Review of “Taste Test” by L.B. Dunbar
**** (5 stars) Amazing modern-day beauty and the beast tale with a twist
“Taste Test” is book 2 in The Sensations Collection, by L.B. Dunbar, but it can be read as a standalone.
The first thing that stood out to me was the chapter headings. The chapter headings were a pleasant surprise and were done in a way I have never encountered before. I caught myself anticipating the chapter headings and reading everyone, which is something I don’t often do. Without giving anything away, the chapter headings added to the book as they matched with the title and also Ethan’s dream.
“Taste Test” by L.B. Dunbar is a modern take on the tale of “Beauty and the Beast,” but with a twist. This time, it is the woman who is the beast. Ms. Dunbar does a spectacular job with her spin on this tale. Things are complicated, and this is much more than boy meets girl, beauty breaks beast’s curse, and they live happily ever after.
The characters are very well-developed and are “real.” It was easy to connect with the characters and feel their emotions. Both Ella (the beast) and Ethan (the beauty) have their own issues. We are given hints, but not told all of the details. This added to understanding what was going on with the characters, but left me turning the pages wanting answers to my questions. What happened in Ella’s past? Why are these issues still affecting her? Will Ethan’s dad have a change of heart? Can Ethan and Ella resolve their issues? Will there be a happily ever after?
This story had it all. It was emotional, romantic, suspenseful, and had a bit of mystery. “Taste Test” is so much more than a romance. There are underlying themes of patience, understanding, healing, survival, and learning to love and trust (not just others, but yourself).
Ms. Dunbar’s story is so well-written that you forget that it is a modern spin on the tale of “Beauty and the Beast” as you are completely involved in the characters, their emotions, and their budding relationship.
I will definitely be reading “Sound Advice,” the first book in The Sensations Collection, and will be watching for the third book in this collection.