by Teresa Medeiros

August 2004
ISBN: 0-06-051365-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Do you know how much I wanted to hold Teresa Medeirosí latest release Yours Until Dawn, in my hands? Do you know how much I longed for her words and her characters? How badly I wanted to be transported to another world, to another time? I wished for a magical tale, a romantic fantasy. Teresa Medeiros did deliver a well-known and very much beloved fairy tale under a new guise, but sadly not in words to cherish, nor with characters to treasure.

Itís Beauty and the Beast. The wealthy and proud Gabriel Fairchild, earl of Sheffield, returns from the war against the French not only scarred, but also sightless. Abandoned by his fiancťe and pitied by his family and friends he withdraws from society. Unwilling to give up hope of regaining his sight, he refuses to learn to live with his handicap and thus drives away all his nurses and companions. Then Miss Samantha Wickersham arrives and refuses to be driven away.

Samantha tames the beast. Not with being beautiful and agreeable, but with enforced rules, a stern voice and the scent of lemons. She rewards his efforts with a puppy, sunshine, laughter and a tumble in the grass. He, in return seduces her with a lavish dinner, a scandalous waltz and a heroic rescue.

Whereas I usually adore a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with itís tortured hero and itís courageous heroine, I couldnít find much to like about Teresa Medeirosí take on it. Mostly, itís her heroine I didnít agree with. As her real identity and motivations were hidden not only from Gabriel, but also the reader, it proved too difficult to identify with her. To like her and to cheer her on. And not caring about Samantha I got bored with her story. Nothing new was brought to the scenario, nothing original that kept me enthralled and captivated.

Sure, it still had its entertaining moments and I did admire Samantha for how she defended Gabriel against his family, but overall it lacked the sparkle, the charm, the shear genius of Teresa Medeirosí talent. Yours Until Dawn, came across as too predictable, unconvincing and bland. It saddens me, that it turned out to be disappointing. A good idea and a good premise donít make a good book if the writing lacks the needed passion for its characters and their romance. Yours Until Dawn, is truly only a must-read for those fans needing to read all of their favorite authorís work.

Reviewed in July 2004 by Kris Alice.

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