Beauty and the Beast
Author: Hannah Howell
Rating: A – Nearly perfect, a keeper/4 – Very hot!
Reading Level: Adult
Publisher: Zebra Books
Release Date: April 2007
“Fell off his mount. Snapped his neck.”
Super Brief Review:
A heart-warming historical with a great blend of characters.
“Aye. When is the child due?”
“God’s teeth.” Thayer slapped the palm of his hand against his forehead. “I forgot to ask.” He dashed out of the room, paying little heed to Roger’s laughter.
“I swear it. I also swear to you that, if he hurts her or, God forbid, she dies at his hand, I will not hesitate to kill him. Even if I must tear down the walls of Saitun Manor stone by stone to get at him.”
Slightly Longer Review:
Beauty and the Beast was a breath of fresh air for me. It pulled me out of a reading slump. I think I was sorely in need of a good historical romance. I certainly found it in this book. Thayer is a plain man. He is also a knight and spends most of his time on the battlefield. From that time he has amassed quite a few scars. Any woman he is intimate with weighs his coin against his appearance to determine if he is worth the effort. Needless to say, Thayer wants nothing to do with a relationship.
Gytha is a sweet girl who is more level-headed than your average maiden. She has been told from the time of her birth that she is beautiful. Nearly every young man who meets her tries to court her. Gytha knows that while most of them see her beauty very few of them actually want to get to know her as a person. She often sees her beauty as a curse.
Thayer and his men take a much needed break to attend his cousins wedding. When he arrives he is struck by the beauty of the maiden they find picking flowers in the meadow. He knows that he doesn’t stand a chance to win her over though. Much to his surprise he finds himself the betrothed and the beauty to be his bride.
Watching Thayer and Gytha enter their marriage and learn each other is wonderful. They both hold back for the exact same reason. Thayer expects Gytha to be unfaithful at the first opportunity because of a past hurt. Gytha knows that Thayer won’t let him in but she thinks the only reason is due to his opinion of himself. She is shocked and hurt when Thayer’s true fears come to surface. The remainder of the book is spent trying to clear up the misunderstanding while a few others are thrown in for good measure.
Howell also does a wonderful job with her secondary characters. I was almost as invested in Roger and Margaret’s relationship as I was Gytha and Thayer’s. Roger especially stuck with me. He is such a loyal friend that he could truly be counted as Thayer’s brother. The same can be said about Margaret and Gytha. While some people may think that this detracts from the main story, I felt that it added greatly to the story.