Review: How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren

How Beauty Met the Beast
(Tales of the Underlight, #1)
By: Jax Garren
Publisher: Carina Press
Published: Nov. 19, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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The Beast

Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley “Hauk” Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He’s starting to lose hopeā€¦and then he sees her.

The Beauty
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn’t see. After she’s kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.

Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?


This is a fun new retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There are no cliches in this story. The “beauty” is burlesque dancer, Jolie. One the night of her burlesque debut she anonymously meets “beast”, Hauk. He’s friends with the owner of the club and when walking in the back to meet up with the owner, he accidentally runs into Jolie while she’s changing out of her costume. Only she can’t see who he is because there is a sheet separating them. However, they get really close to each other and Hauk quickly retreats before she can see what he looks like. Not too much later after that there is an attempt kidnapping of Jolie where she finds out that he niece has been taken too. She enlists the help of Hauk and together they set off to rescue her niece. Jolie has no idea that the disfigured Hauk is one in the same as Wesley, the man behind the sheet.

I really liked the characters. Hauk is disfigured from a blast that occurred while in Afghanistan. Not only is his body covered in burns but he also lost a leg. Due to his deformities he is always treated in one of two ways, pities or feared. So when he get close to the sexy burlesque dancer he is not to forthcoming with his true identity. He doesn’t want to see the rejection and regret in her eyes.

Jolie was a very strong character. When she first comes across Hauk, he is fending off her would be kidnappers. When she gets a look at his face, she is definitely taken back. However, she quickly over comes his looks. Not that she can’t see the scars, because she can, but the man saved her life, the least she can do is not act like he’s a pariah. She actually comes to realize that the man behind the scars is actually a great guy.

I thought the two characters were great. I liked the addition of burlesque, you don’t see that too often in books nowadays. There is some paranormal parts where there is magic involved so I would call this maybe an Urban Fantasy. There isn’t a lot of romance in this and it’s in an Urban setting. This is definitely a good retelling if you are into UF or even PR. The ending threw me though. There was no HEA and with How Beauty Saved the Beast coming out Feb 2013 I wonder if it will pick up right where this one left off. Either way, I look forward to more work from this debut author. I think she did a great job not only creating her characters but the world as well.

“How many men just waltzed right in to enemy territory, outnumbered and with no evident exit plan? He was either stupid as hell or his absolute command of the situation was hella sexy.”

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