Beauty and the Baron
A Regency Fairytale Retelling
(Forever After Retellings Book 1)
By Joanna Barker
A penniless maid determined to save her father, a broken baron bent on isolation and the undeniable draw between them that will lead to happiness—or disaster.
Rose Sinclair has run out of options. With her father in prison and their bookshop sold to pay his debts, she has no choice but to turn to Henry Covington, the Baron Norcliffe. But the baron has more than earned his harsh reputation, and Rose must face his wrath in order to save her father—and herself.
Since the deaths of his parents, Henry Covington has isolated himself from society, ensuring the solitude of his estate with his deliberate callousness. However, when the beautiful Miss Sinclair appears on his doorstep, begging for a chance to repay her father’s debt to him, a moment of weakness finds him offering her a position—as a maid in his own house.
They both soon learn that first impressions are not to be believed. Henry is surprised—and intrigued—by Rose’s optimistic charm, while Rose slowly uncovers Henry’s true self, his compassion concealed behind the pain of loss and betrayal. But when a shadow from Henry’s past returns, their newfound hope is tested. They must decide for themselves who to trust—and what they will risk for their happily ever after.
Beauty and the Baron is a Regency retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It is a sweet/clean romance novella, and is Book 1 in a series of Regency retellings.
(Courtesy of goodreads.com)
ADULT POINT OF VIEW:
In this retelling of Beauty and the Beast, there are some points that make it unique and worth reading.
First, the setting: is Regency England, which is a great time period for a clean read because of their social structure – not that there wasn’t misbehavior, but society expected good behavior. Barker does a great job crafting the world. She shows how different the serving class life is compared to the nobility. She uses gentlemanly vices common to the era – such as gambling – in the plot in logical ways. The barriers to changing social status are also addressed.
Second, the characters: The two principal characters, Beauty and the Baron, are both developed with a back history. Rose is strapped because of her father’s poor choices. In trying to solve her problems, she sells off the family business and gets a job with semi-favorable terms (at least the employer is handsome – not that she notices). She is more than plucky, she is resourceful and realistic in her outlook. The Baron, Henry Covington, has a reason for being a beast. He isn’t unpleasant because of ill-breeding or a spell, but he’s been abused by friends and family, so he’s distrustful and prickly. Their story is about building relationships.
Third, there are surprises: and I’m not going to say too much here because you deserve to have the opportunity of discovery. I will say, not all is as it seems (and I’m not talking magic here, but human nature) and so the plot takes a twist, logical and well laid out, but I’m guessing it will surprise you too.
Finally, there is the best rainstorm scene ever. We all know it isn’t wise to date someone from the workplace, but sometimes someone seems different than we expected under different circumstances. After this, I think you’ll want to get caught in the rain, with the right person.
I enjoyed this novella and think it’s an enjoyable romance. I recommend it!
4 out of 5 stars
If you enjoyed Beauty and the Baron, I recommend Austenland by Shannon Hale, Bride of a Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd, and The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley.