I’ve had this ebook for a while but never got around to it, so I finally decided to give the audiobook a try on Hoopla, and I ended up really liking it!
This was, in case you couldn’t tell from the title, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and while that’s not usually a retelling I care for, I felt like this one did a wonderful job of capturing the story and the spirit of the Disney version, but with all new characters, set in space, and for adults.
There was one thing that struck me as not particularly believable—that Juniper wasn’t more concerned in the beginning about calling home and finding out what happened and how his family was (he woke on a strange ship after being in stasis for 17 years). Everything else though was believable enough and surprisingly lowkey for a romance.
Well, not the sex scenes. I’m just going to be blunt here because I feel it would be remiss if I didn’t mention there is a very explicit, very intense sex scene that involves a very large self-lubricating dick with the ability to give endless orgasms. I heard about this before I read the book and it gave me pause because it sounded so over-the-top and cringey, but I have to admit, although there’s no denying it was over-the-top, I actually didn’t mind it or find it cringey like I thought I would.
I loved all the characters. Juniper was great. He was empathetic and compassionate. He was confident and take-charge when necessary, but he was also kind of laid-back. Anytime the book was at risk of heading in a tropey or overdramatic direction, Juniper was there to reel it back in. Honestly, him cursing out Marrex for being an overdramatic idiot at one point might’ve been my favorite scene. I even liked Marrex and his grumpiness. I felt bad for him, so lonely. The AI characters, VAL and S1N, were fun, and I liked them too.
The narration of the audiobook by Michael Ferraiuolo was fantastic. Juniper, Marrex, S1N, and VAL all sounded different; it was very easy to recognize who was speaking. The women’s voices (when Juniper visited his sisters) sounded fine. The way he spoke sounded natural. He also just had a lovely voice to listen to.
Overall this was a quick, light, sweet book, I really enjoyed it, and I’d definitely recommend the audio!
Anyone who likes sweet m/m sci-fi romance, aliens, unique sex scenes, Beauty and the Beast retellings, and likeable characters.