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Beauty and the beast fan? Check. Witty romance fan? Check. Love a good book that will make you really think? Also check. If any of these also pertain to you, I would highly recommend this book. This can be classified as a brain teaser the entire way through the book, all while having that lovely undercurrent of romance that I so very much enjoy. Here’s the summary!

Beauty met the Beast and there was . . . Bloody murder?

It’s the Annual Ambassadorial Ball in Glause, and Lady Isabella Farrah, the daughter of New Civet’s Ambassador, is feeling pleasantly scintillated.

In the library is Lord Pecus, a charming gentleman whose double mask hides a beastly face, and who has decided that Isabella is the very person to break the Pecus curse.

In the ball-room is young Lord Topher, who is rapidly falling in love with an older woman.

And in the card-room, lying in a pool of his own blood, is the body of one of Isabella’s oldest friends: Raoul, Civet’s Head Guardsman. The papers sewn into his sash seem to suggest espionage gone wrong, but Isabella is not so certain.

Lord Pecus, as Commander of the Watch, is of the opinion that Isabella should keep out of the investigation and out of danger. Isabella is of the opinion that it is her murder to investigate, and that what a certain Beast-Lord doesn’t know won’t hurt him. . . .

Will Isabella find the murderer before Lord Pecus does, or will she end her investigation as a bloody spatter on the parlour floor?

How to begin in my gushing about how lovely a read this book was? Let’s start with the writing itself. This author has an impressive command of the English language, so much so that I was consulting a dictionary at points. This does not in any way subtract from my enjoyment of the writing, and it shouldn’t from you either! This book flowed like well honeyed tea. It was thoroughly refreshing to read a story so original and a writing style that was like a breath of fresh air.

Now the main character, Lady Farrah, was quite something. I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman in real life who was so incredibly intelligent. This main woman made me feel slightly inadequate, but also made me cheer her on through the entire book. She has a unique ability to appear to be completely innocent while deviously plotting in the back of her head. She was flawless in keeping herself involved with all the drama while not appearing to do so.

In short, I really wish I had half of this woman’s personality. I think I could take over the world if I was her.

Now, I am very particular about how my Beast is written. It’s difficult to create a three dimensional character with someone that’s meant to be brooding and sad. W.R. Gingell manages to make her Beast completely captivating. He’s cursed, he’s beastly, and he’s a perfect witty match for Lady Farrah. He was far too easy to love! I frequently wanted to reach through the pages and mash their faces together because there was so much tension.

This was a very unique take on Beauty and the Beast that I find I really truly enjoyed. I don’t usually buy hard copies of books but this one I will most certainly be buying. How could you not? I definitely missed some key points of figuring out the mystery of the murder (thus will need to reread multiple times) and this would look beautiful on my nightstand.

The only complaint I had was that the ending was (sadly) slightly predictable. There was a lot of run around on who was the murderer, but I really did feel as though the person who it ended up being was who I originally guessed. But it was an entirely entertaining book that was a breath of fresh air. You should definitely find the time to buy it, read it, and then let me know what you thought as well.

Notable Quote –

“Now where had he learned that I was to meet the earl? For learn it he certainly had: there was no toher way of accounting for his suddena dn curious presence in the middle fo the day. I felt a single pulse of pure anger sear through me, right to my fingertips, but it vanished as suddenly as it had struck.” W.R. Gingell – Masque


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