Beauty of the Beast by Rachel Demeter (Book Review)

Beauty of the Beast by Rachel Demeter (Book Review)Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Rachel L. Demeter
Pages: 342
My Rating:
Buy It Now (Affiliate Link): Buy on Amazon

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.
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.
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.
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.

A couple of years ago I made a new online friend in author Rachel Demeter after I read her debut novel, The Frost of Springtime (which remains one of my most recommended books). I fell so in love with her storytelling in that novel that I immediately became a raving fan and I’ve basically cyber-stalked her ever since watching for signs and teasers about her next book. I read her contemporary romance, Finding Gabriel, just before she released it and was given the same opportunity when she was preparing for Beauty of the Beast (which is available now). 

Beauty of the Beast is a fairy tale retelling which is similar in concept to Wicked by Gregory Maguire (and if you’ve never read that you need to drop everything and buy it asap).  Rachel’s book provides a new perspective into the story of Beauty and the Beast and lets us have more of the story of the Beast so we get to know him in a way that we can’t from the characters in the original 1700’s version by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, from the Disney live-action film version, or from the various other versions that came in between.

This version of the story opens with a very young Prince Adam facing a major tragedy which broke my heart. Seriously. I was sitting on my couch reading while Brandon was watching a movie when he looks over at me and sees me sniffling into the corner of my blanket. I’m not even sure I was through the prologue at that point. Just…ahh heartbreak and from that moment on, in my eyes, he could do no wrong. Every time he would do something “beastly” I had this little voice in the back of my heading saying, “Yeah but remember what he went through! That poor boy…” so I forgave him, loved him, and waited for the happy ending I knew was coming (I mean…of course it’s still a story of true love!).

I loved her version of the story and since we just went and saw Beauty and the Beast in the theater it was fun to have as a comparison. One thing I do have to mention is that Rachel’s books sometimes get a little dark in moments and in Beauty of the Beast there is strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain. Due to this content, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Beauty and the Beast is a fun story and I loved reading Rachel’s history of the Prince / Beast in Beauty of the Beast. If you like that fairy tale, this is a book you should really pick up and read. I doubt you’ll ever look at Beast the same way again.

I love reading fairy tale retellings and this version of Beauty and the Beast is great. It's a retelling including the background history of the Prince / Beast character.
Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl

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