Belleza and the Brute by Jane Matisse – Review by Angela Hayes

5 Stars


Belleza and the Brute is a fantastic story by Jane Matisse. This is Ms. Matisse’s second book and it is my favourite of hers, so far. The story is wonderful, a bit of a twist and modern touch to the classic “Beauty and the Beast”. The characters were particularly good, very well developed, and incredibly endearing. I snapped this book up as soon as it came up on my feed and I couldn’t read it quickly enough- I was completely captivated and immersed in the story right from the beginning- flying through the pages and devouring every word. I was so enchanted by this superb story that I read it in one sitting…. because I really didn’t want to put it down. The story has so much to love about it- taking the reader of a journey full of love, loss, grief, second chances, betrayal, and sooo much more.

Elena Salazar has had a lot of hardship and pain in her 26 years. Recently losing her job, she is incredibly worried about how she will make ends meet- so imagine her distress when she gets a call in the middle of the night from her wayward brother, begging her for money to help pay a gambling debt. But with no money to her name, Elena goes to the man her brother is indebted to in the hope of finding a solution to the problem. This puts her in the sights of Tristan Mercier, who has his own demons- haunted by a life-shattering event 5 years earlier, he is closed off, intimidating, dark and intense. But there is something about Elena that strikes a spark within Tristan. He is intrigued enough to offer her a deal that Elena really has no choice but to accept. The deal is that Elena would work for Tristan for a 6-month period to pay off the debt, while her brother goes to rehab to address his gambling problem. And so begins this incredible tale…….. but things are not quite what either are expecting. This deal will change their lives forever. You really should do yourself a favour and snap up a copy of this book for yourself and read all the intriguing details for yourself. You are bound to love it just as much as I have!

The story really had so much going for it and it was so easy to love. The storyline is a clever twist on the old classic, and even though there have been hundreds of ‘retellings’ that I’ve read over the years, this is definitely one of the best of that bunch. The story is witty- with funny quips, banter and antic; then there are touching and tender moments that melted my heart; the chemistry between Elena and Tristan was sizzling; there were suspenseful scenes that had me on the edge of my seat; which all amounted to me not being able to put the story down until I had finished the very last word.

Oh, and who wouldn’t love Toro- he’s such a wonderful addition to the story!



Thank you, Ms. Matisse!

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