If you thought the end of Beauty and the Beast was awesome–you know, when the Beast we’ve all fallen in love with turns into some boring ol’ human–then you’ve picked up the wrong book. The stories in this book are about beastliness, as well as beauty, and the fragility and glamour of both.
“Bête Noire” by Annabeth Leong is a Western about survival, revenge, and the kind of love that hurts you while it shapes you. “The Day the Mirror Told the Truth” by Neil James Hudson takes us down a rabbit hole where “Beauty” is a drug, and its use is both thoroughly understandable and utterly unforgivable. “Bed and Breakfast” by Sita Bethel starts with an accident, and becomes an intricate, often funny, dance of misunderstanding and unbridled lust. Rose P. Lethe writes “Victim Beyond Recall” like a seduction, drawing you in slowly and inexorably until you, like Poppy, are so deep in danger that you can’t escape, even if you wanted to. “Outcast” by TJ Minde is a simple story about two people falling in love in spite of the odds, and it features a bookworm farmer, and lots of man-on-man-beast action. Finally, after waltzing through our romance, and sliding down a rainbow of sexuality, we end up in “Deflowered” by Avery Vanderlyle. No spoilers, but it’s silly and hot and you won’t be disappointed.
If you thought the end of Beauty and the Beast was awesome--you know, when the Beast we've all fallen in love with turns into some boring ol' human--then you've picked up the wrong book. Beauty often seems unhappy about the trade-off too, and we all know why: we were just as drawn in as Beauty, just as enamored, just as thrilled by our own fear, and the Beast's strangeness. The stories in this book are written about beastliness, as well as beauty, and the fragility and glamour of both. The characters change, drastically and violently, and the love and lust they feel for each are defined by these changes, not felt in spite of them.
“A Contract Until Dawn”
by Sita Bethel
“What’s your name, daemon?”
The demon ignored his summoner, staring at the sigils on the floor, scanning the rust colored markings for errors or weak points. The room looked unremarkable, barrels of apples and squash stashed in the corners, round, fat pumpkins beside them, the typical fall harvest. So many would-be necromancers and wizards tried to summon a demon during the last night of October.
A soft chuckle brought his gold eyes back up to face the wizard who’d pulled him into the physical world. He looked delicate, fresh glass still cooling from a blower’s wand. His long, black ponytail slung over his right shoulder and the gray eyes flashed in dim, wavering light of a dozen tallow candles.
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