Beast - Maya Emmerich My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

I’m not sure if this is the author’s first publication but I was disappointed. This freebie started out well enough... I’ve read a few books with Beauty and the Beast theme in different renditions and the storyline of this one intrigued me. But somewhere in the way not only I got overwhelmingly confused, but also, I found the ending was utterly frustrating!

In the story, there is a beast, a Prince who was cursed by some witch a long time back though I have no idea how long he has been this way. He was there when the heroine Leonie was a kid of 8 yrs, still caged and a part of the folklore. I wanted this information but it was never revealed. I don’t think I missed it somehow... Anyway, Leonie, with a 3 of her childhood male friends were playing together when they came across the palace when they saw the beast caged for themselves. Weren’t there anyone else around in this big Palace? Not sure. Leonie finds out that she can hear the beast in her mind, thought at first she’s very confused about it. It freaks her so much that she runs away.

15 yrs later she’s a grown up but fallen on really hard times. She works as a barmaid in the bar of one of those male friends of hers, Destin. Destin wants to marry her but she’s stuck with this idea that someday her Prince will come on a white horse to sweep her away off her feet, later we find that her mother was behind this idea planted in her head. Leonie wants to make her mother happy, though from whatever little I got about her, I felt that the woman is/was pretty demanding. Now that her mother’s very ill, Leonie is concerned when Destin informs her that the taxes are being raised again by the Prince’s men and he can’t afford to keep her. Leonie is bitter and returns home, only to find that the Prince’s men are here as she hadn’t been able to pay hers. They arrest and take her to the Prince’s dungeon. Leonie is scared at first because she vividly remembers the day she saw the beast and how scary it was to look at. Then when she faints with exhaustion, she feels someone furry and strong carrying her up and talking to her. Leonie wakes up to find herself in a nice and cozy room with everything she never had. The she meets the beast again, who was waiting in the dark corner. She also meets the only servant of the Palace, an old woman called Mrs. Kingston. Leonie wants to earn her pay by working, and the beast gives her the permission. He also brings her ill mother into the Palace so that Leonie can keep an eye on her too.

Up to this I was interested… but then came events after events that were pretty confusing. I just couldn’t connect one with the other. It gave me headache to decipher how this moment of the story was linked to the next. It was nice to see that Leonie and the beast connected but it was also unbelievable that she got used to with the beast’s scary visage so easily. I liked that she was grateful to him for his kindness and knowing she’s the only person who can hear him out... There is a curse which says whoever can hear the beast, must be a woman (a rose as it was mentioned) from a noble family, can only lift the curse. Leonie knew of it but she was sure it can’t be her since she isn’t from a noble family, so how she later did it, I’m not sure. Once Leonie got to learn that the beast, who was doing different researches to find cure which would make him human, raised the tax over the years for the funding. She is incensed. Well, I understand that she’s entitled to be mad but the next moment, after some incidents that take place, she vows that she loves the beast and would to anything to save him from the mob who was coming to the palace to kill him. Huh?? Wasn’t she supposed to hate him for a while? In between her mother fell gravely ill and the beast helps her out by taking her mother to their old cottage. Leonie asks for Destin’s help too, as the doc won’t come because she can’t pay him. Destin does......... and in a scuffle with the beast, he dies. The doc witnesses it and runs away, which is why the mob came after the beast. Yet, I just wasn’t expecting Destin’s death this way… I mean did I say I was confused??? Before dying, her mother has a look at the beast and tells Leonie that this is her prince she’d always told her about. umm, ok..........

Now, I won’t go into the emotional turmoil which takes place afterwards and what Leonie does to save the beast. TBH, I would’ve enjoyed the had I not been SO CONFUSED over the whole thing. When the beast turns into a man, a process I have no idea about, and tells Leonie that he is INDEED the beast, Leonie doesn’t believe it. She misunderstands, thinking this man killed her beloved beast. I mean if he’s the Prince and can wield his power, then who this beast was? How could she not link two and two when the beast told her himself that he raised the taxes (in his beast form)? It was weird that no one, except for Mrs. Kingston, has ever seen the Prince in human form so no one knew who it was.............. Yes, I’m confused. confused Then, the ending pissed me off especially... Leonie asks the Prince how was it that her mother knew that he’s her Prince? In his answer... Well, the Prince doesn’t answer at all and Leonie thinks, since so many things are left shrouded in mystery, what’s one more. WHAT??? And you’re gonna marry and live with this man, make babies (as per your musings), about whom you virtually know nothing?

God but it was frustrating. ugh

I don’t even know the Prince’s name. Maybe I missed the whole point of the story but I’m not in the mood right now to do a research to find that out.

2.5 stars.

“Beast” can be downloaded from smashwords.