2019 Book #9 – The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross

51rYxamUQJLTitle: The Beast’s Heart
Author: Leife Shallcross
Date finished: 2/7/19
Genre: Romance, fairy-tale retelling, fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Pages in book: 414
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . .

My rating:  2.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I read this book as part of the Bookish Romance Novel Bookish Bingo Reading Challenge. This book will be checking off my “Retelling” box, since its a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale!

So I just love Beauty and the Beast, I have since I was a kid. Who wouldn’t love a story about a smart, book-reading, law-abiding woman who gets kidnapped/rescued by a prince with a kick ass library! So I was intrigued by this novel as I’ve never thought about fully delving into the Beast’s point of view through this whole debacle. And I’m glad that I read this – there were definitely some interesting points to the novel and some creative differences from the original story line that I enjoyed. I didn’t end up loving this however, for a few reasons. I found the Beast’s “voice” to be, well, whiny. And pretty feminine-sounding for the character he was trying to portray. He just kept going on and on, the book ended up feeling so repetitive. And this book seemed (for me) to bring into stark light how unhealthy the Beauty and the Beast story line is. I’ve always loved the movie(s) but this scary dude kidnaps this young girl and its basically a romanticized case of Stockholm syndrome. While I will continue to like the story, the book itself and these particular versions of Beauty and the Beast didn’t really come to live for me. Also, as interesting as it sounded hearing the story from Beast’s point of view, I ended up finding it frustrating that I didn’t know what Isabeau / “Belle” was thinking at any of the times throughout the book. Overall I’m still glad I read the book since it did have some very creative aspects that were added to the traditional story line but overall it wasn’t my favorite read.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

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February Reading Challenge – Romance Novel Bookish Bingo

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So as part of my 2019 Goals I wanted to participate in some Bookish Bingo reading challenges for certain months, one of which was February! And (exciting news!) I just checked and Bookish is doing a Romance novel book bingo in addition to their regular reading bingo for this month. Which is great for me since I end up reading a lot of romance, and also I’d love to focus on romance novels during the most romantic month of the year (allegedly)! PLUS I’m still helping to judge novels for a Romance Reader’s Choice Awards, so those will all count towards my bingo! My biggest challenge I think is going to be finding time to read outside of work – February is going to be (excuse my French) a shit-tastic month for my work schedule this year and I may have to enact my “sleep budget” schedule in order to get my reading done. I’m really looking forward to participating in this month’s reading bingo though!

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Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 7 & Wrap Up

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So for one of my goals this year to help me focus more on reading and having concentrated time for reading, I decided to participate in two of the three Bout of Books reading challenges / read-a-thons this year! This was the first one for this year. I didn’t done as much as I wanted to but it was still ok amounts of successful.

First let’s do my Day 7 (Sunday) update on reading.

Update

Sunday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 3.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 188 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 658 pages
Books read: Finished reading a book I’m judging for NERCA 2019 (unfortunately I can’t reveal the books on my site until after finalists are announced!) and started reading An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Challenges: I did not do the challenge post for today

And now let’s look at how I fared for my overall Bout of Books 24 wrap up:

Time Devoted to Reading

I plan to read at least 1.5 hours each day during the week (except for Friday I think), with hopefully additional hours on Saturday and Sunday. Friday I’ll be working all day and then we have a work trip planned trip to the casino Friday night! This does mean that I probably won’t get much reading done on Friday but I’m looking forward to letting off a little steam with my coworkers!
I met the daily reading goal 5 out of the 7 days. Thursday I was too tired and Friday I was too busy having fun! I read extra some of the other days though so I made up for it. Overall I read over 13 hours for the challenge!

My Goals

My goals for this read-a-thon are that I’d like to participate in as much as I can: the daily posts plus reading every day. I’d really like to just focus on getting back into reading. I picked it up again over the holidays but I’ve lost the schedule again with how crazy the last week or so has been.

I was able to read every day! For the first time though I didn’t participate in even 1 daily challenge. I wanted to focus all my available time on reading, though some of the daily challenge posts did look fun!

Books to Read

 

Overall not my best showing but I think I did ok given my time constraints for last week! I’m looking forward to participating in a Bookish Bingo challenge next month and hopefully get lots more reading done!

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 6

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Yesterday was Goal Day so I had a good amount of time with the opportunity to read. Unfortunately I was so hung over that I couldn’t take full advantage but I still read for awhile. Friday night we had a GREAT time at the casino but it made for a rough Saturday. Luckily my darling Momma took care of me and we made it through. So anyways my Saturday’s progress is below:

Update

Saturday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 2.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 70 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 470 pages
Books read: Continued reading a book I’m judging for NERCA 2019, unfortunately I can’t reveal the books on my site until after finalists are announced!
Challenges: I did not participate in the challenge for yesterday – I focused on reading for the day!

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Sunday update!!

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 5

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Yesterday was a bust for me reading wise. We had the best time at the casino on our work trip but I had A BIT too much to drink. That didn’t leave a lot of time for reading. So anyways my Friday’s progress is below:

Update

Friday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 0.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 29 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 400 pages
Books read: Continued reading a book I’m judging for NERCA 2019, unfortunately I can’t reveal the books on my site until after finalists are announced!
Challenges: I did not participate in the challenge for yesterday – the day just flew by and there wasn’t enough time

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Saturday update!!

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 4

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Didn’t quite make the goal yesterday. Between a full day of work and the season premiere of one of our favorite shows at night, I only had a little time to read before I got too tired and went to sleep. Today doesn’t look super promising either, all day meetings and then we have a work trip to the casino tonight! I know I’ll be able to catch up tomorrow though, and I’m looking forward to a fun evening tonight! So anyways my Thursday’s progress is below:

Update

Thursday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1.0 hour
Number of pages I’ve read today: 83 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 371 pages
Books read: Finished The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (Hopefully will have the review post up sometime this weekend) and started a book I’m judging for NERCA 2019, unfortunately I can’t reveal the books on my site until after finalists are announced!
Challenges: I did not participate in yesterday’s challenge, it didn’t sound like something I could manage quickly before my workday started

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Friday update!!

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 3

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Still trucking along. Not making huge strides but I am fitting in reading time as much as I can. I LOVE the book I’m reading right now but it does take me a little longer than normal to read since there’s so much going on and I have to concentrate on the book a lot. Hoping to making some longer strides this weekend. So anyways my Wednesday’s progress is below:

Update

Wednesday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1.75 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 77 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 288 pages
Books read: Continued reading The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish this one today! I’m enjoying this one so much I’m trying not to rush through it)
Challenges: I did not participate in yesterday’s challenge – I was in a training all day and between that and traveling I didn’t have time to put a post together

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Thursday update!!