Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love. (goodreads.com)
I chose to read this book because of my fairy tale obsession and I've always loved Belle, she was so smart, and brave, and caring, and she could see past the obvious thing in front of her face. Nyx was very different from the Belle I know and love and I liked it. Before Nyx and her twin sister Astraia were born, their father made a bargain with the demon prince that if his wife became pregnant, he would send one of his daughters to become the demon prince's wife. Nyx was chosen to be that daughter and was trained on how to destroy him, knowing that her life would end as well.
First I liked how there was a healthy does to mythology mixed into all of this as well as the fairy tale aspect of it all. Second, I really liked the characters of Nyx and Ignifex. I knew that Nyx would have to be a tough cookie, but I was prepared for her to actually hate her family. Most characters are resigned to be the sacrificial lamb and are proud to be the only ones who can save their countries, but the reality is that it probably sucks because the only reason she was placed in that position was because of her father's selfishness. Ignifex, was hilarious from beginning to end, I though he would be a more similar character to be Beast but he knew who he was as a person and he ran with it, he had no problem being the cocky, sarcastic, and pompous person that he knew he was, although as we learned later, his feelings ran rather deep.
As for Shade, I knew from the very beginning what was up with all of that.
For anyone who's read this, I have to say that my favorite scene was when they were in the library reading and were playing what I called the key dance, she's steal one and hide it on her person, and he's find it and take it back. I just like how comfortable they were with each other, although they both still had their own goals and agendas. Two thumbs up and 4.5 stars. I'm not entirely sure what I'm not giving this 5 stars, there was just a little something missing, but I was still a big fan of the book.