Beauty and the Recluse by Ellie Gray
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 12th February 2016
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Following the recent death of her father, and in need of both a job and somewhere to live, Kiya takes a housekeeping job on the spur of the moment. She soon finds herself living in a beautiful but neglected mansion, working for a strange and reclusive man.
St. John is a man scarred by the past, both physically and emotionally, and is determined to live out his life alone. They are two very different people, drawn to each other almost against their will, but can Kiya convince St. John that he is not the monster he believes himself to be?
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A modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I warmed to all three characters – Kiya, St John and Dominic. It was well written, believable and yet retained a definite fairy tale feel. I loved the way Kiya opened up a new world for reclusive writer St John, bringing both his house and garden back to life. She also made him challenge his perceptions of himself, giving him the confidence to go out into the world again. Both eventually find themselves falling for each other. Complications arise, however, when St John believe Kiya in love with his friend and publisher Dominic. The return of St John’s ex-fiancee Corinne bring doubts for Kiya.
A lovely page turning read with great characters. My only niggle was the cover. Personally I felt it didn’t reflect an absolute gem of a story inside.
Singing softly to herself, Kiya was halfway into the room before she realised that she was not alone. From the corner of her eye, she saw St. John O’Neill spin around in surprise and she gave a startled cry, the vase slipping through her fingers to smash on the floor by her feet. He was a very tall man, easily 6ft. 5ins, broad-shouldered and muscular. His thick black hair, although clean, was long and unkempt, and his beard did not quite hide the vivid scar that ran from high on his right cheek down to his mouth. Incredibly bright blue eyes bore into her and, despite the scar and his rough, dishevelled appearance, Kiya was breathlessly aware that he was an incredibly attractive man. He continued to stare at her, radiating an aura of menace, and Kiya gave an unconscious shiver.
‘Seen enough?’ he asked coldly.
Blushing furiously, aware that she had been staring, Kiya quickly bent to pick up the pieces of shattered vase.
‘Leave it.’ His words were clipped.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realise what time it was. I’ll just clear…’ she babbled, nervously.
‘Dammit, I said leave it.’
Her hand jerked at his unexpected ferocity and she gave a yelp of pain as the sharp edge of the broken vase sliced her palm. She stood quickly, lifting her hand to check the severity of the cut, and felt a wave of nausea wash over her at the surprisingly profuse amount of blood pouring from the wound. She heard St. John mutter an explicit curse and looked up to see him striding quickly towards her, his expression furious.
ABOUT ELLIE GRAY
Ellie lives in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire with her partner, David, and two children, Joe and Abbie.
Ellie is a contemporary romance author, published with the lovely Tirgearr Publishing, and is a proud member of the Romantic Novelist Association.
Her debut novel, Beauty and the Recluse, was published in February 2016 and her second novel, Love on the Nile, is due to be released in the Summer of 2016. Inbetween working full-time in public services and studying for an MSc in Public Management, Ellie is currently working on her third novel.
A few random pieces of information about Ellie:
• Favourite TV shows – The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Nashville, Dr. Who, The Great British Bake-off!
• Favourite Music – I’m an 80’s girl!, country, sixties, Elvis, classical (when I’m writing)
• Favourite Food – Indian, tapas, crisps, cheese
• Favourite Drink – black coffee – copious amounts when I’m writing, Sauvignon blanc when I’m not.
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