The BeastMy Thoughts: First off, I'm a sucker for funky re-imaginings of well known tales. From Hauk's injuries (horrific and terrible) to the fact that Jolie couldn't see past his scars at first to the complex interweaving of a world that uses both magic and machinery, it all worked for me. I'll also admit that knowing this is the first in a multi-book arc made me a little giddy because I'm crazy excited for MOAR TENSION between our hero and heroine. It also helped ease the sting of not getting a clear-cut HEA at the end of this one because now I'm imagining all the ways Hauk and Jolie can engage in the slow build up of a relationship as the series progresses.
Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope…and then he sees her.
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.
Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?
I really liked the idea of an undercity that's practically medieval below the hustle and bustle of a modern city. It tickled my fancy in a big way. Throw in a war vet with a spotty memory (Oh, HAUK!) and the accidentally abducted daughter of a Very Important Man and you have the recipe for more fun than you can shake a stick at. I liked Jolie, btw. I liked that it took her time to get past Hauk's burns and scars but once she did, she treated him just like she'd treat anyone else. Hauk, himself, was pretty awesome with his whole reluctant superhero persona. Plus, you have to love a guy who can hit a Berserker rage and save the girl without a second thought.
Bottom line, knowing that there are more books to come (and more opportunities for sexy times!) helped cement my intense enjoyment in this book. The characters were fun, the bad guys were bad enough to make me happy, and the sexy time was definitely scorching. Fun fun fun.
Books in this series
1. How Beauty Met the Beast - Kindle
2. How Beauty Saved the Beast
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How Beauty Met the Beast was provided for review by Carina Press through NetGalley.