Taming The Beast
Zebra, Nov 2009, $6.99
In 1101 Roderick Cherbon ran way from his abusive father enlisting with the Crusades. However, he is severely hurt in battle and only saved by his friend Hugh Gilbert at the hospital in Constantinople where he lost part of a leg due to infection. While there he learns he needs to return to England as his nasty sire is dead and he must marry before his thirtieth birthday coming soon or his handsome cousin Lord Alan Tornfield will inherit the estate.
Scarred and with no prospects, Roderick assumes he even lost to his father from the grave. Alan humiliates Lady Michaela Fortune by marrying someone else. Instead she proposes a marriage of convenience with Roderick, who reluctantly accepts. She vows to herself to earn his trust and win his love, but Alan is outraged by what she has done to him with her marital betrayal so he pursues her because he insists he misses her or as she surmises wants to break up the couple for avarice nefarious reasons.
Taming the Beast is an enjoyable medieval romantic suspense with an eerie paranormal subplot providing additional tension. The story line is character driven as Beauty and the Beast fall in love, but his villainous seemingly insane cousin has two strong reasons to destroy their relationship. Fans will appreciate this early twelfth century tale as Roderick seeks lone and justice, but expects neither though Michaela gives him hope.