Reader Reviews

Currently out of print

Reviewed by: Carole Coonrod
Reviewed by: Anonymous

Jayne Ann Krentz wrote many stories as Stephanie James. Fabulous Beast is one of the cutest. I enjoyed rereading it many times.

It starts out with our shy heroine, Tabitha Graham, discovering the "shy" hero, Devlin Colter, in an alleyway on one of the island stops of her cruise. He's been beaten and is hurt. He's a fellow cruise vacationer, and she helps him get back to the ship. He in turn doesn't want to let her out of his sight, and depends on her for the tender care she gives him during his recovery.

Tabitha feels that she is an average woman - not beautiful, easily overlooked, somewhat quiet and shy. She is a bookstore owner, who enjoys bestiaries - books filled with ancient and sometimes mythical beasts, like dragons. Although Dev carries a cane because of a hurt leg, she finds him to be like a dark, sleek and fabulous beast, and very attractive. She also finds him to be a lot like her, or so she thinks - shy and somewhat retiring. Dev, finding that he is attracted to this soft, sweet Tabby Cat (as he calls her), lets her continue to think they are alike. Unbeknownst (how I like that word) to her, though, Dev was on the cruise to pick up microfilm for a government agency - he certainly hadn't led a shy and retiring life, as Tabitha thought.

Dev, craving Tabitha's softness, was very careful not to scare Tabitha away. He allowed her to think that he was shy, and that she had to be the aggressor in their relationship. Aggressor, she was, engineering his seduction in her shy way, ignoring the signs that Dev wasn't what he seemed. The two continued their mutual seduction until the day Tabitha came face to face with Dev's reason for being on the cruise. Dev's real nature, which is much more like her mythical dragons than the shy man she'd thought he was, comes to the fore, as he saves her from a dangerous situation. Tabitha, angry, hurt and feeling used, leaves the cruise for home, while Dev is dealing with the police and the criminals.

Will Dev follow her? Will they get back together? You know they will. Read this book and find out how Dev and Tabitha resolve this situation and how Tabitha gets her "fabulous beast."

Carole Coonrod

When Tabitha Graham finds fellow cruise passenger Devlin Colter in an alley on the small island of St. Regis, she doesn't think it is the "start of a beautiful friendship." But this unromantic incident which opens Stephanie James' FABULOUS BEAST allows two guarded individuals to see a hidden side of each other and to realize their own feelings.

Devlin Colter, an ex-secret agent on one last mission, had been ambushed for the microfilm he carried. When Tabitha, a shy book store owner and pursuer of mythic lore, discovers Colter, she is unaware of the ruthlessness he's needed to survive and retain the film. What she sees is a man who needs her, a fabulous beast whom she must cautiously and inventively seduce. But as soon as the two come together, Dev's mission again dramatically intrudes and drives a wedge between them. Has the boat sailed on their romance or can their love, like one of the fantasy creatures Tabby studies, rise from the ashes?

Writing as Stephanie James, Jayne Krentz again pens a witty and passionate romance with protagonists who become better individuals as they become a pair; she works a fine balancing act between what is deception and what is truth not realized. Amanda Quick readers will want to take especial note of the maze scene and the use of dragon imagery. But the aspect I enjoyed the most was Ms Krentz's using tales of beasts' mating habits as a seduction technique. The FABULOUS BEAST not only proves a victory for "Washington, state of" over Washington, D.C. but a triumph for Krentz fans who are lucky enough to uncover a copy of this out of print book.

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