Friday, December 28, 2012

How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren


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?

My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I love the story of Beauty and the Beast.  So any version or any spin is something that I’ll read.  And this one only disappointed me because it ended!  This is just one great story!

This story is set in Texas, which is something that I like.  And in the town of Austin, there is an underground society that has been around since the 1800’s, a secret society that is trying to run the world, and a burlesque that is run by a drag Queen.  Throw in some steampunk elements, an “unexpected” romance, a bit of mystery and a good hearted &  wounded vet, and you have the recipe for a great story. 

Jolie is an unexpected character to be “Beauty”.  A burlesque dancer, an heiress, and a potential spy… She is not your grandmother’s beauty, that is for sure.  But I still like her.  She seems open and honest, looking to better people’s lives and looking beyond circumstances.  I like that she isn’t your typical heiress, she almost seems “normal”.

Hauk is our “beast”.  He is horribly scarred on the outside, a sweet and sexy man on the inside with gifted fingers and a wicked tongue.  He is a vet who has blackouts that seem to be created by something supernatural.  I couldn’t help but love this wounded man.  He is afraid of getting rejected, but still puts himself out there.  (I also liked how the author used something uncontrollable like a fire in a war zone to “create” the beast… definitely better than being a selfish ass!).

Other Characters of note:

Catrina is a hoot!  Nothing like a drag queen to spice things up.  PLUS, I loved Jolie’s dilemma on the “he” or “she”, especially when Catrina was dressed as Carl. 

Whitney was a great character.  Nothing like a teenager (and a smart and sarcastic one at that) to put everything into perspective. 

Other great things in this book:

I thought there was some great uses of mythology.  There was Greek & Norse, with some mentions of Celtic in passing.  Since I haven’t read a lot of books with Norse mythology, it was a refreshing change.

I enjoyed what little bits of Underlight that I got to see/read about.  Would love to see more than primarily Hauk’s bedroom ;)

Overall, this is a great little book, and I’m looking forward to the next one.  I highly recommend this book!

Happy Reading!


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