Synopsis: Once upon a time Elle made a mistake. A small miscalculation sends her through the roof of an enchanted chateau. Stranded until her broken leg mends, Elle is unwillingly forced to rely on the goodwill of the sour chateau owner —the cursed Prince Severin.
Prince Severin—the commanding general and staunch supporter of his brother the crown prince—is cursed to look like a beast until a maiden falls in love with him. He has given up all hope of shattering the curse and has only disdain for Elle.
Unfortunately, the pair can’t seem to avoid each other thanks to the meddling of the chateau’s cursed servants. Eventually, Elle’s playful manners and Severin’s hidden gentleness draw the pair together.
But not all love stories can end that easily. After all, Elle is not what she seems, and Severin’s life is placed in danger when hostilities flare between his brother and the monarchs of a neighbouring country. When Elle risks everything to save Severin, will he be able to forgive her for her lies?
An attack on Severin’s life, Elle and Severin encounter a witch. Assassin’s are mentioned; Severin finds Elle injured by them. Elle breaks a leg when she falls through a window.
As it is a retelling of a love story, Beauty and the Beast has that component throughout the book. There are several kisses at the end, but nothing further, and it’s not described in great detail.
Wine is drunk, and a strong alcohol given to Elle so as to reduce the pain from her broken leg.
Elle is a spy, and so has done a lot of things behind the back of the law in pursuit of justice, and information. It’s mentioned, but not in great detail.
Magic is present, as Severin is cursed. However, it is in the backdrop and not the focus of the story.
Severn struggles with being an illegitimate son, however, with the help of Elle, realises that his father’s mistake does not determine who he is.
Overall feel: The story delves into the question, what is love? Attraction? Companionship? The love between Severin and Elle is a beautiful, whole one- one that breaks a curse and will last for a long time. This book is for those who love fairytale retellings, with lighthearted and fun twists, but with meaning and substance. Recommended for all ages.
image taken from Goodreads