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Taken by the Beast: A Steamy Paranormal Romance Spin on Beauty and the Beast (Conduit Series Book 1) (English Edition) Kindle-editie
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We're introduced to Charisse (whose last name of Bellamy is the most ingenious way of incorporating "Belle" into a retelling's name I've seen yet). She is stunningly beautiful, a model even. She is kind and sensitive. And there's even a green-with-envy woman who hates her. Maybe a little bit of the evil step-sister kind of vibe there, but it really emphasizes that Charisse is the heroine.
But then things started to go askew with my assumptions because Charisse, though gorgeous and kind and obviously our leading lady is also unexpected. She's a real woman (read: not a stick figure). And she's quirky! Oh my gosh, I loved reading some of her snappy comebacks, and I really appreciate that she is not the most graceful in all circumstances. I can't picture Belle from Beauty and the Beast tripping over her feet, but Charisse does, and so do I! It made me feel a kinship with her that I really appreciated.
Then enters the Beast. And he is NOTHING like I ever expected. He is awkward in his own way. He is gruff and imperious just like the classic Beast, but in this case it's not from a sense of superiority. I actually got the impression that he acts the way he does from contrition over his life and even embarrassment that he doesn't always know what to do. There were times when he even made me laugh with how adorably naive he came across.
Some of my favorite parts of this story were the magic that Charisse brings to it. She is incredibly special in ways she never even realized, and that is something new that I'd not found in other retellings. But the best part for me was the ending. It wasn't the happiest, it wasn't the ideal "The spell is broken and now we live happily ever after." It was very logical and real, and in the real world, those kinds of endings usually mean that somebody has had to compromise and choose to give something up in order to achieve the greatest good.
I am so excited by this story and this series. I cannot wait to start the next book!
I got way more than my .99 cents worth!
Charisse Bellamy is not your average beauty. She's spunky and sweet and believes the best in people. And this may not make a difference to everyone else but to me I love seeing a curvy plus sized girl steal the show! As a full figured woman myself I love that its not a skinny little princess going from diva to kick butt chick who can not only get saved by the beast but saves him back!
Abram is broody and moody and I automatically thought wow this man must have a crap life I wish I could give him a hug. I am sure some part of my screamed that sarcastic prick but the other voice was louder by far.
I am still at a loss on how to feel about Satina. The romantic girl in me says you go girl dont let men treat you like that and the other romantic half says how dare she o that!?!
This book made me feel so many contradicting feelings but I loved taking this journey with these characters and look forward to future books in the series. I love reading about their lives and evolution and human reactions to the unexpected. You cannot fully love or hate any one character feeling contradicting emotions as their interactions pile up. so very life like in the emotions but very fantastic fantasy plot.