Title: When Beauty Tamed the Beast

Author: Eloisa James

Redonk Nutshell: Regency era House M.D. meets his match

Official Synopsis: Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she’s betrothed to a Beast. Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman. Linnet is not just any woman. She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks. Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return. If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?

Remember that one post where I said I was attempting to exercise self control and not purchase books (you know, the one from yesterday?)?  EPIC FAIL.  I couldn’t help it, though.  I had downloaded a sample of When Beauty Tamed the Beast via my Kindle app and I was sucked in.  I even picked up my first available book from the library (Lisa Kleypas’s Seduce me at Sunrise) and I just couldn’t get into it.  My imagination is stubborn like that sometimes, I guess.  So I crumbled and bought this book.  And I am SOOO glad I did, because I adored it.  I read it in one sitting.  Yeah, I was up until midnight, but it was worth it.

It’s hard being beautiful.  Especially when you’re turned down by a prince and a nasty rumor starts circulating that you’re knocked up (damn that dress looked good on paper but not so flattering in reality).  Linnet’s reputation hangs in delicate balance and her father and aunt take it upon themselves to rectify the situation by setting her up with the Earl of Marchant, Piers Yelverton,  aka The Beast.  Why is he called The Beast?  Because he’s a bit of,er, a smartass.  Doesn’t give a toss what people say or think about him.  He’s a brilliant doctor and he gets results where other don’t, so he couldn’t give two figs about other people’s opinions of him.  He’s grump because of an injury he sustained to his leg that permanently handicapped him (Hey House fans, is this sounding familiar?).  He’s less than thrilled when his estranged father shows up with Linnet, his imposed fiancee, but he deals with it in a way only he can – snarky sarcasm.  But he’s pleasantly surprised when Linnet snarks right back at him.

James weaves a beautifully witty story between two strong characters who end up falling helplessly for each other.  They spar from their first meeting on, and it’s hilariously wonderful:

“I suppose you think I’ll fall in love with you,” he said.    “Quite likely.”   “How long do you give yourself?” He sounded genuinely curious.    “Two weeks at the outside.”  And then she did give him The Smile – dimples, charm, sensuality and all.

He didn’t even blink.  “Was that the best you’ve got?”  Despite herself, a giggle escaped, and then another.  “Generally that’s more than enough.”       “I suppose I should say something reassuring at this point.”  He pitched his voice to a groveling apology.  “It’s not me, it’s you.” Then: “Oops! Got that backwards.  It’s not you, it’s me.”

I personally love House M.D., and I found this romance novel refreshing and enchanting at its usage of the hit TV show as inspiration.  James explains at the end of the book that she did, indeed, use the show as fodder for imagination.  I wasn’t bothered by this, though I could understand if other readers found themselves distracted by the constant comparison.  Personally, I really looked forward to what would come out of Piers’ mouth next.

I really enjoyed this book.  It made me laugh out loud at times, and I was genuinely endeared to the characters.  I’m don’t regret my lack of self control, because I definitely see myself reading this book again in the future, and probably many times thereafter.

What I loved about this book: The banter, the humor, the imperfect nature of the characters and them coming to terms with it

What I didn’t like: I thought the pacing was a bit slow in the beginning; some readers may be turned off by the constant similarities to House

Rating: A

If James’ other books are as fun as this one I’ll definitely be adding them to my to-be-read list.

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