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Book CoverC2’s review of When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Happily Ever After, Book 2) by Eloisa James
Historical Romance published by Avon 25 Jan 11

In When Beauty Tamed the Beast, the second full length novel of her fairy tale series, Eloisa James gives us her version of another favorite story.  Her Beast is a cranky English doctor who is rumored to have suffered an injury that has left him impotent.  Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, is mostly estranged from his father, but they do exchange letters occasionally – and his father, the Duke of Windebank, is insistent that Piers marry.  Piers sent his father a very long list of wife requirements  – included on the list, she must be “more beautiful than the sun and the moon.”Our Beauty is Miss Linnet Thrynne.  Linnet is a bit of a damsel in distress when we first meet her – due to an unfortunate choice of gowns, everyone in the Ton assumes she is pregnant with her latest suitor’s child.  Since the suitor is a prince, everyone knows he will not be allowed to marry her, pregnancy or no, especially since her late mother had a reputation for being…free with her attentions to men other than her husband.

When her father and aunt brainstorm a way out of the situation Linnet has found herself in, the Beast’s name comes up.  Apparently his father is obsessed with royal bloodlines and with continuing the family name – something Piers cannot accomplish, if rumors are correct. Linnet’s father and aunt decide they should talk to the duke and pretend that she really is pregnant – they think the duke will be able to convince his son to marry quickly and ostensibly claim the child as his own.  Then, after the marriage, when the truth comes out, it will be too late to change anything.  While Linnet doesn’t agree with everything they say, she decides to go to Piers’ estate – she is confident in her ability to charm him into marrying her, even without the incentive of the baby she isn’t carrying.

Confused?  All this set-up happens quickly in the book, thank goodness. Things really pick up speed when Linnet arrives at Piers’ castle – he and a cousin have turned it into a hospital of sorts.  Only the worst cases ever make their way there, but they have a decent success rate of those who find them. Piers and Linnet both immediately realize they do not suit and should not marry – and, of course, Piers immediately sees that she is not pregnant.  However, Linnet cannot return to London yet, since she is still ruined in the eyes of the Ton.  Also, she likes the duke and would like to see his relationship with his son improve – something the duke would like, as well – so they decide to stay and visit. Besides, if they left, we wouldn’t have much of a story, would we?

Even though Piers and Linnet have decided they aren’t getting married, they immediately strike sparks off each other.  Lots of banter and playful insults are tossed back and forth – so snappy and fun!  I enjoy that sort of almost-an-insult-but-not-because-I-think-you’re-cute thing. Entertaining!  It turns out that they have more in common than either would have thought – Linnet isn’t as sweet as she looks and Piers isn’t as hateful as he thinks he is.

I enjoyed watching these two characters fall in love despite their decisions to the contrary.  Each one knows he/she shouldn’t do it and will probably end up regretting it but they just…can’t resist.  Add in Piers’ estranged parents meeting years after their scandalous divorce, medical students (including one named Kibbles and one named Bitts), a seaside pool and an epidemic and you’ve got a most entertaining read. If you like cranky doctors and witty misses, When Beauty Tamed the Beast is for you.

CSquareds C2 IconGrade: A-


Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she’s betrothed to a Beast.
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?

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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