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Ratings and Book Reviews (8 14 star ratings
8 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
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    Beauty of the Beast

    “Funny thing, the past. No matter how hard you try to shut it from your mind, you always hear those whispers in your skull…” That low, masculine whisper curled around her like smoke. His eyes fastened shut, and he visibly shivered, reacting to lamentations only he could hear. Overwhelmed with the urge to reach out and touch him, she twisted her fingers in the sullied fabric of her robe. “It’s inescapable; a true prison in every sense of the word. Almost like being chased by a predator. The faster you run away, the more it chases you, and the more it demands your surrender…” A hidden castle in the woods. A hidden world that has been stumbled on. Why would anyone ever want to live in total isolation? Secluded from the world that has been constantly moving outside, while you remain frozen in the past? Our memories can truly make someone feel helpless, alone, desperate, and much more—if you let them. Demeter engages her readers with an emotional, yet mesmerizing retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. For who could ever learn to love a beast? Isabelle lives in a little city with her Papa and two step-sisters. She is also engaged to a wretched man by the name of Rafael Dumont. His family has power. His family has wealth. And unfortunately, Isabelle would do almost anything to aide her father with his ever present illness. Agreeing to marry Rafael was one of the most repulsive things that she has ever done. Upon her father’s last request to attend the Merchant’s Fair, she crumples to his will and asks Rafael for a favor. That is when she is brutally accosted by his foulness, only realizing that this trip could be their last chance to save themselves from a cruel fate. With the Merchant’s Fair being three days away, they head out into the stormy forest with a horse and carriage borrowed from Raphael—but Isabelle notices that her father’s health will not endure throughout the trip. Noticing a very dark and dreary castle along her path, she decides to lead her father up to the door as a last prayer of saving him from death’s door. Rest may be all that he needs, if there is a kind soul inside who will allow it. When the door opens, the owner attempts to turn them away—but Isabelle becomes desperate. What Isabelle agrees to in hopes of saving her father, may imprison her and take the remainder of her soul along with it. Adam Delacroix, surviving prince of Demrov still lives, after everyone assumed his death—but he only lives a shell of a man. Can he open his heart to a beautiful woman and her sick father or will he live up to the beast that he has become? Living in the past changes a person, but having someone to share those secrets and lift those burdens can make the difference between life and death. Demeter provides the reader with a twist on the original ageless tale of Beauty and the Beast. With both superb character development and an outstanding plot, the story is emotionally charged with heartbreak, fear, pain, loss, joy, and hope. The pace of this novel is fast, making it easy to read; however, there are some spelling and grammatical errors throughout the read. Since this is an advanced reader copy, these may have been cleaned up upon further proofreading, but if not, this should not hinder enjoyment of the novel at all. If you are a reader of fairy tale retellings and historical romance, this may be perfect for you. A copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by IndieSage PR, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a five-star rating for Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L Demeter.
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    Loved it! Can't wait for the next one.

    <b>Review originally published at <a href="http://rubys-books.blogspot.com/">Ruby's Books</a></b> <i>*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating of the book or the content of my review in any way</i> I am so happy I got to read this gem of a book guys! After I stared at the cover a little bit, because let's face it, it's gorgeous, and read the blurb, I knew I had to read this book and I'm happy I did. The first thing that stands out when I think about this book is that this is a retelling with a twist. It's a gorgeous story about two people falling in love, without any kind of magic in the mix. I wasn't exactly sure how that would work, but it did, and it was a fantastic ride. What is a fairy tale retelling without magic, you ask? A historical novel set in a really dark time in history, told in such beautiful prose, that it makes it seem impossible for at least a few elements from the story to not have happened in real life. I love the attention to detail that the author had for creating the kingdom of Demrov, from the geography of it, to the historical context of the story. And I love how refreshing the author's voice was. I haven't read many Gothic novels, but if this is how most of them sound, I'll definitely delve into the genre more. I loved Isabelle so, so much. Her story is tragic, and yet beautiful at the same time. She was willing to sacrifice her entire future for the good of her family, even if her two younger sisters are selfish brats and don't really deserve anything beyond a good time-out. Some of the things that Isabelle goes through are really painful and hard to read about, but I feel like that makes her stronger. I also like how she sees past Adam's scars, and tries to understand him, to be civil with someone who has not had that much contact with the outside world in decades. Adam's story is the one that I loved the most. For someone to not end up a madman after seeing the horrors he experienced at a young age, that speaks of a truly strong individual. I loved his sense of duty, even if there was no one who truly knew of his existence. The saddest part of his story is that, when you think about it, some version of it might have actually happened to someone during the French Revolution, or during any revolution really. Which is another thing that Demeter did beautifully, in my opinion, making sure that in some corner of their mind, the reader knows that this story is set in that historical time. I am absolutely in love with this book, and I am truly, truly excited for the future of this series, to see what other fairy tales the author will tackle and transform them into literary gems. This book actually reminded me that once upon a time I used to love reading historical romances. All in all, I truly hope you guys will read this book, as it is one of the best retellings I've read so far and probably will be for a long time.
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    Beautiful

