ROMANCE

The Beast of Beswick

Entangled. Nov. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781640637412. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9781640637429. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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After Lady Astrid Everleigh rejects her fiancée, the Earl of Beaumont, he slanders her reputation and arranges to marry her younger sister out of spite. Astrid sets off to find a man more powerful than the earl who can stop the marriage and offer protection, so she visits the infamous Duke of Beswick, Lord Thane Harte, a severely wounded war hero hiding from society at his estate. Astrid proposes marriage, but when Thane refuses, she moves with her sister to his estate anyway, taking a position cataloging the former duke’s collection of antique porcelain for auction. Astrid’s sharp tongue is at constant odds with Thane’s mercurial moods, though he secretly enjoys their verbal sparring matches. While Astrid slowly grows to care for the duke, Thane’s emotional scars rival his physical ones, and he can’t imagine any woman wanting him, much less one as beautiful and kind as Astrid.
VERDICT Having penned several historical romances with Angie Morgan (e.g., “Tartans & Titans” series), Howard strikes out on her own in this thoroughly enjoyable stand-alone that perfectly captures the badly behaved beast in a clever Regency retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast.

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