|Original Cover (isn't it gorgeous!)|
Axis shouldn’t leave his castle. He’s a wolf shifter, and his wolf form…has some problems. But he hates the confinement. Hell, he hates everything about his life.
Until he grabs an excuse to get away from his comfortable prison and meets Layna.
She’s bold. She’s beautiful. And she’s in trouble.
But Axis can’t stay away from his castle for long, so what else is there to do but bring her to his home to keep her safe? Well, safer. Sort of...
The second Layna sets foot in Axis’s remote, eerie castle, she knows she’s stepped into a place of secrets—and they aren’t pretty ones. Axis may be the sexiest man she’s ever seen, but what is he hiding? Why is he so difficult and moody?
And what the hell is making that sound?
Reader advisory: strong language and explicit sexual content. Not intended for readers under 18.
Visit Kyla D. Knight's website for more information
I've read quite a few Beauty and the Beast retellings recently - it's always been my favourite fairytale and I can never resist a book that even hints at being a retelling! - but I think this was probably my favourite out of all of them. The thing that first drew me to this book was the stunning original cover so I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed it's been rebranded to something so generic (I probably wouldn't have even looked at the blurb of this book if I'd seen the new cover on Amazon) but I guess they do always say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.
Anyway, more important than the cover is the story and Beautiful Beast was an enjoyable read. Layna has broken ties with a drug cartel and now she finds herself in trouble thanks to the revenge she tried to take. Axis is a wolf shifter who has trouble controlling his wolf form and who buys drugs from the cartel to help control himself. He rescues Layna and offers her a way out of the city by taking her with him back to his countryside castle retreat but he's keeping a lot of secrets from her about his wolf side and the emotional trauma he is dealing with from an abusive childhood.
I think what I liked most about this story was that Layna was a strong character who knew what she wanted and was prepared to fight to get it. She's not a damsel in distress and she's capable of looking after herself. Axis is the more vulnerable of the two emotionally even though he's physically stronger and that made them feel like quite an even match. I do love a brooding, damaged hero so Axis was a hit on that front and I enjoyed the way Layna brought out a different side to him and the way she was willing to take the reigns in the bedroom to help bring him out of his shell. Sex and love was never used as a cure for his emotional problems either which I think was important.
Gareth and Tristan were great side characters who added a bit of humour to a story that was quite dark in places. Axis had suffered a lot of abuse as a child and that could be quite hard to read about so it needed a bit of humour to tone things down and I think Kyla D. Knight did a good job getting the balance right. This was her debut novel and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for what she publishes next, if it's anything like this one I'm sure I'll enjoy it.
Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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