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(Estill County Mountain Man #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,755 ratings  ·  403 reviews
This modern re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast Fairytale is the story of Lt. Christopher Jameson AKA Beast, a Marine born with a severe facial deformity.

Award winning author Pepper Pace gives us an enticing twist with the introduction of Ashleigh, a plus size beauty with identity issues. This adult romance will leave you questioning the definition of beauty.

Adult theme
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 401 pages
Published September 22nd 2012 by Pepper Pace
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  3,755 ratings  ·  403 reviews

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of beauty and the beast, less than perfect love stories
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) by: Many on the Fans of IRR group
Oh my goodness. This is one of those that has a sappy romantic like myself sighing. A lonely, isolated man. A woman who 'has it together' or so it seems, but is a wreck on the inside. And they find each other.

The Beauty and the Beast retelling doesn't get old for me. After all, I am a die-hard romantic and a die-hard fairy tale lover. Pepper Pace does both so well here. Yet, instead of the Beast being grumpy and surly, Christopher is the sweetest teddy bear (although he probably resembles a Griz
I appreciate a good retelling of an old tale. Beast tells the story of Ashleigh Dalton the plus-size person in her group of friends. She’s mid-thirties, successful in her career as an analyst for the government; looking from the outside in you would think she’s got it all together - except she’s just found out that her boyfriend of three years just married his ‘other’ girlfriend of six months. Lt. Christopher Jameson, 6’7” – 302lbs, Special Ops Marine, works in the same building as Ashleigh. Aft ...more
 ~*~Princess Nhya~*~
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ANYONE
Recommended to ~*~Princess Nhya~*~ by: No one
5 out of 5 Stars! WOW WOW WOW!!!

I could not put this book down. I love absolutely everything about this story. This one is a gem that will certainly touch your heart. To my core I felt what these two main characters were feeling.

Christopher! Totally fell in love with this man. Don't think I've ever read such a perfect combination of an Alpha/Beta male on the written page. Couldn't imagine what his shoes would feel like if I were the one who had to wear them, but I felt him just the same.

SamJ ★Needs a HEA★
I loved this.

I finished reading it and I was just "awwwwww"

Tbh, I love this sort of story.

A few issues I had would be that you would be reading and all of a sudden it was a week, 2 weeks, a month later. occasionally, the timeline would be confused, at one point, it was one day since the hero had spoken to someone, and then in the next paragraph in the same scene it was a month since he had spoken to that someone.

But, only very minor issues, and it was still 5 stars for me, as I just loved the s
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Pepper Pace book and I feel like a total idiot. Why did I wait so long to read one of her books. I know why Misconceived notions of the type of stories she writes. This book was called Beast a man who was deformed due to a a Cleft Palate and bad surgery at a young age. when I read the description I said no I can't read that it will be sad and definitely not sexy. Like I said I am a Idiot this books is Very sexy and sweet the love story is wonderful. I fell in love with Christoph ...more
Written August 29, 2014

3 1/2 Stars - Nice, thoughtful and romantic ... and two lovable characters

A twisted Beauty & Beast romance. — A Beast with a destroyed face and a plus sized Beauty who has identity issues.

A good nice one! I liked to listening to this story, well narrated and a kind of simple ears entertainment.


Ashleigh Dalton is a short plump (plus-size), beautiful light-skinned Af-Am woman in her mid-thirties. She is a
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like twists on a fairy tale
“I’m learning, sweetheart. Just…please be patient with me. It’s hard to undo a lifetime of insecurities.”

She gave him a solemn look. “I know.”

3.5 stars for overall plot
4 stars for the story it wants to be

This story is a spin on the old tale, Beauty and the Beast, but really, the beast is more than a scarred man who falls in love with a beauty.

