The Beloved

Genevra Thorne
The Beloved
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BookTrope Editions
Release Date
March 2016
Book 2 of A Faerie Tale
Fantasy Romance

Lord Ashton of Aethyria is enticement, seduction, temptation–born with the power to strip even the most modest woman of her gown, her will, and her virtue. With the glamour of being born a half Daoine Sidhe faerie comes the sad fate that once a woman has gazed into Ash's eyes, she forever loses the ability to see anything other than his ravishing beauty, and can certainly never glimpse into his soul. Ashton's allure is so raw and enchanting, in fact, that he has exiled himself from even the human side of his family, lest his own aunts be tempted by him, and lives a life of solitude and fleeting passions. But he is part human as well, and it is his human blood that makes him long for a magic no faerie spell can equal. It is his deep desire for true love that leads him to keep his magnificent face hidden from the woman who captures his heart.

Eden is certain her nightly visitor is as disfigured as she, since he keeps his visage shrouded in shadow when he comes to her room. Scarred by fire, she believes herself ugly until Ashton's tender kisses and gentle touch begin to teach her that true beauty comes from within. It's an important lesson, since Ash knows that soon he must reveal himself to her. He prays that she can look beyond his unearthly beauty and see the heart of a man.

Book Review by Elizabeth Ramsay (reviewer)
Jul 18, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
133 people found the following review helpful
Genevra Thorne re-imagines the classic tale of Cupid and Psyche.

Cupid was the Roman god of love and Psyche was a princess so beautiful that she unwittingly became a rival to Venus. Cupid was sent by his mother to make Psyche fall in love with someone terrible as punishment for daring to rival the gods. Instead, he fell in love with her himself. To protect her from Venus, Cupid had Psyche carried off from a cliff to a magic palace where he visited her every night.

Ashton is a Sidhe with the power of Allure; to see him is to want him. When he saves Eden from her fall off a cliff, Eden looks straight into his heart, until his Allure takes her over. Ash is captivated by that moment when Eden saw him, not his Allure, and performs a forbidden spell to remove the memory of their first meeting from her mind. He then devotes his nights to courting her, with the intention of revealing himself only after he has won her heart. Yet, when the other women at the brothel reveal the truth of his beauty, Eden flees and Ash must find a way to assure her of his love. Worse is yet to come for the couple when Ash's family learns he altered Eden's memory for his chance at her heart. Even if she forgives him, can he escape his people's laws and live happily ever after?

The concept of Allure is an interesting one. Ms. Thorne takes the idea of faerie glamour and twists it until appearance becomes a trap. She has explored this concept in previous works, but in A FAERIE TALE: THE BELOVED, she looks at it from the inside. What happens when no one can see the real you but only the surface? It is a terribly lonely existence and his Allure leaves Ash feeling trapped by his power. Like any good romance novel, love conquers all and the heart can see much deeper than the eyes. Giving Eden problems of her own with appearance balances the characters as they each have experience being judged on their appearance.

Besides being an interesting retelling of a classic myth, the author provides a scathing critic of those who judge a book by its cover. No story is told on the first page; it is only begun. If you are looking for a great fantasy story this summer pick up a copy of A FAERIE TALE: THE BELOVED.
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