This special Humpday shout out goes to Tyra's baby girl who turns fifteen today. This, of course, freaks me out because it means my baby girl's isn't far behind. I don't know how these two very different young ladies remain such good friends - Jordan is all romance, Emma is all horror but like their mommas, they make a great pair and I am thankful for all that and more.
This week's read reminded me of Jordan, with it's fairy tale retold aspect - it's the kind of tale I think she'd enjoy....someday! However, here's a little something I think we can all enjoy right now....eye candy, Yes Please!
Beast - Naughtily Ever After Book 3, Abigail Barnette, Resplendence Publishing, January 2012
Accused of treason by his own father, Prince Philipe of Chevudon finds his flight to safety cut short by an arrow to the shoulder. There is only one person to whom he can turn for help, the only woman he ever loved, the only person he ever truly betrayed…
Following the destruction of her home and family in a fire that left her horribly disfigured, Johanna has lived a life of hardship and pain. When her lost love comes to her, wounded and on the run from his father’s guard, she cannot turn him away. But she cannot forgive him either.
Can a prince who was once a beast earn back the love he cast aside?
Who doesn't love the time honored classic of Beauty and the Beast? Even without dancing dishes and candelabras, every girl who ever read any version of the tale, found her little heart melted as the monster grew lovely in the eyes of one who learned to love him. Now, cast aside preconceived notions of happily ever after and try a new version - a little less "pretty", a whole lot more gritty. Abigail Barnette's version begins with a pretty royal maid Johanna in love with a pretty young prince Philipe and theirs is a fairy tale story of first love, sparking attraction, sexual chemistry. The prince and his father leave right after their betrothal with a promise to return. That's the last pretty part of the story.....
Revolts occur, fire destroys the castle, most of Johanna's family is killed save her brother Wilhelm. The castle and lands fall into ruins and the two siblings live in the shattered shell of Hazelhurn essentially like squatters or peasants. Fifteen years later, Prince Philipe lands upon their doorstep wounded and in need of aid and protection. Heart hardened by the jilting of her former love, Johanna can barely tolerate his presence, much less provide for the healing care of the spoiled royal from the Southlands. Scarred horribly from the fires after his leaving, she hides behind veils and walls of emotional pain. Theirs is a reunion that the reader feels intensely, every tortuous moment of, until cracks occur and glimmers of the two young lovers who once were begin to appear.
Johanna's hideous appearance becomes less noticeable as Prince Philipe begins to heal and realizes the gem that he lost due to his youthful imprudence. Once he sets out to woo her, no simple gestures will do and his struggles to overcome her hostility, anger and sense of betrayal all while attempting to mount an army to overthrow his increasingly mentally unstable father are not romantic in the classic sense. That being said, for all the pain and anguish the reader must endure along with the scarred beauty and her beautiful beast, theirs is a romance worth reading.
I give this fractured fairy tale a delish four chocolate dipped strawberries and a vow to return to this series - Naughtily Ever After to catch The Glass Slipper and Giant (books one and two). Abigail Barnette, aka Jennifer Armintrout, keeps her slot on the must buy list for her fresh, sexy interpretations of classics and her ever growing collection of creative, sizzling new creations! Check it out!!!
This book was given to us by Resplendence Publishing. Many thanks.