May 14 2012 8:17am

H&H Book Club: Halfway Through Teresa Medeiros’s The Bride and the Beast

Gerard Butler

So here we are, about halfway through May’s H&H Book Club choice, Teresa Medeiros’s The Bride and the Beast.

What is striking about it is the wit; the three on-screen characters, Gwen and the Dragon and Tupper, all get to relay their respective bon mots towards each other—and their wit is respected and enjoyed by the recipient. For Gwen, at least, it’s clear that she has never been appreciated for anything, so having the Dragon appreciate her mind and her body is a unique experience for her.

“Gwendolyn was accustomed to being blamed for her intelligence, but no one had ever before accused her of being pretty or charming.”

And when the Dragon gifts her with clothing, delivered while she is sleeping, Gwendolyn worries it won’t fit, because “Such pretty things were never tailored for great girls like her.” And when they do, she feels “airy and graceful.”

What are you liking the most about the book? The least? Do you know who the Dragon is yet?

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K.M. Jackson
1. kwanawrites
I knew who the dragon was right away but that was fine. It was fun waiting for Gwen to find out. Also my heart went out to her trying on the clothes. Who hasn't been there with that feeling in a dressing room?
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
@kwanawrites: I know! I was wincing, hoping all the dresses would fit, and then when they did, I was so happy.
3. wsl0612
I knew who the dragon was, it was a bit obvious. This section of the book is quite amusing, love the interplay between Gwen and the Dragon, but I was not happy with the Tupper/Kitty scenes. The author gave me the impression that Kitty was very young at the beginning. It was bad enough to try and adjust to her being sexually active (when I thought she was all of 12/13) but then it just seems a bit icky that she and Tupper are having a relationship. I don't know, it's because I have this vision of Kitty being so young and Tupper seems to be so old (in comparison). And it just feels like Medeiros is trying to shoehorn in another cute relationship. I'd rather concentrate on Gwen and the Dragon.
Robbie Thornton
4. Button
Ok, am I the only one who analyzed every scene where Gwen and the Dragon interacted looking for possible places where she surely had to have seen his face, shadows or not? Maybe I am, but then, I'm the curious sort and if I were Gwen, it would have been foremost in my mind at every encounter. I'm just wired that way.

I'm not sure that the Dragon's identity was supposed to be a surprise to anyone but Gwen and the villagers.

I like the Tupper/Kitty part of the storyline. It's like she's added another beauty and the beast element to the story, in that Tupper is something of a beast in terms of dashing romantic figures, with his plain face and paunch and his low self esteem. He's an overweight hero (or at least, subplot hero), and that's a cute area to explore. Kitty on the other hand, is the prettiest sister by all accounts. I think it's very clever.
Rachel Powell
5. JMercy
I'm really enjoying this book! The identity of the Dragon is fairly obvious, but the story still flows well through Gwen meeting him. I wish she'd had a little more interaction with him though, as she only seems to speak with him those few times before she realizes she loves him. However, the back and forth verbal foreplay is wonderful, as is the love scenes the reader gets later on. As a fluffy girl myself, I think Gwen's insecurities are well represented without making her whiny or self-obssessed as some fluffy heroines seem. Also kudos to Teresa for both the fluffy heroine and hero, even if he is a secondary character.
Has anyone else figured out who the traitor is? I think the clues are there if you look but not so obvious as to annoy.
@wslo612 If I did my math right, then Gwen is 24 with the other sisters being older. Kitty is probably no younger than 18 in the story, although Teresa did seem to imply that she much younger in the beginning...perhaps that was colored by Gwen's perceptions of Kitty as she is the youngest and she helped raised her? Hope that helps.
Can't wait to read the rest!
6. wsl0612
@JMercy, thank you for doing the math! It does help to think of Kitty as being almost 18. Medeiros did make her sound so much younger, especially as she mentioned Kitty kept sitting in men's laps (or something like that) and I was thinking she was searching for a father figure.
7. angezap
I enjoyed this book having finished it yesterday. I also was a bit distrubed by Kittys character until I found out she was 18. Ohhh thoses sisters of Gwens drove me mad a loved that Medeiros had characters in the book that made me want to wring there necks for the lack of compassion for their sister and their self obessions with themselves. Made me mad. It made me want her to be with the Dragon even more. Enjoyed the book though and read it in two days.
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