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Publisher's Summary

Book one in the new Fae Out of Water series.

Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: No non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult - in the 200 years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: When fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.

©2017 E.J. Russell (P)2020 E.J. Russell

What listeners say about Cutie and the Beast

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this!

I love David and Alun's story! Such an amazing twist on Beauty and the Beast. This is such a entertaining and funny read that had me laughing out loud many times. Then Joel Leslie bring this story to life with his narration. I love his voices of each of the characters. Such an amazing listen.

6 people found this helpful

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Sooooooooooooooo good!

Oh, my God! I LOVE this. It's fun and exciting, it has marvellous characters and an enticing storyline. It has twisty family dynamics and complex relationships. Yes, it has all-

The writing is fantastic, once I listened to the first 10 minutes I couldn't stop, and I fell for David So. Hard! I loved his awkwardness and how he was banned to fo any office work *laughs* And the way in which he was so willing to help Alum's patients is truly endearing.

And the whole Alum's backstory, the how and whys of his curse are really surprising.

SPOILER
And let's not forget David's true nature!
/SPOILER

I love this world, and I really can't wait to read/listen the next story in this series.

5 people found this helpful

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Could not follow the story

I think the middle part was pretty good, but the beginning and last few hours were too confusing to follow. I love this narrator, and he did an amazing job, but I think the magical elements were just not understandable and too complex.
I think this could have been a great book for me if I could figure out what was going on.
The narration was great, and probably what kept me going.

4 people found this helpful

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Love

I loved this story when I read it, and loved the narration even more. I want to be friends with David. He is just a genuine soul. I loved how he helped Alun with his curse! Joel Leslie is always an amazihg narrator and he didn't disappoint here either!

3 people found this helpful

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The Modern (Gay) Retelling That We Need!

The first thing that charmed me about this book (and charming is definitely the adjective of the hour for this story) was Joel Leslie's performance. He created a voice for each character that was unique, with clear accents and idiosyncrasies, so I never needed the dialogue tags to navigate who was speaking. His David was geeky and upbeat, his Alun broody but refined. The juxtaposition was perfect for the reference to the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.
As for the story, if this had been any other retelling by any other MM author, there was a point about 30% through that would have been the end. In fact, I expected that to the be resolution to the entire book. Instead, it kept going—and I am so incredibly glad it did. It can get to a point where the trope of 'ridiculous misunderstanding followed by reconciliation, end' gets tiring. This had a misunderstanding involved, sure, but it went further. I was glad to get extra time with the characters, and explore the world that E.J. Russel built.
Overall I really enjoyed this read, and I'll be keeping an eye out for future books from this author AND this narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Taking on the status quo

I really enjoyed listening to this book. I wasn’t familiar with the story prior to this, though I was somewhat aware there was a big backstory with David and Alun from reading Witch Under Wraps. I got caught up in their adventures and how David challenged expectations and tradition. Alun spent way too much time self martyring himself and desperately needed the swift kicks in the posterior that David gave him. Joel Leslie was the perfect narrator for this book. He really shines at urban fantasy types of stories and imbues so much personality into the voices and inflections.

2 people found this helpful

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Holds up in repeats

A twink who can’t dance & a shrink who can’t see a good thing right in front of his grimace try to fix their part(s) of the world(s), with varying degrees of success. A little angst, a lot of stubbornness, a parade of clients, and some love come together in a humorous romance. I enjoyed it, especially how consent & knowledge were emphasized.

Steam: Low. There’s a bit of M/M on page action, but it’s mostly longing looks at the office.

Narration: Joel Leslie does varied, appropriate voices for all the characters so it’s easy to know who is speaking. Production quality is good & even.

