Top positive review
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Can two very flawed characters find happiness?
on 15 March 1998
Reading this book, I was hard pressed to figure out who the "beast" of the title really was. True, the "hero" was disfigured and met his lady only under cover of darkness, but the lady in question was no true beauty, either. Much is made of her physical beauty, but she is a very spoiled, sheltered, and selfish 18-year-old with a VERY teenagerish outlook on life. Much is made of her honesty, but she hardly thinks twice about lying to her family and husband about a shipboard romance. Much is made over her desire to make something of her life, but she ends up mooning over her lost love, being cruel to those who love her, and then--pregnant. There is the requisite happy ending, but by that time I was so annoyed with the foolishness of both of them, I really didn't care. In terms of plot, though, the first half of the book is dynamite, a great set-up. The arrival in Marseilles is an expertly written piece of work. And Ivory is true to her characters, even if they do annoy the heck out of you. I won't be keeping this one, but I will remember it.