Author Christine Warren shares how "Beauty and the
Beast" inspired her original love of furry heroes. Her latest release, "Hungry Like a Wolf," appropriately features her own furry hero creation.
I have a confession to make. Years
before I wrote my first werewolf romance, years before knew such a thing as the
paranormal romance novel existed, I fell in love with a monster. A big, hairy,
mysterious monster with a temper and a fierce need for companionship.
Yup, I admit it. I fell in love with
I know I’m not the first woman to admit
to getting a secret thrill from the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. I mean, here you have the story of a man who
needs his mate in the most fundamental of ways. Without her, he will never be
able to break the curse that turned him from a handsome prince into a fierce
and ugly beast. And let’s face it, what woman out there doesn’t want to be
needed with that kind of desperation? Though most of us would prefer to skip
the kidnapping element . . .
When you think about it, the Beast is
the original shapeshifter, even if his transformations happen a bit
infrequently. He begins his life as a human, then is transformed into something
fierce and animalistic, something he believes no woman can love. Of course,
he’s wrong, because this is fundamentally a romance, after all, even if I doubt
the original moral of the story was to encourage young woman to fall for men in
The first Beast I fell for was the
hero in Robin McKinley’s Beauty, an exquisite
retelling of the classic fairytale. I
discovered the book as an impressionable pre-teen, and McKinley’s character immediately
set me on the path of loving a hero with fur, fangs, and claws. It showed me that
while what’s on the inside of a man is what counts, a little bit of danger on
the outside just makes everything more exciting.
Imagine a man capable of unspeakable
violence, one with the instincts of a predatory animal, one with claws made for
ripping and teeth made for tearing. And now imagine that man restraining every
one of those instincts just to keep you safe and happy. Imagine all that
ferocity leashed and channeled not into violence, but into passionate devotion
to the one woman in the world he wants to keep by his side.
Whew, the thought makes me shiver! How
My one complaint about the classic Beauty and the Beast tales was always
the idea that the Beast disappeared in the end, to be replaced by a handsome
but fundamentally dime-a-dozen prince. I wanted the Beast to remain fierce and
furry right to the end, just like the heroes in my shapeshifter novels. Well,
Ms. McKinley heard my deepest wish and followed up Beauty with another amazing novel called Rose Daughter. Same tale, different telling, and yet another furry
Beast worth falling in love with.
In the end, don’t we all want a hero
who sheathes his claws for us? At least, most of the time . . .
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