Thursday, 2 June 2016

Beauty and the Recluse by Ellie Gray
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 12th February 2016
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Following the recent death of her father, and in need of both a job and somewhere to live, Kiya takes a housekeeping job on the spur of the moment. She soon finds herself living in a beautiful but neglected mansion, working for a strange and reclusive man.

St. John is a man scarred by the past, both physically and emotionally, and is determined to live out his life alone. They are two very different people, drawn to each other almost against their will, but can Kiya convince St. John that he is not the monster he believes himself to be?

The book opens with Kiya, who is bereft and effectively homeless after the death of her father and finds an ad in a local village shop for a housekeeper. Despite the best efforts of the two busy body shop owners, Kiya decides to apply for the job. How bad can it be! Upon arriving at her place of new employment she is welcomed only by a note on the door. Her reclusive new boss not caring to greet her personally. However, despite her own misgivings Kiya realises that she has little choice in whether she takes the job or not. And anyway, the house she is to look after is a breathtakingly beautiful mansion, although in desperate need of some love and repair. With lots of rules in place so her boss can avoid having any contact with her, Kiya begins her job in earnest, breathing life back into the old mansion. However, an accidental run in with him changes both their lives in the most unexpected of ways.

This is a fantastic book, based on the Beauty and The Beast fairy-tale. The main protagonist, Kiya is a bit of a lost soul. With no family to turn to after the death of her father she is almost railroaded into taking on the job of St.John's housekeeper and lives as almost an isolated existence as he does. St. John, who has some facial scarring as the result of a car accident, hides himself away from the world because he believes himself to be a hideous monster now. And, strictly speaking he becomes a monster of sorts through his changed personality rather than his looks. Kiya sees beyond his scar and his personality flaws, only to see the man that he once was. And, she begins to fall in love with him. St. John has spent so long hiding himself away from the world that he has forgotten what it is to be in the company of others and to conduct himself in such a way as to not come across as mean and a little frightening. Kiya intrigues and confuses him and he begins to let the man he once was start to make an appearance. He puts up a damn good fight at trying to keep his feelings and Kiya at bay but she is persistent! 

This was a sweet story with the over-riding message being that love goes beyond looks and sees the beauty that is within a person. The book explores grief and loss and the pain of isolation and loneliness, which comes in many forms. Sometimes I did get a little frustrated with Kiya and St John. It was obvious there was passion bubbling under the surface and their little encounters throughout the book almost drove me insane to the point were I was screaming 'TAKE HER TO BED!!!!' I'm pretty sure my husband now thinks I am insane! A great recommended read! 


Singing softly to herself, Kiya was halfway into the room before she realised that she was not alone. From the corner of her eye, she saw St. John O’Neill spin around in surprise and she gave a startled cry, the vase slipping through her fingers to smash on the floor by her feet. He was a very tall man, easily 6ft. 5ins, broad-shouldered and muscular. His thick black hair, although clean, was long and unkempt, and his beard did not quite hide the vivid scar that ran from high on his right cheek down to his mouth. Incredibly bright blue eyes bore into her and, despite the scar and his rough, dishevelled appearance, Kiya was breathlessly aware that he was an incredibly attractive man. He continued to stare at her, radiating an aura of menace, and Kiya gave an unconscious shiver.
‘Seen enough?’ he asked coldly.
Blushing furiously, aware that she had been staring, Kiya quickly bent to pick up the    pieces of shattered vase.
‘Leave it.’ His words were clipped.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realise what time it was. I’ll just clear…’ she babbled, nervously.
‘Dammit, I said leave it.’
Her hand jerked at his unexpected ferocity and she gave a yelp of pain as the sharp edge of the broken vase sliced her palm. She stood quickly, lifting her hand to check the severity of the cut, and felt a wave of nausea wash over her at the surprisingly profuse amount of blood pouring from the wound. She heard St. John mutter an explicit curse and looked up to see him striding quickly towards her, his expression furious.

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Ellie lives in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire with her partner, David, and two children, Joe and Abbie.
Ellie is a contemporary romance author, published with the lovely Tirgearr Publishing, and is a proud member of the Romantic Novelist Association.
Her debut novel, Beauty and the Recluse, was published in February 2016 and her second novel, Love on the Nile, is due to be released in the Summer of 2016. Inbetween working full-time in public services and studying for an MSc in Public Management, Ellie is currently working on her third novel.
A few random pieces of information about Ellie:
  • Favourite TV shows – The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Nashville, Dr. Who, The Great British Bake-off!
  • Favourite Music – I’m an 80’s girl!, country, sixties, Elvis, classical (when I’m writing)
  • Favourite Food – Indian, tapas, crisps, cheese
  • Favourite Drink – black coffee – copious amounts when I’m writing, Sauvignon blanc when I’m not.

Facebook:         Ellie Gray Author
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One Response so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for such a lovely review - I'm so pleased you enjoyed it.

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