I'm a BIG fan of Teresa Medeiros' books, I love her work which is why this was really frustrating for me to read because it disappointed me so much. I was surprised by this book. I don't know what happened but this isn't at all like her other work.
What I liked: The nod to the fairytale story of Beauty and the Beast. Who doesn't love that story? A woman falling in love with a lonely beast.
What I didn't like: I quickly started losing interest in the second chapter with all the cartoon-like characters who seemed more contrived then real. I know this is part of her fairytale series but even for a fairytale story there were things that were a bit far fetched and not really fleshed out. You have a village full of people who can't read, who all believe in a fire breathing dragon and the women are all busy making babies. Apparently the only sensible person in the entire village is Gwendolyn and that's emphasized repeatedly, she's such a good girl who can read and is 'fat' (not really). It was as if Medeiros was trying very hard to convince me of it by constantly bringing it up. Gwendolyn's sisters for another I just thought were a bit much. All three of them are complete light skirts who get a thrill out of finding men to have sex with like it's a competition and have no sense at all. I'm surprised the youngest one Kitty even got paired with a man with all her wailing and naivete. And then the father who supposedly went crazy over some big 'secrete' only to find out it's not really a secrete. I found myself getting more agitated then sympathetic to the characters which wasn't a good sign.
My biggest problem: The love story wasn't really much of a love story. The 'dragon' and Gwendolyn barely interact throughout the book. They share two 'scandalous' kisses while she's staying at the castle then all of sudden she's giving him her heart saying she loves him even when she's never seen his face. The idea behind it was nice and had a nice moral to it but it just came off superficial. I just could not buy it. Then to have her be furious with him over revealing his identity just came out of left field. I tried really hard to like the main characters in this and believe the story but I felt they were very one-dimensional. The ending wasn't very fulfilling more anticlimactic then anything. Just none of the characters made any sense to me and came off more cartoonish then believable. There was a lot missing which is what made it so disappointing for me.
Comparing to her other works this is my least favorite. It just was completely boring and underwhelming overall. Not at all what I was expecting to get from a Medeiros book. She's an amazing story teller I just don't think this was her best work.