Also in this series: If the Slipper Fits, Stroke of Midnight, Abducted by a Prince, The Scandalous Flirt
Series: Cinderella Sisterhood #4
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on November 3, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era, Fairy Tales
Bella Jones' father, Sir Seymour Jones, was an explorer/adventurer who revealed to her on his deathbed that the late Duke of Aylwin, whom he helped inquire antiquities in Egypt, had promised him half of a pharaoh's treasure. However, Bella must find the map to the hidden trove to prevent her and her brother and sister from living in poverty.
Bella takes a job as a curator working for the late duke's son to help him catalogue his father's artifacts in London. She doesn't reveal who she is or what her motives are, but when the attraction between them because impossible to ignore, the issue of the hidden treasure becomes a more complicated secret than either of them could ever imagine.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Bella and the Beast is part of a sweet and fun fairy tale retelling series “Cinderella Sisterhood” and I have enjoyed (for the most part ) each installment in the series. These books aren’t going to work for everyone, but they REALLY work for me. There is just something about these books and the couples I have read so far that I am totally on board with. This book features the retelling (which is pretty obvious) Beauty and the Beast and adds in a twist of a mystery, Boss and Employee trope/and a bit of Enemies to Lovers with some sexy sensuality, a grumpy hero, a fun heroine and a treasure to find.
Clarissa, is our fairy godmother of the series, and when she hears word of a certain young lady returning to England, her matchmaking mind goes at warp speed and starts to make her plans.
Isabella (Bella) grew up traveling along with her father and her twin siblings. Her mother died when she was young, but now her father has just passed away with his last words being “Find Aylwin and the Pharoahs Treasure”. So she goes back to England, to the only home that she and her siblings have….a small cottage and goes out in search for a job. But with her middle eastern clothing, she is having a hard time being accepted anyone. But when she comes home, she sees a stranger in her home, drinking tea with her siblings who isn’t fazed by their eccentrics. She claims she can help her find a job, if she wears certain “slippers” and seek out the job as Aylwin’s assistant.
Miles Grayson, is busy studying his artifacts and doesn’t like to be bothered by anyone, most especially a young lady that may be beautiful, but she is entering his private domain, where he wants to be left alone, only to be somehow convinced to take her on as his assistant in cataloguing the artifacts. And what is worse is that she is the daughter of the man he suspects killed his father in Egypt.
Miles and Bella have a history of when they were children, and their fathers worked together and Miles might have found the six year old girl annoying at times to a thirteen old boy, but he saved her life. As Bella starts to work with the artifacts and slowly gets to know Miles, she start to remember flashes of her life with her father in Egypt, and most especially her interaction with Miles. But Bella has a job to do, to find the treasure that will keep her siblings fed with a roof over their heads. But when she goes in search for clues in his “forbidden” wing he comes upon her and his words come back to her and she knows she is in trouble but she is also thrilled by his touch and his kiss. But there is a problem, no matter how hot their chemistry, or how emotions are starting to get in the way of their professional relationship, Bella doesn’t believe she is good for a Duke. She may have Aristocracy blood running through her veins, but she has lived out of England most of her life and wouldn’t know the first thing about being a duchess. But right when she begins to feel like she is finding a place, her life is threatened and by someone she would never expect because searching for a lost treasure has its consequences…
Bella and the Beast was such a whirlwind of a romance and I really enjoyed this book SO much and I am relieved that I finally grabbed it up because it was REALLY good. I loved the group of themes we have introduced and these characters were delightful. I did find the hero slightly darker than the other books that I have read from Drake, but considering he is the big bad beast of a man, it is to be expected. The dynamics of these characters are “opposites attract” and holds so true for Miles and Bella. Miles is a grouch, grumpy, rough around the edges, impatient and likes his solitude. Bella is happy and cheerful, nothing gets her down, she is responsible but also spirited and quick witted. She keeps Miles on his toes and is definitely a “glass half full” type of gal. She even has a tattoo…which was so cool. You rarely see that in historical romance. We get some fun moments with Bella’s siblings, and boy I loved these twins. They were so funny and totally fit the bill for teenagers just wanting to spread their wings. At we get some great moments with Bella and Miles cousin and his wife (who are horrible) but Bella totally puts them in their place and I LOVED that. Seeing this heroine be so quick witted and defending Miles was pure delight.
Bella darling, I want you so very much. You’re a fever in my blood.
I really liked how this story played out in the end, and boy the romance was really great too. I adored the way their chemistry builds between them and man this book got me so hot and bothered at times without even meaning to. The hero is very dark and sensual and yeah his whole ” you dare come to my wing which is forbidden, I will taste you” got shivers up and down my spine but in a good way. I did find the sexy times to be really sensual and a bit more steamier than I was expecting from this author, but I really enjoyed the writing style in bring the powerful chemistry to the pages. There aren’t many sexy moments, but the ones that are in the book are very well written.
The treasure can remain hidden….as long as I have you
Overall I found Bella and the Beast to be a KEEPER….this story had me on my toes, it kept me interested, the romance was sexy and the plot was killer and plus you get to solve a mystery….can you get it right? A PURE DELIGHT IN REAWAKENING A FAIRY TALE!!