Recreating fairy tales in delightful, entertaining and original ways is Linda Jones' forte. Taking on the classic "Beauty and the Beast," she has turned the tables and presents us with Anya Sedley as The Beast of Rose Hill and Dr. Julian Debuty, the man "bought" to be her tutor and husband.

As a child, Anya survived the shipwreck that killed her parents. She was rescued and raised by pirates to become their king's concubine. She has grown into a free-spirited, bold, sensual young woman who does not fit into society.

Thus Julian is brought in to teach her to be a lady. With a bit of Pygmalion and a dash of Maggie Osborne's Lady Reluctant, DEBUTY AND THE BEAST becomes a funny, sexy romp as Anya does her best to lure Julian away from his vow of celibacy and into her bed. But though Anya knows a great deal about sex, she knows nothing of love.

As she begins to learn to follow rules, wear a corset and behave in public, she also learns how to woo Julian and to desire the love he offers.

Add the pirates' unexpected acts, a dash of suspense and a bit of jealousy, and you have a wonderful mix of humor, mystery and fun in a fast-paced and entertaining romance. Linda Jones is an author who enjoys creating unique characters and twisting the ordinary into the extraordinary. SENSUAL (Apr., 350 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin