Reviewed by Mandi
Bathsheba and her sister, Sara, work for Midnight Liaisons, a high-class dating service for paranormals. Bathsheba is the office manager, while Sara follows up with clients and makes sure all dates go according to plan. While Bathsheba is a human, Sara was attacked six years ago by a werewolf, which infected her. After Bathsheba killed the man who changed her sister, Sara has no desire whatsoever to go live with the werewolf pack, which is violent. So, she has been hiding who she is for the past six years. The pack knows there is a female shifter out there and they want her back. Bathsheba has dedicated her life to keeping her sister safe.
But things become complicated when head of the Russell clan and cougar-shifter Beau calls up Midnight Liaisons in need of a date. After the woman he was supposed to date through Midnight Liaisons cancels, Beau is in a bind. Bathsheba can’t get a hold of her boss and knows if this client doesn’t get satisfaction, things could go south for her job quickly. Although it is against rules for humans to date paranormals, Bathsheba offers to go out on a date with Beau as long as everyone keeps it a secret.
But after she meets the very attractive were-cougar, she is going to find it much more difficult to go on only one date. When a very scary, unknown type of shifter starts hunting her sister, they will need the help of Beau and his clan to fight.
Beauty Dates the Beast has a very strong beginning. I immediately liked the heroine, Bathsheba. She is funny, and not perfect, and becomes all flustered when she meets Beau. Her main goal in life is to keep Sara safe, something she is willing to sacrifice everything for. But it all starts to get muddled when she can’t shake the attraction to Beau. No matter how much she likes him, though, she refuses to give up Sara’s secret to him. One thing I had to question in the beginning is that the shifters have a superior sense of smell. So Sara applies heavy doses of perfume when around other shifters so they don’t pick up on her scent. But wouldn’t a shifter realize this trick? Wouldn’t they figure anyone wearing that much perfume is obviously trying to hide who they are? So that tactic didn’t always make sense to me.
But the first half of this book is still very strong. We get really nice tension between Beau and Bathsheba. She happens to be a virgin, so she doesn’t give up the goods right away. That makes it a little more exciting, because Beau is affected by a nearby cougar who’s going into heat, so his sexual appetite is more out of control. Watching him trying to control himself around Bathsheba is amusing. There are some very cute parts in the first half.
I think things falter a little in the last third of the book. Beau is the head of the Russell clan, and while we see the growly, dominant side of him in the beginning of the book, it doesn’t really come through toward the end. I mean, we are told that all he has to do is snap his fingers and everyone obeys, but we never really see it. I also became frustrated with Bathsheba keeping so many things from Beau (who never gave her a reason to not trust him). And at the end when the big conflict comes to a conclusion, I think Bathsheba runs out into danger without really going through her options. If Beau really does have his entire clan at his beck and call, she should have turned to him – and not taken on things by herself.
Overall, though, I enjoyed this one. Beau’s second-in-command, Ramsey, who is a were-bear and never has much to say, really intrigues me, and his book is next. And he is a virgin! *ahem*
I think Jessica Sims (who also writes as Jill Myles) has a fun, sexy world starting.
Note: This review first appeared on the Happy Ever After Blog.