He’s No Prince Charming by Elle Daniels
Overview by Amazon:
A wounded beast . . .
It took Marcus Bradley forever to find a suitable bride. And then he lost her-all because some meddling matchmaker with a crazy notion about “true love” helped her elope with another man. Now, to save his sister from a terrible marriage alliance, he needs a replacement-an heiress to be exact . . . and he knows just the woman to help him find one.
A spirited beauty . . .
Danielle Strafford believes everyone deserves a fairytale ending-even the monstrously scarred and notoriously brooding Marquis of Fleetwood. Not that he’s left her a choice. If she doesn’t help him secure a wife-by any means necessary-he’ll reveal her scandalous secrets.
A passion that will consume them both
The more time Marcus spends with Danielle, the less interested he is in any other woman. But the Beast must do the impossible: keep from losing his heart to a Beauty he is destined to lose.
There is a reason Disney and Brothers Grimm have successfully captured the interest and imagination of people for ages. We love stories like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Hansel and Gretel. This story is a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast – although not a PG version! Something about a great, hurt beastly man who can only be tamed and healed by the love and care of an extraordinary woman is a tale that stands the test of time.
Elle Daniels has woven those elements into a clever and intriguing story. I really enjoyed the main character Danni. She must have been so much fun to develop and bring to life. She has charisma, intelligence and compassion. She truly is the beauty to the story. The story would not come to life and be so special if it was not for her perspective and faults.
Danni runs a very special bookshop. Called G. Green Bookstore, it looks like an ordinary shop, but it actually is a front for helping young ladies of the ton escape intolerable matches to men they don`t want to marry. Danni and her crew help plot the ladies escape and spirit her away to Gretna Green with the man they truly want to be with. She`s cupid for love lorn ladies who shiver with the thought of marrying some old goat for his title and estate.
Unfortunately she helps the wrong lady escape. She helps Marcus`s fiancé runaway with the barrister`s assistant. Marcus really could care less who his bride is, but he needs an heiress and fast. He tracks down Danni to her bookshop and confronts her. Not only does he threaten to expose her, he blackmails her into abducting a young woman and accompanying them to Gretna Green to be married post haste.
Danni is thankful that this beastly man, with is horrible facial scars, doesn`t know her real identity. Instead of being repulsed by the man in front of her, who is most certainly dangerous, she is intrigued and surprisingly attracted to something about him.
The great thing about this book was the hijinks and adventure the characters get into. They kidnap an heiress, but of course it goes awry. They lose her, they are robbed, and they are forced to spend days together slogging through the wet English countryside. There were moments of danger and suspense, but also of signs that the beast was a man with a heart.
The time they spend together searching for their lost heiress, is not in vain. Danni comes to learn more about the elusive Beast and comes to realize what a good man he is. He is not doing a dastardly deed because he is a beast; rather he is protecting his family from a horrible fate.
Marcus lets Danni into his life more than he has ever let someone before. Marcus is a truly complex character. For the first part of the book he is drunk. He has deep, deep wounds that go beyond the scars covering his flesh, inflicted by the father who should have loved him. He seems to suffer from some form of social anxiety and that is when the beast shows up in appearance and behaviour. There wasn`t a lot to redeem him as a character at first, but as Danni gets to know him, we learn that he is a wounded person who is deserving of compassion and love.
When Danni and Marcus share some intimacies, he can`t believe that she would want him. He truly feels that she must pity him, as who would want to be with such a beast. It`s Danni`s kindness and compassion that is his undoing. This is where I loved how plucky and stubborn Danni is. She wants Marcus, but is afraid to reveal her identity, because then she will never know if he truly cares for her or wants her because she`s an heiress, but she wants him. And she is willing to fight for him.
When their bad deeds catch up with them, Danni has the strength to fight for what she wants. She has the tenacity to do the right thing and make difficult choices. Once again, this is why I loved her as a character. She truly is the beauty to his beastliness. Marcus may have forced Danni to do things she felt were against her morals, but in the end her love and devotion saved Marcus from his demons and his past.
I always like books where the characters are on a grand adventure. Even though this one had a nefarious bent to it, it was still a great rollercoaster of adventure and passion. Through Danni`s eyes, I didn`t see Marcus as the beast at the end. I saw him as a man who needed love to heal him and he found the one woman who could save him.