Wednesday, June 30, 2010

kris asks about your favourite



Now that I have encouraged you to totally diss the Handsome Prince thing, I thought why not do an about face and talk about our favourite stories.

It's really not as hypocritical as it seems.

Maybe.

Moving on...

This is mine:


Truth In The Dark by Amy Lane is an m/m fantasy romance reinterpreting the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. I read it recently and was completely taken by it.

One of the things I really liked was that both heroes were complex and tortured as well as each having beast-like characteristics - physically and emotionally. *That actually sounds mean, doesn't it. Oh, well. This is me, after all. ;)*

What I loved the most about it however, was the way in which the author twisted and turned the idea of 'the transformation' to give the reader a dark, unique yet deeply satisfying story. Great stuff and an insta-fave.

So, what about you? What 'Beast' or 'Ugly Duckling' book would you recommend and why did it appeal to you?

22 comments:

JenB said...

My favorite ugly-duckling story is the Charm School by Susan Wiggs. *le sigh*

My favorite beauty-and-the-beast story would have to be...er, well...Beauty and the Beast. Disney version, of course. :)

Sullivan McPig said...

The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey.
She used Beauty and the Beast as a starting point for a story set early 1900's in San Francisco about an elemental mage who got disfigured by magic and seeks the help of a young female scholar to help him change back to his normal self.

orannia said...

Ohhh, Amy Lane. I'm still completely gaga over Keeping Promise Rock. This is as good? I should read?

I'm trying to think of an ugly duckling story I love. The thing is, I like ugly duckling stories in which the ugly duckling is loved just as they are. They don't need to become...other...more, etc.

Hmm. I think the ugly duckling story I'll always love is Anne Gracie's The Perfect Rake. The hero, Lord Carradice, thinks that the heroine, Prudence, is beautiful and is genuinely perplexed as to why everyone else doesn’t. Futhermore, her sisters are all ‘diamonds of the first water’ and he casually calls them ‘yellow-haired chits’. And she isn't - beautiful - according to everyone else, but Lord Carradice thinks she is :)

s7anna said...

Oh I love modern re-tellings of classic fairy tales...especially the ones with a naughty twist *grin*

You know what I've read more versions of Goldilocks & the 3 bears and Cinderella than I have of Beauty and the Beast or Ugly Duckling.

My new mission...find more versions of those two stories in m/m romance. Do you have any other suggestions? I've already added Amy's story to my list.

*hugs*
Anna

Chris said...

I haven't picked this one up to read yet, but it's definitely on my list!! My mind is blank re: Ugly Duckling/Beauty & the Beast stories...

Tracy said...

I can't think of a fav ugly duckling story. I did love Tessa Dare's book Once Dance With A Duke. The woman was 26 and "on the shelf" and pretty much a wallflower but by the end of the book the hero thought she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever met both inside and out. Love that!

Tam said...

The only one I can think of was Tatterdemalion which I seem totally obsessed with (there better be a sequel) and he got beautified in the end.

Ummm. Some hot manly stud out there must have had some wicked scars I've read. Oh, the Glyn Soitino book Out of the Blue about the genie in the bottle. The one hero's face was badly scarred and he'd lost an eye in an accident and while his scar was fixed at the end they genie said he couldn't fix his eye, it was permanent. I liked that book a lot.

There is that AKM Miles book Soldier and he is badly burned and the other guy has bad scars from a gay bashing. Neither one gets prettified in the end.

That's all I can think of.

Chelsea B. said...

For Beauty and the Beast themes, theres The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt and Lord of Scoundrel by Loretty Chase....

Amy Lane said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I was heavily influenced by both Robin McKinley and the Ellen Datlow/Terri Windling anthologies, and, as a guilty het pleasure, Amanda Quick's Ravished is a favorite as well. (I understand that K.Z. Snow does a similar thing with Fugly, which I'm DYING to read!)

Kris said...

