Friday, 8 July 2011

Fairy Tale Recommendations: Beauty and the Beast variations

It's time for another book recommendation post! This time I've put together some Beauty and the Beast retellings, and as you can see there is a variety of genres in the palette:

The modern, original one:

Melinda Lightfoot, a preschool teacher with an unusual ability to flit in and out of fairy tales, never thought she would get into trouble...

...until the Fairy Tale Police arrest her while she is in Beauty and the Beast. They offer her a deal: Find Beauty, who left the story when Melinda trespassed into it, or be charged with the ultimate crime -- Fairy Tale Killer. If that's not bad enough the Beast tags along in search of his true love, and Melinda starts falling for the fairy tale prince. She must choose between doing the right thing and having her own happily ever after.

Warning: This title contains the following: Fairy Godmother, the Wicked Witch, dysfunctional fairy tale families, ax-wielding executioners and a happily ever after (or two).

 The magical ones:

A strange imprisonment...

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.

When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, "Cannot a Beast be tamed?"

Robin McKinley's beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple, Beauty and the Beast.

One of the biggest problems for the fantasy-reading world is that Robin McKinley doesn't write enough. The other is that her books are often published as young adult novels in hardcover, so they might be missed. This one shouldn't be missed. It's a return to the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast," the story that underlay her first published work, Beauty (available in a HarperCollins YA edition), and as such it's a story that offers no genuine surprises. That said, it offers a wonderful, deep sense of magic, a warm affection for characters that's almost unparalleled, and a love of growing things, of gardening, that's probably -- in this genre -- just as unique. Beauty and her sisters, having had their lives destroyed by the tragedy of their father's financial misfortunes, travel to the countryside and there find and make a home for themselves in a lovely cottage where roses once bloomed. Roses are McKinley's symbol for magic here, but they're also her symbol for love -- and they take careful work, thorns and all; she doesn't imply that either love or magic comes easily. Highly recommended.

The sexy one:

Is the enemy of her enemy a friend-or a beast?

Lord Ashworth is scarred by a night of terror years ago that left his face in ruins and his life in shreds. He hides in Silverstone Manor, using rumors that paint him as a horrible, murdering monster to keep visitors at bay. Yet he can't shake the feeling that the rumors might be true. He tells himself it's better this way. If his memories ever resurface, at least he will be the only one hurt by them.

The woman on his doorstep, however, simply refuses to fear him. That's not only an oddity, it's a threat to his secret-and his heart.

Vivian Suttley has seen the face of evil more than once in her young life. She's on the run from the latest, a cruel man determined to force her to marry him. Whatever the whispers about the reclusive Ashworth, surely it's nothing compared to the bleak, violent future she leaves behind.

Ashworth saved her once before, and he-s her last hope for refuge. Yet she wonders if she's truly safer at Silverstone-or if she has just made the biggest mistake of her life.

Warning: This book contains a lot of sexual tension and several sexual scenes, have a fan ready!

The erotic one:

Loving the Beast by Naima Simone (Fairy Tales Unleashed)

Left scarred and bitter, he demands her body and desires her heart. But could she come to love a beast?

Gwendolyn Sinclair needs help. And the one person who can give her the aid she urgently requires is exacting a high price.

Desperate to keep the neighborhood community center open, Gwendolyn seeks out Xavier St. James, her childhood friend and the brother of her dead fiance. Xavier's family foundation possesses the funds necessary to keep the center open, but instead he offers a bargain—a devil's bargain: submit her body for his pleasure for seven days, and the building doesn't close its doors.

Left scarred from an accident, Xavier is bitter, resentful, and alone. When Gwendolyn reappears in his life, need and loneliness override conscience, and he proposes an arrangement she can't afford to refuse. With the woman he has always wanted but could never have finally in his bed, he hungers for more. Her heart. But could she come to love a beast?

The historical one:

Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she's betrothed to a Beast.

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.

Linnet is not just any woman.

She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.

Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return.

If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?

Have you found your kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling? If you know of any other (be it picture book, paranormal, erotica, historical romance, etc.), please let me know and I'll add them to the list.

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