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Review: How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren

How Beauty Met the Beast (Tales of the Underlight #1) by Jax Garren
Urban Fantasy, Romance, Futuristic
Ebook $1.99 (104 pages, CARINA PRESS)
Audiobook $4.95

Book one in Tales of the Underlight
The Beast
Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope...and then he sees her.
The Beauty
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.
Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?
38,000 words
The trilogy continues in How Beauty Saved the Beast.

Author Site: www.jaxgarren.com

A 'beauty' and a 'beast', but not Beauty and the Beast (3 stars)

A Beauty who has a naughty side. A Beast who has a nice side. Some really nasty bad guys in a futuristic world where a burlesque dancer and a former soldier get thrust into an adventure to save a young girl. Welcome to the Underlight.

Readers of my blog know I'm a hound for any form of Beauty and the Beast influenced story but especially when it's got elements of urban fantasy. It's that area that I immediately began having trouble with this one. It's not quite futuristic or urban fantasy or paranormal romance. I'm still not sure what to peg it as. The novella opens with one of the steamiest sex scenes I have ever read but then the rest of the story feels cold. It definitely falls into the catagory of series problems I hate most... never open a series with a novella. Why? In this case it's going to be a trilogy so it's not quite a romance, there's no HEA, but the hints that it might come along eventually. That doesn't work for everyone.

I liked both Jolie and Hauk immensely but felt like not enough world building happens to leave readers with a strong understanding of how their world has become the way it is. That aside, Garren has a great voice that I will definitely give another chance to win me over. While I didn't ultimately like HOW BEAUTY MET THE BEAST I will probably give HOW BEAUTY SAVED THE BEAST a try because I liked Hauk and Jolie.

If you're looking for a Beauty and the Beast retelling this isn't one. The only element that hints at it is that Hauk is physically hideous and scarred and Jolie is gorgeous (and pretty enough on the inside to see Hauk's inner beauty). This probably won't work for readers who aren't into futuristic might-be-a-little-dystopian or urban fantasy-esque romances and for readers who want the HEA in a single book rather than over a trilogy.

Other Reviews:
Vampire Book Club
Under the Covers Book Blog
Smexy Books

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.


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Bruce Springsteen said...

Beauty and the Beast is the long-running Broadway show and i love to see it with my family so have booked cheap Beauty and the Beast tickets from GoodSeatTickets.com


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