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining & engaging

I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this & I enjoyed it even more than I thought I might. It's very funny, charming, and unpredictable (beyond the happy ending one can expect from a proper romance - it's the getting there that's the battle), with all kinds of interesting side characters and mythical, magical lore.
David put up with way more than I would've and their romance/falling in love probably happened WAY too quickly. Alun was very lucky that David was willing to give him any chance at all. A longer timeline would've made this better, but with magic in the mix, I was willing to suspend my disbelief in their ability to fall for one another.
The author did a great job of making me want to continue on with the story, leaving me wanting to know more about what would happen to other characters who were clearly going to be important in the upcoming books. I literally started the next book the moment this one ended, though it is not essentially a cliffhanger.
As far as the audio, it is very typical of Joel Leslie's style of narrating. So if you like his narrations, you'll undoubtedly like this. If his style is not your bag, same deal. For those who have not listened to this narrator, my own opinion was that his pacing, emotion & voice differentiation was well done. He does humor well. Some scenes felt a little over the top to me - his style with sex scenes isn't my fav, but experience of narration is subjective - others might feel it perfect. I don't at all regret doing the audio, and again, I started the next one right away.

1 person found this helpful

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Not The Average Human

Cutie and the Beast is the first book in the Fae Out of Water series, a paranormal/fantasy romance series. One of my favorite things about this book is the worldbuilding: E.J. Russell mixes fairytales, folktales, and paranormal standards to create a fascinating world with it’s own unique rules. As the title of the book alludes to, there is an element of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, but E.J. Russell puts her own spin on that trope which I really liked.

I fell in love with David—he was sweet, adorable, and had a spine of steel. He instantly became one of my favorite characters. His spunk and sass mixed with a caring nature and a determined spirit was refreshing and instantly won me over. Alun was sweet too, underneath all his angst, and I loved how protective he was over David, but still respected him. This was a fun book with an engaging and action-filled plot and sweet romance.

1 person found this helpful

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Unique and fun!

Set in modern day Portland, this is a surprisingly fun book! I loved all the characters -they were very well written. David is feisty, caring and driven. Allan is surly at first but through time, we see his depth. The overall plot was unique. I didn’t give it a full 5 stars because there were a few times where I thought an idea or concept was repeated overly much. Overall, the story was refreshing, super fun, gave just the right amount of believability, and had bare minimum angst- which is a big bonus for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Danielle Maria
  • 02-25-21

Touching, funny, mystical romance

I came to this book as a new devotee of Joel Leslie. I doubt I would have looked twice at this book otherwise. I'm only just developing an appreciation of supernatural romance, and I almost exclusively read historical fiction. But it turns out this book was just what I needed.

I have fallen hard for m/m romance, and having back-to-backed four or five m/m historical romances (i.e. "I will be hanged/pilloried/thrown in prison/ostracised from society if I love where I choose") I was in dire need of something a bit more upbeat.

I don't usually touch modern american with a barge pole, but this book is filled with enough ancient Celtic mysticism to keep me happy. The pace is great, nothing like a bit of adventure to get the heart going! It was lovely that the gay aspect was a complete non-issue, and the characters could agonise over other reasons why they shouldn't be together :D

The dialogue is snappy, and David in particular is a dream of a character. His mental monologue is hilarious, and when things threaten to get too tense, the mood is broken by a "Well, screw that!" delivered perfectly by Joel Leslie.

As to the narration, Joel Leslie, what a find! There are very few narrators who bring their own magic to a story, who elevate it beyond the page, but Joel Leslie is certainly one of them. I am honestly astounded by his range of accents, and they are all flawless. In this book we have American, English, Welsh and Scottish. I may have missed some. Do yourself a favour and listen to Leslie's accent samples on his website (make sure you start at the top) they had me shrieking with laughter! Maggie Smith, anyone?

I am sad that the other two books in the series, concerning Alun's brothers, are not available on Audible. I will load up the kindle though, and hope that they are as good as this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aussiebumwearer
  • 01-19-21

Really Enjoyed!!


This audiobook was great!

Really good storyline, great characters and full of humour and snark - just my type of audiobook 😁

Joel Leslie, as usual, does a fantastic job of narrating this audiobook and is the best when it comes to English accents and Welsh!

