Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings, #1) by Rachel L. Demeter

Title: Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings, #1) 
Author: Rachel L. Demeter 
Genre: Historical Romance, Fairy Tale Retellings, Gothic Romance  
Published: March 15th, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: 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.

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Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Disclaimer: 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.

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“‘You were gifted with your mother’s strength and gentleness, Isabelle. Both her strength and beauty. 
Never abandon those things, ma petite. But greatest of all, you have her heart. Guard it well.’”  

Last year, I fell in love with a book called Finding Gabriel by author Rachel Demeter. So when I found Ms. Demeter had written a retelling of my favorite fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, I was over the moon. And Beauty of the Beast is everything I hoped it would be. Now let me just say, this is not your Disney version. This is a mature fairytale; at times it is dark and twisty, and the author gives full disclosure that this story does contain an instance of sexual assault committed by a villain. It is intended for readers 18 and over.

With a Gothic feel, Beauty of the Beast is set in the kingdom of Demrov and tells the haunting story of Adam Delacroix, a man with secrets and a painful past. Scarred and reclusive, Adam has isolated himself in his castle and withdrawn from the world who believes him dead. With only his dog Stranger for company and the occasional visits from his only friend Sébastien, he’s given up on humankind and spends his days in solitude.

“‘If I’m a monster, mademoiselle, it’s because man’s cruelty has made me so.’” 

Isabelle Rose is caring for her very ill father, Bernard, while enduring life with her spoiled and manipulative stepsisters. Isabelle is engaged to Vicomte Raphael Dumont and faces an unhappy life with the detestable brute. She has no love in her heart for Raphael, and why would she? He is despicable and cruel. But he is the only hope she has to spare her father a life of poverty and give him a chance to recover from his illness. When Isabelle and her father journey to the Merchants’ Fair in a last attempt to find security and freedom without having to rely on Raphael, they are caught in a harsh winter storm and forced to seek shelter in a dismal, crumbling castle. Adam’s castle.

And what unfolds from there, readers, is for you to discover.

This story, while edgy and dark at times, is also hopeful. The scenes between Adam and Isabelle are poignant, lovely, and very sensual. If I were a blogger that included a heat rating in my reviews, I can assure you this page would be aflame! *fans self* The writing is lyrical and striking. I couldn’t help but be transported to this time period, and the beautiful imagery and world building were divine. I adored the inclusion of the music; it lent somewhat of a Phantom of the Opera twist to this stunning tale.

“‘It was a way to speak when no one was there to listen.’ … 
‘I have been listening every night. Even when you don’t play… 
I still hear your music… And I feel it.’” 

I don’t read many historical romances anymore, but I had no problem sinking into the world this author created. I was hit with a volley of emotions while reading Adam and Isabelle’s story, and I absolutely love this grown-up retelling of my favorite fairytale. I recommend this book for adult fans of Beauty and the Beast, as well as lovers of Gothic and historical romance. I can’t wait to see what Rachel Demeter writes next!

“Love is joy, love is suffering, love is tenderness, love is beautiful. Love is you.” 

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

© at A Belle's Tales

  

14 comments:

  1. This one looks and sounds great! I love B&TB retellings. The author contacted me about a review opportunity for this book unfortunately I couldn't do it at the time. I may read this one in the future though! So far I've seen nothing but positive feedback. I hope you enjoy more books by this author!

    Wonderful review! Have a great week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Thank you, Alyssa. It's so lovely, and it reads just like an actual fairytale.

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  2. Wifey-- forever thankful you introduced me to this one! It was sooo good and you know how I adored Adam and Isabelle. And its even better cause we practically read it together. Great review!

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    1. I had so much fun reading this with you, and I loved all of our texts and Adam swoons! I'm so happy you enjoyed this one as much as I did and that we could meet Adam and Isabelle together. *SMOOSHES YOU*

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  3. I can't wait to read this one. I am a big fan of fairy tales retelling. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I'm so excited for you to read it, Nadene! It's dark and delicious, and I just adored it! I hope you will, too ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Oooo now this sounds like my kind of retelling! :D

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    1. Right? We like 'em dark and edgy!

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  5. Wow wasn't expected the heat factor, but this does sound like a retelling I would like!

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  6. humm a dark and twisted beauty and the beast XD kind of meant to be no? But awesome that you enjoyed it. I've seen this on netgalley, so it's awesome for a blogger I trust to review it

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    1. Thanks, Lily! True -- and this one was edgier and definitely more adult ;)

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  7. AWESOME review, Michele! And I LOVE your selection of quotes from the book!

    It was you who first told me about this book, so it's thanks to you that I, too, now have a copy of it to read, which I got from the author. I do have a tour review commitment at the moment, but, as soon as I'm done with that book, I'm going on to "Beauty of the Beast". Can't wait! This is my favorite fairy tale, too, after all!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and most of all, for letting me know about this book!! Have a TERRIFIC day!! BIG HUGS to you and Mckenzie!! <3 <3 :) :)

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    1. Thank you, Maria! I really hope you will enjoy it when you're able to read it :) Big hugs to you from both of us <3 <3 <3 :D

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