Friday, September 21, 2018

In Bed With The Beast by Tara Sivec

In Bed With The Beast by Tara Sivec
Release Date - June 5, 2018
Publisher Website - Swerve
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5

**Spoilers for At The Stroke Of Midnight**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A tale as old as time: she needs a place to stay, he's a grump with a secret and an extra room...can love find a way?

Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.

Living in her overprotective dad’s basement, shy Belle lives her life through books. Being a part of the Naughty Princess Club is the first adventure she’s ever had, plus she desperately needs the money to save one of her favorite places - the local library.

But when her new friends and new business gets her kicked out of her dad’s house, Belle is rescued by the surly Vincent “Beast” Adams who invites her to be his house guest until she gets back on her feet. Despite his attitude problem and long list of rules, Belle finds herself warming to the muscled man with a penchant for growling and starts seeing a gentle side to him that wasn’t there before.

Yet there’s a room that Beast keeps locked and Belle keeps getting hints that Beast is hiding something…can a nerdy librarian tame the beast or will their romance be over before it has a chance to blossom?
The Naughty Princess Club series started with a Cinderella themed romance that puts a little spice on the classic tales we know. The series continues with a Beauty and the Beast inspired tale that paid tribute to the source material while putting its own delightful spin on it.

A story that pairs iconic princesses with a strip club immediately caught my interest. The three ladies behind the Naughty Princess Club won me over in the first book in the series and only continued to do so with the second. The friendship that exists between these women is my favourite part of this story. They are supportive of one another and they give each other the strength to face the hard things that come up. I wish the friendship had even more of a focus because I think the scenes with just the women are some of the best in the novel.

Belle, like many 'beauties' before her is a bookworm whose quiet exterior hides a fierce and capable young woman. This Belle, like those before her, doesn't allow herself to be treated like a doormat. She stands up for herself, others, and what she deems right. She is not afraid to stand up to Vincent and it makes the spark between them feel a little more real.

Vincent is a man of little words. Less is more when it comes to conversation and dealing with people. Underneath that tough, scary exterior is a decent guy who has some secrets that he is hiding. He will probably remind those familiar with romance tropes of the classic alpha love interest. He is protective, broody, and often infuriating. His character really worked for me because of the story being told. He works because he is a stand in for the 'beast' in our story. He is meant to be portrayed this way. He, however, is not typically the romance hero I go for. I found myself warming up to him by the end though.

Fans of the classic tale this is inspired from will delight in the inclusions found within these pages. There are some great puns and word plays that made me chuckle as I realized their significance. I found this book, even more than the first in this series, weaves these inclusions seamlessly. The references only add to the charm of this story and they are the right ones to be using. They build a feeling of connection with the story without overpowering the elements that make this one something all its own. Characters that are iconic to the classic tale show up in unexpected way, and items that are linked to this love story show up in really fun ways.

The romance itself is, unsurprisingly, one that is built as Belle and Vincent get to know each other. The way Belle ends up living with Vincent is rather fun and makes for a slightly less sad version of the story. Belle's father 'giving' her to the beast never sat right with me and so I appreciate any twist on that element of the story. The romance morphs from sexual attraction to something deeper as their mutual appreciation of each other grows. As a result the romance didn't feel rushed to me.

If you're looking for an easy binge ready read I highly recommend this series. They are light, fluffy fun that will certainly work as a great follow up to a heavier read. Tara Sivec puts a new twist on stories that have been told again and again in a way that worked for me.

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