Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter: Hit or Miss?

Posted May 2, 2017 by Pamela Nicole in Reviews / 2 Comments

Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter: Hit or Miss?Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on February 19th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Historical, Romance, Royalty
Pages: 342

Goodreads

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.
* * *
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.

Beauty of the Beast is such an interesting retelling, I’ll give it that. I have to agree with many others in their opinion that it IS kind of a mix between Beauty and the Beast + Phantom of the Opera. It was beautiful and haunting in that way.

 

The writing is both its strenght and downfall

Allow me to explain.

It relies on a slightly flowery prose that I didn’t mind most of the time because it worked. When our hero played his beautiful music, when they described their feelings… It was instant Phantom of the Opera feels and it was just… amazing. 

But then, there were times where the author got a bit carried away. I don’t mean to say that she should have suddenly used short and concise sentences for everything else. That would have been weird. But, she could have toned it down a bit when it wasn’t necessary. I skipped a few things here and there because I wanted to get to the action. They weren’t long skips, but they happened often.

 

I love B&B retellings where the Beast is literally disfigured in some way and not just a metaphor for the beauty inside

Yes, beasts are scary, but real people with real scars and real social prejudice against those scars are always a plus for in in this sort of stories. Adam here has scars both inside and outside, and both, just as hideous.

With the multiple POVs, it was even more amazing to see how Adam goes from being a recluse, hiding from everything that happened to him, to coming to terms with it, and start looking towards the future.

And OMG that epilogue was so satisfying I can’t even. 

 

The romance was very well done, but it wasn’t entirely satisfied with it

Again, I loved the romance so much. Because it just pulled me in. Instead of being jarring and awkward, the writing slowly pulls you into the feelings of these characters. I loved the scenes where she listened to him play the piano so much because they were so charged with subtext.

So at times, the author would focus on some aspects of the relationship and kind of zoom in, and then zoom out in others. I get that you can’t describe every single thing they do in their day, but I was rooting for them, so I wanted to see how they got together.

All in all, there are worse flaws to have about a romance than this one, so it’s not such an unforgivable sin.

 

What about the mature content and the villain’s villainy acts?

There is a scene of abuse. It doesn’t go all the way, but it’s enough that it could be triggering. I appreciate the synopsys’ trigger warning about that. Was it necessary? I’m not sure if I can answer that. In real life, bad people don’t need reasons justify why they do bad things.

After a while of reading so many books in which abuse is used as a plot device you begin to think that’s all it is in all books unless the book is all about exploring how to deal with that event.

In this book, we get the POV of the villain too. That did feel a bit unnecessary. It didn’t made me sympathize with him, so I’m not sure what the purpose of showing me why he did what he did was.

So this part is really subjective.

 

Final Veredict

Beautiful and satisfying, but not unforgettable. However, it’s much better than a lot of the historical genre’s tries of a B&B retelling.

Worth the read if you’re a fan of the romantic.

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2 responses to “Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter: Hit or Miss?

  1. Oh, I was really curious about this book but had to decline when the author asked me to review it. I have read quite a few B&B retellings especially in historical romance and I do like the ones that are less magical and more realistic.

    I do like to see a B&B retelling where the female is the beast. I wonder if there are books like that, though.

    • I can recommend Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay. The thing is that the magical and fantasy level is higher haha, but I like how it plays with the roles of beast and beauty pretty well. It’s a fabulous retelling in that sense!