Saturday, February 23, 2019

Monster Among the Roses by Linda Kage ~ Review

Monster Among the Roses: A Beauty and the Beast Story (Fairy Tale Quartet Book 1)Source: Purchased.

Monster Among the Roses (Fairy Tale Quartet #1) by Linda Kage

“Do you know how to get to the rose garden?”
“No, you can’t go there. A monster lives there.”

Shaw Hollander is desperate.
Broke, unemployed, and determined to help his ailing mother, he falls on the good graces of a wealthy benefactor who is willing to give Shaw a job at his mansion in order to pay off his mother’s debts. Suddenly finding himself surrounded by lavish riches, he has no idea what his duties truly entail until he’s sent to the rose garden and meets the tragically mutilated Isobel.

This Beauty and the Beast story holds true to the core of the fable while shaking off the element of fantasy and dragging it into present-day reality. Shaw and Isobel are ready to let you climb into their four-wheel-drive pickup and take a ride with them into their version of happily ever after, but only if you first dare to gaze upon the monster among the roses.

Ever since reading A Perfect Ten and then devouring the rest of the Forbidden Men series, Linda Kage has been an author I consider a favorite. This was further proven by her fantasy novel One True Love being great. So when I saw she'd released a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I was all over it. As it turns out, this one wasn't quite up to par with the other Linda Kage books I've read.

First I'll lay out the aspects I really liked:
- the premise. I mean, how can you go wrong with a B&tB retelling? But even so, Linda Kage's take on the tale was well done and unique. 
- Shaw. I was actually a HUGE fan of Shaw. I think it helped a lot that the story was in his POV. We got to know him so well, and it was easy to love him. He's kind and sincere and the kind of MC I could easily root for.
- the cast. The staff at the mansion and Isobel's family. Especially Isobel with her family. Since we only got Shaw's POV, we were on the outside looking in on those relationships but of what I saw, it was lovely.
- the sweetness. Shaw's a sweetheart. Shaw and Isobel make a sweet couple. I was glad for them to get together, their relationship growing the more time they spent together. It was so cute.

Now for the things that took away from the book for me:
- the one POV. I loved Shaw and his POV. But I really wish we could have gotten into Isobel's head too. The story could have been so much MORE if we'd gotten to dig deeper that way.
- I wasn't compelled to keep reading. This one surprised me because usually Linda Kage's books are compulsively readable. But with this one I didn't really itch to get back to it, to read on, to discover what would come next. 
- I never got to the point where I LOVED the book. You know what you're reading a book and you're into it and you're just having a great time? I never really hit that point with this one. I admired the storytelling, how the fairytale was being retold. But I wasn't head over heels for the story.

Overall, Monster Among the Roses is a solid take on Beauty & the Beast that I liked but unfortunately did not love. Luckily, it was a quick read with a great main character and supporting cast. Plus, there was so much sweetness. :)

3.5 stars - A solid take on Beauty & the Beast that I sadly did not love.

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