My Favorite Beauty and the Beast Retellings

March 18, 2017 fairy tales, Joanne Bischof, Melanie Dickerson 42

I don’t have much time for movies anymore (all about the books, y’all) but Beauty and the Beast remains one of my favorite Disney films. And of course, it’s based on a fairytale, so all the better! No matter what your feelings are about the latest live-action remake, the story itself is a beautiful reflection of our relationship with Jesus. AND it’s swoonily romantic.

Particularly when it’s being retold with humans and not an actual beast 🙂

Today I thought I’d give you a peek at some of my fave Beauty and the Beast retellings – I highly recommend each one for your reading lists!

Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

Ella didn’t know a single man could hush a packed house with no words, but…then there was Charlie Lionheart.

 

An unthinkable danger.

An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf.

As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

“I didn’t believe any woman could love me, as disfigured as I am, and especially anyone as beautiful as you are, inside and out.”

 

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences.

“If you die fighting, I want to die fighting with you.”

 

The following are books I have yet to read but are most often (most passionately) recommended to me as someone’s favorite Beauty & The Beast retelling  🙂

   

What about you? What are your favorite BATB retellings?

Carrie

42 Responses to “My Favorite Beauty and the Beast Retellings”

  1. Jennifer Slattery

    How fun! I haven’t read any of these but think I must! 🙂 I honestly always prefer to read a book than go to a movie. My mind tends to drift when I watch movies or tv, and characters act so much better in my head than they do on the screen! 😉

  2. Mikal

    Your faves = my faves. It’s like we’re wonder twins or something. 😉 <3

  3. Winnie Thomas

    Awwwww, I love Beauty and the Beast stories. So touching!

  4. Pam K.

    I agree with your three favorites. They are all fantastic books. I haven’t read any of the ones others have recommended.

  5. Andi

    I must have missed something in The Lady and the Lionheart and The Beautiful Pretender. I don’t see Beauty and the Beast in either of them. Beauty and the Beast is my daughter’s favorite and I’m sad I won’t get to see it with her. 🙁

    • Carrie

      Charlie Lionheart is such a great depiction of the Beast! In The Beautiful Pretender, there are many references throughout to BatB!

      • Andi

        I can see it with Charlie . . I’ll have to re-read The Beautiful Pretender and see if I catch it. I love Melanie’s books!

        • Carrie

          let me know if you do! I love talking about that book 😀

        • Melanie Dickerson

          Thanks, Andi! 🙂 Reinhart’s limp and his gruff manner was the main “beastly” qualities, and I put in the scene with her “running away” and getting attacked by wolves, almost straight out of the animated movie. There may have been other references, but can’t remember at the moment. 🙂

          • Andi Tubbs

            Welcome, Melanie! I’m going to re-read it. I probably noticed it and have forgotten. Thanks to where my seizures are located and all my medication my short term memory stinks. I’ll let you know what I think.

  6. Andrea Stephens

    I like your book favorites too.
    I also have a few movie versions that I like as well but Disney’s Beauty and The Beast is the one I love best. It’s fitting that my daughter had it as her Wedding song.

  7. Melanie Dickerson

    Aw, Carrie, thank you so much!!! It’s my favorite fairy tale and always has been. I wrote a retelling, a short story, of Beauty and the Beast when I was 18 years old! I found it a few years ago. I can still remember how I felt when I was writing it. LOL!
    I am a huge movie buff. I love movies. Don’t care for TV much, but I love movies–old movies, new movies, romantic comedies mostly, and I did go see the new Beauty and the Beast yesterday with my teenage girls. Honestly, if no one had mentioned the controversy I would not have had a clue that there was anything untoward in the movie. It was wonderful, and I thought the controversy was way overblown. But that’s just me. 🙂

    • Carrie

      that’s what I suspected, though I haven’t seen it yet myself. Pepper Basham said much the same thing 🙂

    • Andi Tubbs

      I saw the controversial clip and as a mom with gay children I wouldn’t have noticed it at all. I’m hoping Mark and I can go tomorrow.
      I love old movies too! My mother and I would watch them when I was home sick. She also taught me how to read at 3 because I kept asking her what each word was.

  8. Kim G

    Carrie, I’m sure you could probably guess mine – The Lady and the Lionheart – ❤❤❤that book!! I’ve not read your other two recommendations but I have them. My daughter read both. She loves Melanie’s books.

      • Kim G

        If you insist, you know I will! You have never led me wrong! ?

  9. Rachael

    Robin McKinley’s version is probably the greatest version ever–I’m pretty sure Disney borrowed from it for the animated film. Robin McKinley actually wrote a second retelling, Rose Daughter, which is quite good too, though not quite as spectacular as Beauty.

  10. Melanie Dickerson

    And I meant to say that I really want to read these others. The only one I’ve read is Robin McKinley’s Beauty, which I loved. 🙂 I don’t take the time to read many novels anymore, and I have such a long list of ones I want to read. Sigh. Maybe someday. I always have a book to write and feel guilty reading for pleasure. 😛

  11. Dawn Janis

    Robin McKinley’s Beauty is one of my favorite books of all time.

  12. Andi

    I want you to know Carrie that you just added books to my BATB retelling list. 😉

  13. Holly @ Nut Free Nerd

    I just saw this movie last night, so I’m definitely in the mood to read a retelling! I’ve had my eye on Hunted for a while, so I might start with that. Thanks for the recommendations 🙂

  14. Rachel Dixon

    I still need to read the merchant’s daughter. But YES!!!! Love this!

  15. Toni Shiloh

    The Lady and the Lionheart for the win! And…that’s because it’s the only one on this list I’ve read, lol. Guess I need to add to my TBR pile, huh? 😉

  16. Beckie B.

    I really liked The Lady And The Lionheart. I will be reading an indie re-telling in a few weeks — The Sacred Scarred by Joanna Alonzo. I’ll let you know how it is.

  17. Haley Resseguie

    I would agree with all of your top three and since I haven’t read any of the other ones, my TBR pile just grew!