Bellamy and The Brute
by Alicia Michaels
Clean Teen Publishing
March 13th 2017
YA Fairy Tales, Retelling
A fresh twist on a classic story, Bellamy and the Brute proves true love really is blind.When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she’s reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill—including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin’s eldest son, Tate. The former football star and golden boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness—one that causes deformity and turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she’s told that if she takes the job, she must promise to never, ever visit the third floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth hidden there.
Tate’s condition may not be the only secret being kept at Baldwin House. There are gaps in the family’s financial history that don’t add up, and surprising connections with unscrupulous characters. At night there are strange noises, unexplained cold drafts, and the electricity cuts out. And then there are the rose petals on the staircase. The rose petals that no one but Bellamy seems to be able to see. The rose petals that form a trail leading right up to the 3 rd floor, past the portrait of a handsome young man, and down a dark hallway where she promised she would never, ever go…
As Bellamy works to unravel the mysteries of Baldwin House and uncover the truth about Tate, she realizes that she is in way over her head… in more ways than one. Can her bravery and determination help to right the wrongs of the past and free the young man whose story has captured her heart?
Rubbing shoulders with the familiar Beauty and the Beast tale, this re-telling wraps around a paranormal world, which reminds of The Sixth Sense, and leads through a fast paced mystery where love and acceptance over-shine all.
Bellamy is so sick of the ridicule she's suffered all the way through high school, simply because her father is a little eccentric. Okay, he's down-right odd. But with college peeking around the corner, she knows she can tough that out. It's the financial troubles which cause more problems. She takes a job as a baby-sitter to the children of the wealthiest people in town, those who live in a mansion on the hill. But there's a ton of mystery around the place--the most popular kid in school never left the mansion again after he turned sixteen, and nobody knows why. But that's not the only or the strangest thing going on inside that house, and he's not the most dangerous thing Bellamy is going to face.
Although the underlying tale is familiar, this story took by surprise and charged into an intriguing and spine chilling world. The opening scene slams the breath right out of the original tale, when a FBI agent tries to push back panic, while collecting the last piece of evidence to a murder which will guarantee the downfall of a very powerful man. The dark tone shadows the tale the entire way through, as scenes which cause chills and goosebumps pop up again and again. This isn't a high thriller, but the moments are there.
Bellamy is a teenager, but one with a head on her shoulders and her nose in her books. She doesn't let the teen drama get to her and knows what's important in life. Her heart of gold and ability to see beyond people's scars makes her a heroine to cheer for. She holds her own as best she can, but isn't indestructible and knows her limits.
There's romance, one that hangs in the expected young adult direction. Although it isn't love at first sight, feelings develop rather quickly, which weakens the potential tension in this area. Still, it's sweet and it's fun to root for the couple.
Layers of mystery weave through-out the pages, adding a bit of a detective feel as Bellamy and Tate attempt to solve a dangerous puzzle. The clues revealed just enough to hint at what might be. There were a few twists and turns, but this was a fairly laid out process with a more traditional mystery solving scheme. It comes together nicely with the creepy paranormal side and adds a great twist to the tale.
Despite the dark undertones to the plot, light shines in through the various relationships Bellamy develops to the family members. This isn't only a tale about acceptance and discovery true beauty but also one of forgiveness and re-discovering the importance of family and love.
Summed up, this is a retelling with chills and warm, which mold it into a story all of it's own. Friends of paranormal, fairy tales and mystery are sure to enjoy this all the way through.
And here she is. . .
Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. With several Fantasy and Science Fiction titles under her belt, Alicia strives to write multicultural characters and stories that touch the heart. V-Card, the first book of the Sharing Spaces series, was her first Contemporary Romance.
The mother of three and wife to a soldier, she loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.
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