Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Review: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she's betrothed to a Beast. 
Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumoured, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumour also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman. 
Linnet is not just any woman. 
She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks. 
Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return. 
If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?

I’ve already waxed lyrical about the first book in the Happily Ever After series this month, and now it’s time for the second, because after that fabulous start do you really think I was going to wait long before reading the second one?

Eloisa’s writing is again brilliant; she combines wit with lyrical beauty and a gorgeous fantasy element that sets these books apart as fairy tales as opposed to her usual historical fantasies.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I absolutely adore the ferocious battle of wits that the hero and heroine usually go through, and this book was no exception – a fabulous series of scenes where they verbally clashed, and as a result became closer as the respect for the other party grew.
This is one of the things I particularly love about this book. There is no insta-romance. There is frustration and arrogance and intelligence, and as they clash they come together, peeling back the layers and finding the person behind the humorous barbs. It’s a romance built, yes ok on lust and attraction, but also on respect, friendship and intelligence. And for me that makes it all the more enjoyable.

Linnet is just the type of feisty, intelligent heroine that I love, and she more than meets her match in Piers who was most definitely a less tameable man than we are normally treated to in period romances. There was something very raw and masculine about him that made him a lot less ‘safe’ and infinitely more thrilling to read.

This was a brilliant twist on a well-known fairy tale, particularly the final few chapters, which simultaneously broke my heart and made it swell from the sheer gorgeousness of the romance.

The writing and character’s felt so real that at times I felt like I shouldn’t be there – that I was watching a private moment when I shouldn’t have been. It was quite a strange sensation to experience.

Again there is a disclaimer about the writing not being entirely appropriate to the period, but I was expecting the style following the first book, so it wasn’t as jarring the second time around.

The only comment I would make as a word of caution is that the seduction is a little more explicit than is usually found in Eloisa’s books (and it most definitely had me a little flushed at moments.) So this isn’t perhaps a fairy tale you’d wish to share with your children – it’s most definitely for adults!

I’m really excited about the next book in the ‘Happily Ever After’ series, a re-telling of The Princess and the Pea, due out today!
And to celebrate I will be posting a giveaway and a short Q & A with the lady herself, so check back later!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rosy! I just read a When Beauty Tamed the Beast a couple days ago and I think it's awesome how similar our opinion of the book are!

    Anyways, I love your eloquent review of this book and wish I could express myself as gracefully as you did here. Good luck with your book reviews!