Lady Kathryn’s father sends her to court to find a husband, but being penniless and disinterested doesn’t bode well for her success. Bored by the petty intrigues of court, her frustration and loneliness are eased when the king charges her with the care of his newest acquisition: a wolf he and his hunters have recently captured. What the king doesn’t realize is his remarkable pet was once Gabriel, his favorite knight, cursed into wolf form by an unfaithful wife.
The beast’s too-knowing eyes and the way he understands and responds to her every utterance convince Kathryn he is more than what he seems. Resolving to restore him, she doesn’t count on the greatest obstacle being Gabriel himself. The longer he stays in wolf form as a captive of the court, the harder it becomes for him to remember his humanity and to fight his wolfish urges to maim and kill.
As Gabriel and Kathryn grow to care for one another despite his horrific curse, rumors of an uncanny wolf reach the ears of Gabriel’s former wife and her unscrupulous new husband, Reynard. Together, they plan to dispose of the king’s pet, knowing if Gabriel ever regains his human form he could strip them of everything they have schemed so hard to gain.
Only Kathryn’s affection and determination stand between Gabriel the wolf and Gabriel the man. But when Reynard returns to court, will Kathryn’s love be enough to keep Gabriel from exacting a brutish revenge that will condemn the wolf to death?
Lady Kathryn de Réméré understood where her duty lay. She did—truly. The hitch, though, the tricky part, the really twisty trouble was . . . . Well, she was actually having a difficult time convincing herself that her duty was to do her duty.
The royal court had not taken part in a hunt since the marriage of the Princess Aliénor to their king a month previous. Kathryn had only been one of the queen’s ladies since Aliénor’s marriage, but in one short month Kathryn had grown very fond of her queen. She would do almost anything for her, but . . . did it have to be hunting?
Riding had never been one of Kathryn’s favorite pastimes either, and when her father had gambled away the funds necessary to keep their horses, the loss of her late mother’s bay mare had caused Kathryn only a small touch of regret.
Kathryn certainly liked horses, and riding could be pleasant, but this—this neck-or-nothing tear through the woods, the bouncing and jostling and branches hitting her in the face, and all the while the great brute below her ignoring all her most urgent instructions.
The horse recognized who was master, and it certainly was not the featherweight astride his back pulling ineffectually, and rather irritatingly, at his reins. He had his head now and would not have slowed for a rider twice as skillful as Kathryn.
Her horse broke from the group of hunters and went careening wildly off into the brush. A bare moment later, Kathryn heaved forward off her horse’s neck, the ground rising up to meet her. She lay stunned in the damp leaves, the musty smell of the dirt thick in her nostrils, while the careless beast gleefully galloped his way back to his home stable for some oats and a good brushing down.
The chase was on, though, and Kathryn would not be missed by her companions for some time yet.
Only slightly dazed, when her wits recovered sufficiently and the world stopped spinning, she stood with the aid of an obliging tree trunk to take in her surroundings. The lush forest possessed a heavy covering of brush on the ground, clustering around the roots of the tall trees. Kathryn put a hand to her chest, trying to calm her still-hammering heart. “Help. Anyone? Hello?” The forest swallowed her cries, and the only sounds around her now were the gentle rustlings of the trees. She swallowed sudden fear, stifling it, and started walking, hoping someone had noticed her difficulties and come looking.
She would be having a long day if they had not…
“…a page-turner fairytale for the adult (or younger!) dreamer….I really enjoyed this tale! All of the main characters get a voice and have problems that they iron out through communication and truth AND in asides outside of the main two characters’ issues. Gabriel is, honestly, even more loveable as a wolf as he tries to become the man Katryn believe him to still be (maybe it’s the fur?), and I can definitely see myself in Kathryn, a very practical, witty, and compassionate handmaiden to the new queen (i.e. think a more demur, non-glamorous, and 16th Century Jennifer Cruisie heroine). How can you not like a book with a cheeky protagonist and a noble gentle-… were?”
