Beauty and the Beast is a tale as old as time — making it perfect fodder for reinvention in a romance novel.
The grumpy-sunshine dynamic of Belle and the Beast is a fundamental trope of the romance genre, and it’s understandable why the story of a gruff, misunderstood man and a quirky, bookish girl who sees beneath his rough exterior would appeal to readers.
Not to mention the various iterations of the story — from the original fairy tale to the 1991 animated Disney classic, to the 2017 live-action musical film — present authors with any number of fun plot points to put their own spin on, from enchanted furniture to withering roses and boorish villains.
The Disney film is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special blended live-action and animation special this fall, but first, here are five great romances inspired by the love story to get lost in.
<em>A Thorn in the Saddle</em> by Rebekah Weatherspoon
The third of Rebekah Weatherspoon‘s Cowboys of California fairy-tale re-tellings, A Thorn in the Saddle follows misunderstood, brutish Jesse Pleasant as he explores running for Senate. When the rancher faces off against Lily-Grace Leroux over her widowed father dating his grandmother, sparks fly — but she sees his softer side at a community date auction and agrees to help him become more comfortable with public speaking. But once Lily-Grace sees past that gruff exterior, which he has partly built to protect himself, she realizes that every rose has its thorn. Weatherspoon’s writing is sweet and sexy in equal measure, and its ranch setting makes it the perfect entry for readers yearning for adventure in the great wide somewhere.