To hear what I and my Nerdy Romantics guests thought about this book, check out episode 16 of the Nerdy Romantics Podcast. If you want to see the hidden spoiler part of the review, just click on the link with my rating and view it on Goodreads.Beast by Pepper Pace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Whoo doggie! This is a steamy good time. This is actually an erotic romance, so a heck of a lot more than steamy, but my glasses got fogged up so, there’s that.
The premise: Ashleigh is plus-sized, kinda shallow, kinda vain, and has seriously low self-esteem. She’s just been dumped by her boyfriend of 3 years for another woman. Ashleigh decides that she needs to change her love life by losing weight, so she heads to her workplace gym. Christopher, a special Ops Marine has facial deformities and a cleft palate, so he’s content going on secret missions and doing his job monitoring the security cameras of the Federal building where Ashleigh works.
This interracial (BWWM) romance is loosely based on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast with the “Beast” here being sweet and kind and accommodating, and the Beauty being standoffish and high maintenance. But you can’t totally write off Asleigh. She’s been damaged, and she needs help. She also needs someone who’s 100% in her corner, so thank goodness Christopher’s a STAN beta hero.
What I Loved: I loved the military guys using the building cameras to track Christopher and Asleigh’s relationship! They are like gossiping little girls, and that seems 100 to me. The whole fainting scene is a great one, too.
Christopher’s family is fascinating and entertaining. The “wildcats” joke is hilarious! I also loved Chris’ representation as a marginalized hero (physical deformities).
The sex is erotic level (because of language and number of scenes), which I am all for. And while there isn’t a lot of emotion, it’s not just a “blow by blow” (pun intended), either.
What bothered me: Ashleigh being plus-sized having low self-esteem and wanting losing weight for a man. Granted, this book was written before the fat acceptance revolution that’s currently happening. And some of the stuff that happened in the book wouldn’t have happen if she wasn’t a stereotype of a plus-sized woman. But she could have ended up in the gym because she loved herself and wanted to better herself or something other than wanting to lose weight for a man.
I also thought a few scenes, especially near the end were put in just for drama. They didn’t really move the story forward, they were just showcasing characters or creating drama. (view spoiler)
Overall: I devoured this book in 2 days. It was a great read. I’m told the audiobook is not good, so do what I did–buy the eBook version, and if you have to have the sound, use the kindle text-to-talk function. This story is so good that you don’t want bad narration spoiling it.
For more thoughts on this one, check out episode 16 of my podcast Nerdy Romantics Podcast
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