We were first introduced to our beauty, Jolie, and her beast, Hauk, in How Beauty Met the Beast. Then in How Beauty Saved the Beast we watched them battle their feelings for each other, turning their friendship into something deeper. Finally, yes, I said finally, Jolie and Hauk come together as a couple in How Beauty Loved the Beast. I know I’ve complained in my last two reviews about having to wait for their HEA. I really did think that this series might have been better as a full novel rather than being split up into three novella sized stories. I will now bow down to Ms. Garren and admit I was wrong. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the conclusion to Jolie and Hauk’s love story. The waiting just made it that much sweeter.
Jolie and Hauk have been training together, fighting alongside each other for the Underlight and have developed a steady friendship. Now they are finally ready to admit that they want more from each other. Jolie desperately wants some intimacy, she needs to feel Hauk and see him as they make love. Hauk has a deep-seated fear of allowing the girl he loves to see his burned and scarred body. He’s such a tough guy, the muscle of the Underlight, but here he’s vulnerable and afraid of rejection. I was very pleased with the way their story played out. There were many very hot love scenes, but all of them were centered around this couple overcoming fear and learning to trust each other. Their emotions and reactions to opening themselves up to a deeper commitment felt believable and real. I felt for both of them, there were a lot of misunderstandings and even some anger. I’ve developed quite bit of respect for Jolie’s character throughout first two books, she’s tough as nails and shows no fear, but I think I love her even more now. Without her open acceptance and devotion Hauk wouldn’t have been able to give himself so fully.
The Order of Anake is back, this time they are injecting members of the Underlight with a serum in hopes of taking over from the inside. While Jolie and Hauk are finding their way in their relationship they must also save the underground community from their enemies. Their fight will take them back to the Anake headquarters to rescue a friend and in hopes that they can find an antidote. This is the greatest challenge they’ve had yet and it will change Hauk forever. The only complaint I have, and really it’s a small one, is that the battle at the end felt a little rushed and abrupt. So much of the book was devoted to Jolie and Hauk’s developing physical relationship that the big showdown and what happens afterward played out very rapidly.
I wasn’t sure how I wanted this story to conclude. Did I want Ms. Garren to stay true to the fairy tale or leave Hauk as he was with a loving, faithful companion? In the end I was satisfied. There was love and acceptance, but also a bit of magic and fantasy. I am now ready for some of the other characters I’ve grown to love to get their stories told. Maybe Brayden or Travis. I really don’t want to say goodbye to this world and I am hoping the adventures will continue. Final Grade: B+
“You’re crazy you know that?’
Her grin simmered. “Crazy turned on. Crazy hot for you. Hoping like crazy you’ll keep going and get me off.”