TBR Challenge: July Category- Fairy Tale. Sleeping Beauty has been on my TBR list since June 28, 2010.
15 years ago, Anne's older sister Brooke was mu...moreTBR Challenge: July Category- Fairy Tale. Sleeping Beauty has been on my TBR list since June 28, 2010.
15 years ago, Anne's older sister Brooke was murdered. Anne's controlling mother, guilt-ridden brother, emotionally absent father, and even the well-meaning small town have all contributed in keeping Anne in an emotional limbo. She's tried to please her mother by being perfect, and everyone else has tried to protect her by being smothering and over-protective.
Into this half-life rides true-crime author Niell, whose motorcycle breaks down in Anne's small town. His attraction to Anne shakes up her world, and brings on emotional confrontations with friends and family. The book isn't a suspense. The lasting effects of Brooke's murder are the backdrop for the awakening of this particular Sleeping Beauty. The tension level is kept fairly low.
Overall a quick and enjoyable read. Nothing original, but pleasant.(less)
To Beguile a Beast was a very enjoyable take on the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale. Hoyt breaks the mold by having the heroine be a runaway mistres...moreTo Beguile a Beast was a very enjoyable take on the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale. Hoyt breaks the mold by having the heroine be a runaway mistress of a powerful duke. While the reader has sympathy for Helen, and while Helen is sorry for her poor choices, she's also a strong woman who doesn't make excuses for her past. I liked her character a great deal.
Alistair is a a great character as well. Hoyt succeeds in creating a damaged, tortured hero. In fact, one of the great strengths of this book is the character development. Even the children, Abigail and Jamie, are well-done and believable.
I read the first book in the Legend of the Four Soldier series, and now that I've read this one (book 3) I intend to read the fourth book (and last one) at least. I'm very curious about the Spinner's Falls mystery.
The audiobook was narrated by Anne Flosnik, and was my second narration by her. Her narration style seems "formal," if that makes sense. I'm not sure it's my favorite style, but overall she does a good job on this book. I did think she tried too hard on the love scenes, making them feel overly dramatic. (less)
Speaking of Audiobook Listing Challenge 2011: Listen to a book released in 2011.
Having never read author Eloisa James before, I bought the audiobook o...moreSpeaking of Audiobook Listing Challenge 2011: Listen to a book released in 2011.
Having never read author Eloisa James before, I bought the audiobook on the strength of several good reviews and after listening to a sample on Audible.com. The sample hinted at the possibility of wry humor and I decided to take the chance. I'm so glad I did. While not a perfect book, When Beauty Tamed the Beast is very cleverly written and thoroughly enjoyable.
Both main characters were strong, but Linnet was a delightful surprise. Her character is quick-witted and sharp-tongued, but not spiteful. She starts out a little shallow, but never mean-spirited. The combination of innocence and jadedness was especially appealing. Piers, based on the irascible Dr. House of Fox network fame, was completely believable as the "beast."
James' secondary characters are no less interesting, giving the book a well-rounded feel.
The conversations in the book were a particularly well done, with plenty of verbal sparring and clever phrasing. I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. My only complaint is the anachronisms James decided to include, such as the names of two of Piers' student doctors (Kibbles and Bits) and the line, "What happens in Wales, remains in Wales."
Susan Duerden's character voices, both male and female, were excellent. Her narration of the prose sections was less satisfying, as she tended to deliver the lines in what I would describe as a sing-song, or undulating, fashion. Overall I would still rate her narration a 4* since I quickly got used to her narrating style and her character voices are much better than average.(less)
I ended up enjoying the historical more than I expected to. I liked the Beauty and the Beast take-off. I didn't mind the sometimes silly heroine s...more3.5*
I ended up enjoying the historical more than I expected to. I liked the Beauty and the Beast take-off. I didn't mind the sometimes silly heroine so much, and even the incredulity of the plot didn't bother me, probably helped by the fact that this was a fairy tale remix. The book is written in an old school style and was too wordy. At 560=+ pages it could easily ahve lost 150 of those with no loss to the story.
I decided to round down rather than up simply due to my own embarrassment at liking the book. ;-)(less)