Book Review: Moody and the Beast by Kristen Painter

Posted June 27, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Moody and the Beast by Kristen Painter

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Moody and the Beast by Kristen Painter
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Sugar Skull Books on August 28, 2020
Pages: 233
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: House of the Rising Sun, City of Eternal Night, Garden of Dreams and Desires, Book Review: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case, All Fired Up, "Prologue to The Vampire's Mail Order Bride", The Vampire's Mail Order Bride, The Werewolf Meets His Match, The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, The Professor Woos the Witch, The Vampire's Fake Fiancée, The Shifter Romances the Writer, "The Witch's Halloween Hero", The Dragon Finds Forever, The Vampire's Accidental Wife, The Reaper Rescues the Genie, The Detective Wins The Witch, The Vampire's Priceless Treasure, The Werewolf Dates the Deputy, "When Birdie Babysat Spider", Miss Frost Ices the Imp, Miss Frost Saves the Sandman, Miss Frost Cracks a Caper, "The Werewolf's Christmas Wish", The Vampire's Cursed Kiss, Her First Taste of Fire, The Vampire's Sunny Sweetheart

Fourth in the Shadowvale cozy paranormal romance series revolving around Shadowvale, which isn’t your typical small town America. The sun never shines, the gates decide who enters, magic abounds, and every resident bears some kind of curse. The couple focus is on Robin Gallow and Theodora “Moody” Middlebright.

My Take

It’s a dark tale Painter paints. A traitorous king in exile. A father who owes a debt that can only be repaid via a year’s indenture to the ex-goblin king. A horror of a man who would have betrayed his people.

It doesn’t take long before Theodora is attracted to the “beast” and begins to wonder about him. He’s simply too nice for words. Robin is already attracted to Theodora, for she doubts and mistrusts him — and doesn’t hesitate to say so. It helps, too, that he’d liked her mother. Well, hey, it has been a boring “life” so far.

I do like Shadowvale. It’s a cozy and safe place for everyone. And decorative, lol. Amelia designed an art deco entrance to the mine.

Painter is using third person global subjective point-of-view, as we hear the thoughts, feel the emotions, and experience the events of a number of characters. Of course the primary perspectives are from Theodora and Robin. It’s through them that we discover their character arcs, what they need to learn about their grumpy selves.

Sure, it’s predictable, but it’s so warm and lighthearted, I simply didn’t care.

It’s all about those actions being so much louder than words. A reality borne out by that ending . . . sigh . . .

The Story

It’s a resentful Theodora who shows up in Shadowvale to serve her father’s indenture. To work for the deposed king who almost sold his own citizens into slavery.

Yet, this ex-king’s behavior has her questioning all she has been taught.

The Characters

The half-goblin, half-fairy Theodora “Moody” Middlebright lives a life “enslaved” to her weak goblin father, Welten Middlebright, who’s addicted to gambling. Her fairy mother, Caralynne Middlebright, is deceased — she had been a pastry cook in the royal kitchens — and would never have tolerated the wagering.

Gallow House had been . . .
. . . meant to be a summerhouse, but it became Dark Acres with his exile. The sleepless Robin Gallow, the deposed King of Limbo, has been exiled to Shadowvale where he works as a foreman for the Dragonfly, a jewel mine. Elswood Hardencourt is his valet-turned-butler. Mrs Hyacinth Baton is the housekeeper. Lolly is the scullery maid. Mrs Applestock is the cook. Henry is the chauffeur. Fenwick is the gardener. Pepper is the black cat who gets adopted. Robin’s mother, Pryn née Rosebloom, had been a weaver, his father, Benmore, a miner.

Shadowvale is . . .
. . . a safe place for supernaturals to live, where everyone knows you have magic. It was created by Amelia Marchand, a witch, to protect her lover. Emeranth Greer is her niece who moved in, in The Trouble With Witches, 1, and is now a barista. Deacon Evermore, the town sheriff and a raven shifter whose curse is taking on other people’s curses, is Emeranth’s fiancé. Gracie Evermore is his sister. Nasha Black owns Black Horse Bakery; her father is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The generous Stella owns Stella’s Bargain Bin. Last Rest is a cemetery. Billy, a holler troll, had been dating Lolly. Grent Hawthorne, the second-shift manager, and Spriggs are more mineworkers and trolls.

Limbo is . . .
. . . a goblin kingdom — Livion is a sister fairy kingdom. Limbo’s ruler, Queen Vesta, is capricious and cruel. Fangmore is the palace. The Royal Guard is referred to as the Overwatch. Heartseeker is the royal sword.

Mrs Oakhill is the Middlebrights’ neighbor. The Royal Stonecutters Academy is where Theodora learned something of her gift. Pinter Crossgrove, an apprentice fishmonger, is the only man Theodora had ever dated. Picket’s Bread Box is a bakery that used to employ Theodora. Crilla is an invigorating herb. Crane’s Rest is a cemetery. Marken is providing protection (to Pryn); Limna is his wife. Jeb is a guard at the bridge.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a dark background that is electrified by the deep purples, greenish-turquoise, and the neon effect of the highlighting around the title. At the center is Pepper the cat in front of an elaborate, neon lime-green gate with the series information woven into the bars. At the very top, in a bright green, is an info blurb. Immediately beneath it is the author’s name in white with a black shadow. Starting below Pepper’s chest is the title in black with a double outline of bright blue and green.

The title, Moody and the Beast, refers to Theodora’s nickname and the popular view of Robin.

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