Beauty Tempts the Beast


Author: Leslie Dicken

Publisher: Samhain Publishing (2010)

Pages: 272

Synopsis: Is the enemy of her enemy a friend…or a beast? Lord Ashworth is scarred by a night of terror years ago that left his face in ruins and his life in shreds. He hides in Silverstone Manor, using rumors that paint him as a horrible, murdering monster to keep visitors at bay. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that the rumors might be true. He tells himself it’s better this way. If his memories ever resurface, at least he will be the only one hurt by them. The woman on his doorstep, however, simply refuses to fear him. That’s not only an oddity, it’s a threat to his secret…and his heart. Vivian Suttley has seen the face of evil more than once in her young life. She’s on the run from the latest, a cruel man determined to force her to marry him. Whatever the whispers about the reclusive Ashworth, surely it’s nothing compared to the bleak, violent future she leaves behind.Ashworth saved her once before, and he’s her last hope for refuge. Yet she wonders if she’s truly safer at Silverstone—or if she has just made the biggest mistake of her life. Warning: This book contains a lot of sexual tension and several sexual scenes, have a fan ready!


I don’t think Villeneuve had any idea of the monster she was creating when she came up with La Belle et la Bête. I think it’s safe to say that, apart from Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast is probably the most retold story ever, and 2010 really is the year for me to read a handfull of these retellings. I’m not doing it on purpose though, they simply come to me.

So, Leslie Dicken’s Beauty Tempts the Beast tells Vivian and Lord Ashworth’s painful, traumatic, filled with sex scenes story. Yes, you heard me. See that warning at the end of the synopsis? I didn’t make that up, it literally figures at the book’s back cover. I had never been warned by a book before in my life, and it cracked me up when -too late, because I don’t own a fan- noticed. Nevertheless, don’t judge it lightly, the warning has every reason to be there. I’m using a new tag and everything because of this book *scrolls down, and back up* that’s right, erotic (now that I think about it, there’s another review here somewhere that needs this same tag…).

The story starts with a girl -Vivian- showing up at Ashworth’s poorly treated manor seeking to marry the man because his mother preaches to the world her son needs a wife, and she, grandchildren. Many candidates have tried to succeed in this arrangement but all have failed, for they take a look at Ashworth and run for the hills. And what could be the reason for this? What could be the vicious, revolting, beyond sickening, unspeakable cause for such behavior? Prepare yourselves for the most offensive truth: he has a scar. In the face. From his right eye all the way down to his lip. Sounds really monstrous, does it not? Being so used to scare off all those imbeciles before Vivian, by simply showing up and saying Hi, Ashworth can’t believe when this one girl refuses to leave, insisting upon the marriage, after seeing and touched his face.

I’m probably giving the impression this is a “marriage of convenience” story, and that isn’t so. Fun fact about this book: in the original tale, Beauty is a prisioner in the Beast’s house and in order to break the curse, he (or it, whatever) repeatedly asks her to marry him, and she always replies no, the funny thing is that in this case it’s the other way around: Vivian shows up, refuses to leave when she’s told, insists in the marriage and is willing to seduce this stranger that stirs her blood, to achieve her goal; all the while he keeps saying the marriage won’t happen, but lets her seduce him + stay in the manor, just for a brief period of time, in the room next to his (clever…).

This marry me, don’t send me away-I won’t, you’ll have to go sooner or later goes on for a while until mysterious and scary things start to happen in the house, Vivian and Ashworth’s pasts came back to torment and ultimately heal them, and unfortunately, his unpleasant  ex-fiancée joins the party, so it annoyed me a bit that the sexual scenes came up so soon when there was still so many ways to delay -for decorum’s sake- the matter. The thing is, I reached a point where I knew when a scene of those would come up -pretty much everytime they’re alone together-, I mean, they are good, and I am aware the title of this book is Beauty Tempts the Beast but, really? Page 19? I  seriously believe that’s a new record. The final mystery surprised me, and it was interesting how both the protagonist’s lifes, pasts and reasons to act like they did, were somehow connected, even if some would consider this a tremendous cliché.

Rating: 5/10

2 Responses to “Beauty Tempts the Beast”

  1. 1 quigui

    It seems this year is the Beauty and the Beast year. Maybe because Beastly is coming out?

    Now, why do authors insist that scarred man is a beast (or ugly)? With only one scar (albeit a big one and on his face)?

    • It could be it…this is all a big Beastly promo 😮

      Don’t know, and it’s crazy…in a story of this kind there’s always the guy with the physical disability, or esthetics problem, and everyone, except a restrict number of people + the girl, call him monster for that – what the hell? Sure that an odd, and mysterious house, a bad temper, and a dark past contribute, but it all comes down to looks. Take a break people!

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