Beauty and the Beast? Oh, Please.

WARNING: Rant ahead. Containing strong language, and much disgust.

Are you prepared? Yes? Then let’s go!

As you may know, Mac is a closet romance fan. Yes. Make all the jokes you want. Go ahead.

My tastes have always been closer to romance as a side-genre, but while going through dramatic times and wanting something of a lighter nature to distract me, I decided to give romance another chance. What better way than a Kindle Unlimited account on Amazon? And a Beauty and the Beast retelling? Heck yeah!

This is where I stumbled across this lovely gem: Beauty and the Beast by Angela Fattig.

Security…
Safety…
Fuck them and leave…
And the most important one…
Don’t give them your heart.
For both Shannon Taylor and Jareth Stein it’s been the same thing. Day after day, year after year.
Shannon Taylor knows all about hurt and betrayal. It’s something she never talks about. Not even her best friend knows.
High school is a very unkind place. Hell the whole childhood thing is Hell. Aren’t fathers supposed to love their children not hurt them?
Jareth Stein knows the secret of life. Leave them before they leave you.
That was the lesson his mother taught him all those years ago when she left him in the hands of his abusive father for another man. Never to be seen again.
In addition to the issues Jareth and Shannon face already; Jareth’s mom comes back with a message:
If you don’t give me what I want I will destroy you and everyone you love; starting with Shannon.

It sounded great. Abused hero and heroine, and dealing with resulting issues? My catnip. Plus, all wrapped up in some Beauty and the Beast? Hell yeah! Not to mention this, directly from Amazon!

50% of ebook sales will be donated to fight child abuse. So when you buy a copy for $2.99 you are doing your part to protect a child.
Thank you for your continued support.

A book like this couldn’t go wrong, right?

So, let’s start with the language. Fuck is the first word. Now, I’m no stranger to all the curses despite my proper Christian upbringing, but this book takes it a little far. No, make that a lot too far. It’s always cock or dick, ass, pussy, etc. That’s when you start to really wonder how big the author’s vocabulary is.

That’s mildly annoying, but I can live with it. The horrid grammar mistakes, too. Like this gem of dialogue!

“If I wanted to get you into bed, all I would need to do is come up to you and tell you I was ready to fuck.” He says this in a low and deep voice that has my insides turning to mush and my panties soaked.
“If,” I question breathlessly. I can’t believe I’m still playing this dangerous game because he’s right.
He smirks. “You know I want to fuck you,” he says, “How could you not. You were ogling a hole through my cock only moments ago.”
I huff and cross my arms over my chest. “I was not ogling your cock,” I say although we both know that’s a lie.
He laughs. “Well,” he questions raising a brow.
Frowning, I say, “Well what?”
“Wanna fuck,” he asks his voice dropping even more.

This charmer who doesn’t know what a question mark is? Jareth, our hero. Yes, named after that Jareth.

He moves fast and goes right for the sex, right after our heroine, Shannon, was having a panic attack, nonetheless. Oh, but don’t worry. That was cured the moment she saw Jareth’s magic dick, and ogled it. Because that works every single time.

After one magical night of passion after this chance meeting at a coffee shop, they part ways. And then Shannon wakes up alone in the hotel room and realizes that gasp! they didn’t use a condom.

foreshadowing

Then we move onto Chapter One. Where Jareth, (who’s an FBI agent! And a cop! Don’t ask me how.) meets up with Shannon again at a club. And guess what? She’s two months pregnant! Betcha didn’t see that coming! It was a complete and total shock!

Oh, and when Jareth sees her, in a tight red dress, we get treated to how his cock’s gone “hard as a fucking rock, my temper spiking.” Why? Well, because he wants her body to belong to him, of course.

Ah, can he get more charming? But since it was still Beauty and the Beast, supposedly, I let it slide.

And they finally learn each other’s names! How’s that for exciting? But Shannon’s trying to convince herself that she doesn’t need Jareth’s magic dick, so she gets angry and storms off.

Next chapter! POV switch again! This time, it’s our villains! Jareth’s mother, Jolene, and his stepfather that she abandoned him for, Jack. Surprise! These two are planning to blackmail Jareth out of some money. The plot is afoot! The scoundrels.

Jareth catches up to Shannon, and she can’t stay mad at him because he’s such a good kisser, and in no time, they’re having sex again. This girl has no spine. She just needed the magic dick that much, I guess.

I lost the ability to read through the rest of it again, because I already gave the awful thing back to the Amazon pits where it belongs, and there’s no way in hell I’m actually paying for it, so I shall continue without the rich, beautiful quotes I had hoped for.

