Taming the Beast
By all counts, Taming the Beast ought not to work at all. It is improbable in a high degree; Laura does not even see Richard’s face until page 143 since he spends most of his time skulking around in the dark and shadows sharing long talks and deep kisses with her. But such is the mood that Amy Fetzer weaves in this Beauty and the Beast tale, that I was hooked – and hooked big time.
Richard Blackthorne is a wealthy software designer who was badly injured in an accident several years ago when his car was hit by a train as he used it to push the stalled car of a pregnant woman off the tracks. Richard’s recovery was long and difficult and his once very handsome (nearly beautiful) face was left with disfiguring scars. His wife could not look at him and left him. Since then he has been a recluse in his large castle-like home.
Richard has discovered that his ex-wife had been pregnant with his daughter when she left him. Now she has been killed in an accident and Richard’s 4 year old daughter Kelly is coming to live with him. He can’t bear the thought of her seeing his scars, so he hires Laura Cambridge to come and be her nanny.
Laura is a beautiful woman – a former beauty queen. She is appalled that Richard will not allow his daughter to see him and wonders about the injuries that have caused him to be a recluse. Laura and Richard have many discussions in the dark over the importance of trust, the unreliability of outward appearances, and the willingness to take chances. Laura soon finds herself falling deeply in love with this wonderful wounded man, but still he refuses to let her see him.
When Richard’s daughter Kelly comes into the book, she proves to be a sweet little girl who looks just like her father. He watches her from the dark and finally comes in under the cover of the night to read her stories at bedtime. Kelly is the first chink in the armor that Richard has built around himself, and her unconditional love and Laura’s as well gradually breach his defenses.
When Richard finally reveals himself to Laura and they make love, the love scene is a sure candidate for the hall of fame for luscious love scenes. Fetzer’s ability to convey sensuality, passion, bonding and the sense of the two being soulmates is masterful. Any writer can write a love scene, but the ability to convey that two people are halves of a whole is rare. Amy Fetzer brilliantly succeeds in conveying this in Taming the Beast.
I suppose I should complain how improbable this book is, and it is – very improbable. But Fetzer succeeds in weaving such a mood around the reader, that the improbabilities of the story don’t seem at all important and in the end, I was lost in the characters and the mood. I love Beauty and the Beast stories dearly, and Taming the Beast is going to take a high place in my list of favorites.