Beauty and the Beast, Book Review, Historical, Mystery, Romance, Series

Sister to Beauty (Sweet Historical Fairy Tales #1) by Roxanne McNeil


What if Beauty tricked her sister into taking her place with the Beast?

Henri needs a pretty wife to help his business associates overlook his disfiguring scars and eye patch. Conveniently, the father of the most beautiful girl in Provence owes him an enormous debt and agrees to allow Henri to court her as partial payment.

When Celeste is tricked into going to Henri’s home in her sister’s stead, she believes she’s only there to be his housekeeper and save her father from debtor’s prison. Thrilled to leave Marseille and her beautiful sister far behind, she throws herself into repairing Henri’s chateau and reputation.

When Celeste’s work uncovers the secrets of Henri’s self-banishment, she must choose between her growing love for him and her own safety. And until the right daughter arrives to help him save his livelihood, Henri must fight his growing attraction to his infuriating future sister-in-law, who seems intent on transforming his heart along with his household.

Sister to Beauty is a clean historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast.


My love of debut authors and retellings of the classic Beauty and the Beast has come together in a lovely book about an intelligent and headstrong beauty and a scarred and tragic hero of a beast.

She’s the eldest. The plain daughter. The sacrifice for her father’s crimes.  He’s the unsung hero. The hard worker. The outcast with a debt to collect on and business plan gone awry.

Celeste has learned from a young age to be independent and look out for herself. After all, her father and sister, Isabelle, take her for granted and treat her like a servant. But Celeste is savvy where Isabelle is spoiled. It’s Celeste’s undeserved loyalty to her ungrateful family, that gives her an opportunity to shine at what she does best. But the rude and unappreciative Henri makes it hard for her to concentrate especially when she hears the heroic and heartbreaking story of how Henry received his scars.

Henri is a lost individual with horrific scars on the outside and the inside. The locals have turned their backs on him and his business is in trouble until the perplexing and exasperating tall, plain girl with the ugly glasses takes over his household and his heart. How can he tell her she is here under false pretenses? 

My heart broke for Henri’s terrible story about his injuries. I have to admit it’s one of the worst war stories I’ve read and I admire Henri’s Aunt Inese for nursing him back to health with much love and care. I also admire Celeste’s directness and sense of humor as well as her ability to make friends easily. Her feisty personality is a great compliment to Henri’s reclusiveness and watching him realize his life transforming from despair to happiness in Celeste’s presence is worth waiting for. 

I recommend this delightful and serious debut story filled with romance, mystery, and a rewarding fairy tale ending. If you are a fan of enemies to lovers with brave and intelligent characters and a bit of mystery, please give this book a try.

Thank you to Ms. McNeil for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Sister to Beauty

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Roxanne McNeilRoxanne writes sweet, chemistry-driven romance. Her bookshelves are full of happy endings, and she would never consider writing anything else.

As a nurse and farm girl, she frequently brings up inappropriate topics at the dinner table, but she manages to keep those things out of her books.

Roxanne loves the Pacific Northwest and has a long-standing relationship with See’s chocolate, though she cheats with Leonidas if she ever gets a chance.

She lives with a sweet, 45-pound ball of fur named Queenie, who is much more of a princess than Roxanne is. 

Follow Roxanne on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.