I give this simple B&B retelling a 4.5/5 stars.
The first chapter of Beauty in Darkness by Elizabeth Briggs is from Princess Rose’s point of view. She’s the second sister of six and apparently her father’s (the king’) least favorite. She practices fae magic she’s not supposed to and what’s worse is the rival king caught her using it illegally. Will be tattle on her? and why does she feel a need to impress him at the welcoming feast?
The second chapter switched to King Raith’s point of view, also in first person narrative, past tense.
He wants to negotiate a peace treaty to form an ally against an even bigger threat. Which is crazy that he has to practice such high risk politics at his young age of 25ish. Raith is given the option to choose one of the six princesses to marry. Will he choose Rose and why or why not?
When Raith doesn’t seem to want to choose between the six based solely off looks in a moments notice, he asks for volunteers and Rose steps forward to save her sisters from a doomed future with this intense man. I love her spirit already.
It’s refreshing that the FMC is looking forward to her wedding night.
I like how they’re bonding through magic but Raith seems to be falling too fast for Rose. It’s a short book so I guess the quick progression is needed.
At the halfway mark, I liked their kiss/turning point, it just all feels so rushed. The pacing feels very YA, not adult. It’s such an easy/flowing read that I could read it in one sitting.
Oooh! She has two affinities! But yes it seems to come too easily for her.
Yay! The steamy scene was open doors which was surprising. Yes!
Awe I loved this book and how there’s an opening for more in the series, yet it is resolved as a standalone.
I especially appreciate how the villain can be oneself/the hero.
My only complaint is I wanted more depth. I wanted to know more about each of the characters.