Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley “Hauk” Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He’s starting to lose hope…and then he sees her.
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn’t see. After she’s kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.
Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?
Title: How Beauty Met the Beast
Author: Jax Garren
Length: 152 pages
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Series? Yes – Tales of the Underlight #1
Jolie Benoit (heiress, grad student, burlesque dancer) meets Hauk (ex-Army, agent of the Underlight) in a somewhat unbelievable sexual encounter where she never sees his face. Afterwards, she is nearly kidnapped, but saved by Hauk (who she doesn’t recognise) and drawn into a fantasy world of magic and rebellion.
I’ll admit, the sex scene was a little too strange for me, but Jolie came across well throughout the rest of the book – saucy and down to earth.
Hauk was by far the best character, and Jolie’s very realistic reaction to his burns, as well as her determination not to be bothered by them, was fantastic. Jax Garren didn’t shy away from Jolie’s awkwardness, or Hauk’s insecurities, and it’s a refreshing change.
The world building was okay; I felt I could visualise settings fine, though the relationships between the warring factions was a little vague for me, probably due to limited word count.
My biggest flaw with this book was the ending. By that, I mean the fact there wasn’t one! It seems like a lot of readers (like me) hadn’t realised this is actually only part one of three, and so the happy ending you’re waiting for never comes!
One minor point: although I can definitely see the Beauty & the Beast similarities, Hauk is a fabulous character, not at all rude or arrogant!
Buy it? I’d get it on a deal personally
In a nutshell: I liked it, but I’d have preferred the three books in one!