Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review: How Beauty Loved the Beast

Reviewed by Jen
I feel like I have been waiting forever for the payoff on this love story.  And it was just as satisfying as I hoped it would be.  Now I am sad that it's over.

First, let me say, this is the last part of a trilogy and not the place for a new reader to jump in.  If you want to try some angsty & sexy romance/ sci-fi Beauty & the Beast action, go start with How Beauty Met the Beast.  For those of you who have been following along already, this installment picks up two weeks after the events of the last story.  Hauk is still recovering in the hospital and Jolie is impatiently waiting for his return, so they can finally make a go of a relationship.

She gets her wish, but only as a new threat from the Ananke soldiers rears up.  They are injecting members of the Underlight with some kind of chemical, one that is sure to have terrible consequences once it activates.  Of course, the danger and plotting are only the backdrop for the real draw here: the romance.

Hauk has been crazy about Jolie since he met her, and now, for the first time, he can have her.  But she wants more than he is ready to give.  She needs him to stop pulling away from her touch, hiding his scars from her eyes.  She wants him to bear himself to her; she wants nothing between them.  It's a tall order for a man who has turned so inward since his injury.  He makes a commitment to get there, though, and it's so touching as he makes his way toward that kind of intimacy.  Jolie has work to do too.  She's afraid of what it means to love, to go all-in emotionally.  But as she tears down his wall, Hauk does the same with her.  It's so, so good.  And the sex is great.

Jax Garren takes things in an unexpected direction in the last quarter of the book. At one point, I was utterly decimated --and from there, I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster all the way until the end.  I think I was ok with how things ended up, but I think there may be mixed feelings about it.  (I liked that Garren addressed her own concerns with the ending in an Author's Note.)

Overall, though, I thought it was fabulous.  I love Hauk. Love. And I love him and Jolie together. Well done.

Rating: B+

*ARC Provided by Carina Press via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
How Beauty Loved the Beast
by Jax Garren
Release Date: May 13, 2013
Publisher: Carina Press

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At Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 11:22:00 AM CDT , Blogger Unknown said...

Yay! this is out today!! I really enjoyed the first 2 books, I'm so glad to hear the final book doesn't disappoint.
BTW, this is going to sound stupid, but, what genre is this exactly? is it steampunk?
I'm even more excited after your review.
Downloading from audible as we speak :)

At Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 12:45:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Not stupid at all. I've read them and I struggle with finding a category. I'd say it's closer to sci-fi romance but with a hint of steampunk. (Not much.)

At Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 8:32:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Ctanner said...

Jen, I was disappointed in the ending. I felt like it was a cop-out and went aganist what was building from Book 1. However, I loved both characters and the sex was HAWT!!!

At Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 10:55:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I understand. The ending was not what I expected at all. I had some misgivings, but her explanation of why she chose to go that way helped me be ok with it. I knew, though, that it would likely really bother some people... like it almost invalidated his struggle in some ways.


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