Recommended Read, Review

Review: Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath (2020)

Sins for All Seasons, Book #6

Heat Factor: She wears a sexy red corset with black lace for seduction purposes…

Character Chemistry: The fact that it was in no way based on seduction lessons made it perfect

Plot: Ostracized former aristocratic woman accepts proposition of brothel owner (among other things) to teach the prostitutes refinement so they can get new jobs. Also, seduction lessons. Ish.

Overall: Heath is just a really good storyteller. That is all.

There were so many opportunities for Beauty Tempts the Beast to fall into common trope traps, and Heath just didn’t go there. It was so. Immensely. Satisfying. 

As I try to consider what pertinent information to provide so you get where I’m coming from, here’s the plot info you need to know:

  • Althea and her brothers lost everything except for a handful of things she managed to pack in a small bag when her Duke father was executed as a traitor for attempting to murder the Queen (that’s just not a good idea). 
  • Beast was abandoned by his mother in the home of a woman known to take in bastard children, and was raised in that close-knit family but was still socially known to be a bastard. 
  • Althea, having absolutely nothing and very few marketable skills, ends up working in a pub in Whitechapel, and that pub happens to be owned by Beast’s sister, so naturally Beast goes there when he wants to get his drink on.
  • Beast realizes that Althea is not from around these parts, and he further realizes that she might be exactly what he needs to get the last six prostitutes living in the brothel he happens to own out of the brothel he happens to own, since he never really wanted to own a brothel in the first place.
  • Althea thinks that Beast’s proposition is sexual in nature and decides to hate his guts forever, but then he rescues her and she overhears her brothers talking, so she decides to forgive him and accept his proposition, only to realize she misread that situation bigtime
  • Beast totally has the hots for Althea, so when she’s like, “Yeah, I’ll accept this oddly  respectable proposition from you, but also I’m going to do life on my terms, so I’m gonna need some seduction lessons for that, which you will give me,” he has a slight existential crisis. 
  • Other things happen, both expected and unexpected, that further the plot.

So, you see, this is just a nice story. While there are opportunities for angst and misunderstanding or miscommunication, Heath doesn’t go the high drama route. This means we don’t get a lot of high highs, but it also means we don’t get a lot of low (slash obnoxious) lows. I was about to be ready for seduction lessons to be a thing I put in my rearview mirror, because I really honestly cannot deal with them in books without my eyes rolling practically out of their sockets…but then every time Althea was all, “Thanks for the lesson!” Beast got grumpy because it wasn’t a lesson, he just wanted to smooch, okay?! I will say about seduction lessons – have you ever noticed that the individual who’s supposed to be learning how to seduce is actually always the one who is seduced? How is that useful? Just. Sigh.

TL;DR – There’s a lot going on for both Beast and Althea in terms of personal history and how that history carries them into their futures AND how they resolve what they think the future should be like versus what they want the future to be like. But Heath never takes it too far, so these protagonists hit bumps and … work through them. Like couples do. Although I suppose most couples aren’t dealing with illegitimacy and disinheritance. Anyway, sometimes it’s not perfect, but when they finally make breakthroughs it’s super satisfying. It’s just a plain good book and artistic license or no, Heath weaves a good yarn.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

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