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When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales) Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2011
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After Prince Augustus Frederick reneges on his promise to marry her, Linnet Thrynne faces social ruin since everyone—based partly on her mother’s scandalous past and partly on Linnet’s ill-fated decision to wear a ball gown that gives the impression she is pregnant—now believes Linnet is a hussy of the first degree. Fortunately, Linnet’s aunt, Lady Etheridge, comes up with a solution. Rumor has it that Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, is in the market for a wife. The irascible nobleman’s only requirement is that his bride-to-be be a woman “more beautiful than the sun and the moon,” a condition Linnet easily meets. Linnet is certain once the beastly Piers meets her, he will fall under her spell. But immediately after encountering the cranky doctor, Linnet realizes the intractable, intelligent, and altogether intriguing Piers is not exactly the husband for whom she bargained. With equal measures of superbly nuanced characters, sexy passion, and scintillating wit, James deftly fashions a fairy-tale-perfect romance. --John Charles
[This] delightful tale is as smart, sassy and sexy as any of her other novels, but here James displays her deliciously wicked sense of humor * Romantic Times BOOKClub on A Kiss at Midnight * Treat yourself to a fairy tale that will keep you enchanted from 'once upon a time' til 'they lived happily ever after' * The Romance Dish on A Kiss At Midnight * There are only a handful of romance authors who could have written a touching, fun, and engaging story by blending a fairytale and a television show. Eloisa James is obviously one of them * The New York Journal of Books * With an amusing cast of characters and two principals who are both beautiful and beastly at times, this is an enrapturing bedtime story * Bookpage * A breathtaking addition to James's series of reimagined fairy tales... [A] funny, offbeat, deliciously sensual story that takes the famed fairy tale to a new level with its vivid description and exquisite writing * Library Journal * Eloisa James writes with a captivating blend of charm, style, and grace that never fails to leave the reader sighing and smiling and falling in love -- Julia Quinn, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James's writing is absolutely exquisite * Teresa Medeiros * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I loved the playfulness between Linnet and Piers. They actually became friends in this book which is something I treasure in my romances. The humor was spot on as well. Just like in the last fairytale style book Eloisa James wrote this one has a bit of a farcical feel to it. I saw shades of my favorite couple by this author (in the beginning at least) when Piers and Linnet decided to play and tease each other. It was sexy and fun and I felt they fit together well.
I really liked the side bits we got of Piers's mother and father. The revelations we had about their past and the reason Piers disliked his father is heartbreaking. I think the author was smart to show his pov because otherwise it would have been harder to forgive him for his mistakes.
So why isn't this a 5 star? Because the book went down the drain toward the end. The conflict at the end seemed to come out of nowhere and I felt that forgiveness came way too easily. It was like so many other issues cropped up after that scene that the actual original conflict wasn't given more than a token apology. I wasn't enraged when it ended, but I was still miffed and I felt that things were solved too easily. It actually bothered me so much that it took the grade down to a very low 4 stars. I debated going into the 3 star range, but I enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book too much to do that.
I'm still looking forward to the next fairytale themed book, but I hope that one stays good throughout instead of turning lame at the end.
Also, I was really bothered by the way it seemed like Linnet needed to be brought down a peg before she could be with Piers. What was up with that???
I can't say it enough - this book is an absolute must read!!
Eloisa James is not one for convention. She plays with romance tropes in all of her novels - her heroes might have a beer belly or be bad lovers, while she makes a heroine out of an unfaithful wife. So I was surprised to see her take on the tried and played-out story of beauty and the beast. I bought the book in the hopes that she would do something interesting and unexpected with it.
And she did. Instead of a sweet young thing taming a beast, we get two kindred souls who bring out each other's best and truest selves. He brings out her snark, while she smooths out his manners. They are equally prickly and equally kindhearted. Their chemistry is so smoky it burns up the pages, but they don't get together until they've worked for and earned it. James does a great job moving them from curious strangers to loving partners.
I can't rave about this book enough.
The only thing I didn't like was that the hero reminded me of House, from the TV show, whom I hate. I was able to push the thought aside until I finished and read the Acknowledgements, where James says flat out that House inspired her. Now I'm worried I can't go back and read without thinking of him. Blech.
But I doubt that's going to bother most people. This book is a fun, sexy, sweet, and nearly pitch-perfect romance novel. I highly recommend it!!!