ARC Review: Beauty’s Beast by Amanda Ashley

Format: E-bookbeautysbeast
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Zebra
Hero: Erik Trevayne
Heroine: Kristine Arrington
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 2, 2014
Started On: September 4, 2014
Finished On: September 6, 2014

Erik Trevayne, seventh lord of Hawksbridge Castle is a man cursed with a spell that slowly and painfully transforms him into the form of a beast, a beast that would be haunted and taunted by the memories of what its like to be human. Having made a promise to his father on  his deathbed, Erik has no choice but to sire a heir while he is still able to and thus picks Kristine Arrington to be the mother of his child.

Kristine is rescued from the death gallows by the man rumored to have killed his first wife, a man said to be so beastly that few hardly have even seen him. Kristine wishes for one thing when she is asked to wed Erik; that she be blessed with a husband who would make her happy. However, Kristine soon discovers that the ways of her enigmatic husband is not conducive to the stuff that happy marriages are made of. Though Erik beds her every night, he always comes to her in the deep shadows of the night, hiding a part of himself and refusing her touch on his body. And though Kristine should hate her husband for bedding her as such, she can’t help but be enamored by the care that he bestows on her night after night.

Erik didn’t sign up for a wife when he handpicked Kristine to bear him a heir. But that is what he gets when Kristine is determined to be a wife to him, to learn his secrets and the wealth of pain that he hides in his heart, mind, body and soul. With many a twist in between, the author leads the reader to a happy ending, an ending that Erik deserved more than anyone else.

Though the plot and certain elements within the story worked for me, I didn’t feel enamored enough with the lead characters, namely Kristine. I found her to be a bit of a pushover whenever Erik tended to push her away. I wanted Kristine to stand strong and firmly in her love and affection for Erik and not sway in the determined front that Erik presented to keep those whom he cared for at bay. I just think there lacked that something in Kristine’s character that made it tough for me to love her as I should have.

Erik was a tortured soul through and through. With no fault of his own, Erik finds himself cursed in a manner that there is no escape from. His pain practically seeps through the pages, and my heart literally broke into pieces during some of his encounters with Kristine. We all have read those stories about heroes who are terribly disfigured that society had deemed as monsters and such, but in this case, Erik truly is turning into the beast that he is accursed to be, painful inch by inch. And that was what in essence made this story stand out for me.

Recommended for those who like a little bit of paranormal with their historical romances.

Final Verdict: A historical romance with a twist of the different.

Favorite Quotes

For a moment, he collapsed on top of her. She felt the silk of his hair against her cheek, the warm whisper of his breath across her bare breast.
And then, as if he had never been there, he was gone, and she was alone in the bed.

As always, she longed to touch him, to explore his body, to know his body as intimately as he knew hers.
As always, he refused to let her touch him.
As always, he saw to her pleasure first. His climax followed quickly.
Lying there, their bodies still pressed intimately together, she closed her eyes. Listening to the sound of thunder and her husband’s ragged breathing, she felt a tear slip down her cheek, and knew that it was his.

She moved beneath him, hips lifting in silent invitation. He made love to her slowly this time, savoring each sensation, holding back until she was clinging to him, her fevered body trembling. Together, they plunged over the abyss into ecstasy.
“Kristine!” Her name was a sob, a prayer. And then he whispered the words he had held back for so long.
“Kristine, my Kristine. You will never know how much I love you.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | eBookMall | ARe

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