"Lady and the Beast" is the story of beauty Kathryn Sheffield, a shipwreck survivor, and her subsequent rescue by the "beastly" Hamish MacDonald. Hamish, as a local, recluse healer in New Brunswick, Canada sometime during the 1800s, takes her into his home to heal. Before long, however, his ever-charming guest has the entire village believing them newlyweds from some romantic fairytale, when in reality he's sworn off women since a heavy betrayal in his past. Kate assures him the pretense is just temporary, just until she heals,. or his past comes back to haunt him. Through it all, Kate, with her stubborn dignity, bravery, and nosy cheekiness begins to worm her way into the heart of the mysterious, "braw", and gentle giant she teasingly calls "husband".
A sensuous, true romance if ever there was one, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The love scenes are kisses and some nice verbal foreplay vs. full accounts of consummation (though the act is implied as having been done). The main characters do, as a secondary character remarks, `fit well together', often behaving unconsciously like a young, well-since married couple. And the teasing that plays out between all of the romantically linked characters is also fitting and humorous. The inclusion of some cultural aspects I'd not heard of such as the Maliseet tribe and certain Scottish traditions were also nicely placed and sparked my curiosity, though they were not studied in depth.
Despite its 200+ pages, however, I found myself not highly involved in the characters' pasts, and definitely detached from almost all secondary characters. Perhaps this was due to the shear number of once or twice introduced persons in the story. What this inadvertently created was a cycle whereby the more I wanted to deeply feel with either Kate or Hamish (not their real names, interestingly enough), inevitably some new character would be introduced that would take away the focus on our main characters and I'd have to start all over again once they left. Either a bit more dimension to secondary characters so that I would find their interruptions more important to the storyline or more range in the main characters' explanations of their thoughts and feelings would have moved this novel from average-but-enjoyable to excellent-and-a-keeper. Overall though? Worth a look for the casual romantic, but assuredly not the continuous, almost ominous drama assumed from its opening pages.
Historical English Tea Rose
Rating: Spicy Page Count: 246
Shipwrecked, Lady Kathryn Sheffield wakes in New Brunswick, Canada, to find a hulking beast leaning over her. Her intended destination was Jamaica, to an arranged marriage she didn’t want. The Beast, Hamish McDonald, needs to be rid of this Lady as soon as possible. His life in hiding due to a false accusation is in jeopardy. But who is deceiving whom? Between their growing love, the secrets, and a price on both their heads, will there be happiness for The Lady And The Beast?