    I always appreciate a “Beauty and the Beast” retelling. This one, besides the adult twist, is quite similar to the Disney fairy tale we used to watch. I picture myself reading and imagining the film scenes. Adam is a tormented soul who has lived in isolation for two decades, with a lot of demons from his past; Isabelle is a good girl trapped in a life she cannot wait to leave behind. The secondary characters add mystery, betrayal and loyalty to the equation. It was definitely a page turner, I really couldn’t put it down and I cannot wait for the next book in the series. It was the first time I read anything by this writer but surely it’s not going to be the last.
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    Classic Fairy Tale, Amazing Retelling

    Wow. If I could sum up this beautiful and haunting retelling of Beauty and the Beast, it would be with "wow". Adam is the haunted of this story, self-imprisoned in his home, living with horrific memories of long ago and ghosts of those who have gone before him. His scars are inside and out. At times, he reminded me of a child because, in those moments, he was. With little to no interaction aside from his lone servant and dog, he has no idea how to be with someone like Isabelle. The anger and bitterness that he's lived with for so long dissipate slowly as he and Isabelle come to know one another. The man that emerges is so uncertain yet so hopeful in her presence. With her, he wants more than what he's lived with these past years. He wants to live once again. Isabelle is the beautiful, not just because she is indeed physically beautiful but because her beauty resonates from the inside. Her spirit, her soul, her heart. She embodies what Adam has not felt or experienced since childhood. But she's no wilting flower. She meets him toe-to-toe, urges him to the edges of his comfort zone then pushes him past them. The realization of who he is, a prince, loses its significance as she discovers the man beneath the scars. His rough mannerisms and general awkwardness around her brought some bite-my-lip-I'm-not-trying-to-laugh moments for me, but I loved that they melted into smiles as I watched his confidence grow. Their love is slow developing, and I'm happy it was. There were so many hurdles to overcome as they danced around one another. If their love had been instant, those difficulties wouldn't have had as much significance as they did. Because it wasn't just Adam learning from this new experience. Isabelle learned much as well. Fairy tale retellings such as this one can be such a crapshot for me. Sometimes they're amazing, sucking me into this fantastical world filled with loss, heartache, tragedy, yet lined with hope and love. Sometimes these stories aren't that great, hurried and empty, leaving me with questions rather than a feeling of fulfillment. Ms. Demeter's retelling of a classic fairy tale is the former, and is only the second full-length novel fairy tale retelling I've read that leaves me happy and wanting more. Will it be hard to follow? I doubt it. Ms. Demeter's storytelling ability is on point. If you've read other stories of hers, you know this is true. Dark, poignant, emotional, but always hopeful. It's that hope that makes her a must-watch author for me. I hope she becomes one for you as well. Complimentary copy received from publisher
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    Favorite So Far

    *voluntarily and honestly reviewed the ARC I received from IndieSage PR* As far as 2017 goes, this was my favorite read so far (please don't hate me, other books!) I love beauty and the beast adaptations, and though this retelling was only slightly different from the original story, that still managed to turn it into something beautifully unique full of characters that all had different sides of a story to tell. The bad guys, for example, while horrid, were just as wronged in the wrong, and if I didn't hate them so much in this story, they'd probably be one of my favorite characters in general. But, they are in this story, so they're just psychos I'm not afraid to say goodbye to after I finished the last page lol I loved the writing, the flow of it. The characters all seemed so well rounded with their many faces to wear. The tone was nice and mysterious, matching the castle rather well. An overall satisfying read.
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