Beast pursues the shining soul of Beauty in searing contemporary romance.
Some years ago, one of my s...more
The story of Beauty and the Beast has fascinated me since childhood. I was swept away by La Belle et la Bete - still am every time I see it - but it wasn't until the following incident occurred in my own life that the seed was planted which later took on literary form: Some years ago, one of my sons and I were having a midday drink in a City of London tavern. A group of fellow customers, lunch break evidently over, started to head our way - making for the exit, which happened to be close by us. We stood aside to make room for the party to leave. Checking for pretty girls - one does in such moments - while the troupe filtered by, my attention was snagged by the appearance as she passed of the ugliest female I had ever seen in my life. The words just came out - too loud: "How ugly is that?" "She heard you, Dad, she heard you," my son protested, appalled, and disgusted. And I knew she'd heard me - I had seen it in her stricken eyes. I never will forget that look. The incident will haunt me to my dying day. I often wonder how she is - how life has treated her, how she's coping with the burden of her looks. I hope she's found love and happiness, someone to adore her. This novel is a tribute to her, that stranger, and personal act of exorcism. The following is the book description taken from Amazon: Beauty: Chloe Lambert is used to men looking at her twice, but for all the wrong reasons - they cannot believe how ugly she is. Her first encounter with Park Delafield leaves her with no grounds to suspect he is any different; his first words in her presence constitute a slur on her appearance. Beast: For Park, spiritual bankrupt with the perfect looks, only beautiful women count until he insults a stranger in a pub and is at once struck down by one of her companions. On his knees, Park perceives in an epiphany that solely with the help of the woman he has offended can he find deliverance from the bonds of nihilism and self-regard. The chase: He sets out to involve Chloe in his spiritual rebirth but she, bewildered by his attentions and repelled by his egotism, wants no part in his quest; until his persistence and her own curiosity about his motives lessen her distrust of his sincerity. The reckoning: Warily, all too conscious of the risks incurred in getting involved with a man whose vulnerability and isolation echo her own - and whose looks and nature make him so liable to stray - she allows him into her life. Thereby initiating trajectories of self-discovery, betrayal, and commitment and along which both hazard toward nemesis . . . or mutual redemption.