Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she's betrothed to a Beast.
Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.
Linnet is not just any woman. She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.
Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return. If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?
And here is Tessa's review:
While this novel is a re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast story, it is only so in the loosest form with an Earl/Doctor who is call the Beast and a stunningly beautiful woman as his fiancee.
Our Beast (Piers) is bad with people, suffering with chronic pain and a limp, who happens to be a brilliant anatomical pathologist and heir to a duchy. (If you are thinking of Dr. Gregory House, you would be right on the money.) Our Beauty (Linnet) is utterly ruined due to a kiss with a prince who won’t marry her, some bad shellfish, and a dress that makes her look very pregnant even though she is still a virgin. The Duke is estranged from Piers and thinks Linnet would make a perfect (already pregnant) wife for his presumed impotent son, so he announces their engagement and hauls her off to Wales to meet Piers.
You may be wondering why on earth a beautiful, smart, and well dowered woman would agree to go off and marry a grouchy and temper-prone doctor in Wales, even if he is heir to a duchy? Well, it is because the heroine dislikes kissing and thinks men are childish and rather annoying, so the thought of an impotent husband sounds like an excellent plan to her. Unfortunately, or actually quite fortunately, our hero’s equipment works just fine and he strategically keeps this information to himself until he manages to get her alone in a bedroom while they have conveniently left their clothes by the ocean. The sex scenes are good, but Eloisa James has written better ones and I thought they could have been longer or more of them.
In all honesty, I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. Her Cinderella adaptation (A Kiss at Midnight) annoyed me but I did like her Princess and Pea adaptation (The Duke is Mine) so I hoped this would be more like the later than the former. It is. The story moves along at a nice, quick pace. The hero and heroine are quite snarky with each other, which I like. The secondary characters are interesting and move the plot along. There is an over-dramatic aunt who should be “treading the boards”, a former addict Duke and his French ex-Duchess, a spying butler, and a cute little boy with a broken leg.
One of the more interesting things about this book is the medical plot. Piers runs a sort-of teaching hospital out of his castle in Wales where he and the other doctors are trying to fix the very high mortality rate that accompanies surgery. The book is scattered with old wives tales and what we would now consider bad medicine. Piers and his cousin Sebastian are excellent doctors and people from all over come to the castle for treatment. One of those patients brings scarlet fever to the castle and the final third of the book is concerned with the epidemic. Our hero must save our heroine’s life, and then convince her that he loves her for more than her looks.
Now, I must caution the historical accuracy sticklers that you may be annoyed by the book with such lines as “What happens in Wales, stays in Wales” or two doctors named Kibbles and Bitts. I, personally, find such things funny, so it didn’t bother me that it was not Regency. I thought it was a fun story, much like a House episode mixed with some Grey’s Anatomy relationship drama. Piers is very much like House in that he is cranky, hobbles with a cane, and believes that everyone lies to doctors. If you are a big House fan, you might find this book amusing to think of what he would be like if he were stuck in Regency England where no one has ever heard of lupus. Or you might just find it distracting. I don't mind some meta in my literature, so I enjoyed watching for House-isms. Overall, I would say that it is a good read and worth checking out.