In this story, both the hero and the heroine carry a beast inside of them, the hero with his inward loneliness and outward isolation due to his defor
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow...Pepper Pace does it again. I think that out of all of her books that I've read so far, this is my favorite. Sure, there were editing issues, but this story was just beautiful.
I actually liked both characters: the female protagonist - Ash - didn't make me want to give her a beat down. As for Beast...he has got to be one of the best male characters around, disfigured face and all.
I like when characters grow and learn from life's lessons, and the H/h in this story did just that.
4.5 stars!
This is a book that I probably wouldn't have ordinarily bought based on just looking at the cover however this was a very nicely told story very modern beauty and the beast! The story is about racial couple with insecurities about there appearance. These insecurities have been something that bothered him for a lifetime sort crippled them a bit. But each finds something other needs in each other. The story is written by pepper pace I am never disappointed when I l read one of her books she always ...more
Dec 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this story, but there were a few things that prevented that. The first and foremost was the lack of copy editing. I realize that most people don't care about grammar, but there were so many mistakes, I was taken right out of the story. The constant switching of POV made my head spin. Lastly, I wanted a bit more tension between the main characters before they got together.
Gisele Walko
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am completely biased, because I think everything Pepper Pace does is perfect. That being said.....This is the most fantastic version of Beauty and the Beast. All re-tellings of fairytales should be this unique and well written. I loved Christopher and Ashleigh, how they were both flawed but still perfect, and how they found love and support in each other.
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
Christopher aka "Beast" has a badly mangled face, all people ever see when they look at his scarred face and massive body is a monster, never really knowing the man he is underneath. Ashleigh has had her heartbroken once again, men thinking they can walk all over her just because she is plus sized. When the two meet can they both get past their own prejudices and insecurities and create their own Beauty & the Beast fairytale?

I may have found a new author to stalk, Pepper Pace has completely blow
Nessa Mcvea
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: grimace
We need to talk about this book. I have so many conflicting feelings you guys.
1. The introduction is so minimal and then we immediately jump into the protagonist wanting to do real physical damage to her beau (DeAngelo). Now I understand why. You needed a hook to bring your readers in. I do get that. However, the moment I start reading your editing is the most distracting thing. Perhaps because the ENTIRE (and I do not exaggerate, I do mean the entire) work is so obviously unedited. There are
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was a slow burn book where it starts with an ‘ok let’s do this’ to ‘now I’m really liking it’ to ‘this is getting better and better’ to ‘Wow’!
I loved beast and his family. As for the heroine I disliked her initially but she matured and transformed to a strong heroine infront of my eyes. Later when We meets her family her personality is justified.I loved their romance and family gatherings. Both is written beautifully. There are some powerful messages in this book. Beast’s marine friends
McGee Magoo
I feel like I can't even come up with a review good enough for this book. Or one that doesn't have spoilers.

There are just some tropes that get to me, you know? If an M/C is disfigured or disabled--BRING IT ON! I want to read that book ASAP. The angst level is so deliciously high, I'm in love by the time I've finished reading the synopsis. Okay, add to that a heroine that is a BBW (Big Beautiful Woman)--which is another of my favorite things--and I'm practically weeping tears of joy. But wait--
Theodora Taylor
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Description: When plus-size beauty, Ashleigh, meets Chris, a “beast” of a marine with a face disfigured from a cleft palate at the gym, sparks fly. But can she overcome her baggage and make an HEA happen with the best man she’s ever had the honor of dating? BEAST quite deservedly made it to the semi-final rounds of this year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

The Good: I’m so late on this, that I doubt anyone who reads this review hasn’t actually already read the book yet. But I’m going t
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing comes Ms Pace with her beautiful, fantastic love story. Christopher and Ashleigh....aaaawwwww...I just love Christopher and what he stood for. Ashleigh sound adorable and LOVES Christopher for exactly who he was and not what he looked like. Ms Pace tells a story that we can all relate to cos we are not perfect and we all have our insecurities. This book tells a story about inner beauty and seeing a person for who they are. I so love this story, it had deep emotions, feelings, reality ...more
Michelle [Helen Geek]
02/17/2013 -- Brief Rating explanation

Overall Rating = 3 Stars
Book Cover / Book Blurb = 3 / 2 = 2.5 Stars
Writer’s Voice = 3 Stars
Character Development = 4 Stars
Story Appreciation = 3.5 Stars
Worth the Chili = 2 Stars [$4.99 Amazon – not available B&N]

This is an inter-racial story taken loosely from the Disney "Beauty & the Beast" model. When you read the blurb you think this H gets wounded causing the extensive facial damage. This is not the case. The heroine is a larger, light skinned African Am
Kathy Reader
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, 3-stars
This book wasn't too bad. I didn't like her style of writing it sometimes seemed disjointed.
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
First time I read something from this author and it will nog be the last time.
What do you get when an overweight, slightly shallow black woman meets a disfigured, lonely, white Marine? A great twist on an old classic!

