*I received a free copy of Beauty Inc. from Dreamspinner Press via Enchantress Design and Promo. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Beauty Inc. by Tara Lain
Series: The Pennymaker Tales #3
Published by Dreamspinner Press on 8 June 2016
Genres: Adult, LGBT, Romance
Source: Enchantress Design and Promo
Reading Challenges: 2016 LGBTQIA Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge
Is beauty only skin deep?
Chemist Dr. Robert “Belle” Belleterre loves flowers, green trees, his best friend Judy, and “his baby”: the new face cream he developed to help put his father’s small cosmetics company on the map. Sadly he gets no help from his alcoholic, gambling-addicted father who loses Belle in a poker game to Magnus Strong, the CEO of Beauty, Inc. the largest American cosmetics company—a man infamous for his scarred ugliness.
Belle finds himself uprooted from his home, living in a wildly crazy apartment in New York owned by Mr. Pennymaker, and completely unprepared for his mad attraction to the charismatic Strong. Feeling like a traitor, Belle fights his passion only to see more and more of the goodness and humility hidden by Strong’s ugly face. But when Belle’s family starts manipulating his life again, the odds turn against happiness for beautiful Belle and his beloved beast.
I absolutely loved Beauty, Inc. – it’s one of the best Beauty and the Beast re-tellings I’ve ever read, and I was immediately swept off my feet by both Belle and Magnus.
Tara Lain’s Pennymaker Tales series is truly amazing! I loved spending some time with Belle and Magnus, and Beauty, Inc. was a tale that got me thinking about the fact that we often need to look deeper than what we see at first sight. There is strong friendships and loyalty in this story, and there is family who doesn’t act like family, but friends who do act like family. There are some strong, very smart characters, and some important messages about what is important in life.
A great love story – that’s what the original Beauty and the Beast is all about, and that’s definitely true for this re-telling as well. I truly enjoyed Magnus – almost more so than Belle – because he was in the public eye, had left the scars on his face be, and didn’t think he deserved love or affection from anyone. It was great to see Belle slowly change his mind, just by being loveable and showing Magnus that he was worthy, and while Magnus kept being insecure about those feelings for a while, he was never pathetic or diminished by that. It made him more likeable and realistic to me.
The story spans over several weeks, and while Beauty Inc. is a company inventing new skin care and make-up, it’s also a company that works to help women in need. Sharing is caring, and Magnus brought that to a whole new and important level with his various charities. Written in third person point of view, past tense, but with dialogues to let the readers close to the characters, the story was well executed and made me cry tears of joy in the very end.
Walking behind Kleinschmidt came the most beautiful boy – man – Magnus had ever seen. Pale blond with much darker eyes, cheekbones like a lesson from Michelangelo, and a tall, slim body that filled out a gray business suit as if he were walking a runway.
No one else looked even a little like that, but wow. Belle’s steps slowed. Looking at Strong’s face on the cover of a magazine revealed its ugliness, but in life his pure vitality and charisma leaped across the space between them and ate Belle alive. So ugly he was beautiful.
“I’m glad.” His heart beat so hard they both should have been able to hear it.
The Pennymaker Tales Series
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her bestselling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soulmate husband and her soulmate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!You can find Tara at