A stolen rose leads Billy to the Beast of his dreams…
The rose is so perfectly pink and delightfully fragrant, so temptingly within reach through the bars of the locked gate. One snip later, and a masked man from Billy’s darkest fantasies grabs his arm.
Billy’s punishment for the theft? To toil in the estate’s horribly overgrown garden for the summer. Only this summer job comes with a mystery. Who is the sexy, scarred, irascible man who lives at Malfleur, and what dark secret from his past is he hiding?
The Beast believes he deserves his self-imposed exile for the crime he committed one awful, reckless night—a night he can’t even remember. He believes no one can love the ruin of a man that survived that cursed accident.
He didn’t count on Billy Martin.
BILLY & THE BEAST is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast that features a rich playboy recovering from a near-fatal accident, a web of dark secrets and gaslighting, a gothic estate, a happy Labrador retriever, and a plucky young man who adores mysteries & monsters.
This book is part of the EVER AFTER, NEW YORK series of contemporary gay romance fairy tales, but it can be read as a stand-alone.
I will admit that this is NOT one of my favorite tropes and so it probably influenced me a bit.
I did enjoy the spin Eli put on the story and I loved how grumpy Seb/Aaron is. The plot is predictable – but whatever.
I skimmed a bit in the middle because it was just taking too long for anything to really happen, but if you enjoy that slow burn you’ll like it.
The ending was rushed and my least favorite part of the story.
3.5 of 5 stars