The Beastly Bride

The Beastly Bride

a retelling of Beauty and the Beast...with a twist

a retelling of Beauty and the Beast...with a twist

The book cover

How do you portray a heroine who is badly scarred? Showing her face would likely detract from the romantic tone. I struggled with this question for a while, then I had two thoughts- either have her standing in shadow or wearing a mask. It wasn't easy to find the right image. I am very picky and wanted her to have a sense of mystery and vulnerability.

Beast is in the eye of the beholder

I chose this tag line because it is a play on 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' (which I am sure you already noticed) and that gets at the heart of the story. What makes us beautiful? What makes us an outcast? It all depends on who you ask.

About the book

 

The Heroine

Eloise lost her good looks in a childhood carriage accident. Because of this she never expected to marry. In the regency good men were at a premium (no different now). War had lessened their numbers. Why would any man marry such a hideous woman? Money. Eloise's great aunt leaves her a fortune on the condition that she married (yes contrived I know, but still fun). Eloise has no use for money because she lives on the outskirts of society- shunned and she has no need for a husband since he would only be marrying her for her money. Eloise's parents however want her out of the house so they tell her, get married or go to an institution where they can deal with your 'hysteria'. What a choice. Eloise chooses to marry. Now she has to stop hiding away and face all her fears and insecurities.

The Hero

Allen is super handsome, and a nice guy. His life has been great so far and at 25 he is finally thinking about finding a wife and settling down. Then his family lays down a major guilt trip and he ends up agreeing to marry the beastly bride to save his family from bankruptcy and ruin. Suddenly Allen's life is not so peachy and he has no skills for dealing with that. He wants to move forward, wants to try to make this impossible marriage work. He doesn't understand why Eloise is unwilling to be optimistic. Allen doesn't want to acknowledge his darker feelings that have arisen from his forced marriage, but sooner or later he will have too.

Together

They slowly become friends and allies. Their difference force their partner do a lot of growing and adjusting for the better. But how to they keep their relationship together when they are so different? How can they move past friendship into love, or are they doomed to a loveless marriage?

 

Blog posts about this book

Writing the 'The Beastly Bride' has been a fun journey full of unexpected twists and turns.

When I wrote about Eloise's insecurities, I found that really touched a nerve. If you want to hear more read Reflections: The unexpected emotional impact of writing 'The Beastly Bride'

Writing a hero who is the male equivalent to Beauty from the story was more of a challenge than expected. See where I got my inspiration by reading, Inspiration Board: Male Beauty

Ugliness, especially in women, is not often addressed in literature, What does the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast tell us about ugliness, beauty and acceptance. What is the moral of the story? Does it change when the genders are reversed? For more read Discussion: What lessons does Beauty and the Beast teach us?

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Preview the first chapter

 

Want to try out before you buy? Check out the first chapter

“I WILL NOT MARRY HIM!” Eloise emphasized that point to her father with a plate of sausages hurled at his face. Eloise had good aim, but he ducked.

“Young lady, you will cease your tantrums and do as I say!” Her father was in a right foul mood over her intractability on the issue.

“Like hell I will!” This time it was the butter knife.

“Eloise, language.” Her mother admonished. “You are twenty five. It is past time you are married!”

“You never imagined I might be able to marry me until Great Aunt Enid left me her fortune. Why then should I marry? I see no advantage in it?”

“No advantage?” Her mother gasped. “Why, young lady, you would have a fortune. Forty thousand pounds! And a husband and a household of your own. Would not that be wonderful?”

“My husband shall have forty thousand pounds you mean. Likely a good deal of it shall have to be spent to keep him or his family from ruin. I assume that is the impetus for the match.”

“Yes, dear, there are a few debts your money will help defray, but forty thousand will not easily be diminished. Your husband may have final say in the dispensation of funds, but in a marriage everything is shared and I am sure you will have free access to whatever you might need. I don’t imagine your needs will be great.” Her mother treated her to a dubious look. “Besides, you shall have a husband.” She chirped as if that were just the most glorious notion ever. 

 

Do you love the idea of a reversed Beauty and the Beast? You might also love these

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PENELOPE

I love this movie! It is a sweet fairy tale about a young woman who is cursed with a snout until someone with noble blood loves her. Her managing mother tries her best to set her up with an eligible man, but things go awry and Penelope takes charge of her destiny with adorable results. Also the moral of the story is totally heartwarming in a not too cheesy way.

SOMEONE TO WED

Part of her Westcott series which I adore. The heroine is a recluse due to her large red facial birthmark and the hero is in need of funds. I picked this up while I was working on 'The Beastly Bride' and I felt panic. Had Balogh already written this story? If she had she would have done it better than I could. Then after reading further- relief. While there are some similarities, there is no beast in this book.

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SOME LIKE IT SCANDALOUS

Recommended by my faithful beta reader. There is more of an ugly duckling feel, but still we have a heroine who is considered to be aesthetically inferior to the hero. Not everyone is born a great beauty but that doesn't mean you don't get the hottie. 

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Genevieve La Roux

Beast is in the eye of the beholder

The Beastly Bride