Book Review: Gerard's Beauty by Marie Hall

Gerard's Beauty is the second novella, or short novel, in the Kingdom series by Marie Hall. This installment offers readers a fresh look at the story of Beauty and the Beast from the villain's perspective.  Betty Hart is a librarian who has been jilted and is being harassed by her ex's new girlfriend. She spends her time with her nephew, watching too much Anime by night, and occasionally dressing up like a superhero on the weekends with her fellow ‘Bleeding Heart’ nerds, and men are no longer welcome. Gerard Caron has been caught with his pants down and is forced to hide on earth while his fate is decided in the Kingdom. His fairy godmother Danika knows that he only hope is to find his mate, which of course is Ms. Hart. However, she wants nothing to do with the strange man reeking of alcohol and looking like he was in a serious brawl. The fact that he spends two days on the library's bench does not help. It is only her soft heart that bring the two together and start them on a path that will either save them, or destroy both of their lives.

Gerard's Beauty is set in the real world for the most part, rather than the Kingdom. However I feel like we get a better look at the characters because of it, and a glimpse of the tension between the fairy's which becomes increasingly important as the series goes forward. Gerard is a Casanova and self proclaimed bachelor, but he has his reasons. He plays a part in the story of Beauty and the Beast, be he is far from the villain the story made him out to be. Betty is tired of womanizing men, and ready to be single for awhile. Gerard is far from what she thinks she wants, and a punishment from the Kingdom for Gerard binds the two together in a way that could put both of their hearts at risk. I really enjoyed the twist, and the inner struggles of both main characters since letting go of their baggage and falling in love was against both of their better judgement.

I highly recommend Gerard's Beauty to readers that enjoyed Her Mad Hatter and Hall's work in general. The pacing of the story was just about perfect, and did not race to the finish or make me feel like I was struggling towards the end.
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