Bellamy and the Brute by Alicia Michaels
When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she’s reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill—including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin’s eldest son, Tate. The former football star and Golden Boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness that has caused deformity…turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she’s told that if she takes the job she must promise to never, ever visit the 3rd floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth being hidden there.
Tate’s condition may not be the only secret being kept at Baldwin House. There are gaps in the family’s financial history that don’t add up, and surprising connections with unscrupulous characters. At night there are strange noises, unexplained cold drafts, and the electricity cuts out. And then there are the rose petals on the staircase. The rose petals that no one but Bellamy seems to be able to see. The rose petals that form a trail leading right up to the 3rd floor, past the portrait of a handsome young man, and down a dark hallway where she promised she would never, ever go…
As Bellamy works to unravel the mysteries of Baldwin House and uncover the truth about Tate, she realizes that she is in way over her head, in more ways than one. Can her bravery and determination help to right the wrongs of the past and free the young man whose story has captured her heart?
Note: I requested this book from the publisher and they kindly replied. This of course is my honest opinion.
I loved it, I loved it so hard! I just had to get that said because I know things get a little lost when people (me) start babbling like an idiot during a review about a book. I love fairytales, I’m talking all types, the classic (dark) grim stuff, Disney version, classic (less dark), retellings, modernized and even the master piece theater thing they re-aired when I was a child. If it has something to do with a fairytale I am willing to give it a go.
Bellamy and the Brute is a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast and so much more. This book has everything and it has it in a good way. First of this book is a ghost story…you heard me, a ghost story. If you follow my reviews you know that two things I tend to stay away from are zombies (who wants to read about re-animated dead who eats human flesh…I mean gross) and the other subject is ghost. I don’t do ghost, I believe in ghost and I had too much weird stuff (that I will not go into, more for my sake than yours) for me not to believe in them. So imagine my dilemma when I realized I might be dealing with ghosts., well my love for fairytales won out and I am so glad it did.
Bellamy and the Brute was done really well, with fantastic characters, good writing and a great storyline. It had all the classic Beauty and the Beast things, such as a beautiful girl (inside and out) who loves books (my type of character) who also has a dad who everyone one in town calls crazy, a beast of a boy to a jerk who thinks to highly of himself and needs to be put in his place. However Alicia made the story her own, even though it was Beauty and the Beast it also felt like its own story then she add ghosts. I’m a chicken, I don’t watch horror movies or anything scary so I will be over dramatizing a bit but one chapter I decided to read at night and that scene sent a chill over me. It totally freaked me out but I loved it.
The story was more than just a retelling it was its own story and told very well. It was like the retelling and the ghost story were two separate stories but were completely intertwined with each other and melded seamlessly well. The ghosts were a big part of what’s going and made the book more interesting (I couldn’t wait till I could read it again) and action-packed. I don’t know how Alicia did it but she wrote an amazing simple yet complex book. Complex because she took a story that has been told time and time again retold it so it feels like an old favorite but also totally new.
Bellamy and the Brute has fairytale retelling elements, ghosts, attempt of murder, shading dealings, mobsters, mystery, murder, action and one of the best love stories. Alicia must be psychic because she knew I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Bellamy, this is the first book in a series. I don’t know if there will be more but there is at least one more, Bellamy and the Haunting comes out this summer!