Title: The Beau & The Belle
Author: R.S. Grey
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Where I got it: Kindle Unlimited
Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.
I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.
That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.
A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.
Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.
Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.
My old friend, Mr. Fortier.
But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.
When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.
Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.
In the past, I have been a big fan of R.S. Grey, but her last two books have been disappointments.
The Beau & The Belle tells us the story of Beau and Lauren. When the book begins, Beau is a 24-year old law student at Tulane who rents a room from Lauren’s parents, at a house that happens to be across the street from the house his family used to own. Turns out his Grandpa somehow lost the family house and now Beau’s mom lives in a trailer outside of New Orleans. He’s very bitter about the fact that his family name is now “mud”.
Lauren is from money, and her name carries prestige. I know this is a cultural thing that I don’t get, but in 2018, I found this storyline a little annoying. When the book starts, Lauren is 17 and a high school junior, and she finds herself with a massive crush on Beau. She comes on to him, he rebuffs her, as he should. Then a hurricane hits NOLA and Lauren is sent to boarding school in Connecticut, and she loses contact with Beau.
Fast forward 10 years, and Lauren is back in New Orleans to open her own business. Turns out that Beau is there as well, and now works for a capital company and is doing well for himself. He’s invited to Lauren’s welcome home masquerade ball and is smitten with her. He decides he wants her to be his.
The pace of this book, and slow burn were boring and made it hard to get through the story. I didn’t love Beau, I liked him, and I hated Lauren’s best friend. Lauren’s high school crush plays a role in the future part of this story and he was just an annoyance.
My main problem is there were a lot of unresolved issues. Lauren went to see a psychic and she told Lauren she was about to be hit with “something big”. This was NEVER addressed again. We don’t really know why Beau’s family was looked down on. And last, but certainly NOT least, was there was NO EPILOGUE! I’m sorry, but you need epilogues in romance novels. We, as readers, need that closure and we didn’t get it in this book.
Overall, it was just ok.