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I absolutely love this 2 hour and 20 minute audiobook. I am keeping it saved on my tablet for whenever I want a short and sweet story to cheer me up and make me go "Awww...". I plan on listening to it many times in the future because this is my favorite version of Beauty and the Beast that I have ever read. "The Beastly Princess" is definitely my favorite audiobook in this series so far. By the way, Book #2 "Cowboy Charming" is a close 2nd.
Aside from the somewhat bizarre idea that this fictional European country lets its princesses marry Americans without having to abdicate, the rest of the story seemed very plausible. The character development was fantastic. Before I listened to this installment of the series, I had no respect or sympathy for Eloise, the extremely ill-tempered and reclusive crown princess of Glorvaird. Previously I had heard about her as the older sister of Allesandra and Mia, and neither of these princesses got along well with Eloise. However, when I learned about Eloise's life, then her current situation and reactions to things made perfect sense. I really started to like her early in this audiobook, and I cheered her on. In addition, Cody, her American bull rider love interest, was totally loveable. Aside from his occupation (which I think is ridiculously dangerous), there is nothing about him that I don't like. Eloise and Cody had a slow, careful period of getting to know one another. I like how the relationship developed naturally. It was so charming and touching! The ending was a "happy for now", but I expect forthcoming updates about Eloise and Cody in upcoming books
The narrator is not perfect, but she did a pretty good job. I liked the different tones and accents that she gave to the different characters. The pacing was just right for this story. Sometimes she over-emphasizes words in a sentence in an effort to sound more musical, but it did not bother me much in this audiobook.
We also get a few scenes showcasing Mia and Nathan from Book #2 and what is going on with them. I think that they had needless misunderstanding and drama going on, but their segments were thankfully short. This audiobook also included the first chapter of the next book in the series, and I am looking forward to it.
I received a free copy from the author, and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.
The first book in this series (Once Upon a Cowboy) is still my favorite, but The Beastly Princess was definitely a fun favorite. I only wish that there were another 25-50 pages added and devoted to Cody and Eloise's developing romance. As much as I enjoyed the premise and characters in this story, it also seemed the fastest to develop. I felt like there was too much I didn't see behind the scenes in order to understand all of their feelings for each other. That being said, I absolutely loved Cody and his ability to see past Eloise's defenses. Eloise was strong, but hurt and defensive due to hiding from the public for so many years. Their's was a sweet romance. To end this story, my joy was overflowing with the sweetness of Mia and Ethan's news and the wedding of Alessandra and Gideon.
As I've come to expect from Lara Asmundson, the audio narration was consistent and perfect for these characters. I voluntarily listened to an audio version of The Beastly Princess. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.