I am STILL tore up over this one! I’ve been struggling to figure out how to write this review as I adored it so much. You know how that goes, right? You love a book and you find it difficult to express that properly but if you strongly dislike a book you have no issues getting your thoughts out. That’s the boat I am in, my lovely readers. I will try my best to let you know how brilliant this retelling was.
**POSSIBLE SPOILERS SO BE WARNED!**
You should already know by now that this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. However, this isn’t like any retelling you’ve read before. Sit back and strap in because it is a heck of a ride.
This is the tale of Harper and Rhen. Harper is a whip smart girl from a rough neighborhood in the DC area. Her family has had nothing easy in life. Harper has constantly tired to provide for her mother (who is dying from cancer) and her brother but she can only do so much as she has
cerebral palsy. BUT! She has never let that get her down. She was so full of passion, smarts, backbone, and grit that I immediately adored her. She found herself transported into Prince Rhen’s world by a gentleman named Grey. See, Grey was given the ability to move between worlds. Over the years he had traveled several times in the hopes of finding “the right” woman to break the curse on Prince Rhen. Harper spotted Grey trying to take a woman back but mistook it for a kidnapping and jumped in to help. Hence her being transported back to this fantasy kingdom.
What I found fresh about this story was how Rhen and Grey were rather upfront with Harper about the curse (well, about almost everything…). She knew that a woman needed to fall in love with Rhen for the curse to be broken – that was never hidden from her. She went through the story knowing this fact and I loved it. But what she did carry with her throughout the story was the knowledge that she left her dying mother and brother behind with no way to contact them. While she had the ability to possibly break the curse, she would lose what little family she had.
The characters in this story were beautifully flawed and wonderfully complex. I found myself quickly cheering for Harper. She will be my girl forever. She was tough as nails, never backed down from a fight, and would spit in a man’s eye if she needed to. I will be singing her praises for a very long time. I loved her character arc because it came across as believable.
If I could claim Prince Rhen now as my book boyfriend, I’d like to do that. I did not fall for his charm but I fell for his heart. The man was so broken and beat down yet always carried that small sliver of hope. I found it endearing. Plus, I like how he never forced his will upon Harper (or any female) just because he was the Prince. He was humbled and it was amazing to witness. My heart constantly went out to him anytime he talked of the pain of The Beast and what that creature did to his family. And the romance between him and Harper was the textbook definition of slow burn. It was just … perfect.
Grey, the Captain of the Royal Guard, was the other main character and he was utterly brilliant. I really loved everything about him. His dedication to Rhen knew no bounds. This man gave up everything to serve his Prince. His dynamic interactions with Harper had me grinning ear to ear. Those scenes were masterfully done.
Of course there is an “evil witch” in the story that bestows the curse and thankfully she was not in the story as much. She was truly a nasty creature and I wanted nothing more than someone to run her through with a stake (and it actually do damage). She did have times when she came across as rather cartoonish but I let it slide. She was wickedly evil and such a vicious character. I know most readers will join me in detesting her and her gruesome ways.
Overall, I loved this story. It was everything I wanted and more! I never thought I would read a BatB retelling that became a series but I am here for the long haul. I am hooked and cannot wait to find out what happens next. The characters, the plot, the arcs, the slow burning romance, the feels, all of it! I need more but am sad I have to wait until 2020 to read more about my latest ship.