Roses And Thorns by Chris Ann WolfeRoses And Thorns by Chris Anne Wolfe is a lesbian retelling of Beauty and the Beast. 

A greedy father, Aloysius, gets lost one night on his way home. He is taken in by a wealthy stranger in a castle who remains hooded throughout their meeting.

The two strike a deal, Aloysius’s daughter, Angelique, is sold into marriage to this faceless noble in exchange for a lot of money. Angelique leaves her home and travels to the strange estate where she is to be wed to the cloaked Leige, Drew.

Drew has all sorts of insecurities and it takes her a while to trust Angelique.

Angelique, on the other hand, is strong willed yet sweet and accepting. She is everything that Drew needs and more.

The question is will Drew let Angelique in and can the two of them stand together against some really nasty external forces?

The Characters

Although a little one dimensional, I enjoyed the characters in the story. The bad guys were bad, the good guys were good and it was a sweet retelling.

The story is predominantly told from Angelique’s point of view and I loved how determined she was to get to know Drew and then to get Drew to trust her. It made for an endearing character.

The Writing Style

I enjoyed the story tremendously. It isn’t a long read, but it is a satisfying one, especially if you enjoy tales of weird and wonderful. This is one of those slightly off centre reads that don’t play by the rules of our world. The ones where magic abounds and otherworldly creatures walk among humans.

Being a lesbian novel, we know that Drew is a woman, although we wait with anticipation for the big reveal and while it wasn’t done as I would have expected, I did enjoy it.

There is nothing super dramatic about the romance in the book, but there are a lot of dramatic moments when it comes to the bad guys.

The Pros

I love a good lesbian retelling of a classically dark story and this fit the bill perfectly. Give me a bit of otherworldly magic and a dark character who is revealed to have a smooshy heart and I am a happy little reader.

This book was something unique and fun.

The Cons

Don’t listen to the audiobook. I didn’t enjoy it and gave up on it in favor of reading the book, a wise choice on my part.

The Conclusion

I really enjoyed this read. It was something quite different and pushed a lot of my buttons. It’s a slightly darker tale, there is magic in it, there is a reluctant heroine in it and a feisty femme. I liked the writing style and thought it was a great book.

Excerpt from Roses And Thorns by Chris Anne Wolfe

Note: This excerpt is edited down a little for continuity 

Angelique liked the voice. It was low but not deep, and she edged closer to the carriage door. She wished Culdun would move more and that she had the courage to open the shade on the other window.

“What does she know of me, Culdun?”

Angelique flinched at the emptiness in that quiet question.

“Very little, my Leige. Apparently her father was somewhat lax in providing details.”

A bitterness twisted the other’s laughter. “Had we expected him to be any different from the others? Shall we wager, Culdun, that he’s said nothing of magic or perverted monsters?”

“She is different.” Culdun’s column words sliced quickly through the sarcasm.

“How different, Culdun?”

“She possesses…a different perspective.”

Angeliquie smiled at the phrase. She had won an ally in Culdun. Whatever task lay ahead, he would be there with his support. And if he, with all his years of wisdom, believed in her, then perhaps she needn’t question her own abilities.

“Settle Angelique in her room.” The bite had left the words and a cautious tension had emerged instead.

“Arrange for her meals if she has need.”

“You’ll not greet her today?” Culduns’s tone was careful.

“Tonight at dinner. Eight as usual. As you say, it has been a long trip. She deserves a few hours at least to recuperate before being confronted with the wicked magickian, doesn’t she?”

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781495253379

About the author

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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born