on November 19th 2012
Book one in Tales of the Underlight
Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope...and then he sees her.
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.
Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?
How Beauty Met the Beast is a modern spin on the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. It is the story of a young burlesque dancer named Jolie Benoit who is rescued from a kidnapping and near rape by Wesley Haukon (who goes by the moniker Hauk). Hauk is a badly burned ex-Army ranger who now works for a secretive underground movement dedicated to fighting injustice called Underlight. Jolie is the daughter of a rich media mogul who may be in fact be in league with Underlight’s enemies. Jolie and Hauk have to team up when Jolie’s niece is kidnapped by the same people who attacked her.
I enjoyed the story for the most part and both Jolie and Hauk were likeable and endearing characters. I enjoyed getting to know them and their burgeoning friendship was sweet and believable. They definitely have a spark between them, even though initially Jolie is put of by Hauk’s disfiguring burns. The only thing I wasn’t as keen on was the way in which the two characters initially met (Hauk and Jolie have a sexual encounter after Hauk sees her performing her burlesque routine, through a sheet no less) so Jolie isn’t even aware throughout much of the story that it was Hauk she was with which I feel slightly cheapens their developing relationship.
I would have liked to have seen a tad more world-building as the background story of Underlight seems interesting but is not really the focus of this story. I believe this is the first in a planned trilogy and I will definitely be checking out the next in the series when it is released.