So, there’s much of the sexytimes, which I’m in no position (har har) to criticize. But wait! What about the plot? Well, there’s something about protecting Shannon’s friend, Alicia, who suddenly turned out to be Jareth’s half-sister, for no reason at all. And some mob boss Jareth’s trying to stop. He and Shannon keep fighting, and he keeps being right. Because the man is always right, right?

And the day after they met up again, she’s telling him that she’s pregnant with his kid, and then he tells her all about his Certified Tragic Backstory. Sexual abuse by Daddy, in short, starting at five. When he was seven, he tried to tell Mommy, who told him he deserved it somehow. But he knew that was wrong.

NOW HOLD ON, JUST ONE FUCKING SECOND.

When abuse starts that young, does a child ever know that they don’t deserve it? I had my fair share of childhood drama, and, let me tell you, I was always sure I was the one doing the wrong thing. Mother is God in the eyes of a child. Besides, who opens up that easily? No abuse victim I’ve ever known.

Oh, and don’t worry, it gets better. Shannon’s all, “Oh, Jareth, I’m so sorry I called you an asshole! I wouldn’t have if I’d known!”

NONONONONONONO.

Nobody gets a license to be an asshole just because they were abused. We’re adults. We grow up, move on, and make the decision to change. None of us get a free ride because of our victim card. If someone’s being an asshole, it’s your duty to call them out on it, and not take that shit.

Oh, and then she’s like, “I’ll never look at you differently!” Oh, bullshit. She was already looking at him differently, which was why she was apologizing for calling him out on being the asshole that he is. And there they go, pitying each other so touchingly. Or sickeningly, in my case.

And then, we hear Shannon’s story (was that before or after they had more sex? I can’t remember), It started when she was five, too! Almost the same thing! Her Daddy was getting drunk, though, and her Mommy found out one time when Shannon was fighting him off as a teenager, so Mommy got killed, Daddy got to prison.

After more sex (including some tongue in the butt, complete with chocolate flavored lube!),

we arrive to Jareth’s mom threatening him and Shannon, your typical cheating misunderstanding. And then, somehow Shannon gets kidnapped, by this guy who turns out to be her half-brother! And, of course, he wants to rape her, too. She’s just that sexy, I guess. Even though we don’t even know what she does for a living! And her appearance is mentioned once! (Oh, I guess it’s because her magical Jareth-fixing hoo-ha tastes like peaches. That’s gotta be it. Because Jareth isn’t the only one to mention it.)

And don’t get me started on the sappy dialog. At one point, Shannon actually says something like, “From the moment I looked in your heavenly blue eyes, I loved you.” Oh, please. Does anyone actually talk like that?

So, to sum it up, Jareth’s a controlling asshole who gets away with it because it’s supposed to be sexy, and he keeps his victim card on hand. Shannon’s a weak, cardboard-cutout abuse victim who always needs the big strong man to save her from everything. Everything is made better by magical sex, and the villains know they’re villains, and take pride in it.

I’d lost all the respect I might have had for this book within the first couple chapters, I only finished it out of a savage need to hate something. I’m so sick of the Rape As A Backstory angle with women in books. Yes, we know rape is evil, thanks. We get the picture! But using it as a crutch to give your character an easy gateway to drama is just wrong. And please, the magic dick is not a miracle cure!

There’s so much NOPE throughout that book. There wasn’t even enough WTF-ery to make it funny! I can’t say I’ve ever come across a book that I dislike more, but I won’t be discouraged by this drivel.

But Tim Curry makes everything better.

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Captain

Yesterday, I had to let the vet put my cat, Captain, to sleep. I’ve had him since I was ten years old. Twelve years. There’s no joke when I say that cat was the love of my life. And the day since then has been Hell. I’m taking double my depression meds, but I still can’t make myself do anything. Work, or even eat. I’m not crying anymore, but I’m a numb, melancholy mess.

I grew up with him. He was the only one I felt was always there for me, no matter what. Usually, he was there when I didn’t want him, but that didn’t matter. He’d just sneak onto my lap when I wasn’t paying attention, anyway, purring contentedly. Or he’d steal my pillow when I was sleeping. Sit on my phone or keys so I couldn’t find them. Help me write at night. Beg for me to share my veggies.

At least, this time, I got to say goodbye. And he’s out of pain. That’s what’s important. I can get past the rest of it. Sure, it’s gonna be damned hard, but I’ll make it.

But I’m going to miss my funny-looking baby.