Beloved Beast (The Ravenswood Chronicles)


HISTORICAL:  During each of his two lifetimes, Luke Madden has known the depths of depravity and the redemption of love.  After the death of his beloved wife, he is drawn into a  twisted world of espionage and intrigue as he fights against world domination by the Nazis.  Who knows if he will ever love again? 

Gillian Browning is an Allied agent who put her life on the line to obtain the secrets of the Enigma Code.  Once back in London, she finds that the war just will not let her go.  Luke Madden is assigned to save her life and in return, Gillian might just be able to save his heart.

Ms. Gerrard has given her readers the classic Frankenstein tale with a modern twist.  Her reimagined monster (in the form of Luke Madden) is not a typical romance hero and Ms. Gerrard does a good job of developing a complex and interesting character, although at times Luke is frustratingly wooden and nonsensically implacable.  Gillian is vulnerable and sensitive,  all-too-ready to circumvent her own needs in the name of love.  "Beloved Beast"  does not examine these difficulties in much detail, however, and instead glosses over them in favor of a spy subplot.    More time devoted to the development of the relationship between Luke and Gillian would have given the reader more of an investment in the fate of the characters.  Even so, this second installment in The Ravenswood Chronicles is a nice retelling of a gothic classic, with a more modern twist.

Gwenellen Tarbet