cover image Beauty’s Beast

Beauty’s Beast

Amanda Ashley. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-3562-6

Ashley (Moonlight) delivers a solidly written but somewhat tired retelling of the classic fairy tale. Sentenced to death for a crime committed in self-defense, Kristine Arrington is spared at the last moment by Erik Trevayne, seventh lord of Hawksbridge Castle. Cursed to a slow and excruciatingly painful transformation by his dead wife’s mother, Erik desperately wants take a new wife and beget an heir, fulfilling a vow made to his late father. But he doesn’t expect Kristine to insinuates herself slowly into his lonely life. With brief nods to witches and werewolves, the novel primarily focuses on the relationship between the beast and the beauty, relying on stereotypical tropes and relatively elementary plot development. It’s as predictable as it is repetitive with few, if any, surprises to distinguish it from countless other variations on the theme. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethen Ellenberg Literary Agency. (Sept.)