Is beauty only skin deep?
Chemist Dr. Robert "Belle" Belleterre loves flowers, green trees, his best friend Judy, and "his baby": the new face cream he developed to help put his father's small cosmetics company on the map. Sadly he gets no help from his alcoholic, gambling-addicted father, who loses Belle in a poker game to Magnus Strong, the CEO of Beauty, Inc., the largest American cosmetics company - a man infamous for his scarred ugliness.
Belle finds himself uprooted from his home, living in a wildly crazy apartment in New York owned by Mr. Pennymaker, and completely unprepared for his mad attraction to the charismatic Strong. Feeling like a traitor, Belle fights his passion, only to see more and more of the goodness and humility hidden by Strong's ugly face. But when Belle's family starts manipulating his life again, the odds turn against happiness for beautiful Belle and his beloved beast.
©2016 Tara Lain (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
Once again Tara Lain has hit it out of the park. What a wonderful retelling of the Beauty story, and Kale Williams does a brilliant job of bringing it all to life. Looking forward to to the next in this series!
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
I've had this question so many times, and I have literally hundreds of Audiobooks in my library so this is no longer any easy question. I loved it, will that suffice?
When Belle went after Strong at the hospital.
He takes these characters and makes them people in your mind with voice and tones.
When Strong brought Judy to New York.
I am so enjoying this series of fairy tales with a thoroughly modern twist. Lane continues to take the classics, bend and twist them just enough that they have her stamp on them, but they are still staying true enough to the original story arc to be just as beloved.
In this recreation of the story, Belle is lost by his gambling, alcoholic father in a poker game to Magnus Strong, the billionaire that helms a lucrative company who is very handsome, if you can look past the scars. Strong could see just by Belle's body language that he was eternally unhappy. And then seeing how underappreciated he was with his own family, he sought to help him, and ended falling in love with him instead. Strong and Belle both have a lot to learn about being independent, being in love and being honest with themselves before they can truly be happy together.
I absolutely adored the tone Williams used for Strong. It was this gravelly, intense baritone that fit Strong's characteristics perfectly. Definitely a must listen. And though this book is part of a series, each book is written to stand alone. The commonality with each story is Mr. Pennymaker and his bag of tricks.
We continue Tara Lain’s trip into “Fairytale Land” with her version of Beauty and The Beast. In this case Belle is a chemist whose gambling father uses as a pawn to pay off debts by selling his skills to a competing make-up manufacturer.
Though Belle is crushed at being forced to leave his friends, family and all the hard work he’s invested in his lab, he willingly goes to NYC to follow though on his father’s obligation.
Magnus, our beast, is terribly scarred and a bit repentant of a life spent in vain pursuits before he was injured. He now tries hard to be a better man, but still believes himself unlovable.
As with the others, this is a bit “tongue in cheek” and doesn’t try to hide it. The modern spin the author puts on this works pretty well and it’s almost “believable” in that the motivations and actions of our MCs is fairly realistic.
It’s a fairy tale, so of course, Magnus is to perfect and Belle is too much of a goody goody, but that’s a bit to be expected. The relationship between Belle and Magnus felt a bit disjointed and then rushed – but it was still very sweet – especially in the end.
If you’re a fan of the series then you’ll surely love this one as well. They don’t need to be read in order and this can definitely be a standalone.
I enjoyed it for the lighthearted fun that it’s meant to be.
Kale Williams is the narrator for the other books in the series and I think his tone and choices of voices really suits the style and flavor of these stories immensely. The villains are a bit cartoony and I wasn’t a big fan of how “suave” Magnus sounded – it was a little too “Daddy” ish for my taste – but it wasn’t a terrible distraction and as a way to enjoy this story I think it’s a great experience.
4 of 5 stars for both the audio and the book
I really wanted to like this story, but it was just awful to read at times. There was almost no conflict. The scenes rarely came together for a bigger story. The point of view shifted sporadically The dialogue is PAINFUL. The sex scenes were awkward and a few were frankly bizarre. The characters were two-dimensional and the plot was predictable. The narrator did his best and does a good job at varying voices and accents. But overall, I don't think I'll be looking into anymore of this series.
I do love a good book. I also love a good audio performance of a good book :-)
Kale Williams' sparkling and entertaining performance. The storyline flows very well too, so the combination makes for an engaging overall experience.
Tara Lain's modern spin on a beloved, fantastical story is indeed magical. Even though some characters do despicable things to Belle, he remains optimistic and loyal.I liked the low anxiety level. Yes, there were some tense moments, and some people being jerks, but the romance between Belle and Magnus bloomed without major setbacks. This story was mostly about people making positive progess in life. The secondary characters of Leroy and Judy made wonderful friends for Belle.
Wonderfully inventive voices for each and every character. Smooth narrative style. I didn't read the book first, but I felt each voice was a great fit for its represented character.
Don't want to spoiler, so I'll just say near the end, when Belle stopped Magnus from doing something life altering.
This story is meant to be a feel good, fun exploration of human nature and love. If you're looking for deep probing of human issues in a serious light, or action/adventure, this book isn't going to do it for you.
This book was just wonderful! I loved it from the first moment I began listening and loved it thru the end. It was interesting, it was a "feel good" story, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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