Olivia Drake is a new-to-me author. However, after reading Bella and the Beast, I plan to go back and read her backlist of books, starting with the other books in the Cinderella Sisterhood series.
I found Bella and the Beast to be a completely enchanting story. It felt a bit like a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and was extremely well done. I fell for Bella and Miles as a couple long before they acted on their attraction to one another. Both Bella and Miles (Aylwin) are such strong characters, and both are so passionate about the Egyptian antiquities found by their fathers. The interactions between them were so much fun to watch and I loved the slow build up of feelings between them. Yes there was attraction pretty much from their first meeting, but true feelings developed the more time they spent together.
I loved the romance of their lovemaking. Miles was so sweet to make sure Bella's first experience was wonderful, and it almost was out of character for him to be that sweet. I really felt like Bella had tamed the Beast in Miles long before it became evident to others, including Miles. Of course, neither Bella nor Miles was sharing the real reason for wanting to be there, so the secrets and the past seemed to catch up with them. I loved how protective Miles became of Bella and how he started putting her needs above his own. I absolutely loved that he let her younger brother and sister move into the manor so Bella could continue to work with him.
There was a bit of a mystery pertaining to the possible hidden treasure map, and I have to say I was completely wrong in my guess as to who else was looking for the map besides Bella. I seriously had pegged the wrong person simply because he was such an unpleasant individual.
I thoroughly enjoyed Bella and the Beast and am happy to say I have a new go-to author for historical romance. While I started reading historical romances years ago, it seems I only read favorite authors now. I'm happy to say I found a new favorite author in Olivia Drake.
Review copy provided by publisher