SECRET BEAST is a new full-length novel from USA Today bestselling author Amelia Wilde about revenge, family secrets, and the redeeming power of love.
The beast hides a dark secret in his past…
Leo Morelli is known as the Beast of Bishop’s Landing for his cruelty. He’ll get revenge on the Constantine family and make millions of dollars in the process. Even it means using an old man who dreams up wild inventions.
The beauty will sacrifice everything for her family…
Haley Constantine will do anything to protect her father. Even trade her body for his life. The college student must spend thirty days with the ruthless billionaire. He’ll make her earn her freedom in degrading ways, but in the end he needs her to set him free.
I adore fairytale retellings, especially when they’re based on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. So when I heard that Amelia Wilde (whose Devil trilogy I just started reading and loving) was going to be focusing on the B&tB fairytale in the Midnight Dynasty collection, I knew it was going to be good!
If you haven’t heard of the Midnight Dynasty, it’s a collection of fairytale-inspired series by various authors focused on (so far) the Constantine family (and, of the ones I’ve read, the Morelli family). It’s a fairly interesting idea and one thing I really enjoy about it is each author’s take on different members of the family.
Of the MD books I’ve read so far, it seems to be the general consensus that the Morelli family are the untrustworthy villains. However, in Secret Beast, Leo Morelli is actually the hero! Of course, it is a dark romance so he’s not entirely heroic; but, he certainly has that tortured alpha hero (with redeeming qualities) personality perfected!
The author created a really interesting persona for Leo that left me wanting more! I spent the majority of the book see-sawing between knowing the hero is supposed to be villainous and a not-so-good guy with secretive plans beyond what we currently see, and knowing he is the HERO and therefore, in the process of growing into a decent person for the heroine. The author managed to balance these two dueling perspectives perfectly which is exactly what you want in a dark romance.
The heroine was also an interesting character. There were a lot of naive, almost “meek” qualities about her, and yet throughout the book she managed to both maintain some of that innocence and still develop confidence and independence. She found the exact right level that suited where she currently was in her life and experiences, and again, that’s such a complex and skilled aspect for an author to achieve in a dark romance.
I can’t really comment about anything else going on in the plot since it’s based on Beauty and the Beast but with some interesting twists that I feel are going to unravel further in the next book! And yes, there will be a second book -this one ends on a cliffhanger, FYI. But I will say, the additional twists that the author managed to weave into this tale are incredibly intriguing and I can’t wait to see where she goes with it!
Disclaimer: Thank you to Candi Kane PR for the arc in exchange for an honest review.