Amanda Ashley does a wonderful job of retelling this fairy tale with her own twists and in her own way. I love her writing style. It is so fluid; it doesn't get in the way of the story.
The Lord of Hawksbridge Castle, Erik, has been cursed into becoming a beast by his witch mother-in-law. (Yes, she's literally a witch.) She holds him responsible for the death of her daughter, Dominique. The change doesn't happen all at once. Over several years his body morphs into a wolf-like beast. Time is running out. Before his father died, he promised to sire an heir. Erik plans to fulfill his father's dying request and then put himself out of his misery.
Kristine is sentenced to die for murder. She killed a man who tried to rape her. She receives a reprieve when Erik obtains her freedom. (bribing a judge, I presume) She is taken straight from jail to the church to marry Erik. She knows nothing about him other than what she can see. His face is covered with a mask and he wears a glove on his left hand. To Erik, she is nothing more than a brood mare and this reader wonders if she felt like she was being raped again and forced into this loveless marriage. Still, she feels obligated to Erik for saving her life and tries to get to know and love her enigmatic husband.
The story centers around Kristine showing love to the Beast and Erik trying to keep his true form a secret from her. He finds himself falling for her despite his efforts to keep his distance. She loves him so much, she is willing to do anything to reverse the curse and save her husband.
Her sacrifice is hard to swallow, and the solution seems a bit deus ex machina, but it was an enjoyable story that had me hooked from the very first scene. Best of all, I got my HEA.