This post is a day late. I already posted a Top Ten Tuesday yesterday so I decided to post this one a bit late. This week’s prompt for Top Five Tuesday is easy for me – Top 5 Retellings – so I’m able to come up with books in a very specific retelling. I chose Beauty and the Beast retellings and only in one genre – Historical Romance.
I will not give away any spoiler. My description for each book would be just summarized versions of their blurbs so no worries about spoilers.
1.) The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard (The Everleigh Sisters #1)
This is my first ever Amalie Howard book. I don’t write any review nor even listed it as read on Goodreads but I loved and enjoyed this book so much. It features Lord Nathaniel Harte and Lady Astrid Everleigh. Harte, whose face was ruined in the war, is the disagreeable Duke of Beswick and spends his days smashing porcelain, terrorizing his servants and snarling at anyone who gets too close. Imagine his reaction when Lady Astrid showed up in his castle with a marriage proposal. What I liked about this retelling is that the main characters resembles the original Beast and Belle in personalities. The Duke of Beswick is aloof and cranky and trying so hard to look like a bad person so that other people don’t get close to him. And Lady Astrid is Belle with another name. She also offered herself to save someone who is dear to her, just like Belle. This book has lots of memorable quotes but the one that is perfect for Beauty and the Beast is this:
“Because sometimes a girl doesn’t need a hero to save her. Sometimes she needs the opposite.”
― Amalie Howard, The Beast of Beswick
2.) Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare (Castles Ever After #1)
An unconventional heroine and a scandalous, broken angsty Hero. She’s the kind of woman who used to believe in fairytales. He’s the man who was raised to believe he doesn’t deserve love and affection. What a perfect BatB retelling, am I right? Plus, as the series name obviously stated, this features a castle as well. Isolde, the heroine, showed up in the castle where the hero, Ransom, is staying because he owns it. But Isolde believes she owns it. There’s definitely a misunderstanding there, which I won’t spoil, of course. What made me love this even more is Ransom. Tessa Dare didn’t make Ransom a beast because he has a ruined face, no he has a disability and I think the author handled that really well. But don’t be fooled, Ransom is still as grouchy and distant as the Beast in the original BatB.
“Why must this be so mortifying? Oh, that’s right. Because its my life.”
― Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke
3.) Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (Scoundrels #3)
This is the only book by Loretta Chase that I’ve ever read. I am well aware of the mixed reviews this book has but I am one of those who enjoyed it. The story features Sebastian and Jessica. Sebastian was cruel and ugly. From the earliest age, he believed himself as ugly as the devil and he acts like one too. The heroine, Jessica, is a bluestocking who just want to save her brother from Sebastian. This book is too long plotwise. I felt like the plot went into many places. There were lots of small storylines put together, which I now know is common for the historical romances written earlier. But despite the number of storylines the book went, it still a BatB retelling, especially the first part. I adore Sebastian as the Beast and Jess as the Belle. I think I’m going to reread this one.
“And so I beat him and beat him until he kissed me. And then I kept on beating him until he did it properly.”
― Loretta Chase, Lord of Scoundrels
4.) When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James (Fairy Tales #2)
I was a bit hesitant to read this one because I knew there is a bit of deception from the heroine’s side, but the raving reviews succeeded at convincing me to read. And thank God my heart is weak when it comes to BatB retellings, because I ended up loving this one. And there is no reason to worry about the deception. Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she’s betrothed to a Beast. That’s the tagline for this book. I love the twist for the BatB right from the start. There are several rumors surrounding each of the main characters and I won’t go into detail about them. But I liked how the story went, how those rumors become the reason they really met. Doesn’t sound like a BatB retelling? Well, really Linnet is a true beauty and I unexpectedly like how she uses her smile. She’s really cute about it. And Piers, the beast, is a doctor living in a castle in Wales where he has his practice. Piers also has a disability or disabilities if we count the rumor that he is incapable of producing a child. I especially loved the last part of this book where Linnet’s beauty is the center. I wasn’t expecting what happened.
“The books weren’t exactly Linnet’s general reading fare, but a desperate woman will read anything.”
― Eloisa James, When Beauty Tamed the Beast
5.) Ravished by Amanda Quick
Despite the title, for me, Ravished is actually has the least steam out of all the books in this list. Harriet is a beauty who needs help and she summoned Gideon, dubbed as the Beast of Blackthorne Hall because of his scarred face and lecherous past. And yet, Harriet never feared him. The hero and heroine come to terms very early in the book. There is tension all throughout and they don’t love each other right away but there seems to be an understanding between them right from the start. Plus, the plot has a villain that is the main conflict, trying to tear Harriet and Gideon apart. As far as BatB retellings goes, this one checked the most important factors – a tortured beast and a smart and strong beauty, but aside from that, I love the spin that Amanda Quick gave to the fairy tale. Even though this is a historical romance, I couldn’t help but feel the modern touch. Probably because of the mystery part.
“My sweet Harriet,” he murmured. “I am delighted to see that you are still unpolished.” She scowled up at him. “I assure you I am working very hard on that project, too, sir.”
― Amanda Quick, Ravished
There you have it Blisses. I really enjoyed writing this post. I love Beauty and the Beast so much and Historical Romance, along with Contemporary romance, is my comfort genre. So this post is a treat for me.
Have you read these books? Or planning to? What do you think of them? Let’s chat.