A wounded beast . . .
It took Marcus Bradley forever to find a suitable bride. And then he lost her—all because some meddling matchmaker with a crazy notion about “true love” helped her elope with another man. Now, to save his sister from a terrible marriage alliance, he needs a replacement—an heiress, to be exact . . . and he knows just the woman to help him find one.
A spirited beauty . . .
Danielle Strafford believes everyone deserves a fairytale ending—even the monstrously scarred and notoriously brooding Marquis of Fleetwood. Not that he’s left her a choice. If she doesn’t help him secure a wife—by any means necessary—he’ll reveal her scandalous secrets.
A passion that will consume them both
The more time Marcus spends with Danielle, the less interested he is in any other woman. But the Beast must do the impossible: keep from losing his heart to a Beauty he is destined to lose.
In the Acknowledgements, Elle Daniels mentions Judith McNaught inspiring her love of “all things romantic.” And it’s easy to see her influence here. “Little one” is a favorite endearment of McNaught – and it’s something I thought I left back in the 90s. It’s something I wish I’d left behind.
The “hero” is a jerk. I suppose that’s to be expected in a Beauty and the Beast re-telling – and I did, to a degree – but this was over the top. He was a jerk, not just to the heroine, but to his sister whom he loves more than all others. M’kay, then. I’ll buy that for a penny.
Speaking of the sister, she’s self-involved, uncaring of the life her brother has protected her from all her life, and seems incredibly spoiled. I don’t really care enough about her to sympathize with why Marcus is doing what he is for her. I mean, I do, because I don’t want her abused and subjected to that, but she’s still hard to care about.
The heroine…*shrugs* She’s like every other heroine I’ve read. She has mahogany hair, a lush, curvy body. She flaunts rules, and – even though she doesn’t believe in the opposite sex – she has a business where she helps women escape their arranged marriages for love-matches (through elopement, of course). I’m not sure how that contradiction works, to be honest, but I figure it’d come up later if I kept reading.
The problem is that I don’t care. I just don’t care about the hero, the heroine, the sister, or the story. Blah, blah, blah was the refrain in my head as I skimmed the last couple of pages.
It doesn’t help that the hero is a serious alcoholic. I know how much heartache goes into turning that around, staying sober, and then you’ve got the problems underneath the alcoholism, fueling it, that need to be fixed. I’m not sure I believe it can be done – especially not by the “power of love.”
So, 14% in, I quit.