Fair of face and figure, Kristine is young, innocent, pure. Yet she has been condemned to the gallows for killing a man. The only one who can save her is a lord so infamous that some say he is the son of the Devil himself...
And the Beast
Erik Trevayne is called the Demon Lord of Hawksbridge Castle, but few know of the curse he lives under. Or the terrifying changes slowly gnawing away at his humanity. When he weds her, all he wants of Kristine is a son. But when he beds her, a wild hope is born—that love that can tame even the most monstrous of beasts...
From the very start the heroine, Kristine, is painted as a survivor. We first meet her when she is in prison awaiting the death penalty for committing murder. Kristine accepts her fate as she knows she is guilty, but is quite literally saved from certain death when Erik Trevayne offers her freedom in exchange for marriage! Kristine is confused by the mysterious Lord but bravely accepts and agrees to become his wife. He offers her safety and a second chance but all he wants in return is an heir. Kristine is perplexed but grateful to be alive and determined to grasp at any chance of happiness.
Erik has been cursed by the mother of his late wife and has slowly been transforming into something no longer wholly human. Out of respect for his dead father, he assumed the role of Lord of Hawkesbridge, but has been dogged by constant unhappiness. He realises his time is running out and sets out to find a wife who will expect nothing from him but a home. Kristine was at rock bottom and Erik knows her hand was forced, but he doesn't wish to hurt her. What he hadn't expected was for her to show him compassion and even more startling, love. Is it possible that in spite of everything this brave young woman could truly care for him? It's with a heavy heart Erik realises happiness is within his grasp but his curse is about to cruelly snatch it away!
I will confess to feeling a bit nonplussed by this book. On the one hand, it's an historical romance with paranormal elements particularly initially and then wham, the second half throws just about every supernatural cliché into the mix! What saves it from being truly abysmal is the relationship that builds between Erik and Kristine. It's a gentle relationship that builds up and I felt Kristine in particular was pragmatic and yet open to possibilities. It was refreshing to see her bloom from a convicted murderess to a self aware young woman prepared to sacrifice anything for the man she has learned to love.
Erik, oh Erik, you are a man who has made so many mistakes and yet still not learned from them. So proud to do what he sees as his duty and yet fulfilling his obligations is what started his downward spiral! Still he wants to fulfill his promise to his late father and no matter the cost, he blindly carries on. As for his transformation, I'm not really sure if it worked for me. He starts off as a brooding duty bound male hiding behind a mask and yet no one suspects what lies beneath? As his story unfolds, other supernaturals appear but there's very little explanation for them which made it a little confusing, if honest.
The protagonist is an evil witch but as she was not fleshed out terribly well, it was quite difficult to believe in her. For me, this was a tad disappointing with a rushed ending but I did like the heroine and thought she showed gumption. Beauty's Beast does have some sex in it, but it's not erotic or bestial in anyway. It's more a story of two people finding each other against all odds.
An okay read depending on what you're looking for.