With the freedom of the kingdom at stake, can an accursed prince and a broken beauty move beyond their hatred for one another, not only to break the curse, but to find love as well?
Prince Everard’s father spent the boy’s youth forging the prince into a warrior. Upon the king’s death, however, Everard realizes he’s lost himself somewhere along the way, and in his pain, makes a decision that brings a dark curse upon both him and the great Fortress that has so long guarded the people of Destin.
The prince’s sin doesn’t simply affect those of his citadel, however. Isa, the daughter of a local merchant, has suffered the prince’s hasty temper before, and it changed her life forever. When Everard’s final outburst cuts off his people’s source of protection with the curse, he demands that she, a crippled commoner, comes to help him break it. All the while, Destin’s northern enemy crouches at the foot of the Fortress’s mountain, waiting for the right moment to capture the stronghold that has stood for a thousand years.
Can Ever and Isa move past their brokenness to save Destin together, or will they and their beloved kingdom remain under darkness forever?
Buy Before Beauty today to escape into the world of The Becoming Beauty Trilogy, as well as the Classical Kingdoms Collection, a series of fairy tale retellings for grownups who still believe in sacrifice, true love, and the magic of happily-ever-afters. Even though Before Beauty is an introduction to both series, it can be read as a stand-alone as well.
This book was… not bad, but not quite my cup of tea either. I love Beauty and the Beast. It’s one of my favorite fairytales. But as much as I wanted to love Isa, she never really resonated with me.
And as for Ever? Good gravy, I swear that guy is bipolar! He’s constantly running hot/cold. You really never quite know what to expect from him – and that’s not really a good thing in this case. He is also incredibly bullheaded and puts even the stubbornness of a few people I know to shame! Why he went after the people of his kingdom – the cause of the curse in the first place – was only barely believable. This kid strikes me as extremely unstable, and if I were in Isa’s place, I rather doubt I would ever have been able to come to trust him.
Now onto the good stuff. The world building was quite good, and I was really intrigued by the fortress. The way it acted and re-acted – at times, it almost seemed like its own character. The villain was also good, and the battle scenes were strong and held my interest well.
In the end, Ever did truly seem to want to change, taking his first baby steps down a better path, so there may be hope for him yet. Perhaps the sequel is where he will truly begin to show the next step in his character arc and turn him into a character I might be able to love.
Would I read book two? Maybe. I got this one free on Kindle Unlimited, and if I got KU again, I would be curious to try book two.
My Rating: Three Flames
Romance: Quite clean. Only one or two kisses.
Blood/violence: Several small battles are fought. A few deaths, but nothing graphic. Injuries include cuts and a stab wound, and one infected injury, through the author does not go into a great deal of detail.
Other: A touch of magic, and the main villain uses dreams to psychologically terrorize the main characters.
Amazon Kindle Link:Before Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast (The Becoming Beauty Trilogy Book 1)
Amazon Paperback Link:Before Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
Happy Reading y’all!