How Beauty Saved the Beast (Tales of the Underlight #2)
Published: Feb. 11, 2013 (Carina Press)
Purchase at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Note: Although this review will be spoiler free, it does assume you have read the first in the series. If you haven’t, check out our review of How Beauty Met the Beast.
The first in this series ticked a lot of boxes on a checklist I didn’t even know I had when it came to a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. How Beauty Saved the Beast had all those ticks and more, including: Beauty kicking butt, Beast’s romantic history and pole dancing!
The second book in Jax Garren’s Tales of the Underlight series literally starts with a bang as we join Jolie on her first mission as an agent for the Underlight movement. Hauk has been putting her through her paces for the last two months, training hard for this moment. Things don’t quite go to plan though and the pair finds themselves in a life-threatening situation that reawakens feelings that are far from professional. Before Jolie even has a chance to process what these feelings could mean, in strolls Hauk’s high school sweetheart: smart, beautiful and horribly nice.
Bigger problems are brewing though as the Order of Ananke seem to have set its sights on Hauk once again. Even though he hates the blackouts, Hauk along with the rest of the Underlight, has grown to count on his unstoppable power during the rages. When the Order unleashes a weapon that can literally stop him in his tracks, he finds himself in more danger than ever before. Hunted once again, secrets from his past are unveiled and Hauk has to trust Joie with his life, but can he trust her with his heart?
The first book concentrated on Jolie and Hauk getting to know each other, here they start off firmly in the friend category. Hauk still has deep routed insecurities about his appearance but goes through a journey in this book that will have you cheering him on. Jolie has a tougher time. Having grown up beautiful and privileged, she is used to people liking her and finds the less than warm reception she receives from the rest of the Underlight movement difficult to swallow. She never whines though, instead she puts on her big girl panties and sets out to prove to she is not her father. She’s the under dog in this installment, showing herself to be a tough scrappy fighter and I loved her for it.
The tension between them is hotter than ever but this time the emotional connection deepens, as they help one and other overcome their greatest fears. That’s not to say things (and people) don’t get in the way but watching them circle each other is half the fun.
The paranormal element to this world takes a much more central role than the first book. We get to see more action from the Order, wielding magic as a weapon and finally Hauk’s heritage and painful past is revealed. Lots of questions I had were answered and even though I still would like to know more, I felt intrigued rather than under-informed. Secondary characters also play a larger part and I really enjoyed getting better aquatinted with other members of the Underlight and their steampunk ways.
This series is fun with a capital FUN. How Beauty Saved the Beast has a great mix of action, humor and boat loads of sexual tension with some sneaky twists thrown in for good measure. I can’t wait for the third book How Beauty Loved the Beast, due for release in May.
Sexual content: Sensual scenes