ARC Review: The Rose Kiss: Beauty and the Beast Retold by Esme Rome

About the Book:

Title: The Rose Kiss: Beauty and the Beast Retold

Author: Esme Rome

Series: Fairy Tale Love Stories #1

Page Length: 199

Publication Date: May 1, 2021

Publisher: Parako Press #1

Synopsis: Trapped by a curse. Running from destiny. Can their bond bloom in the face of a sinister enchantment?

Provincial France, 1700. Lana Moreau, beautiful daughter of a bankrupt nobleman, is desperate for a suitor with a brain. But things don’t go as planned when her father takes her to the local prophet, looking for insight into her many failed courtships. When the seer names her as the Belmorta, a woman doomed to love a beast and bring famine and destruction, Lana flees in hopes of reversing her dark fortune.

Escaping the wrath of the frightened villagers, she finds salvation in a seemingly empty magical castle. Entranced by the estate’s mystical marvels, she discovers choosing to stay may mean giving her heart to the monstrous owner and fulfilling the evil curse…

Can Lana survive her wicked destiny and claim her happily-ever-after?

The Rose Kiss is the mesmerizing first novel in the Fairy Tale Love Stories YA fantasy series. If you like plucky heroines, enchanted romance, and riveting retellings, then you’ll adore Esme Rome’s captivating story. 

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   

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My Review:

There’s a reason people keep telling fairy tales. They last because they touch on something true.

The Rose Kiss is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that follows Lana as she flees to a mysterious castle and learns that her favorite fairy tale may not be completely fiction. This is a quick and easy read, and I like the author’s writing style. The love story, though predictable, is well done. I love that Lana and Hadrian bond over their love of literature and knowledge. Of course, I love all of the library scenes. That was always my favorite part of Beauty and the Beast. Their relationship grows slowly, and you can tell they have a strong connection.

I like the magical elements too. The magic of the castle, the supernatural beings that inhabit this world, and Hadrian’s backstory are all unique and interesting while still paralleling the story of Beauty and the Beast. There is a different spin on the rose, which is interesting. However, I wish this aspect of the story were developed more.

I also like the integration of the fairy tales that are referenced throughout the story. It’s like a story within a story and provides great context. Music and song lyrics are also an integral part of the story, and they sometimes set the tone of a scene while contrasting the mood in another. The fairy tales, music, and lyrics deepened my appreciation of the story.

As for the characters, I wasn’t a huge fan of Lana and felt that she acted selfishly and impulsively. As the story progressed, I liked her more, but she seemed really intelligent in some instances and then so oblivious in others. Overall, she just felt too self-absorbed, and her character felt inconsistent to me. I did like Hadrian and found his story more interesting and wanted more of his story. The antagonist and other characters also lack development, as did some parts of the story. That being said, I enjoyed the book enough to read it in one sitting.

Overall, this is a quick ya fantasy that will appeal to readers that enjoy Beauty and the Beast and HEAs. Thanks to NetGalley, Parako Press, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The magical elements

Favorite Lines:

Peace in the face of injustice is itself an injustice.

I will marry no one but my one true love.

Fate is an awful thing. It cannot be changed without extraordinary intervention.

Sometimes the right thing leads to a bad end.

The difference between a lie and a story lies in what each is intended to do. A story can comfort, educate or entertain, while a lie is meant to deceive. And a story comes right out and says it’s a story, while a lie insists that it’s true as a mirror.

5 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Rose Kiss: Beauty and the Beast Retold by Esme Rome

    1. That’s too bad. It definitely wasn’t my favorite retelling, but there were some aspects that I really liked. I had hoped for more character development, context, and explanations of a bunch of the supernatural stuff though.

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