Reading Delights: When Beauty Tamed The Beast

I know I’ve gone on and on about how busy I am these days (really, people with full-time jobs: How do you do it?).

And also gone on and on about how great it is to commute by subway because I can read. So this week I read Eloisa James‘ latest book, When Beauty Tamed The Beast.

I’ve long been a fan of James’ work, and I marvel at how intricately she wraps up her great casts of people and finds small moments that become big events in the course of her books. But this book, I feel, is a game-changer for her, one that takes her talent and catapults it to the next level.

If you’ve paid attention to this new release at all, you know that the hero is modeled after the character of House, MD, played on TV by Hugh Laurie. And James gets it all right: The irascibility, pain, frustration, impatience, and despair at the thought of losing patients.

Her heroine is not normally someone with whom I would have a lot in common: She’s stunningly gorgeous and used to having men fall at her feet. But, and this is what is frustrating to her, she is also very clever, but no-one sees that because they stop assessing her after they see her beauty.

James does a few unusual things in this book, most notably not having an HEA when you would reasonably expect it to happen, and she strips away the things that each character holds most dear in order to make them vulnerable enough for love.

I appreciated, also, having the main romance be the Main Romance, not muddled by a lot of ancillary stories–speaks to the linear person in me, I suppose.

I did that delicious sigh of satisfaction as I finished the book, and I was really impressed that after writing for so long, James has improved with this release; it seems, sometimes, as though authors start to cycle downwards after a long and successful career.

Have you read this book yet? What’s the most recent book you sighed over?


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11 years ago

I, too, really enjoyed this book. Then again, Eloisa James is one of my all-time favorite authors. I read “Duchess in Love” at least once, maybe twice a year.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
11 years ago

I was a later comer to Eloisa James. I didn’t like her first few books for Bantam, but I came on aboard when she moved to Avon. I loved When Beauty Tamed The Beast. I just thought it was lovely and satisfying, and all good things. I also love the way she uses animals.

Isobel Carr
11 years ago

I can’t read historicals when I’m writing, so I’ve mostly been on a contemp and paranormal binge. Loved Julie James’s latest A LOT LIKE LOVE.

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Read it when it first came out. I loved the characters and it really was a fabulous love story.

All of the covers for this series are lovely.

I just took a quickie break from writing and read Anne Lethbridge’s newest book The Gamekeeper’s Lady. I read it in a few hours this morning and absolutely LOVED it! It draws you in from the first chapter and spins the loveliest of romantic webs around you.

Artie Mesia
11 years ago

I just picked up “Season for Second Chances” by Diane Meier and am thoroughly enjoying it. The pace and the voice are just so wonderful. Gripped me from the first line.

11 years ago

I just finished “T-R-O-U-B-L_E” by Josie Arlington a hot contemporary cowboy story.

Jane George
11 years ago

I’m reading this and am not very far in. I’m hoping I get more pulled in and end it with a sigh like you did, Megan. I have to admit the glib sexual situations in the beginning didn’t feel realistic and I’m a little worried I’m getting Disney when I crave Cocteau. But James’ books are gems, so on I go!

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

I just finished The Warmth of Other Suns, a non-fiction about the Black migration from the South from after WWI to the 1960s, and featuring the story of the father of one of my former coworkers. A BIG departure from Regency Historical Romance!

11 years ago

I have not yet read this book, but it occupies the top spot on my Wish List. I have enjoyed many books lately, especially Jennifer Blake’s Master of Arms series. They have been enjoyable with very satisfying HEA”s. It has been a long time since a book made me sigh. Sounds like I need to read this one sooner than later.

Ann Lethbridge
11 years ago

Louisa! Thank you so much for your kind comment on The Gamekeeper’s Lady and thank you Diane for bringing it to my attention.
I too read When Beauty Tamed the Beast and loved the premise, the setting, as well as details about Scarlet Fever. I had a mild form of it as a child and recall discussions about how serious it used to be.

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago


You are entirely welcome. Thank YOU for writing such a wonderfully romantic book. It sits on my keeper shelf as we speak!

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