Saturday, November 7, 2015
Review: How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren (Re-post)
How Beauty Met the Beast: Wesley "Hauk" Haukon and Jolie Benoit
Tales of the Underlight Series Book 1:
Purchase on Amazon: Jax Garren - How Beauty Met the Beast (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?
This title had me at “burlesque”, yes that’s right, burlesque. I love the burlesque subculture and I decided to give this novel a chance. The title of the book wasn’t thrilling but I do enjoy a good beauty and the beast story if it is done well. And quite frankly, this one was! I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. I did not have high expectations I have to admit, but hey it had a burlesque dancer and it was a short so I figured I wouldn’t be wasting too much time if I ended up not liking up. Thankfully I didn’t waste any of my time with this book.
Our beast is Hauk, who is ex-military and badly scared from a fire when he was an Army Ranger. Jax Garren did not go light on the ugly with Hauk. Usually in a beauty and the beast type story, I see a lot of a handsome man with a scar running down the side of his face or a scare on his cheek. This is not the case here. Our hero had third degree burns on 85% of his body and more than half his face is a burn scar. I LOVE that Jax Garren, went there, she really did. She did not shy away or take an easy way for our beast. I love that he tries to live the best way he can, he’s found a cause to fight for and mostly life is good. But he’s still really insecure about his scars, which adds a layer of vulnerability to the hard ex-Army Ranger. Hauk fights his good fight and tries to deny the fact that he is still a man and has needs and most of the time he is successful, until he meets Joley. She knocks him out! Their first encounter is what fantasies are made of. It was pretty damn hot. I about had to fan myself off, but Joley has no idea what he truly looks like. When she does Hauk knows any chance he has is gone, but then they are thrown together on a mission and suddenly maybe, possibly, she isn’t as repulsed as she should be??
Joley has a moment of pure ecstasy after her first show. The man behind the curtain rocked her world! But when she is almost immediately attacked afterwards she wakes up in a grotesque mans bed. Despite his looks Joley knows he saved her life and she should not thank him with repulsion when he wakes. I liked Joley handled Hauk, she really tried to do right by him. She worked to look past the exterior almost immediately. When circumstances occur and she needs to team up with Hauk she truly starts seeing past the scars to the man beneath. She held up very well under pressure and is surprisingly low key for an heiress. She’s a bit of a rebel and dances in a burlesque mostly for herself but also for a small bit of rebellion. Her parents made her quit ballet because it was beneath her station so she took up burlesque dancing and I liked that about her! I’d be friends with Joley in a heartbeat.
Whereas I liked the characters the world building is a bit off for me. We are thrown into the middle of some sort of conspiracy theory, which I don’t quite understand. What is everyones agenda?? There are two factions, or three, I’m still not sure. Hauk belongs to the good guys and there are of course the bad guys. The good guys want to bring truth and awareness to the public, but what’s their truth? And the bad guys want to rule the world? Maybe, or just the media? I don’t know, their agenda is unclear. And then the good guys live underground in tunnels with no electricity and their own weird technology, but why it’s that way is kind of explained. It was a bit strange but also kind of cool. There is also talk of magic and the bad guys wield it, but no knows where it comes from or really how it’s used. Very vague. I’m interested enough to definitely keep a look out for the next book in the series. I really want to know where we are going with this.
*This title was provided to me by NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.