Bed of Flowers (Sweetness and Light #1)
By Erin Satie
Originally Published June 19th, 2018
Dual POV, Third Person
I read so many Historical Romances that they all start to blur together into the best kind of serial escapism one can ask for. But, every once-in-a-while, I read one that jolts me out of my salacious scandal stupor, and it makes me notice it. Bed of Flowers was one such book.
I don't think it is officially advertised as such but I considered this book a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale. Once I had this theory, I couldn't get rid of the notion. There's a man who made a mistake as a young man, an important flower, a Gaston likeness, and a sweet girl who has a thing for books. All mixed together with wholly unique storytelling that could very easily dismiss my Beauty and the Beast comparison. But, in the end, this book read like a decadent fairytale with characters that make you feel and feel and feel things.
Cordelia is our heroine; she's the darling of the town and promised to the son of the richest family around--richest only due to a fire that burnt down half the town years and years ago. Her family used to be wealthy too, all before the young Loel kicked that lantern over and ended her family's shipping business. But now Loel and Cordelia are grown up, and he's insisting her fiance isn't a good person--trying to ruin her life for a second time, she suspects. But the more time they spend together, thanks to a certain dying flower, Cordelia realizes the hardest truths to accept are usually glaringly obvious.
The intimacy that developed between the two MCs is so timid and budding, much like the flowers they care for together. It was a delightful read with a bittersweet ending. It does have a HEA, but not in the ways you might expect, and it was perfect. Naive women can either be written poorly, be annoying, and obtuse to a point you can't forgive their ignorance, or they can be written as strong and curious in all the right ways. Cordelia was one such lady. Loel isn't a monster, but he lets the town consider him one for his grievous accident so many years ago. His personal struggle and isolation from any and everyone was heartbreaking to read, but his patience and affection for Cordelia was a balm for every horrid moment these two had to experience at the hands or words of their families or townsfolk. It was a beautiful and emotional read. I have never before been so wholly invested in the survival of a single flower. Also, I think this cover is gorgeous and perfect for the vibe of this book.
There is a setup for more books; book two is out now and I look forward to the release of more.