Beauty and the Beast, Bride Lottery Fairytale #5 by Caty Callahan is a twist on the old story of Beauty and the Beast.
10 out of 10 stars. I have a weakness for sweet romance stories, ones in which the only couples having sex are married. This is one of those stories, a beautiful romance between a wealthy Greek man who has everything and a young farmer’s daughter who falls in love with him.
The traditional story of Beauty and the Beast (1740) is a castle where a wealthy man has been turned into a beast because of his selfishness. Of all the man’s possessions, his most prized are the roses in his garden. An old man stumbles across the beasts’s castle on his way home and steals a rose. The beast becomes infuriated and orders him to die for his transgression. The man begs to be allowed to go home to say goodbye to his children and to give the rose to his youngest, Beauty, and the beast relents on the condition that the old man can only escape his death sentence if one of his daughters takes his place. When the man returns home, Beauty discovers his promise and returns in her father’s place. At first the Beast is cruel and unforgiving, but slowly he becomes her friend and confident. And every night he asks Beauty to marry him to which she declines. After some time she begs the Beast to allow her to go home and see her father whom she misses terribly. He allows her to go on the promise she will return in exactly one week. He sends her with a mirror that shows the Beast and a ring that will return her to him once she turns it on her finger three times. Once home, Beauty’s sisters and brothers are very jealous of her wealth and finery from the Beast and trick her into staying beyond the week. When she looks into the mirror the Beast is dying from heartbreak, so she turns the ring and returns to him immediately. When she arrives he is at his beloved rose bushes and really is dying. She prays over his body and as her tears touch him, he turns into a handsome prince and comes back to life. They marry and live happily ever after. 🙂
Beauty and the Beast by Caty Callahan is a Bride Lottery Fairytale so of course it begins with a lottery. Kenna Brogan is twenty and has no desire to go to the bride lottery to get a husband, until her father suggests he’d be better off without her so he could travel. Little does Kenna know that he has the same cancer her mother died of. So Kenna, the dutiful daughter, meets the man her father has selected for her, Calisto Drakos. Calisto is a millionaire, something that is very rare in this post-apocalyptic future which reads more like the wild frontier of the old west crossed with life on the prairie during the homesteading era. Plenty of women apply to marry Calisto but he chooses Kenna the moment he meets her. They have a whirlwind honeymoon and after exactly a month he tires of her and casts her aside, booting her from his home. Kenna, who is deeply in love with Calisto, is in shock and then despair. She returns home a different woman. Little does she know that two days later Calisto is attacked and mutilated by a jealous former lover who expected him to marry her instead of Kenna. He spends the next two years undergoing reconstructive surgery and three years after that managing to run his dynasty as a hermit. He takes on the persona of Calvin Drake and moves next door to Kenna and her father who is still recovering from stomach cancer. That’s when he meets his daughter Nani who is now four. Slowly, over weeks, he makes Kenna fall in love with Calvin Drake, completely unknowing that he is her husband Calisto Drakos. And Nani finally gets a father who dotes on her. In fact, Kenna’s father Finn is the only one who realizes who Calvin Drake really is, but he he also realizes that Calvin has healed Kenna’s heart.
Like all of the lottery books and lottery fairytales, it has a happy ending, but getting there is priceless.
10 out of 10 stars. I’m a huge fan of all of Caty Callahan’s novels, but this novel is especially charming.
Reviewed by Jill.