When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
Series: Fairy Tales #2
Rating: ★★★★★

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?

liked the first book in this series – only connected by the fact that they’re fairy-tale-retellings, nothing else – but had some issues with it. The chief one being that the heroine wasn’t at all likable. She did some pretty despicable things to her sister for no apparent reason. So, despite the fact that A Kiss at Midnight got better towards the end, I was leery of starting the second book. It’s my favorite re-telling, hands down, and I was afraid that I’d end up hating it.

That is not the case here. I absolutely adored Linnet from the first moment that we meet her. She’s smart, sarcastic, funny, sensible, quick, thoughtful, and pragmatic. She’s beautiful, and she knows it; she uses that to her best advantage, but never really believes she’s better or more worthy because of her beauty. She knows that it’s something she had no control over, just like her birth as one of the aristocrats, so it’s not something she’s particularly proud of.

Piers, the hero, is a character you’re going to love or hate – and you can pretty much make that determination before even opening the book to the first page based on how you feel about Dr. House, from the television show House. Piers is bitter, cantankerous, sarcastic, rude, and an asshole. He has debilitating pain, that he continues to work through, saving lives and helping others – just like the beloved Doctor from House, so perhaps some of his bad bedside manner can be excused.

But what I loved the most is that Linnet doesn’t put up with Piers. She gives as good as she gets. The banter between them is quick and witty and full of sarcasm. There’s a wonderful back-and-forth quality to their discussions, especially in the beginning. I love that their regard builds on that mutual respect they begin to devlop, and that the romance isn’t instant. It’s a slow build that pays off in a big way.

If I had one complaint it’d be the last obstacle thrown into the mix near the end. It was as frustrating to me as it was to Piers, and I honestly expected better of Linnet. I understand, when I think about it further, but as I was reading I was slightly disappointed in that development. However, the obstacle is quickly removed and it serves to make Piers even more worthy of Linnet who gave her love without reservation, or care for her pride, long before Piers admitted he couldn’t live without her.

This book was so much fun. It was funny, with a perfect mix of sarcasm and dry wit that I love. It was freaking adorable. I absolutely loved it.