**I received a free copy via NetGalley for an honest review.**
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales, and scarred heroes and heroines always have a special place in my heart. This story had that Beauty and the Beast feel, except in this case, both have scars and need healing. It was a very lovely take on the classic fairy tale theme.
Fiona "Fia" McLeod has had scars and a limp most of her life, so she has been coddled and kept away from the outside world. Alasdair "Dair" Sinclair has only recently gained scars, courtesy of an attack that left his ship's crew murdered and his young cousin raped, tortured, and hanged. A healer tells his father that only a virgin bride can help him heal from the madness that has consumed him since the attack. His father finds Fia's family, consisting of a single father and twelve daughters (yikes!), and he brings back Fia and her sister, Meggie to his keep. Once there, Fia must work to cure Dair of his madness, and in doing so, she risks losing her virtue as well as her heart.
I loved Fia and Dair! They had such strong personalities, which complimented each other throughout the story. Fia found her inner strength, and she helped Dair remember who he used to be. They had some stumbles along the way, but I loved seeing the romance blossom in spite of things. The ending was absolutely perfect. It made me feel warm and fuzzy, which is the best feeling to have when finishing a book.
There is much mention of witchcraft in the book, which I found to be both interesting and extremely aggravating. I love learning the history of a time period, but it amazed me that people would so quickly and viciously turn on someone they know and trust. It was quite sad but also telling. It's reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials, especially, since those people were accused, tried, and convicted by their own neighbors.
I recommend this book highly! It was a wonderful read, for both its romance and its history. The plot twist is great as well, although I bet you will figure out who the bad guy is pretty quickly. Nevertheless, I was on the edge of my seat while reading.