You know that fairy tale…what’s it called? The one with the monster who needs the braniac to fall in love with him to make him a prince? Yeah…me too. I have read every version of Beauty and the Beast that I can get my hands on, and have read a gazillion reimaginings. It is my favorite story in the history of ever, and I can never get enough.
So, when one of my favorite authors, Lauren Landish, published her own steamy version of the classic love story, I immediately bought it. And devoured it. And read it again. And sighed.
Beauty and the Billionaire has all the traditional trappings of the classic tale. Brainy girl who has no clue how beautiful she is, powerful man who is beastly, a big bad guy, and swoon worthy moments. Mila is an analyst in the company Thomas owns. They meet on a project, and the connection is instant. However, over the course of the relationship is where the real meat of the story lies. Landish has changed the idea of the beast. Yes, Thomas is surly and mean to all but Mila, but the true beastly struggle is internal. Thomas is an extremely compelling character, and I found myself almost skipping Mila’s chapters to get to Thomas’s point of view. His history, his attitude, the way he internalizes his struggle and the way it manifests…pure genius. I have never read a reimagining of the fairy tale that was this deep, this difficult, this…painful. Yes, of course, Thomas and Mila get their happily ever after. But what Thomas has to go through, both in his mind and in the world, make him a character that sticks with you. And the ending, which sets you up for the next book in the series (a reimagining of Snow White with characters from the first book), is both satisfying and frustrating. It is a good cliffhanger, with just enough happy ending to make the wait for the next book bearable…but not by much.
I may be biased in the fact that I have loved everything Lauren Landish has ever written. She is a one-click author for me, but this one feels different. Beauty and the Billionaire is an emotional and angsty read, with just enough steaminess added in to remind the reader that this is a Landish novel. There are scenes in this book that steal your breath, make you laugh, and make you cry. Landish truly creates a story that makes the reader feel lucky to have experienced. If you don’t read anything else by Landish, read Beauty and the Billionaire. But that may be hard, because I PROMISE you will want to read the next book in the series…as well as everything else she has written.
Until next time, remember, bookmarks hurt your book’s feelings,