Bella and the Beast (Olivia Drake)

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Published: 11/3/2015
Bella Jones' father, Sir Seymour Jones, was an explorer/adventurer who revealed to her on his deathbed that the late Duke of Aylwin, whom he helped inquire antiquities in Egypt, had promised him half of a pharaoh's treasure. However, Bella must find the map to the hidden trove to prevent her and her brother and sister from living in poverty. Bella takes a job as a curator working for the late duke's son to help him…
4.7Overall Score

Overall Of all the books in this series, this is the one that closely aligns to a specific fairy tale and features references from the Disney 1992 movie, down to being forbidden to go into the ...

  • Plot
    4
  • Characters
    5
  • Romance
    5

Overall

Of all the books in this series, this is the one that closely aligns to a specific fairy tale and features references from the Disney 1992 movie, down to being forbidden to go into the west wing. That 1992 movie is one of my favorite movies of all time so I was already predisposed to like this story.

The characters and the romance make up for a little bit of a lukewarm plot. I love the heroine--Bella is incredibly self-sufficient and her own person. I liked Miles a lot -- there are few things I did not love him about him, but they're more about the plot. I liked the way they worked together, I liked watching them get to know one another.  They just worked.

I think my main problem with the plot of the story is that there are a few extraneous characters who don't serve a purpose and the murder of Miles' father happened more than two decades before the book opens, so it feels a little dusty as a motivation. When you find out who the villain is, it's hard to believe it could have stayed hidden for so long.

But all the pieces line up and I like the romance so much that this is one of my personal favorites to reread.

Spoilers

So I don't like the fact Bella has twin siblings who are half their age. They serve no specific purpose other than to motivate Bella to gain the inheritance she thinks her father has left them. Since they don't show up again in the series and don't have a strong narrative purpose, I think we could have been served better by just giving Bella the motivation to learn more about her father or something.

Miles' relations and the weird ghost plot also serve no purpose, but I kind of understand why they're there. Miles is a recluse and Bella doesn't know anything about society. Without his relatives or Bella's siblings, then there isn't much of an outside world.

They don't really ruin the experience, but every time they showed up and took time away from the characters I liked, I was highly annoyed.

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