I really enjoyed Grace Draven’s Radiance, so when I found out that she had also written a book featuring a Beauty & the Beast trope, I sat aside my entire TBR pile and dove in. I don’t regret it one bit. Though I think I might have loved Radiance a tad bit more, this book definitely gave me what I was looking for. And I would definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of Draven’s other work or if you, too, love a cursed or beastly hero.
Ballard is the master of Ketach Tor and has not left its lands for nearly 400 years. In the moments before her death, his horrible wife cursed him and their child. With the rise of a magic flux, he turns into a beast. Each episode leaves him more scarred and less man than before. His only hope is for his son to find love. It may not end his suffering, but it may keep Gavin from suffering the same fate.
It looks like that might finally happen when Gavin brings the lovely Cinna back to the castle. But her tough-as-nails and somewhat shrewish sister, Louvean is part of the deal. She wants to make sure her sister’s innocence and good name remain intact until the day Gavin makes her his bride. No one expects that she will bring hope to Ballard’s life when there was none before. No one realizes that she, too, might be able to break the curse, but for the father instead of the son. She is prickly and bold, but she stirs something in Ballard no one ever has. And somehow, she sees past his scars and deformity, to the man underneath.
I didn’t find that Louvean quite deserved the reputation she had as a shrew. She was tough, to be sure, but she took care of business when it needed taking care of. She didn’t put up with B.S. She stood up for herself and protected her family like a lioness. I say kudos to her. I loved that she did those things! I loved how she was comfortable being who she was, that she didn’t shrink from who she was or her own desires. She was a force to be reckoned with and a woman worthy of Ballard in every way.
Our hero, meanwhile, is wonderfully tortured, but he is neither a bastard nor does he mope and whine. He can be fatalistic at times, but I can understand why. Watching him rediscover passion and love with Louvean is fantastic reading. It’s sexy and emotional and everything I wanted.
The HEA doesn’t come with true love’s kiss or a simple I love you. I appreciate that it wasn’t overly simple, but at the same time, perhaps my only complaint was that I wasn’t totally satisfied with how it was resolved. Maybe it’s the romance reader in me, but I felt like it should have been about the feelings between our hero and heroine, and it wasn’t.
That small quibble didn’t keep me from walking away from the books satisfied, though. I grew to care about both main characters and was very invested in them finding their happy ending together. This one is worth picking up.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Grace Draven
Release Date: December 18, 2013