5 star book review for When Beauty Tamed the Beast, historical romance novel by Eloisa James.
[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have to tell you, I thoroughly enjoy When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James! There’s so much humor and wit…I’m actually reminded of reading Jane Austen. The characters and plot are evocative with a few twists to keep things interesting. By the end of this book, I’m thoroughly in love and wanting to bad to read more! I gladly give this 5 stars.
We begin with Linnet, the beautiful, agreeable daughter of a Viscount. After months of flirting, she has been jilted by a prince who pursued her without the intention of marrying her. After an unfortunate clothing malfunction and a night at a ball, Linnet is viewed as a wanton and deemed as unmarriageable. You see, Linnet’s mother had a reputation for being loose, and though Linnet inherits her mother’s beauty and charm, she is quite indifferent of love, physical and otherwise. But this doesn’t stop the gossips. In an act of desperation, Linnet’s father and Aunt devise a plan to marry her off to Piers, the Earl of Marchant.
The irascible Piers is a medical doctor, but “suffered an accident as a young man. He walks with a cane. And that accident left him impotent…” Since his father, the Duke, wants an heir for his son he agrees to the marriage between Piers and Linnet. When they meet, sparks fly, though both agree that marriage between them would be a bad idea. Yet, as Piers and Linnet get to know one another, they come to realize that she may more to her than her beauty, and he may not be so beastly.
I absolutely ADORE Linnet! She’s funny, witty, intelligent, and perceptive. Linnet is kind, always thinking of others and wanting to help them, but she’s no pushover…especially when it comes to Piers. One of the things I find most interesting is Linnet’s relationship with her mother. Though she has to come to terms with her mother’s bad reputation and the implications for her own life, it’s interesting that, beyond looks, Linnet is nothing like her mother. While Linnet’s mother loves men and sex, with Linnet: “not only did she not desire men, she didn’t like them very much.” This eventually shapes how her relationship with Piers develops.
And Piers, darling Piers… He is equally quick witted and sarcastic, a genius, but incredibly impatient and downright mean at certain points. This is the first time I’m reading about a leading man who is of the nobility, but also a professional (medical doctor). As I’m reading I can SO picture Piers as House: brilliant, but a jerk! Just as Linnet feels the weight of her relationship with her mother, Piers also has difficult relations with his father, which colors his worldview. The Duke was an opium addict, and when Piers was six, his mother took him to France. The first time Piers sees his father in over 20 years is when the Duke brings Linnet to him. While the Duke longs for a relationship with Piers, Piers is still bitter. And again, this relationship affects how Piers comes to feel about Linnet.
Even before Linnet and Piers meet, you just *know* they’ll be incredible together. And the first impressions confirm that:
HER: “He lurched when he walked, moving like a wounded but still ferocious lion, all the more dangerous for his injury…He didn’t have his father’s beauty, but Linnet began to see that he had his own. It was a more brutal, stronger kind…”
HIM: “Linnet looked like a princess, all curves and sweetness and creamy skin. Definitely more beautiful than the sun and the moon.”
Piers and Linnet’s tet-a-tet is gloriously hilarious! Their interactions are blunt, they both say what’s on their mind with no sugar coating. She dishes back his sarcasm, to his pleasure, and he’s the first man she’s felt comfortable with.
I love how Piers is IMMEDIATELY possessive of Linnet:
L: “Your father, by the way, is no fool. I dined with him ever night…”
P: “‘Why don’t you marry him then?’
Piers said it mockingly, before he thought. Then his whole body tensed with sudden revulsion. He’d commit patricide before he’d allow that.
And when they finally get together…perfect!
This book has one of the BEST descriptions of a first kiss I’ve ever read! *SHIVERS*
We’re talking a page long description of absolute desire:
“His kiss was no gentle adoration. It was a ravaging, craving kiss, a wildly passionate, tumultuous stand-and-deliver kiss.”
“She saw stars, literal stars… She fell into a pleasure so vivid and fierce that she could never have imagined such a thing.”
The story (particularly at the end) has a few twists which heighten the drama and the reader’s uncertainty. But everything works out in a beautiful and fulfilling way. And that epilogue…WONDERFUL! 🙂
This is one of the best historical romances I’ve read during my little binge, and I’ll certainly be re-reading and visualizing my fave parts. I highly reccommend!