"He was a man who was accustomed to being obeyed. From the plush carriage to Lord Pichon's immaculate dress, wealth surrounded him. No. Georgiana tossed the thought. That wasn't it. There was something intangible about Lord Pichon. There was a power, a pull to him that she felt. It wasn't wealth. It was...drat. She didn't know. Nor did she understand it."
As a child Georgiana de Beaumont learned of her father and his adventures through letters while sitting on her mother's lap. After the tragic death of both her sister and mother, Georgiana moves to London to share a home with her father. Her hopes for a safe haven are soon dashed. When Georgiana's father makes a terrible mistake she finds her family at the mercy of Lord Pichon. In an attempt to salvage her father's fate she sacrifices herself and offers to serve as a servant in Lord Pichon's castle. They soon learn that all is not as it seems and there are more characters in play than a desperate locksmith.
thoughts & feelings
Most of you know that I am a huge sucker for fairy tale remakes. I love seeing how authors change the characters and story line to make it their own. Clarissa Kae's spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast is magical. This novel is set in the Victorian Era so there is no literal magic. No enchantress, no magic rose, no curse. Despite the lack of magic, it is still easy to connect the main characters Clarissa Kae has created to the beloved, and sometimes hated, characters of Beauty and the Beast.
I absolutely loved this fairy tale retelling. I loved seeing the story set in the "real world" with absolutely no magic. This is something I have not encountered in a fairy tale remake before. Since the setting was anchored in the Victorian Era the plot followed and I was actually thrown a few surprises along the way! The interweaving of history with the original plot line was *chef's kiss* perfection.
Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the book was the perception and personification of beauty. We all know that in the classic Beauty and the Beast story Prince Adam is turned into a beast that matches the inner ugliness of his heart. Since there is no prince and no curse this opposition of outward beauty and inner beauty is portrayed in a different way. Our beast was once considered a very handsome gentlemen. He was highly sought after and received a mass of invitations to events. However, one turn of events has altered his appearance greatly. He now hides himself away in his castle and most people shy away from him. Our Belle character, Georgiana, is indeed a beauty but is not necessarily as sought after as the original. Georgiana perceives beauty differently than most in society and does not shy away from the beast. She actually looks him straight in the eye and dares to disagree with him on their first encounter. I love that these two main characters, and a few of the side characters, personify the societal views of inward beauty verses outward beauty. It is beautifully written throughout the novel and I loved seeing these societal views brought to the frontline of the plot.
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Language: mild, there was one "farmer swear"
Trigger Warnings: physical scarring/disfigurement
Title: A Dark Beauty
Series: Victorian Retellings, #1
Author: Clarissa Kae