The Beloved is the second book in a fantasy romance series. Don't start this book if you haven't read the first book, The Enchanted. We do get a new romance, but many overlapping characters. Yay!
This book doesn't have as much fantasy in it as the first one. But the world is the same. The Beloved is darker and involves a scarred prostitute heroine, Eden. She's in the profession not by choice alone, but by dire circumstances. Sometimes a life in a brothel is better than a life at home. She doesn't believe anyone can lover her and if she can find someone they will have to be as scarred as she is. One night our obscenely beautiful fae hero rescues her. His curse is that all females fall in love with him upon seeing his face. He wants love, not lust. Against fae law, he wipes her memory. After that, he comes back to meet her but always stays hidden from her view. He's in love and wants her to love him too...but that is impossible if she sees his face again, or is it?
Expect an emotional story in The Beloved. The love doesn't come overnight for the heroine, it builds. The hero and heroine have their disagreements and hard relationship times. But in the end, they come full circle. Plus at the end, the author has given us a wonderful surprise. No peeking, you must read the whole book.
There is one "far-fetched" element of this story, well outside the expected fantasy elements. I felt the heroine was able to introduce herself to court and become part of their royal click way too easy for someone who was a prostitute at the local brothel. If you can jump through that hoop and just have fun, this story plays out beautifully.
I'm looking forward to more books set in this world. I expect the author will come up with lots of new and different plots and unique storylines.
Lord Ashton of Aethyria is enticement, seduction, temptation–born with the power to strip even the most modest woman of her gown, her will, and her virtue. With the glamour of being born a half Daoine Sidhe faerie comes the sad fate that once a woman has gazed into Ash’s eyes, she forever loses the ability to see anything other than his ravishing beauty, and can certainly never glimpse into his soul. Ashton’s allure is so raw and enchanting, in fact, that he has exiled himself from even the human side of his family, lest his own aunts be tempted by him, and lives a life of solitude and fleeting passions. But he is part human as well, and it is his human blood that makes him long for a magic no faerie spell can equal. It is his deep desire for true love that leads him to keep his magnificent face hidden from the woman who captures his heart.
Eden is certain her nightly visitor is as disfigured as she, since he keeps his visage shrouded in shadow when he comes to her room. Scarred by fire, she believes herself ugly until Ashton’s tender kisses and gentle touch begin to teach her that true beauty comes from within. It’s an important lesson, since Ash knows that soon he must reveal himself to her. He prays that she can look beyond his unearthly beauty and see the heart of a man.