With the release of Eli Easton’s Billy & the Beast, the Ever After, New York series, begun by author Tara Lain, gets its next five-star rating from me. These are fairly tales brought to life, complete with the cautionary warnings the original stories once gave the reader. In this case, it’s not only looks can be deceiving, but also if it doesn’t feel right then it might just be wrong. This is what both Billy Martin and Aaron Montgomery discover after Billy is caught snipping one of Aaron’s roses on his daily bike ride. Billy just wanted to bring his mom something beautiful to cheer her up, but Aaron has other ideas. As punishment for stealing the rose, Aaron makes Billy do yardwork, never intending to keep him for more than one day. When that turns into weeks and the two men dance around their mutual attraction to each other, Aaron realizes that he can no longer hide behind the facial mask that partially obscures the scars from an accident that stole his memory and made him a prisoner in his mansion, Malfleur.
Aaron used to lead a carefree life, one that included fast cars, rich friends, and a father who loved him. But all that changed the night of the accident that nearly cost him his life, or so he is led to believe, as he has no recollection of anything past his last birthday before that awful night. Now he relies on the man who is running his company to guard his secrets and his anonymity. But Billy has squirmed his way not only into Aaron’s life, but also his bed, and he doesn’t seem to care about the scars or Aaron’s secret. Billy only wants Aaron to be happy, but that is not going to happen—not if others have their way.
I so wish I could give you all the little gems in this story, but to do so would definitely spoil the marvelous unveiling of what actually happened to Aaron that fateful night. Suffice it to say that Billy not only falls in love with Aaron, but becomes quite the sleuth when it comes to discovering how to get Aaron back when they are torn apart by outside forces. This story, based loosely on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, is chocked full of fun and romance and healing. It is a lovely bit of escapism where everything works out in the end and a happy ever after is had by all.
I do so hope that Tara Lain continues this series either by herself or getting other authors such as Eli Easton on board. These novels are not meant to be anything but a bit of fantasy—sweet love stories that magically get solved and bring two lonely hearts together. Enjoy them for what they are and don’t look for a lot of realism, so to speak, but instead just the marvelous idea that love will right all wrongs.