Monday, March 19, 2012

Beauty in the Beast by Christine Danse

Journeying by steam-powered sled to London's Frost Fair to perform, Tara and three friends are trapped in a blizzard in the woods. A gruff, handsome stranger offers them shelter-and wants one thing in return. Stories.

The travellers are glad to oblige. Their host, Rolph, is especially captivated by Tara's story of an orphaned girl raised by the Fae in the world of the spirits. Equally intrigued by Rolph, and aware of an electric pull between them, Tara encourages him to share a story of his own. When Rolph weaves a tale of a man who is doomed by his own folly to turn into a wolf at the full moon, Tara suspects there is more than a grain of truth in his words.

When the veil between the mortal and spiritual worlds is parted, and danger threatens, will Tara make the ultimate sacrifice to save Rolph?

I'm usually a little leery of fairytale re-tellings but this Steampunk laden tale by Christine Danse is an entertaining one. The story and romance is soft and subtle, with Rolph and Tara both having to overcome personal demons in order to trust their feelings. I liked the fact that it wasn't a jump into bed kind of thing, because while I certainly feel there's a time and place for that (I even like it in other stories), I don't think it would have been as authentic to the characters' personalities. 

I didn't think the stories told by firelight was too cliche, though it was clear from the start who was telling personal tales and who was doing it for the sake of entertainment. It just added another layer to everything else, and the spurt of action at the end with the suggestion of a HEA was nice for someone like me who often reads romances where everything is laid out step-by-step for the reader. 

Overall Feeling - B-

Series - None

**Title requested from NetGalley for review***