When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James is a not-so-subtle but very entertaining homage to the Fox show, House, and more specifically its main character, Dr. House.
The winning combination of Piers, the irascible earl who, because of a childhood accident, uses a cane as he limps through life as a doctor (House, indeed), and the stunningly beautiful Linnet, who has fallen from society’s favor, will entrance readers.
The story reveals two main characters who both, at heart, are lonely creatures. Both have less-than-perfect families and have relied on either their looks (Linnet) or their brains (Piers) to make the most of their lives.
Through a series of comic misunderstandings at the beginning of the story, Linnet ends up in the wilds of Wales as the betrothed of Piers, the Earl of Marchant and future Duke. This peer of the realm is not, however, a sought-after prize.
He dresses like a commoner, works like a commoner (no peer worth his weight in gold would ever work as a doctor), and has the demeanor of an angry lion (or a certain feature-length cartoon monster) — he snarls and snaps at those unfortunate enough to cross his path. Additionally, because he cannot walk without the use of a cane, dancing with society ladies is out of the question.
Throw in a group of interning doctors whom House, I mean Piers, can abuse freely and continually, and it’s the Fox hit set back a few hundred years and transported across the ocean.
Fans of House will greatly enjoy seeing their favorite character recreated in this new setting and in a new love story. The TV show will never quite seem the same again.
Of course, with an author who is a Shakespeare professor, there are some literary references beginning on page one. Both Hamlet (directly) and Romeo and Juliet (indirectly) are reworked and reworded. It’s fun trying to catch all the literary references in James’s books, and this one is no exception. Unless it’s all Greek to you.
Eloisa James will be on tour this spring. Her stops are mostly on the East Coast (where she works and resides) with two Midwest appearances.
February 24 at 7:00 p.m. Eloisa will be at the Evergreen Park Public Library in Evergreen Park, Illinois. February 26 at 2:00 p.m. she will be at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois. March 16 she is back on the East Coast at the 58th Street Library in New York.
Also, Eloisa James has a fabulous website with loads of extra information about her and her stories.