Beau is a down-on-his-luck street artist living on the streets of Seattle. One rainy night, he is accosted by a group of fag-bashing thugs, intent on robbing him of his art supplies and humiliating Beau for who he is. Beau is beaten into unconsciousness ...
... And awakens in a bedroom, head bandaged, with no memory of how he got there. Outside his window pine trees and mountain vistas beckon.
Beau’s tale grows more mysterious when a large, muscular man begins bringing Beau his food. The man says nothing -- and wears a wolf mask. When he finally does speak, it’s only to tell Beau to call him “Beast.”
What secrets does the mask hide? What do these two outsiders have in common? And will their odd circumstances bring them to the brink of love -- or rip them apart? Inspired by the timeless fairy tale, this is a haunting love story that reveals that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
Beau and the Beast is a lovely written modern day fairytale. Truth is its more than just an updated take on a beloved classic, it takes what we grew up with and gives it a horrifying yet fun and entertaining spin. What I loved most about Rick R Reed's Beau and the Beast is how you don't even truly realize that you are learning, well not really "learning" because I hope you already know the old adage about not judging a book by its cover so perhaps "being reminded", a valuable life lesson. Now having said that, don't think the author is trying to teach you anything or that the book reads as a learning course, because it doesn't. Oh no, Beau and the Beast is most definitely first and foremost, entertainment and if you walk away learning something about yourself well then consider it just an added bonus.
Some might find that the near insta-love is a little too much but considering this is a short story you really don't have the pages to fill with prolonging their connection. I personally found their instant connection, even if Beast tries to deny it and shy away, to be endearing and very believable. The characters are intriguing, the setting brings to life what said characters are experiencing, and watching their journey unfold is magical. This tale may be short on pages but it is certainly not short on enjoyment. Could this have been even better had it been a full length novel? Perhaps, but its pretty perfect in my opinion just as is and its won a space on my future re-reads shelf.
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.
He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, "a writer that doesn't disappoint."
Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever "at work on another novel."