Jolly Fish Press, 2015
(Click here for my review of Fairy Godmothers, Inc.)
Beauty never wants to find herself in another fairytale for as long as she lives. Her bumbling con artist father spent her entire childhood trying to plant her or her sister in any scenario that might result in a marriage into a noble family. When her new assignment from her temp agency turns out to involve bringing a financial magnate out of his shell after he's been cursed with a beast form, she almost turns and runs, but Beast's volatility and disillusionment with fairytale expectations turn out to be intriguingly matched to her own.
The two parallel romantic plotlines both spend the better half of the book in essentially identical "I know I'm in love but I'll just die if anyone else finds out" stages, and it gets a bit monotonous. The constant, casual, three stooges-esque violence and threats thereof make it difficult for the few moments that could otherwise carry some emotional weight to come across with any seriousness.
Beast Charming promises a lightheartedly satirical take on Beauty and the Beast, and that it delivers. Beauty is smart and cool and free of the Stockholm syndrome of the original, Beast is lovable (and not a creep), and the relationship between them is quite sweet once it gets going. Those who enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek reimagining of the fairytale fantasy world from Fairy Godmothers, Inc. will have fun with its expansion here, and fairytale fans will love spotting the references.
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