2-Star · Book Reviews

A Beast’s Belle by J. Gambardella – Spoiler Free ARC Review | *Book Contains Explicit Content, You’ve Been Warned*

A Beast's Belle.jpgTitle: A Beast’s Belle
Author: J. Gambardella
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
Publication Date: March 11, 2017
Genre(s): Adult, Erotica, BDSM
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 184
Add to Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis

A Beast’s Belle is a fairy tale retold – echoing the ground-breaking BDSM Beauty books by Anne Rice.

The novel offers a twist on a classic story; Isabel is the daughter of a widowed inventor and tinkerer, but leaves home to join the indentured staff of a manor. Upon arriving, she explores the rigid structure of domestic servitude and discipline in the manor, and eventually grows fascinated with the Master of the house, a feral man with curious proclivities and voracious appetites. Isabel tries to find her way in a new life at the manor, but quickly finds herself bound up with the Master of the house and engrossed in the lifestyle and ritual the manor’s occupants share. 

Review

I’m not going to lie, when I started this blog, I never thought I’d review an erotica book. I have nothing against the genre; it’s just not usually something I usually find myself wanting to read. Although, coming back from vacation made me want to read something completely mindless. After reading some threads and watching BookTube recs, I decided a bubble bath and a smutty read was the order of the day. This book is marketed as a BDSM, erotic retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There are several parallels to the classic story, but not many; this is definitely its own thing.

*Trigger Warning for rape.*

The story was surprisingly slow and devoid of sex. Most of the erotic scenes were masturbation or spanking, reserving the only true sex scene for the rape scene. I saw that this book was the first of many and later books may “rectify” this, but it was something that I wanted to address.

I did like the fact that Isabel helped her father create the designs and help build the inventions in the shop, in addition to her being quite sexual. It was refreshing not to read about a main character that was innocent to the world and discovered this lavish lifestyle. While it was unclear if Isabel was a virgin, she clearly had fantasies about tying people up and seemed fairly fluid in her sexuality.

The other characters in the book were interesting as well. The Gaston character was as much of a prick as the man he was based on. The changes that they made to the character were fitting for the story. I also like the nod they made to Lumière by introducing a “human candlestick” aroused by fire play. The beast got very little back story (was he cursed? was he born a monster?) and played a surprisingly small role in the story. Kat was a fun new character though. She was an older maid that showed Isabella around the castle and taught her what was expected of her as a maid. It will be interesting to see what role she plays in later novels.

As I said above, the story was surprisingly slow. Getting Isabella to the castle and learning what her duties entailed was fine, but when in the castle, I was expecting more. Honestly, nothing really happened after she got there (with the exception of a couple of sexy scenes, again not trying to get into spoilers, but this is where the TW occurs).

Final Thoughts

As smutty reads go, this one was enjoyable enough but was surprisingly lack luster. I was expecting more with a Beauty and the Beast erotic retelling. The fantasies Isabelle described were erotic and the descriptions of the scenes were well done. That being said, little sex was actually in this story and it definitely read as though it was setting up for something more. Here’s to hoping that the subsequent books expand this idea more.

Rating 

⭐️⭐️✨ – 2.5/5 Stars


I have enjoined branching into this smutty genre. Honestly, these books seem like they can be a lot of fun and a great way to clear the mind after some heavy reading. For those that do read some smutty adult books, what are some that you recommend?


**Huge thank you to NetGalley, Riverdale Avenue Books, and J. Gambardella for providing me with an ARC of this one in exchange for an honest review!**

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