~4 Stars from Megan at Night Owl Reviews
“The interaction between the characters, which was especially difficult considering the hero can’t speak through most of the novel, were well done. We get insight into his thoughts, but he cannot interact “normally” with the heroine, so making their relationship plausible without getting…strange… was a challenge, and I think it was pulled off exceptionally well. He isn’t perfect, and the author makes a truly likable hero, even with his faults.”
~4 Stars from Vanessa at Book Geek Reviews
“I believe that The Beauty’s Beast is E. D. Walker’s first published novel. I certainly hope it will not be her last, because I enjoyed this story enough to want more from her. Excellent job, Ms. Walker. Keep up the good work!”
~4.25/5 from Bobby D. Whitney at The Book Wenches
“Very well written…I highly recommend this book…”
~5 Tea Cups from Monica at Happily Ever After Reviews
I had been writing books since the end of sixth grade, but this was the first book I wrote as an adult, and the first book I’d written that I thought stood even a remote chance of being published.One night way back in 2006, I had the director’s cut of Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven(one of my very favorite movies, incidentally) on in the background while I was reading for a World Literature class. The homework was Marie de France’s medieval poem “Bisclavret” about a cursed werewolf knight.Something about the confluence of the movie and the story struck a chord in me so I grabbed the nearest notebook and began furiously scribbling. I ended up writing a scene about a cursed knight trapped as a wolf–a wolf that finds himself being hunted for sport all unknowing by his former liege lord and friend, the king. In a matter of hours I had written the first scene of what would become The Beauty’s Beast.Since this was the first book I tried to submit for publication, it ended up going through many revisions, and helped me fumble my way towards a better knowledge of how the publishing world works. This book had a lot of trouble finding a home, though. The characters were too old for a YA book, but the romance was too innocent to work as an adult romance novel, but there was too much romance for a straight-up fantasy novel…on and on. And many people took issue with the heroine’s name, which used to be Beau until I changed it to Kathryn. Eventually, I gave up on this book, and for a while it was simply one of my “trunk manuscripts”–i.e., an older work that the author thinks will never see the light of day for whatever reason.Then, after I successfully sold my YA novel Heir to the Underworld to the ePublisher Sapphire Blue this year, I decided to brush the dust off The Beauty’s Beast, made some small revisions and sent it off to Noble Romance Publishing,knowing this was probably my poor book’s last chance to see the light of day for awhile. All I could do was hope for the best.When I got the email from Jill Noble, my roommate can tell you I nearly screamed my head off in happiness.The Beauty’s Beast is available now wherever eBooks are sold, and will soon be available in print!
When I finished the first draft of this book in 2006, to celebrate, I rewarded myself by commissioning a painting of my two leads from an artist I love.
This was the painting from artist Nicole Chartrand: [Check her out, she does good stuff! :)]
Another piece of art for the book came from my sister. She’s an artist and as a Christmas present to commemorate the release of the book she made me a set of paperdolls for The Beauty’s Beast.
I love these dolls so much I can’t even say. She exactly captured my internal image of the characters, but the clothes are better than anything I could have imagined! She actually put little wolf details on Kathryn’s wedding gown.
You can see more of my sister’s art if you click here. If you are so inclined. ;P
I always seem to end up having to change the names of things in my books. Originally, this book was titled Garwaf, which is an old Norman word for werewolf found in “Bisclavret.” Unfortunately, though I loved this title, no one else seemed to. At all. Certainly not the agents and publishers I sent it to. They probably thought it was the sound someone made while clearing their throat. All things considered, The Beauty’s Beast is probably a better fit for the book. I still call it Garwaf to myself, though. 🙂
Kathryn’s name was also originally “Beau.” I even had to change the name of a horse in edits to give it a more girly name. Good grief.
In the original poem, “Bisclavret,” which The Beauty’s Beast is loosely based upon, the evil wife has her nose bitten off by the wolf. Some scholars believe this is a subtle way of saying the wife contracted leprosy, because, in the medieval period, there was a belief that leprosy and being a werewolf were related in some way.