Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 1/1/1992
Number of Pages: 56
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have reread this novella over the years. Something about it just calls to me and makes my heart sing. To me, it tells the story of Beauty and the Beast the way it should be told – and the author even mentions that in her author notes. I cannot believe I have never written a review for it – perhaps because it is short? Perhaps because I am so enraptured after each read that I just forget to write a review? Who knows – but I’m fixing that now.
James Markland, Lord Falconer, isn’t a handsome man – actually, not even somewhat attractive. He is, however, one of the gentlest, most caring, empathetic, and giving people this planet has ever produced. Anything or anyone who is seen as ‘less’ by the world finds a home on his estate. His servants, his tenants, absolutely everyone who knows him, loves him. Yet he always hides from everyone. He always wears a cowl around his face and stands in the darkest areas of a room. He does not, and never has, felt lovable because he is so unattractive.
Falconer sees the most enchanting young lady as he is approaching her very rundown home to collect a debt from her father. She is sunshine to his shadow. He is just happy to have caught a glimpse of something so graceful and lovely.
Ariel Hawthorne is the daughter of a wastrel of a father who cares nothing for her or the estate. She finds out just how far the finances have sunken when her father tells her she is being betrothed to a pox-ridden odious man. She refuses, but she knows she might not be able to avoid his plot. Until, a man she’s never seen before, makes her an offer she cannot refuse. She is so grateful, but she wishes she could actually see him because that cowl hides him away.
Ariel is never really afraid of Falconer even though she has never laid eyes on him. She does her best to spend time with him, and converse with him, but he always pushes her away. Goodness, you just have to love these two very special people! Their romance is lovely and the ending – at Christmas – will warm your heart and make you smile.
I can definitely recommend this novella. You will absolutely fall in love with Falconer and will quickly realize that Ariel is his perfect match. When you are in the mood for a quick, lovely read that will soothe your soul and warm your heart, this is definitely the book for you.
2 thoughts on “The Black Beast of Belleterre by Mary Jo Putney”
Oh thank you for this great review, I checked and realized I already own this book.
A definitely future read.
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It is short and just makes me feel good every time I read it.