Jen: "My favorite beauty-and-the-beast story would have to be...er, well...Beauty and the Beast. Disney version, of course. :)"

You're such a traditionalist. :P

I haven't read Charm School, but the blurb looks interesting and I really like the idea of a gradual transformation and a charm school run by crusty sailors. :)


Sullivan McPig: I've never come across this Mercedes Lackey before! It looks terrific and she is an author who's work I really enjoy. Thanks for the rec!

Kris said...

Orannia: Read it! It's terrific.

I think I might have read 'The Perfect Rake' when I was still reading historicals. This especially rang bells: "The hero, Lord Carradice, thinks that the heroine, Prudence, is beautiful and is genuinely perplexed as to why everyone else doesn’t."

Gotta love a hero like that. *g*


Anna: "My new mission...find more versions of those two stories in m/m romance. Do you have any other suggestions? I've already added Amy's story to my list."

K Z Snow has a B&tB retelling coming out from Liquid Silver soon called Fugly: http://tinyurl.com/2cn4fd7. I'm really looking forward to this release.

Hmmm. I'm trying to think of some m/m ugly ducking stories. I've read a couple where the hero has turned from nerd to smexy and remeets his high school crush later in life, but I don't think that's quite the same thing.

There is a short by D J Manly called 'The Other Man' where the good looking guy falls for the ordinary one.

A more spiritual take on the Ugly Duckling story - in terms of the hero coming out of abuse and finding his own strength - is T A Chase's Angel's Evolution. It is fucking awesome.

Enjoy! :)

Kris said...

Chris: Maybe there are just not many of them? Or we are totally oblivious readers?? Could be the latter. :)


Tracy: "... by the end of the book the hero thought she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever met both inside and out..."

Awww to the reformed rake. One of the best heroes out there cos when he falls in love that's it. *g*

Kris said...

Tam: Thanks for the recs. :)

Re: Tatterdemalion - I just didn't get the transformation thing in this story. I mean, he wasn't that ugly to begin with so he basically went from attractive to stunning. Ummm, why??


Chelsea: Reading the blurb for The Raven Prince made me realise that there are actually quite a few historical romances on the B&tB theme.

When you think about it that makes a lot of sense as the idea of an arranged or forced marriage lends itself to this theme very well.

Kris said...

Amy: As I said in the post, I loved the way you played with the idea of the transformation not just with the physical appearance of the heroes, but in so many different ways including with the secondary characters. And that reveal from Aerie-Smith right at the end... it made me sniffle. :)

"I understand that K.Z. Snow does a similar thing with Fugly, which I'm DYING to read!"

Me too! Which has absolutely nothing to do with how much I am in love with that cover. LOL.

Thank you for stopping by! :)

JenB said...

Oh, the Raven Prince. Siiiiigh. WONDERFUL. Totally forgot about that one. And damn but it's hot too.

The Charm School is absolutely charming, for lack of a better word. It's pretty mild as far as heat level goes, and I think that actually makes it better.

Kris said...

Jen: Well, if you like The Raven Prince too, Ms Picky, I might actually have to lift my moratorium on historicals. :p

JenB said...

It would be worthwhile. RP is gorgeous.

Kaetrin said...

I have fond memories of The Perfect Rake - I did love how the hero gets cross when others don't see his Prudence as the beauty he sees! - I'm thinking I might have to put this one on my wishlist and I'm hearing a buzz about Keeping Promise Rock too - I should buy? Yes?
No suggestions to add. Sorry.

Kris said...

Jen: I know! You could buy it for me as a pressie. That way I'm only half breaking my own rules.

You're welcome! *beams*


Kaetrin: 'I'm thinking I might have to put this one on my wishlist and I'm hearing a buzz about Keeping Promise Rock too - I should buy? Yes?'

Yes. :)

Let me know what you think of them both if you do succumb.

Amy Lane said...

Kris--happy to stop by;-) And thank you-- I had to really struggle for the right 'reveal' at the end. I always believe that a happy ending comes with a lot of work... I think Naef and Aerie-Smith REALLY earned theirs:-)

Kris said...

Amy: They certainly did deserve their HEA, which I think made it even more convincing and satisfying.

I'm looking forward to seeing what more people think about it once they've had the chance to read it. I think they will be blown away. :)

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