This book is charming and magical and just lovely goodness all (well mostly) in keeping with the story to which it is based. The author captured the love between these characters so well. Beau's ability to see Wolfram in a completely different way than anyone else had before.
Wolfram drew a sharp breath when he came to a drawing of himself.
He almost didn’t believe it, at first. The man on the page looking back at him was smiling— his smile, in fact, was the first thing Wolfram saw: broad and white with full lips, a smile that seemed to take over his face, to be reflected in his eyes and the head held high. Beau had rendered him with a thick jaw, high cheekbones looking noble.
In the sketch, Wolfram looked like a benevolent king, regal and proud.
The difference between what Wolfram saw when he looked in the mirror and what Beau had drawn there was stark. All Wolfram saw of himself were the things that were different, the cruel twist of horns and the frightening teeth.
He makes me look handsome, Wolfram thought.
And while the premise, for the most part, stays true to the Disney classic, it manages to keep you fully engaged and curious as to the outcome.
Beau is absolutely wonderful and so caring and passionate.
And the love that develops between dear Beau and Wolfram is so passionately written. I always love a character who desires another so much that the need to claim them, the need to mark them and possess them is so strong. And this one is captured beautifully.
The others couldn’t see the mark he’d made on the perfect skin, couldn’t smell the way that Wolfram’s scent was all over Beau, claiming him, making it clear who he wanted to be with. They had no idea— and they wouldn’t have any idea until he or Beau told them.
Logically, that was for the best. It meant fewer questions and it would save Beau the embarrassment of being with him out in the open. But the illogical part of him that was half curse, half stubborn pride, was deeply dissatisfied by the fact that none of them knew Beau was his. Wolfram was gripped by an almost irresistible impulse to take him by the hips right where he stood, to lay the length of his body against Beau’s back and make a fresh mark higher on his neck where everyone could see.
And the books...while we all know that dear Belle loves to read, the use of books here was quite different but no less touching.
Wolfram is as charming as ever...I mean who could not love a Beast?
Now this was landing at a 4.5 star read for me due to some dragging around 65% or so. And while I enjoyed the storyline with the Poppa and Gaston characters...I felt these pulled away from what was happening with our leads.
So why then the 4 Stars? Gawd...The Epilogue. Honestly this needs to be scrapped completely. This ending just did not work for me at all!! So unfortunate.
I would still recommend this beauty for sure but damn...maybe skip the epilogue. :(
Well...if Master Bella has not gone and done it again! This was so bloodydamn great. My heavens...and so worth the wait! It has been at least 6 months since we began to be teased with promises of gladiators, hard core sex, graphic violence and language and this one delivers...and delivers brilliantly.
I cannot wait to see where this goes from here.
The world building here is just so well done and the characters being formed rival what I loved so much about The New Haven Series. Mateo is such a strong and incredibly rich character and of course seeing how his relationship with Eloy grows or changes as the story progresses will be just awesome to see. Plus there is Titus, who I love already.
In the earlier days since arriving at the ludus, Mateo had been meek, afraid and uncertain of what would be his fate. He now had some understanding, and he also began to see that if he were to survive, he had to cast away whatever timid feelings he had. He was in a world of warriors and barbarians. They were used to taking what they wanted, giving no apologies, and killing for sport and glory. If he was going to rise in status, he had to become someone new, someone without fear and doubt. He had to become a gladiator.
Indeed he does.
I cannot recommend this one enough! Bravo Master Bella on another winner!!