An interesting, quirky take on the old fairy tale. Linnet is the Beauty, who was courted by a prince; but when a gown mishap made her look "with child", the rumors spread like wildfire, forever damaging her reputation. Despite her purity, her beauty damned her to all the mothers with daughters who needed husbands, and the ton loves nothing more than good gossip and a good ruin.So Linnet's aunt and father hit upon a scheme: marry Linnet off to the Beast, an only son in line for a dukedom, who, due to an accident, is supposed to be impotent. His father (currently the duke) is desperate to keep his line going. So Linnet's father "sells" her to the duke as a wife already with child - a princely child, appealing to the duke's lust for grandchildren. Even though Linnet isn't truly pregnant!The Beast is Piers, a man who grew up with his French mother. He became a doctor, because his father, the duke, was an opium addict. And his injury is due to a time when his father was high as a kite and thought the 7 year old Piers was a demon coming to kill him. His mother spirited him away, and before long, the duke divorced her, accusing her of infidelity, thinking the scandal would cover him and keep his name clear. But Piers knows better. He's more like "House" than a doctor, and like House, he's effective.Linnet agrees to go with the duke to meet Piers, unsure of what she'll find. She knows she likely can't keep up the fake pregnancy, and sure enough, upon meeting him, Piers immediately spots the pillow. But Linnet isn't just a beauty, she's got brains, witty repartee, and guts - enough to stand up to him.The two bond over swimming, and it's not long before Linnet discovers that the Beast is not impotent. He just told his father to cause him the most pain. Beauty and the Beast start a physical relationship... guess where it leads?Except that an outbreak of scarlet fever threatens to doom them all. And even though he sends her away, Beauty has already caught the fever. By the time he finds her, she's almost at death's door. Will the Beauty turn into a Beast from the reddened, scabbed skin? Can these two be together HEA? Read it and see.