My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Beauty and the Beast was my first Shoshanna Evers book, an erotic re-telling of the fairytale. I was very interested to read this one because, even though, I had read couple of erotic re-tellings in the past, none were centered around BDSM. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed in this one.
After his father the King’s death, Prince Frederick is cursed by his stepmother, a witch, and transforms into a beast. The price of his freedom is ‘love’; someone will have to fall in love with his hideous beastly form. Thinking all hope is not lost, Frederick runs to his ‘beloved’, Nadine, a village girl, with whom he’d just had a tryst before returning home. But alas, she doesn’t recognize him (his eyes were still Frederick’s very human, very beautiful green eyes) at all. Afterwards, Frederick becomes resigned to his fate and in this hellish living. Frederick/The Beast’s stepmother leaves him in his father’s castle, no one but the castle itself to look after him. He’s abandoned, alone, not knowing if he’ll ever become human again.
Then 10 years pass by and a man from the village somehow ends up in his estate that looks decidedly unkempt but for the pretty red roses. Before leaving, the man takes some roses for his only daughter, the beautiful Belle because she loves those. That is when the Beast makes his appearance, scaring the living daylight out of the man. The Beast keeps the man trapped inside the castle, but upon hearing of Belle’s name, a thought occurs to him. Can she become her father’s ‘freedom’? But more importantly, can she become the ‘freedom’ that the Beast is searching for in vain?
Belle ends up in the castle after her father is released by the Beast in exchange of her. She’s scared of the Beast at first but has to accede to his wishes in order to save her father. She’d live her 6 months of time, catering to the Beast’s every whim. The Beast hopes to woo Belle because her beauty has already captured him. And in doing so, he also hopes, prays that Belle comes to love him too.
As days pass by, Belle finds a very accommodating, luxurious living inside her temporary ‘prison’. Her whims are also catered by the Beast. She gradually begins to get used to the Beast’s appearance, noticing the softer, gentler side of him. He’s never rude with her, always cautious. But there’s one thing he demands of her. Being a virgin, Belle only has some vague idea of what it might be but she’s not sure if she can be that intimate with the Beast.
In the meantime, the Beast somehow begins appearing in Belle’s dream as Frederick. It’s a very vivid dream, and Belle finds herself falling for Frederick seeing him in all his dazzling good looks. They kiss and touch, but she has no clue that Frederick is the Beast, someone she has subconsciously started calling her beast. Belle decides she wants the Beast, as well as Frederick. But she doesn’t know why Frederick keeps telling her that she has to love the Beast too. At one point, Belle also finds that she is ready to be intimate with the Beast, though she’s yet to figure out the truth.
The Beast is overjoyed, and eager to show her his kinky ways (aka his preference for bondage). After a few false starts, spanking sessions and some tears, Belle’s initial fear is won out by her curiosity to find out the Beast’s... er... ummm, private parts.
I did have a tough time, even in my utter disbelief, imagining her accommodating that ‘thing’ cause the Beast was said to have been huge in stature. I also didn’t find the sex scenes that sexy, maybe this was one of the reasons why. Apart from this, the stilted, somewhat awkward dialogue bothered me a lot. The ending was rather nice but that wasn’t enough for me. 3 stars, could’ve been better IMHO.
Received a gift copy from Shoshanna Evers as a host for a blog tour (Feb 2014) without any obligation to review. I’d like to thank her for it.