“Kept by the Beast” by Hallie Bennett was a #moodread to be sure. I was looking forward to something sweet. A palate cleanser after having gone too deep in my feelings in the darker realm of fantasy. I wanted a pick-me-up and the promised story of a heart-of-gold mountain man and his curvy lover seemed like the exact remedy I needed.
I was right.
We follow Poppy on her ill-fated venture to the mountain town called High Ridge, where her car breaks down and she’s literally, and figuratively picked up by our mountain man, Asa. We learn about Poppy’s struggle with her own sense of self-value and Asa’s insecurities about his town-wide earned nickname, ‘the Beast’. When they fall together, it’s a truly sweet (and steamy) union.
I thoroughly enjoyed “Kept by the Beast”. I thought it was a charming story with just enough development to make an insta-love seem more practical. I thought the two were sweet together – it didn’t hurt that they were both incredibly likable characters in their own right. I found myself rooting for them, hoping that their weekend of car trouble could turn into a forever.
If I was rating this novelette on my feelings on the storyline alone, it would get five stars! Unfortunately, there were some parts that I, didn’t personally enjoy.
I didn’t mind that both characters were virgins, though, I took issue with Asa talking like he was a seasoned fluffer on a porn set. It suspended reality just a bit too much for me to believe. If he had stumbled over some of the more lewd words, I would have loved him all the more. Playing pretend at experience he didn’t have would have made it all the more wholesome and endearing.
Some of the dialogue, in general, failed the, “does it sound okay when said out loud?” test (I wrote about this in my blog about dialogue). I found myself fixating on certain lines, trying to imagine a world in which people spoke that way. I didn’t find that place.
All in all, I do think this is a cute read and would certainly recommend it to anyone who is keen for some smutty, wholesome insta-love with a beautiful happy ending.
“Kept by the Beast” gets a solid four stars from me!
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