Often when I don’t like a book, particularly now that I read primarily for reviewing purposes, I wonder if the fault is mine. Was there something that the author was trying to convey that I just didn’t get or was I in a mood, what have you … the possibilities truly are endless. Hunted by Cerys du Lys was one of those stories that made me question myself, whereas Jeffe Kennedy’s (pen name Jennifer Paris) Petals and Thorns restored my faith.
In exchange for her father’s life, Amarantha agrees to marry the dreadful Beast and be his wife for seven days. Though the Beast cannot take Amarantha’s virginity unless she begs him to, he can and does take her in every other way. From the moment they are alone together, the Beast relentlessly strips Amarantha of all her resistance.
Petals and Thorns is an erotic retelling of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve‘s tale of Beauty and the Beast. After my recent disappointment with an alternate version of the tale, normally a favorite of mine, I wanted to verify that it was them and not me that was at fault. The essence of my complaint with Hunted was the deviation from a rich and imaginative plot and the pointless addition of contemporary story elements that were out of place and unnecessary.
As with the original tale, in Petals and Thorns Amarantha’s family has fallen on hard times. Her father returns from his travels his arms filled with roses and his saddlebags full of gold coins their financial woes seemingly at an end but at the cost of his youngest daughter.
“He saw your portrait and finds you beautiful,” her father crooned. “It will be a marriage in name only. You need not lie with him” – he snickered – “if the creature is even able to perform as a man. Likely he is too deformed and wants only a pretty wife to look upon.
Like Hunted, the sex scenes in Petals and Thorns were explicit, possibly even more so than Cerys du Lys story as a number of them involved BDSM, yet they still managed to remain tasteful. Petal’s Beast woos Amarantha, although he is cursed he remains a man, not an animal unable to control his urges. This distinction allows the reader to believe that Amarantha could come to love the Beast despite his countenance. Ultimately, this is what I felt elevated Petals and Thorns above other similar versions, the characters and central story were true to the original tale no matter the liberties taken with the execution.
AUTHOR: Jeffe Kennedy
RATING: 3 1/2 Stars
- “Petals and Thorns” by Jeffe Kennedy (bookswithoutanypictures.wordpress.com)