Beauty and the Beast: An Adult Fairytale Romance (Once Upon a Spell Book 1)

spaceVivienne Savage's version of "Beauty and the Beast: An Adult Fairytale Romance (Once Upon a Spell Book 1)" caught this reader right from the beginning - this reader is a fan of retelling favored childhood tales as adult stories - and kept her tightly within the world almost to the end. Almost. This reader did finish the book, she simply was no longer held captive by Savage's words from a certain point on. The book itself is well edited, as no real grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors freely come to mind. A few years ago, a movie retelling of this same story originally written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740, came out. "Beastly" (Daniel Barnz, Director; CBS Films, USA; 2011) was made more for the young adults; starring teen heart throbs, it featured the Beast as a teen more or less covered with black tattoos as his disfigurement. Most Disney versions have the Beast appear animalistic in a wolfy, lion, or possibly bear type sense. Savage made her Beast a dragon, and that's what originally grabbed this reader.
spaceA huge plus is the fact that Savage's tale is definitely based on the original French story, versus the Disney adaptations, but with her own twists to make the tale uniquely her own telling. She is a talented story teller. Most dialogue seemed natural and authentic to the character. Certain characters achieved a growth arc by the story's end and were described well enough to easily visualize and emathize with. The dragon started off as a fairly stereotypical fire-breathing creature - until we learn his back story and come to realize why he is so filled with rage towards humans. And then those acts once considered to be cliched dragon behavior, now are understandable and more easily sympathized with. The story told has a strong sensual feel throughout until King Alistor and Queen Anastasia finally come together... and that is when this reader was no longer held in the thrall of Savage's words. The sex scene fell flat in this reader's eyes, with unnatural sounding dialogue between the characters and an almost technical or sex-ed type description of the act itself. It lost that delicious sensual feel the rest of the story held, almost as if a different writer had stepped in and written that scene... the sensual voice was gone. This reader would have likely been much happier with the tale, had the sex scene been left out entirely; this reader is no prude and does enjoy reading well-written erotica.
spaceHonestly, the intent had been to leave a five star rating for such a beautiful retelling of a beloved classic, but that final sex scene fell so flat for this reader, she cannot do that. However, she does highly recommend the writer and even this story, and may even purchase Savage's other fairytale retellings in the future. Savage is definitely a talented story teller with a lovely style that can truly grab a reader and pull them into the world created. She does a good job at showing a story, allowing a reader to visualize and use their other senses to experience the story. ** Review originally posted to Amazon reviews on May 30, 2017 and Goodreads on the same date. **


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