The first in a faerie-tale inspired series, this story that is inspired by the Beauty and the Beast tale is one of the better uses of the original that I have encountered. Daniels uses her skill to full effect, creating characters that are lovable and flawed with care, giving us a chance to see the hidden gems within as their attraction for one another deepens. Flushed out with solid secondary characters, and a convincing set of obstacles to overcome on their way to the end, Danni and Marcus have plenty of fuel to feed their fire.
Danni is independent, smart and solidly determined to do some good in the world. The bookshop she runs is the cover for a scheme to help women of society escape the dangers of intolerable matches: as arrangements are often made without their consent. Her assisting Marcus’ new intended to follow her heart and leave for a life with the barrister’s associate. Her involvement in this escape sets the plot in motion, and brings her into contact with Marcus.
Marcus is in need of a well-heeled bride, and fast. In fact, he doesn’t care WHO the woman is – he just needed her yesterday. We see his drunkenness, his scars and the aura of danger he radiates. But Danni sees more, and here is where she becomes the more important character in the duo. Her compassion and talent for seeing the heart of a person, and her desire to help those deserving to find love, have her intrigued rather than fearful.
With plenty of misguided actions and some disastrous (at the moment, but funny later) twists that keep Marcus and Danni in close contact. In fact, Marcus can’t keep up the blustery/dangerous demeanor constantly as he faces Danni’s calm acceptance, gentle chastisement and stubborn refusal to back away from his challenges. She sees the wounded man beneath the harsh demeanor, and her heart goes out to him. Fortunately, she is also willing to fight to make him understand she does want him, for him. Marcus has a little more difficulty understanding that he is worth love, and recognizing that Danni is everything he wants and needs.
I love stories where the heroine is strong and determined, and then uses that with her intelligence in a way that isn’t spoilt brat or manipulative, but to accomplish a desired end. Dani also has a strong belief in true love and the power of redemption and caring to feed the most desolate of souls. Marcus had so long been belittled and unloved, fear and a great discomfort in his own skin have him less than polite and blustering, as he hides behind the aura of the Beast. But, there is in him, as in all of us, a need for love and acceptance to help heal wounds and allow us to move forward, and he finds this with Danni.
Title: He's No Prince Charming
Author: Elle Daniels
Series: Ever After #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Forever
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
A wounded beast . . .
It took Marcus Bradley forever to find a suitable bride. And then he lost her—all because some meddling matchmaker with a crazy notion about "true love" helped her elope with another man. Now, to save his sister from a terrible marriage alliance, he needs a replacement—an heiress, to be exact . . . and he knows just the woman to help him find one.
A spirited beauty . . .
Danielle Strafford believes everyone deserves a fairytale ending—even the monstrously scarred and notoriously brooding Marquis of Fleetwood. Not that he's left her a choice. If she doesn't help him secure a wife—by any means necessary—he'll reveal her scandalous secrets.
A passion that will consume them both
The more time Marcus spends with Danielle, the less interested he is in any other woman. But the Beast must do the impossible: keep from losing his heart to a Beauty he is destined to lose.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.