I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Beauty and the Recluse by Ellie Gray
Published by Tirgearr Publishing on February 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Retelling, Young Adult
Source: ARC from publisher
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Following the recent death of her father, and in need of both a job and somewhere to live, Kiya takes a housekeeping job on the spur of the moment. She soon finds herself living in a beautiful but neglected mansion, working for a strange and reclusive man.
St. John is a man scarred by the past, both physically and emotionally, and is determined to live out his life alone. They are two very different people, drawn to each other almost against their will, but can Kiya convince St. John that he is not the monster he believes himself to be?
I loved this book! It was so sweet. I haven’t read many retellings, but I know this is a very good one. It was more of a social drama than anything else and I enjoyed that.
Kiya was so loving and innocent and a perfect influence on St. John. He had his unexpectedly cruel moments, even up until the end, but of course it’s very hard to change your nature in that amount of time. Still, it was difficult seeing Kiya have to deal with that. But he had his sweet moments too. At times I wondered how Kiya could put up with him, and at other times I wondered how she could possibly fail to guess his real feelings, but looking back on it, of course she would always be having the wrong feelings. He was a moody man. Very difficult to be around. But if Kiya could manage it, then I’m sure it would all work out. There’s hope for him yet.
As for the plot, there was nothing too surprising. It was a short read, so some aspects came quickly, but nothing was really “out of nowhere” since the plot was predictable enough. (Not every single event that happened, but the nature of the event.) I think that’s because it was a retelling. We know the plot structure for this type of story. Either way, it was still interesting seeing how the characters would handle these things. There was some psychological manipulation and a lot of misunderstanding. That always makes for an interesting (if excruciating) tale but an even more satisfying resolution. I almost wanted it to get worse because I knew the end would be that much more satisfying. Anyway, as is typical, a lot of the misunderstandings wouldn’t have occurred if the characters had actually been open and honest about everything, their feelings especially. But when is that ever completely true?
The one thing I wish I had seen more of was Kiya’s and St. John’s relationship, or at least the good times. When there were good times, most often it didn’t feel complete because they always held false beliefs about the other. That sort of ruined the moment. It was a short read, but it would have been nice if the resolution had gone on a little longer so we could see more true happiness. I know people don’t really care to read that all the time—it’s more of the journey—but I would have liked it.
Anyway, I really liked this book! Quick read, funny at times, very sweet, very much a modern-day (or more modern) fairy tale. Had some nice passionate moments and some exciting drama.
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