Bachelor and the Beast by Jade Astor

BachelorandtheBeast400x600Title: Bachelor and the Beast

Series: Once Upon A Man 02

Author: Jade Astor

Genre: Fantasy World

Length: Novella (106pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (16th February 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart: ♥♥♥2 ½ – 3Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: A man-loving twist on a classic tale. Wounded after a battle he cannot remember, Sir Donlin seeks refuge with Baldemar, the lord of a mysteriously understaffed castle. As his memories return, his own dark past is revealed, but which of them is concealing a deadlier secret?

A man-loving twist on a classic tale. Lost and wounded after a battle he cannot remember, Sir Donlin seeks refuge with Baldemar, the lord of a remote and mysteriously understaffed castle. Despite his host’s strange ways and fierce mannerism, an attraction soon grows between them. As his memories slowly return, however, Sir Donlin begins to sense that he also has a dark past. Soon he wonders which of the two is concealing a deadlier secret.

Trapped by a curse that forces him to live as a bloodthirsty creature of the shadows, Baldemar is surprised to feel his human emotions rekindled by the knight who has wandered into his lonely keep and brightened his mournful existence. Yet every night he struggles not only with the fear that he will accidentally kill the man he is growing to love, but a suspicion that Sir Donlin is not quite what he appears to be.

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Review: Baldemar is lord of a castle. He enjoys his life as a knight living an indolent life, taking what he wants with little regard for others feelings and discarding those he is bored with.  Until the day he did it to the wrong person. Now, he haunts his deserted castle by night with only the company of his loyal retainer.  he is cursed to never again enjoy lazing in the morning sunshine. Sir Donlin woke up in a forest with no knowledge of his past. He knows he’s a knight and he knows his name, but everything else is a blank. When he comes across a run-down castle he seeks shelter and food, becoming enamored with his dark and mysterious host. With the help of the village apothecary he begins to regain his memories and his past seems darker than he could ever have imagined.

This is an interesting dark twist on an old fairy-tale, not quite a happily ever after, but definitely a happy for them ending. Both Baldemar and Donlin are what you expect from knights, big, manly and arrogant. Unfortunately for Baldemar, that arrogance bites him on the arse when his callus treatment of a minstrel results in his being cursed. Donlin is just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, he has no memories of what has happened; as his memories begin to come back he fears what he might become.

I did like the twists in this story, but for the life of me I couldn’t quite like the characters. Both men start out extremely arrogant and I was secretly pleased when Baldemar was cursed. With Donlin, I didn’t like him because of how he treated Carew (Baldemar’s servant), and he had an expectation of how he should be treated even when he couldn’t remember who he was. The relationship that evolves between Baldemar and Donlin was good because they seem so well suited to each other, and the explosive passion between them is hot. I liked how the story evolved and developed and the twist near the end was really good, both men change as well becoming slightly less arrogant and more likable.

I recommend this to those who love darker fairy-tale twists, fantasy, arrogant men, hot sex and an ending that isn’t conventional.