Highly recommend!!!! 😊🥰

Definitely worth 5🌟’s

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sam Baker
  • 12-24-20

Excellent

As usual, Joel Leslie's narration is excellent. Loved the characters and the story. Can't wait to listen to the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 11-20-20

Adorable romance

Loved this take on the supernatural world. Great world building, adorable characters, fun plot. Such a fun start to a great series and the narration is superb.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 06-29-21

Great start to a new series

This series is about three brothers from Faerie. They all have their own issues, and this book is Alun’s story. As the eldest, he carries a certain amount of responsibilities. Alun is also the former Queen’s Champion for the Faerie Seelie Court. I admit, I had no idea what that meant. Then, two hundred years ago, he was cursed. Now he’s a psychologist to many of the paranormal creatures in, of all places, Portland. He also runs a trauma group for humans who have had interactions with supernaturals.

Alun now looks like a beast and has the temperament to match. His last office manager – a shifter – is on maternity leave and Alun expects the temp agency to send him another supernatural creature. He does not expect a human to show up. But David is stubborn and isn’t going to be sent away. He fell in love with Alun’s voice while doing some transcription and he’s always wanted to meet the man. Did he expect a beast? No. Is he going to let that stop him from helping others? Also no.

David has a secret of his own that he doesn’t even realize and after a night in Faerie with Alun, things come into sharp focus. He has an explanation of why things around him happen in a certain way. Why people react to him the way they do. Why his Aunt Cassie is so desperately protective. Turns out David is a one of a kind. Literally. And I won’t get into it because I don’t want to give too much away.

The world building in this book is phenomenal. I don’t read a lot of paranormal or fantasy and I certainly can’t write it. I’m always in awe of authors whose creativity leads to such wonderful stories. Finally, I have to mention Joel Leslie. I adore Joel, and he’s never disappointed. He does a wonderful job with the three brothers, as well as David. But the supe characters are truly amazing. Well done. There are two more in the series so I’m off now to listen to them…

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  • sarah mitcham
  • 05-06-21

Not what he seems.

Fantastic MM paranormal romance brilliantly brought to life by narrator Joel Leslie. Non stop action and plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing, a joy to listen to. A great first book in the series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 01-18-21

Enjoyable Story

The concept is interesting and reasonable well written. The characters are likeable and the narration is very good.

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  • choccygrl
  • 12-03-20

Fun supernatural romance

Oh my, this was great. The story is a take on Beauty and the Beast, as you can tell from the title, and it was so much fun. I adored David for the most part but it was Alan who stole my heart. Joel Leslie's narration was excellent and I always love his portrayal of gruff posh Brits with a marshmallow centre, which is exactly how I envisaged Alan.

Can't wait for the next book in the series to make it to audio.

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  • Lisa Hughes
  • 11-29-20

LOVED IT!

I love d this story so much and I'm so pleased to see that it's going to be a series. Joel Leslie was awesome as always.

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  • LoveBooks
  • 11-29-20

So enjoyable

David has so much going on in his life but his new temp job has him excited. Alun is not impressed when he realizes that his temp is human then things start to happen. Well, to say this story will take you on a journey is an understatement. You will think you have it figured then suddenly you realize that you were wrong. If you want a story with humor, snark, heat, and magic, this is the one for you.

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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 03-29-21

What an adventure!

A whole new world of Fae, shifters, druids and more. I loved it all! it's so detailed and wonderfully written, you are taken to another world and taken on an adventure of discovery, forgiveness and love. I can't wait for more!!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • SarahH
  • 03-19-21

Fun supernatural tale

This story was a lot of fun. David and Alun meet when David starts working for him as a temp. Alun is gruff and bad tempered as he lives with disfigurement from a fae curse. David is a lot of fun as a character, he’s sweet natured but feisty, he causes disaster in his work places and is an awful dancer! Despite Alun’s gruffness he sees underneath this and sees the man beneath. There are hidden secrets that are unearthed, trusts and loyalties given freely, and a sweet love story. On top of all that the narrator is Joel Leslie who is an incredible narrator with a very hot voice!

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  • Alexandra
  • 11-24-20

One click Joel

Great way to relax on my Sunday

Joel leslie did another wonderful job bringing bright bubbly Davis and Dark & Broody Alun to life.

Cant go wrong one clicking on Joel Lesile narrations.

This is a wonderful listen with all the expected story developments, nothing new here but still a great relaxing story with all the feels.