Book Review: Beauty and the Wolf by Marina Myles

Beauty and the Wolf is the first book in The Cursed Princes series by Marina Myles. It is a historical romance, with a paranormal twist, as well as a retelling of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. Isabella Farrington is married Lord Draven Winthrop in haste, with each of the parties having an ulterior motive. While there was an attraction there are also two curses to be overcome. Draven is known as 'the Earl of Madness' and is feared and avoided by most, he also happens to carry the weight of a gypsy curse. Isabella wears a necklace her father unburied, which supposedly hold an Egyptian curse.  The twists and secrets to not end there; a mother's scorn for her only son, Isabella's craving to be a mother, and a family plot and betrayal.

Beauty and the Wolf is a solid debut novel, but does not stand out as a must read. The start of the retelling is very well done, and I think the twist to the classic story is great. However, I think that there just might be too much going on here. Myles could have skipped a twist, or two, and still have had an engaging and fun summer read. I think she just wanted to get too much in a single book. The two curses would have been enough conflict, adding Isabella's desire to be a mother would also have been a fine addition. However, adding in the additional family dramas seemed to just detract from the love story. Because of this, I had a little bit of trouble connecting to the characters.

I would recommend Beauty and the Wolf to readers that are interested in fairy tale re-tellings, particularly those that are something a little different than expected. It was not a stand out must read, but is worth a look and read if you get a chance. I am hoping that Myles will continue this series and I have high hopes that her work will improve and evolve as she gets more experience and feedback.
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