How Beauty Met the Beast (Underlight #1)
by: Jax Garren
Released: November 19, 2012
In defiance of her father, Jolie is living on her own, and working towards her Masters degree. By day, anyway. By night, she's able to put her dance training to good use on the burlesque stage. After the show, she's confronted by a strange man with a sexy voice. While unable to see his face, she still has the most intense sexual encounter of her life. When he walks away, she knows she'll never see him again. When thugs attack her later that night, she's saved by a horribly scarred man she's never seen before, although his voice sounds familiar. He saves her, and together the two must work together to rescue Jolie's young niece from a powerful secret organization, one whose power and influence control the world.
Scarred and maimed from his time in the military, Hauk knows his chances of finding a woman strong enough to look past the surface are slim to none. When he meets Jolie, he finds himself wishing for something that can never come to pass. Not only because of his looks, but he's a wanted man, constantly on the run from an organization out to silence him forever. Somehow though, sweet Jolie is caught up in his war, and he must now work with her to save an innocent child. And once he gets to know her, he starts to hope for something that can never be.
This truly is a Beauty and the Beast story. I thought it was a steampunk story when I read the publisher's blurb, but it's actually a contemporary romance with hints of secret world organizations thrown in. Jolie is a sweet girl who is thrown into an impossible situation, and keeps getting hit with one horrible revelation after another. Yet despite all this, she still manages to keep her head above water, and see the good in people. Hauk has made peace with his looks, but still wishes for a woman willing to see past all that. He hopes he's found it in Jolie, but is afraid to risk his heart. It was a touching love story, with plenty of action, adventure, mystery and suspense thrown in to keep the story plowing along. I enjoyed this book, and I'm interested to see where book two will take these two heroes next.
Carla gives this book a