Beauty and the Beast

  • by Hannah Howell
  • Narrated by Mary Jane Wells
  • 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On the eve of her wedding to the heir of Saiturn Manor, the stunningly beautiful Gytha is shocked to learn that her betrothed, a man she barely knew, is dead. Now she must marry the new heir, Thayer Saiturn, a battle-hardened knight, known as the Red Devil. With a face scarred in battle and a heart broken in love, Thayer has no interest in marriage. But not even the Red Devil can break the promise his foster-father made years ago, and he soon finds himself married to a woman whose exquisite beauty and sweet innocence intrigue him. But can his new bride look beyond his scars to find the hidden passion and undying love locked deep inside him?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good story, lifted by wonderful narration.

Any additional comments?

I feel compelled to write a review having just finished and thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It currently only has very mixed reviews from audible.com that I do not think necessarily relate to a UK audience.

Canadian and American ears seem to be having trouble with the narration. Mary Jane Wells has read the entire book, not just the dialogue, in a gorgeously soft Yorkshire accent. I have to say this was an excellent decision and really enhanced the listening pleasure for me. I have abandoned many books due to poor narration, but this was the complete opposite. Rather, it kept me enjoying to the last word a book whose storyline may have seen me dip in and out, not finishing it as I did in two days. One reviewer called it "shrill" which I cannot for the life of me understand. Wells has a pleasingly low toned voice, and the care she has taken over this book is obvious. The narration is not perfect, there are a number of times when she changes character and it is difficult to tell which is speaking. But for all that it is the most enjoyable narration I have come across in quite a while (and I listen to at least 6 or 7 books per month).

As to the storyline, it is not earth shattering. I won't rehash the plot, but I will say that Thayer is a very trying man. He is deeply insecure, and spends almost the whole book waiting for Gytha to betray him. His insecurities cause him to fail to act when Gytha needs him to, and thereby letting her down (once very badly indeed). I spent almost the whole book wanting to smack him around the head, but I suppose this was good storytelling as we share in the frustration that poor Gytha is suffering!

Gytha is an exceptional heroine, she is witty, kind, protective, capable, endlessly patient, and her dialogue is fantastic. She is very straightforward, quick thinking and clear sighted. My only problem is that she is supposed to only be 17! In spite of this (and the fact that she is supposed to have had a sheltered, pampered upbringing) she can deal confidently with a huge unruly warrior of a husband, a cheeky stepson, two holdings and their people (one in complete disarray), the king's court, not to mention being attacked several times, kidnapped and nearly sexually assaulted twice! Her emotional intelligence and clever handling of situations makes her come across as much older than this. Other than this slight niggle, Gytha is a very likeable and memorable character, and this book will be a re-listen for me sometime soon.

This was my first experience of Hannah Howell or Mary Jane Wells, but I will be seeking out more books from both.

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- D. Mark

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-10-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios