Book Review: Beauty and the Beast by Kerrianne Coombs

Princess Callindra of Tempath is in for some trouble when she runs aways from her mother’s castle and gets kidnapped by a vampire demon who will sell her into slavery. Her only hope out of there is with the help of a mysterious and hairy demon named Brigg, who is not in the least happy to be helping a human. He has hated humans ever since his father was cursed by a human woman, who turned all of them into hairy beasts for life. But he was drawn to this woman, as vexing as she could be. Every part of him was drawn to her and yearned to protect her and make her his. His inner demon was sure that she was his mate. But that was impossible, wasn’t it? How could he have a human for a mate?

I’m a huge sucker for Beauty and Beast stories, as you probably know if you’ve read some of my other reviews. Seriously. You can win some girls over with chocolate and others over with hugs and kisses, but nothing does it for me like an insecure love interest and a woman who’s his salvation because of her unconditional love. (Okay, maybe I’m a little high maintenance). So of course I loved this story! Brigg was wonderfully sweet and conflicted, even though he needs to stop listening to his idiot brother. Cally is a fantastic damsel in distress even though sometimes she just needs to think of the obvious and frickin’ tell someone she doesn’t want to go back home because her mother’s a bitch and she’s part demon. But you know, aside from that, the characters are great.

It’s totally understandable why Brigg dislikes humans. I mean, the only real exposure he had of them was from Cally’s mom, who cursed him and his brother to be hairy beasts instead of the handsome, practically human-looking demons they really were. Frankly, I’d be pissed too. I also understand his confusion when he falls himself falling for Cally when he thinks she’s completely human, and the daughter of a crazy witch/queen to boot. Nevertheless, he still protects her. He saves her from slavery, risking the wrath of her kidnapper to do it, and he keeps her safe. He does this even though he doesn’t think she could ever love him in return.

She was a vision, an image plucked right from his dreams. Maybe a time– before the curse– he had imagined such a beauty being his…. But he was no longer that young Rain demon, that young demon with smooth skin and a face as human as hers. He was a beast, an ugly monster who didn’t deserve the look of interest Cally was flashing right now.

What can I say? I love the insecurities. They are as sexy as hell when done right.

But even though his intentions are good, Brigg is not the smartest demon in the hellhole. As soon as his brother Torc enters the scene, it takes Brigg all of two minutes to decide that Cally has placed a spell on him to use him to get home. This would make sense, except by this point both Brigg and Cally were safe. In a palace. As the guests of a prince. Who was giving her a lift home. She would need to continue on with the spell and the act because…. ?

Like I said, not that fast of a thinker. But Cally isn’t much better. More than anything she wants to avoid her old home, with her abusive mother who was going to put her into an arranged marriage which would only end badly for Cally. Now she’s in an impenetrable palace that’s owned by Sam, who has been nothing but kind to her. He thinks he’s still being kind when he arranges for her ride home. And Cally doesn’t bother to tell him she doesn’t want to go home! Clearly, she’s just being melodramatic. She’s not that desperate.

She had thought about telling Sam, considered asking for his help, but she had been such a burden since Brigg rescued her, Call was frightened of rejection.

You think Sam’s rejection is going to be worse than having your horns filed off again before getting married to a prince that will likely torture you for the rest of your life when he finds out you’re a demon. Clearly, you don’t have your priorities straight.

But seriously, I loved the characters! I’m telling you, it’s Beauty and the Beast! My standards might be a tad low with this story arc.

There was a lot of confusing things in the plot as well. Like what era does this take place in? Cally rides home in a carriage and Brigg and Torc use swords. But Cally also wears t-shirts and jeans and she uses an electric torch, aka flashlight. It’s difficult enough to learn all of the nooks and crannies of the world the author built. There shouldn’t be confusion like flashlights with swords as well. Also, I felt like there was a lot of potential for a longer, more developed story. The whole thing felt very short to me. We never find out why Brigg’s father got cursed to begin with, and I’d love to know more about Brigg’s past, like how did he go crazy and get everyone to be afraid of him? That was never explained. Also, I know it’s unlikely, but I really wished there was some confirmation that Brigg and Cally are not brother and sister. After all, we know Cally’s mom has a past with Brigg’s father, Cally’s own father is MIA, and her horns are the same color as Brigg’s. Probably not anything, but just enough to make me wonder.

I don’t know. I liked this story enough to read it twice– that’s a huge compliment from me– but after reading it a second time and writing this review I’m wondering how good it really was. Maybe I just read it at the right time but didn’t like it as much. I don’t know. So three out of five stars on this one?