Why did I get it: I’ve enjoyed other books by Eloisa James in the past. The Beauty and the Beast is also one of my favorite fairy tales.
How I would rate it: 3 out of 5 stars.
Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.
Linnet is not just any woman. She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks. Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return. If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?
Review: Over all, When Beauty Tamed the Beast was a fun, quick, and easy read. It would be a hard book to dislike because the book is basically pure cotton candy.
As far as Linnet herself was concerned, I liked her well enough. I just got a little sick of hearing about her hair, bosom, and bottom. I appreciated her being nice and helping out patients as well as getting to know Piers, of course, but I felt like virtually everything about her was always taking a backseat to her attractiveness.
Negative or not, at least Piers had a personality and strong opinions, which made him really stand out as a character. Was Piers a childish bully at times? Yes. Oh definitely yes. Was he an absolute monster? Not really. Piers was not the most ideal male romantic lead I’ve ever read about, but it was so obvious that things would work out the way they did that even his really bad manners didn’t bother me much. After all, he might have had the bedside manner of a troll, but he did let sick, infected people live in his house for free and saved a lot of them from injury or worse. However, I was very thankful that Piers looked nothing like Dr. House and in fact had a very different back story. So the Dr. House stuff was mostly a non-issue outside of certain aspects of Piers’ medical students.
While not very endearing, Piers’ surly attitude also bothered me a lot less than the fact that he got away with being a brat all the time. Everyone put up with him for no apparent reason given that all of the characters had other options including leaving. But no one ever leaves and instead characters constantly invent new reasons for staying or even returning regardless of how verbally abusive Piers became. Linnet’s willingness to tolerate Piers acting like he was five ultimately made me decide they deserved each other.
The weakest aspects of the book involved there being nothing really at stake here for me as a reader. I felt that the book consisted of a lot of nice telling but very little showing. I spent most of the book being told how horrid Piers was while seeing hardly any evidence even around the 200 page mark. Despite being told how beautiful Linnet was, outside of her shiny teeth and her ample bosoms, I didn’t know what she even looked like until page 70.
The best parts of this book were when Linnet and Piers were alone together in Linnet’s room or when they attempted swimming. I never minded them getting together either. That said, I think the issues they were given to deal with throughout the book and what eventually threatened to keep them a part forever were very predictable given that one character was a grumpy, competent doctor and the other was basically too nice for her own good.
I realize that romance novels are going to arrive at some pretty obvious conclusions from time to time, so when I read romance novels I try to think about the journey the characters go on to find themselves or each other rather than the end result. Ultimately, Linnet’s and Piers’ journey was entertaining and fun. It just wasn’t very exciting or surprising.
In conclusion, good enough for romantic fluff. I think I just tend to prefer a bit more substance even in my lighthearted historical romance novels.