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Rabid Reading

Book reviewer at The Demon Librarian. Evil Queen. Hater of slugs, clowns & the color pink. Pandora addict. Reading, always reading. 

Favorite book genres: UF, PNR, Dystopian, YA/NA/Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Romance, and anything written by Karina Halle.

How Beauty Met the Beast (Tales of the Underlight)

How Beauty Met the Beast - Jax Garren *Find this and other reviews at The Demon Librarian*I am a sucker for fairy tale retellings, so when I saw Jax Garren's "How Beauty Met The Beast", with its gorgeous, eye-catching cover, I immediately added it to my To Be Read list.The "beast" in Garren's tale is Wesley Haukon, aka Hauk. A former soldier who suffered severe injuries and scarring while serving in Afghanistan, he now works for a secret resistance group known as the Underlight, whose mission is to "fight the Enrons of the world through dubiously legal means". Because of Hauk's past, I half-expected the author to play up the tortured hero bit, but no. Hauk is a warm, well-rounded character with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a passionate, loyal heart. He knows what he's lost and what people think when they see him, but instead of moaning about it, or becoming an angry recluse, Hauk does his best to accept the hand fate has dealt him. I thought he was charming, a lovely blend of tough and sweet.Hauk's leading lady, Jolie, is quite an interesting character as well. When you first meet her at the burlesque club and get to "walk" around inside her head, you may think to yourself, "Pffft, beautiful, rebellious rich girl, no real substance....NEXT!" But Jolie is more than a mere stereotype, and in no way does she prove this more than how she interacts with Hauk. When she gets her first eyeful of Hauk (little does she know she's already met him, but more on that later!) she has the expected "you're so scary!" reaction - because, as you know, that's an essential part of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale - but rather than run for the nearest hills, she makes a conscious effort to see beyond the scars and into the heart of the man who has rescued her. She befriends him, laughs with him, helps him fight the good fight...well, suffice to say, she earns every bit of Hauk's devotion.The romance aspect of the story surprised me. With as scorching-hot as Hauk and Jolie's anonymous first meeting was (oh boy, was it ever! I will never look at a sheet the same way again!) I anticipated a lot of steamy sex scenes. Nope! Didn't happen. Garren turned the heat way down and put the physical side of Hauk and Jolie's on the back burner...for now. I hated it and loved it, all at once.There were only a few minor blips in my reading experience. First and foremost, the Underlight's way of life. I understood rationally why the Underlight eschewed any and all things modern, but I confess, I thought it was a bit of an overkill, and borderline ridiculous. Or maybe I'm just too attached to my gadgets and toys and can't imagine willingly giving them up. That's certainly possible. I also felt the Order of Ananke members were a bit cartoon villain-ish. And lastly, the book was too short! I wanted more and was disappointed to discover I have to wait until 2013 for the next installment!If you love fairy tale retellings as much as I do, then this book should be right up your alley.4 Stars ★★★★