Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: When Beauty Tamed The Beast

When Beauty Tamed The Beast
Eloisa James
Historical Romance
Fairy Tales/Book 2
Avon/January 25, 2011

From Goodreads ~

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?

Finally! My first Eloisa James novel. I have a number of her books on the TBR pile and yet what do I pick for my first indulgence in this lovely author? Her newest release. LOL I will admit it was the House angle that drew me to When Beauty Tames the Beast. Love that show and a hero based on the character of the irreverent Dr. Gregory House could not be passed up!

Linnet Berry Thrynne is one of the most beautiful woman of the ton. She had suitors lining up at her door but she made a minor mistake with a princely suitor and now she is considered less than desirable as a wife. Linnet doesn't cry and weep in despair but discusses the situation frankly with her father and her chaperone. The dialogue is quick and funny. Linnet is all that is proper and yet, she has this sharp wit that she lets come through. She shows her spirit and backbone when dealing with the cutting remarks her chaperone, Mrs. Hutchins, dishes out.

Linnet counted to five and then said, stonily, "It's the only chest I have, Mrs. Hutchins, and everyone's gowns are designed like this. There's nothing special about my neckline."

"It makes you look like a light frigate," she observed.


"A light frigate. A light woman!"

"Isn't a frigate a boat?"

"Exactly, the type that docks in many harbors."

"I do believe that it is the first jest you've ever told me," Linnet said. "And to think I was worried that you might not have a sense of humor."

After that, the corners of Mrs. Hutchins's mouth turned down and she refused to accompany Linnet back to the drawing room. "I've naught to do with what's come upon you," she said. "It's the will of heaven, and you can tell your father I said so. I did my best to instill principles in you, but it was too late."

"That seems rather unfair," Linnet said. "Even a very young light frigate should have the chance to dock at one harbor before she's scuppered."

Love the way Linnet isn't afraid to disagree with her chaperone. And she does it in such a way as to show her disdain without being opening rude. It's important that she has a strong will and won't be cowered because Piers is good at making people cower.

Piers Yelverton is not hero material by any stretch of the imagination. And yet, James makes him not only heroic, but actually likable by the end of the book. He's brash, rude, argumentative and brilliant the medical field. It's that brilliance that keeps people coming to him for help, regardless of his beastly attitude. Piers' complete disregard for the proper societal conduct made him that much more fascinating. He's too busy with his patients and medical studies to be bothered with the niceties of manners. Of course there are ghosts that haunt him and that only make him that much more disagreeable. He can and usually is brutally honest, even hurtful at times but Linnet gets past that and sees the man behind the mask.

Linnet's father comes up with a scheme to marry Linnet off to Piers. Her father may have thought he was doing what was best for her but really, the man was an idiot. I was glad she got away from him. So off to Wales Linnet goes to meet her intended. Piers, on the other hand, doesn't want a wife and makes it very clear in his very Piers way. But Linnet has that backbone and she stands up to him in her own way which surprises him. The interactions between Piers and Linnet were at the heart of the story. We see how from the first they have this quick back and forth, give and take, in their dialogue. It's as if they're challenging each other to a duel with words. Both are intelligent and have a clever sense of humor that they enjoy employing on each other.

Piers and Linnet don't get off to the best start but they find themselves drawn to each other which eventually leads to the more physical aspect of their relationship. As Piers and Linnet fall deeper in lust, because of course it can't be love, they actually spend time talking and learning about each other. I don't think many people bothered to learn much about either one of them - Linnet because society had her high on a pedestal and Piers because he's well, Piers. So in addition to them lusting after each other they become friends, confidants. They "get" each other and are comfortable with each other in a way they had never been with anyone else.

A trace of brine lingered on his lips. And his kiss was pure Piers: rough and demanding, without a trace of civility. Linnet felt as if she were the slave girl again, lying at the feet of her master. No, not at his feet, since her whole body was thrilling to the weight of him.

Lying under her master, submitting to his -

"Bloody hell," Piers said, lifting his mouth and glaring at her. "Why do I feel as if I'm making love to a rag doll here? You seemed to know how to kiss yesterday."

She pulled her hand free and wrapped her arms around his neck. "We're not making love."

"Right. Let's go back to my initial comment, stripped of the love part. Why am I bothering to kiss a limp -"

She stifled a groan. "Shut up, Piers."

Their eyes met for a single, electric moment. Then his eyes darkened, and his mouth took her again.

I think they are by far, one of the best couples I have read in a long time.

Everything doesn't go smoothly for these two and they both must deal with their deepest fears and their deepest feelings. As is often the case, tragedy brings out the best in people and makes them realize what is truly important. This was such an enchanting fairy tale of overcoming fears and prejudices and finding love in the most unlikely place. A love story you won't want to miss!

Rating: A+

Books in this series ~

A Kiss at Midnight
When Beauty Tamed the Beast
This Duke is Mine (2012)


  1. Yay!!!! I am so glad to see that you liked this one!!! I love Eloisa James and this so far is my favorite by her. However, by all means, try more!!

  2. I am loving these Fairy Tale books by Eloisa James. I am not always that enthralled with her books but these ones have been good.

  3. Jill ~ I want to go back and read the first in this series. :)

    Marg ~ I'm looking forward to reading more from her, especially in this series!

  4. I haven't read Eloisa James either, despite having at least two of her books on my TBR as well! I'm planning on buying this one at RWA next week! So glad to see you loved it so much!!

  5. Christine ~ You are going to get so many good books next week! I hope you like this one. :)

  6. Okay, I'm getting this book next week! LOL.