Series: Destiny #6
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Avon Books on April 30, 2013
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Beginning with one of my favorite quotes:
“And that was the question: Was it better to take every chance, play every last card, reach into her chest and put her heart on the table right in front of him? Or was it wiser to accept defeat, cut her losses, lick her wounds, and keep what little remained of her dignity so that she wasn’t completely destroyed?”
Why do I love that quote so much? Because it’s a perfect example of love and what it can do to you. In this book, you find complicated layers to every character and it’s always fascinating to read.
Toni Blake writes a contemporary version of Phantom of the Opera, which is similar in so many ways to Beauty & The Beast — though in the Phantom, Christine ends up with Raoul and in Beauty, Belle ends up with the Beast. I won’t let you know which way this ends, but I note Phantom of the Opera here because every chapter begins with a quote from the original book by Gaston Leroux, and because Anna finds an old copy of the book with an inscription inside that begins her semi-obsessive interest in the previous owner of the house – a woman named Cathy.
Anna finds Cathy’s diary from when she was 17, along with old records, and the book, inscripted to her from a man named Robert — who Anna learns through the diary, was Cathy’s first true love. And the similarities between their situations, whether they are near 30 years of age in 2013 or only 17 in the 1950s, are daunting but also comforting.
While this book is the sixth in a series, it can be read alone — I did just fine with it, though now I want to go buy the other five books to read the stories of the other characters. But Blake writes a fantastic story of hidden scars, secrets, and learning how to open up, trust and love again — and both Duke and Anna have very good reasons why they would be wary to do any of those three things until they find each other. Duke is her Phantom or Beast, and Jeremy is her Raoul. He’s sweet, outgoing, loved by all, and actively pursues Anna, but not in an obnoxious way. They have fun together and smile and laugh and join in with the town.
I highly recommend it to any and all, as I enjoy HEAs and the Phantom of the Opera — though I’m not usually a huge proponent of Beauty and the Beast because I think it is what pushes girls to the bad guy all the time, thinking they’re the one who can change him when, in all actuality, he’s probably just a huge jerk. Yes the bad boys in books and TV shows and movies have that soft inner core, but I’ve found it’s a rare man in real life to match those expectations.
In Half Moon Hill — who do you think she’ll end up with? I will say it’s fairly obvious, but for a little bit, you have to wonder. And that’s why I give this four out of five.