In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . .
A princess rejected and hunted by her mother, and a prince who lives as a shunned outcast.
Princess Pearl flees for her life after her mother, Queen Margery, tries to have her killed during a hunting expedition. Pearl finds refuge on the Isle of Outcasts among criminals and misfits, disguising her face with a veil so no one recognizes her. She lives for the day when she can return to Warwick and rescue her sister, Ruby, from the queen’s clutches.
Amidst his royal testing on the Isle of Outcasts, Prince Mikkel of Scania has kept his identity a secret. Captured by a warring band of outcasts and condemned to die, he finds himself making friends with an intriguing but feisty young veiled woman. Intending to win her trust and gain her help to escape, he soon finds himself coerced to wed her.
Mikkel reluctantly agrees to the union to save his life, and Pearl hopes the marriage will provide protection for her and Ruby. But the queen is more determined to kill her daughter than either Pearl or Mikkel realizes and has a sinister reason neither expects—one that could rip their new love apart forever.
Pearl’s love for her sister really touched me. She was willing to risk everything to get Ruby back. As an older sister, I related a lot.
The misfits were a very interesting reimagining of the dwarves. I loved how they all hung together and worked together. It wouldn’t have been good for the rest of the book, but I’m almost sorry I didn’t get to see a little bit more of the Isle of Misfits. The worldbuilding of the tensions between the two groups was very interesting.
I have come to the conclusion that there is no perfect ratio of arguing in an enemies-to-lovers romance. I personally got a little tired of Pearl and Mikkel arguing in this one. It could have maybe been cut back by a couple scenes and not seemed as repetitive. As it was, it continued up to the climax and I wasn’t quite sure if they were ever going to get started on the climax mission.
They also seemed to fall in love very fast. Considering Mikkel was in jail, and Pearl was trying to use him for her devices, when things got lovey-dovey, I got a bit skeptical. Maybe I was supposed to. The book did awesome, though, in making them test those feelings of attraction later on in the book.
I also personally am not a huge fan of the “they are forced into marriage to save themselves” trope. Not to say it wasn't pulled off brilliantly here, just tends not to be my jam.
Out of the three Fairest Maidens, Beguiled wasn’t my top favorite. But don’t let it fool you—it’s still an amazing book and more than worthy of being read. After all, don’t judge a book by its cover. Or its review. Or . . . I think you get the idea.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!