Friday, February 25, 2011
Review of When Beauty Tamed The Beast by Eloisa James
When Beauty Tamed The Beast by Eloisa James
I am sitting in a stupor, staring into space.
There are not many romance novels that fit into the "Lord of Scoundrels"-category of absolute perfection. Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood. Several Amanda Quick books. It is almost impossible to get everything right. The characters. The setting. The story. The humor. The pacing. The sex. Every scene perfect.
And then to push it one step further. Not only flawless in these ways, but to include a "voice" that is unique and humbling. Good Christ Almighty, this book is like one, single, perfect French truffle, sitting on a lace doily. The perfect, delicious package. And when you bite into it, you get a surprise....it's even better than you think, because there is a drop of liqueur inside you weren't expecting.
I thought I knew Eloisa James. Had her pegged. She wrote traditional historical romance. Some were okay, some were good, some were superb (A Duke Of Her Own). This book is whole new kettle of fish. The voice is different....the pacing is faster, tighter, the dialogue snaps, the characters are so rich and wonderful and lovely with their flaws, they are exquisite. The chemistry between the hero and the heroine is romance gold. I always think it's easier to make a good hero than heroine, but James does both. Piers is one of the greatest heroes I've seen in romance....on par with Dain from Lord of Scoundrels, no doubt. Foul, brilliant, blunt....absolutely freakin' wonderful. But Linnet is also a wonder...sharp and beautiful and kind-hearted and thoughtful, and vain and vulnerable. The pairing of Linnet and Piers is right up there with Jessica and Dain, and Sara Fielding and Derek Craven.
The dialogue is so crazy good I don't know what to say. Bloody brilliant.
The storyline was great....even though I knew what would happen, I drank up every single word like a woman parched with thirst.
The twist on the Beauty and The Beast theme (which is one of my favorites anyhow) was truly inspired. The Beast becomes the savior, the Beauty becomes the beast. The love between Linnet and Piers is exposed just as the strawberry-fresh skin on the heroine's body is revealed beneath the peeling scabs. Hot damn, that's good. That's beyond good. An amazing, symbolic twist on the fairytale.
The only thing that was unneccessary, in my opinion, was the epilogue. I am usually a huge fan of epilogues, but in this case, it wasn't neccessary. The final sentence of the regular text was truly the perfect ending....
"Because the joy on her face and in her eyes was dazzling."
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. For true fans of historical romance, this is a flawless example of storytelling. You will fall in love with this book.
Unicorns, Orca shapeshifters, and pissy werewolves are all a distant memory. Eloisa James has a crafted a story that will rival anything in the romance genre. I can't wait to read it again.
Bursting with happiness,