Journeying by steam-powered sled to London’s Frost Fair to perform, Tara and three friends are trapped in a blizzard in the woods. A gruff, handsome stranger offers them shelter—and wants one thing in return – Stories.
The travelers are glad to oblige. Their host, Rolph, is especially captivated by Tara’s story of an orphaned girl raised by the Fae in the world of the spirits. Equally intrigued by Rolph, and aware of an electric pull between them, Tara encourages him to share a story of his own. When Rolph weaves a tale of a man who is doomed by his own folly to turn into a wolf at the full moon, Tara suspects there is more than a grain of truth in his words.
When the veil between the mortal and spiritual worlds is parted, and danger threatens, will Tara make the ultimate sacrifice to save Rolph?
Tara and her band of performers are headed to London to perform at the Frost Fair but they get caught in a storm and have to seek shelter. They come across a shelter in the woods and the stranger offers them shelter in exchange for stories. She never expected to find a kindred spirit in the gruff Rolph but his story, like hers, seems to have some truth to it.
Beauty in the Beast is set in the world of Steampunk, complete with a steam powered horse and sleigh. Tara and her friends are performers that travel around putting on shows. Beth is a puppeteer, her husband Miles is a storyteller like Tara, and Fredrick is a musician. They are caught in a blizzard and have to seek shelter.
Tara seems to be running from something, her past maybe? She enjoys traveling with her group of friends but she seems lonely. She has an air of mystery that surrounds her that stems from her childhood. I don’t think she realized that her past would have such an impact on her future either.
Rolf is a very lonely man that is living a life full of regrets over his past. He lives alone in the woods and doesn’t seem happy when the strangers appear but feels obligated to let them stay. He seems to enjoy the stories and performances of the troupe and is taken aback when Tara asks him to share a story of his own.
I enjoyed the interaction between Rolf and Tara. They are both lonely individuals that seem to be looking for something, whether they recognize it or not. The stories they shared both contained an air of truth to them. In the end, they both find salvation in each other’s arms.
There were a limited number of characters introduced and they all seemed to complement each other well. They also had interesting stories that added to the value of the story. The author does a good job of including just enough background for the reader to understand Rolf and Tara’s characters. The overall scenery was fun too; my favorite was the steam powered horse they used to go into town.