To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

To Beguile a Beast (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #3)To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The word HUMPING was actually used!
When I was in elementary school, the Van Halen song Jump was popular. One day in the lunch room, someone had the song playing on their boom box (yes I’m older than you) and this boy would yell, “HUMP!” every time the song said ‘Jump’. We all exploded into giggles at his comic genius. That’s what the word brings to mind. Certain words, like ‘hump’ or ‘wiener’ are just funny – and don’t belong in romance novels.

I think this ends my Beauty & the Beast jag. 2.5 stars rounded up. The characters & plot were well done, I just don’t like explicit stuff. I think the author’s style is too adult for me, and I’m not talking about the silly humping (!) thing.

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A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland, #1)A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Surprise Sucka! I’m good!

I’ve been on a Beauty & the Beast retellings kick, and this was on one of the lists. I’d say there’s only a very vague semblance to the fairy tale. The story was wonderful! Warring clans in England and Scotland, spitfire male & female protagonists, and good storytelling.

I was pretty wary after reading the prologue. Jenny was having this silent conversation with God, so I was sure that would dominate the story. While I’m quite spiritual/religious myself, I don’t enjoy Christian Romances. Most are cheesy and the entire plot revolves around the main character’s faith in God. I prefer non-fiction inspirational books.

So. Jenny does pray a few times and is determined to do what is right. It was appropriate for her character (her father sent her to a convent for two years & didn’t speak to her) and seemed to flow naturally with the story. I never felt that it was a main theme, was preachy, or tried to teach a moral. It was nicely done. The story would appeal to a wide audience, as the theme was really about staying true to your personal beliefs and convictions in the face of adversity.

Jenny is wily and determined. She’s brave and reckless, no hint of a Mary Sue. I was saddened by her desperate drive to please her father and regain favor with her clan.
The Wolf, be still my fluttering heart, was brilliant and ruthless. He brings Sun Tzu to mind – master General, strategist, war philosopher. Alpha done right.

There’s a bit of sexual coercion, not actual rape, that would normally earn a NOPE from me. Considering the age of the book and the way things played out, I was able to give it a pass. Some sex, written tastefully – probably PG13.

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When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2)When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this at the library, cuz I’m too cheap to buy it & read it with some dignity on my Kindle.
It’s actually way more bubble-gum-pink and lavender than it looks in the picture. Told the librarian, “um…yeah, one of my Goodreads friends told me this was good.” Silence.
“It’s a Beauty & the Beast retelling.” Nods. Silently shames me.

This was a surprisingly fun book to read! Author’s note at the end said that Piers, the cranky beast of a doctor, was based on Dr. House from the TV series. He’s brilliant, in constant pain, and a total a-hole.

Linette wasn’t a typical, boring Mary Sue. She wasn’t afraid to dish it right back at him, resulting in the the kind of witty banter that I love.

Witty banter maketh the romance novel. Seriously. Think of Elizabeth Bennett. Darcy admired her fine grey eyes, but it was her intelligent wit that he couldn’t resist!


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Belle Epoch by Elizabeth Ross

Belle EpoqueBelle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the premise of Belle Epoch. An agency that rents out ugly girls to be companions for society debs. Foils to make a gal look prettier in comparison. Runaway Maude is finding it harder to make a living in France than she expected. She takes a position at the agency out of desperation and it humiliates her.

I enjoyed all the female friendships and Isabelle’s determination to attend the Sorbonne instead of marrying. Maude was selfish and ambitious, not caring about anyone else’s feelings. Petty jealousy & pity parties kept me from liking her.

Overall, a good look at France in the ‘Beautiful Age’. Could’ve been a bit more fun. 3 stars.

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