Standalone Romantic Comedy
Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.
I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.
That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.
A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.
Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.
Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.
My old friend, Mr. Fortier.
But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.
When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.
Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.
The Beau & the Belle was a perfectly paced novel with a slow burning romance that charmed from the start. Its characters were enticing and realistic, two people brought up on differing sides of the New Orleans society and driven to find their piece of it by their own right. And while Grey excels at Rom-Coms, this one being no different, she also nailed the teenage persona of the heroine and the historical context of the era with stunning accuracy, all of which carried the evocative nature of their lives and their relationship with ease.
With a seamless blending of humor and wit, it was altogether too easy to find myself laughing or smiling while reading. There wasn’t any heavy angst, instead just a true connection that rooted deeply and managed to grow even while they spent years apart with nothing to water it but reminiscent thoughts of an inopportune age difference. Both past and present parts of the book gave insight into Lauren and Beau as individuals as well as the direction they were each headed, but still managed to find ways to circle it back to what’s invisibly tying them together. That connection of theirs became its own beating pulse, increasing in strength as each page unfolded until it gloriously imploded with desire and affection. Watching their love story unfold was a pure delight
It isn’t often that an author can authentically and organically capture humor and complement it with the right style of romance that’s steamy and poignant, but it’s something Grey can always be relied on to carry out. Not only was The Beau & the Belle entertaining, but it was substantive and filled with the depth of the lively city and the complex characters within. In what I label as a one-sitting read, this love story is one not to be missed.
♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦
R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com