I reviewed How Beauty Met the Beast , book one in the Tales of the Underlight series, back in November and have waited, somewhat grumpily, for the next installment to arrive to find out what happens with Jolie and Hauk. I say grumpily because I wasn’t a huge fan of the almost novella sized books being split up into three installments over six months. However, I really enjoyed this new urban fantasy take on Beauty and the Beast and have been anticipating returning to this world.
If the first book was about Jolie and Hauk meeting and forming a friendship, How Beauty Saved the Beast is all about them figuring out if friendship is how they want to define their relationship or if they want more from each other. There is an intense attraction for one another, even if neither one knows how to go about moving to the next level. Since we last saw her, Jolie has joined the Underlight as an agent and is now training under Hauk. Not sure why she’s been “training” under Hauk since Jolie is kind of a bad ass… a limber, high-flying, smart mouthed, loyal, intelligent bad ass. My favorite kind of a heroine. Hauk has been working with her on her fighting skills and teaching her what to do in sticky situations. She doesn’t always listen being more of a take charge kind of girl when Hauk would rather her stay back in the car and keep safe. These situations create a sexual tension between them that has them dancing around each other and their feelings.
Hauk’s past catches up with him when an old girlfriend transfers to the Austin chapter of the Underlight and Jolie’s reaction to her cracked me up:
“She’s like a midget compared to him. No, that’s rude. Like a leprechaun.”
Catrina, the manager of the Pussy Will-Oh! Burlesque, nodded sagely and applied glue to the second lash for her.
Jolie took it with a huff and bent back to the mirror. “Wait ’til you see them together. It’s ridiculous. How did they even dance at prom? Did she wear stilts? So sure, Hauk’s taller than me, but at least he can reach my shoulders without doing a full squat.”
Between her jealousy over his old girlfriend and his insecurity over how he expects her to react to his looks there’s a whole lot of misunderstanding going on and not many sexy times, but I’d like to think of this as foreplay for the next book.
The Order of the Ananke make an appearance and we get to learn more about Hauk’s background both with them and what happened in his accident. Hauk is still a wonderful beast, strong yet insecure, gentle yet capable of berserker like rages when his girl is threatened. He and Jolie have such a wonderful chemistry, they snap at and argue with each other, joke back and forth, but always seem to keep each other in their thoughts first. Even when new information comes to light regarding Hauk and his accident that makes him look guilty, Jolie doesn’t think twice about going after him when he needs to be saved.
I ended up enjoying this one much more than the first, and have no idea how I’m going to wait until May for How Beauty Loved the Beast. Final Grade: B-
“– I realized it had to be you.” She leaned over him until her cheek barely brushed his, and her lips were right next to his ear. “Your hands. Your mouth. You.”