ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Cutie & the Beast by E.J. Russell


34808048Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: July 24, 2017
Received From: NetGalley

Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.


GENDER: cisgender
SEXUALITY: homosexual


TROPES: age gap, workplace romance, coworkers to lovers
TAGS: urban fantasy, paranormal, fantasy, romance, queer romance, queer characters, interspecies, contemporary, retelling
WARNINGS: threatened sexual assault, kidnapping, ableism, mention of genocide


I thought this story was super cute! It’s an M/M retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a modern setting, full of numerous supernatural creatures.

Alun–our Beast–is fae, banned from Faerie, and a psychologist for supes in the Outer World. It was really interesting to see him take care of and work with various species, and to see him grudgingly open himself and his practice to some of David’s more modern techniques. And David, the quirkly nerdy Belle, was such a dork it was cute to read about and admirably persistent and determined to take care of people, especially those he loves.

The brother relationship between Amun, Mal, and Gareth was both painful and lovely to see, and I look forward to more of that in the following two books, as well as more of the supernatural world.

Stylistically, the writing was pleasant to follow, and while the plot wasn’t especially complicated, it was a nice read that was quick and enjoyable.





E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:


Riptide Publishing
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository


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