Beast by Pepper Pace was a totally random pick for me and a little different than the normal romances I pick out. I saw someone post that it was on sale, read the blurb, and immediately downloaded it. The story was a great mix of a lot of things I really like. It was part sweet and part sexy, part real, part fairy tale. There was definitely some humor thrown
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I adored this story it had so many eliments that drew me in and I always appreciate the lenthyness of her books. This story was so profound and greatly told it was one of my favorites. The love Ms. Pace gives the two main characters Chris/Ashleigh is outstanding. His mother was one of my fav additional characters. At first Kendra was getting on my nerves and being not a cool friend but my feelings changed for her. Lance was a great friend to Ashleigh glad him and Rick worked it out. The epilogue ...more
Elise-Pinterest+Goodreads=The Perfect Book Boyfriend
This is the story of Christopher large scarred Marine. He was born with a bilateral cleft lip, palate and had facial deformities. His family was poor and did not have the money to have it fixed properly. The surgeon that repaired it, left him horribly scarred and, because he is so large, he is terrifying to look at. The heroine, Ashleigh, is overweight short and has just been dumped by her boyfriend (who married someone else while dating her). She has believes she needs to lose weight but does n ...more
Pepper Pace does it again! She always manages to weave a story with so much relatibility. I loved the duality of Chrisopher - the fact that he was insecure at times but still an Alpha male! I love military men - So Sexy! You'll be crying one moment; laughing the next and totally captivated by the Hot love scenes and unconditional love between the H and the h. Also, I love the fact that the author's characters have a disability or imperfection according to the world. Ms. Pace helps us as humans t ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was fantastic. Loved it! You never know what a person goes through in their own skin. I could feel how each person felt whether is was weight or a facial disfigurement. This author touched on so many things in the book. Bulimia, Racism, dementia, etc. Beauty should be seen from the inside, but in this day and age it isn't. The two most unlikely people fell in love. Now, how many times have you seen a couple in real life and couldn't figure how they got together. You never know who you will ...more
Five stars for the story, 2.5 for the way it was put together, plus one for the feels. Ashleigh and Christopher are darling people, and they have to deal with some situations, but the story is compelling af.
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it

This was my first book by this Author. I enjoyed the storyline very much. I loved the relationship between the two main characters.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pretty hot reading. The Hero is celibate and he is in special forces. He is quite socially awkward due to his face (cranial deformities). I liked that they became friends first. Hero had his face reconstructed eventually. I don’t begrudge him of fixing his face.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this beauty and the beast trope book with a twist. It features Ashleigh, a black plus-sized, beautiful, professionally successful heroine with a myriad of insecurities and Christopher, a white marine who is considered ugly and “beastly” due to reasons out of his control who meet each other at a point where they’re both exactly what the other needs.

I like that this romance explores a relatable relationship of getting to know someone becoming friends before starting a relationship.
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Who is Pepper Pace?

Pepper Pace is the pen name used by the author. Born and raised in Cincinnati, she has always enjoyed creativity. At a very young age, Pepper had a gift for art and would spend most of her spare time drawing images that she later began adding stories behind. Soon writing became more important than the illustrations and though she still loved art, it took a back seat to her real

Other books in the series

Estill County Mountain Man (5 books)
  • A Wrong Turn Towards Love (Estill County Mountain Man, #2)
  • True's Love (Estill County Mountain Man, #3)
  • The Miseducation of Riley Pranger (Estill County Mountain Man #4)
  • A Christmas Redemption (Estill County Mountain Man #5)

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“He looked at her in complete devotion. “We made a little baby…”

She smiled and giggled. “It wasn’t that hard either, was it?”

“I don’t know about you but I was working pretty hard.”
“Christopher…you are the one that’s beautiful.” She lifted her head. “And not just on the inside. You’re beautiful on the outside, too. To me…you’re perfect.” She could see several emotions move across his face before his eyes half closed...

“You say that to me…and if you’re not careful you might end up stuck with me.” It was a warning.”
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