Rick R. Reed – Beau and the Beast

Author: Rick R. Reed
Reviewed by: Lucy
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Genre: M/M Fairy Tale
ISBN 13:  9781611243468

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Summary:  Beau is a down-on-his-luck street artist living on the streets of Seattle, drawing portraits of tourists to make enough money to live hand-to-mouth. He has a knack for capturing his subjects’ “very souls” on paper. One rainy night, he is accosted by a group of fag-bashing thugs, intent on robbing him of his art supplies and humiliating Beau for who he is. Beau is beaten into unconsciousness…
…And awakens in a beautiful bedroom, his head bandaged and with no memory of how he got there. Outside his window pine trees and mountain vistas beckon.
Beau’s tale grows even more mysterious when a large, muscular man begins bringing the injured Beau his food. The man says nothing—and wears a wolf mask. When he finally does speak, it’s only to tell Beau to call him “Beast.”
What secrets does the wolf mask hide? What do these two outsiders have in common? And will their odd circumstances bring them to the brink of love—or tear them apart? The answers lie in Rick R. Reed’s haunting love story that reveals that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder

Review: Whether I was just in the right mood for this fairy tale or that I needed something hopeful, this short story is as close to a perfect fairy tale as I’ve read.  That Beau was the victim of a gay-bashing brings it firmly in the present (unfortunately) and combined with the history of the Beast, well, fate?

There were little details that made me love it.  The description of Beau trying to eck out an existence as a street artist, needing to remind himself how he is “free” when he has no money for a room even while his portraits capture the very soul of the person he is drawing.

When Beau gets to see the face of the Beast, he is horrified and he shows it.  No instant acceptance because of insta-love.  No, Beau has to learn to deal with the Beast shows the world and that made it so much more powerful.  The despair and loneliness that is evident in this gentle, quiet man makes your heart hurt for Beast.

I have read other books of Mr. Reed that scared the hell out of me (IM) and while the books are not in any way the same, there is the same complex layering of emotions that pay tribute to his skill as an author.  I wanted to cry for Jeanne-Marie and make him whole.   I shall leave that task to Beau, who is more than capable.

The dedication of this book is “For everyone who believes in fairy tales- and happy endings.” Mr. Reed gives us both here, in a poignant, endearing way.  Very recommended for fairy tale romantics.


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