Beast of Burden, published through Purple Sword Publications, is a variation of the classic story Beauty and the Beast, except this Beast is quite charming, seductive and . . . well, other things (wink). Lord Cianan Marek has a reputation for being a cold hearted and cruel man, yet he burns to be reunited with his lost love, Isabella, who died under mysterious circumstances. Thanks to a kind and somewhat doddering innkeeper stealing a rose from Lord Marek's garden one night, a young woman named Sascha becomes caught up in a world filled with regrets, monsters and eternal love as only Lord Marek can give.
Let me just get right to the point and say that the adult scenes in the book were written amazingly well; at times, I had to put the book down and fan myself, only to pick it up and continue reading. And yet, as much as I enjoyed those scenes, the story itself was written just as well. Christian has a knack for creating realistic characters within a familiar tale through her original voice. I found myself flying through the book last night, wondering what would happen next while getting a distinct feeling that I had met these characters before. Sascha, as I had told Christian this morning on my way to the corporate job, was NOT the typical simpering and heaving-in-the-corset woman in the romance novel. Rather, she had a mind of her own and a mouth to boot and she was not afraid to use either. Cianan Marek, although being the typical Byronic Hero that I enjoy reading, was also quite a delight to read. He makes no qualms for who and what he is and he does not allow anything to weaken him, even love.
In getting back to the adult scenes, I found them to be necessary to the story and not just added in to make the book "steamy". When Sascha and Cianan come together for the first time (ouch, sorry for the pun!), it felt real and not campy. The sex scenes were believable in that they could be performed by ordinary people, yet as I said before, there was also love and even that felt real. That was enough for me to determine that I am now a loyal fan of Christian's.
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