly enjoyed this one!
Like in any retelling there were some similarities to the original story but the author put a dark, edgy twist on it and made it a story of her own!
Isabelle is a genuine, kind-hearted, friendly girl who lives with her very ill father and her two mean, ungrateful step-sisters (who give off Cinderella vibes) in a small cottage in a town called Ruillé, France. She loves her father endlessly and takes care of him as well as she can.
But there is a darkness and fear within Isabelle caused by a fiancé that she never wanted. Raphael Dumont is sexist, disrespectful, controlling and abusive. He treats Isabelle like his property and sexually harasses her. He is one of the most disgusting character I’ve ever read about.
Isabelle makes a plan to run away with her father and escape the claws of her fiancé. They stumble upon an abandoned ruin of a castle and seek shelter there.
Prince Adam Delacroix has been living in complete seclusion and void of human contact for 25 years, except for the company of his dog Stranger and an old friend that visits him every once in a while. Both mentally and physically scarred, he has been hiding his face under a cloak, feeling like a beast.
Until Isabelle shows up at his door and slowly unravels a completely different side of him.
At first we get to know a lonely, ashamed and insecure side of Adam, isolating himself and hiding his face from Isabelle. But they get to know each other better and he turns into a gentle, protective and sensitive young man.
I really liked that Adam and Isabelle, unintentionally, helped to change the other person for the better. Each of their character development and the evolvement of their relationship from beginning to end felt very realistic. They start to care for and trust each other and then together, experience darkness, love, passion and romance. Adam draws on Isabelle’s strength and he learns to hate himself a little less. He even makes self-deprecating comments! 😀 They end up bantering and teasing each other a lot which was really cute.
What I liked about the story was that we get to experience from different points of view. I’m not the biggest fan of multiple perspectives but it was very well done in this book! You almost don’t notice that the point of view has changed. Through that we not only got to hear Isabelle’s thoughts and feelings, but also which emotions Adam was experiencing and how he developed as a character.
“Property? She’s a woman – not a goat for trade.”
While I did like Adam as a character, there were a few weird things he did that bothered me.
First of all, every time he simply looked at Isabelle he had some weird, slightly sexual thoughts about her. There was one scene, where Isabelle is mostly unconscious due to a fever and he has these thoughts, which creeped me out! Thankfully, that got better as the story went on.
Another creepy thing was the fact that sometimes, when he couldn’t sleep, he would go into Isabelle’s bedroom and just watch her sleep. For hours! He also had a weird obsession with Isabelle’s breasts and mentioned/fantasized about them every time he was interacting with her. Yeah.
I enjoyed the writing style. It was very descriptive and really helped to imagine the setting of the story. The only phrase that irked me because it was used so often was: “Their gazes slammed together.” Slammed? How do gazes slam together? I didn’t count but I’ve seen the phrase at least 10 times and it was just weird.
Overall, the story was very enjoyable and I would totally recommend it. You better not expect the original though, because one of the only similar things was the outline of the original Beauty and the Beast!
The whole story and relationship between Isabelle and Adam is a lot more mature. They did have a very sweet, passionate romance and I loved some of the things they said to each other to declare their love for one another.
But keep in mind that they’re both a lot older and obviously have sexual needs! The writing is very detailed and explicit when it comes to the sex scenes! There is one particular scene that goes on over several pages and I just quickly skimmed through it because I’m not a fan of reading explicit sex scenes. People under 18 definitely shouldn’t read this story!
All in all, this was a very enjoyable read! The dark twist of this retelling was something I didn’t expect but I welcomed it all the same. This is a story with some very dark themes and a sweet but sexy and passionate romance. I would totally recommend it!
(4 out of 5 stars)
Do you like reading retellings or are you not a fan? Have you read any other Beauty and the Beast retellings? Please leave me recommendations in the comments below!