1) This book is part of a series, but one does not have to read it in sequence, as this appears to be a standalone book. It was a fast read, very delightful book about beauty in all forms, not just skin deep, and how treacherous a family can be when desperation drives apart rather than brings together. A modern fairy tale (in a manner of speaking).
2) Beauty, Inc is a delight. It's what I like to call a contemporary fantasy--not at all meant to be a mainstream contemporary. Belle is brilliant, kind, compassionate and afraid of being hurt. I can hardly blame him, as his own family has done nothing but take advantage of his nature and intelligence. Even to the point Belle is sold to Magnus Strong in exchange for forgiveness of gambling debts and to save the family company from ruin. What I love most about this book and its siblings in the Pennymaker Tales is the faithfulness to the original fairytales in which they are based, melding with modern sensibilities and culture. Ms. Lain has a remarkable ability to make setting and environment as much a character as the men she writes about. The apartments where Belle is sent to live once in Magnus' care is fantastic--in every meaning of the word. As for Magnus himself, he is the quintessential wounded hero and a perfect foil to Belle's compassionate nature. Magnus, at first glance, appears to be a scary, ruthless businessman/monster and acts with high-handed superiority, but beneath that rough exterior is a man who is deeply in love and lacks the social skills to handle his emotions. There are some typical misunderstandings between the lovers and machinations from supporting characters, but the charm and romance in this modern fairy tale outweigh the negatives. I suggest leaving expectations out of this book, and just enjoy.
3) I’ve been a fan of Tara Lain’s Pennymaker series of fairy tale retellings since Sinders & Ash. This is another fun addition—not too angsty (these aren’t dark fairy tales), and although the villains are a bit one-dimensional, that’s in keeping with fairy tales too. Altogether enjoyable.
4) This was a fantastic reimagining of Beauty And The Beast. The characters from the main couple to the supporting cast were all great. I would love to see a visual of the apartments or just to move in there. There wasn't one thing I would change about this book.
Beauty, Inc. (Pennymaker Tales #3) by Tara Lain
Gay Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (June 8, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Beauty, Inc. (Pennymaker Tales #3)
A Pennymaker Tale
Is beauty only skin deep?
Chemist Dr. Robert “Belle” Belleterre loves flowers, green trees, his best friend Judy, and “his baby:” the new face cream he developed to help put his father’s small cosmetics company on the map. Sadly he gets no help from his alcoholic, gambling-addicted father, who loses Belle in a poker game to Magnus Strong, the CEO of Beauty, Inc., the largest American cosmetics company—a man infamous for his scarred ugliness.
Belle finds himself uprooted from his home, living in a wildly crazy apartment in New York owned by Mr. Pennymaker, and completely unprepared for his mad attraction to the charismatic Strong. Feeling like a traitor, Belle fights his passion, only to see more and more of the goodness and humility hidden by Strong’s ugly face. But when Belle’s family starts manipulating his life again, the odds turn against happiness for beautiful Belle and his beloved beast.
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