Among historical romances, the Regency period is of course very popular. Taming the Beast is rather different, set
as it is during the Crusades in 1101.
Injured badly during his crusade, Roderick Cherbon was thought to die.
He has survived, however, albeit scarred, and returned home to his estate.
Unfortunately, he has to marry soon; otherwise the estate will go to his unpleasant cousin, but he can't find any woman brave enough to face his cold, scary home and his scars.
Michaela Fortune is a singular young lady. Whispers have followed her since birth that she is an agent of Satan, but she knows she's just a normal young woman. After
being crossed in love by a neighbor, she decides to become the wife of Roderick Cherbon.
She's not willing to just be a wife, though: she wants to run his home and actually meet and talk to him and get to know him - and his son. But Roderick has more scars than Michaela realizes, and the complexities of the lives of those around them may cause problems.
I particularly relished the heroine Michaela and her nature, though Roderick
is a rather indistinct character and hard to like due to his treatment of Michaela.
The scenes with Roderick's son can be rather irritating because of the author's
manner of transcribing the boy's speech - "Ee-oh has soos" for "Leo has shoes," for example.
It takes quite a lot of effort to decipher what Leo is saying, and I would rather have been able to read it more easily. Roderick's friend Hugh
is also an odd character, and some of the events at the end of the story ring a bit unlikely, to say the least.
The slight paranormal aspect to this book actually detracts from its impact. The story itself - of a scarred and damaged man finding wholeness through the love of a good woman - is hardly new, but it
doesn't need any minor paranormal elements to move it on. Those things aside, I enjoyed reading Taming the Beast. Heather Grothaus makes a good job of writing an interesting tale.