Review: Beauty, Inc. (The Pennymaker Tales #3) by Tara Lain

Is beauty only skin deep?

Chemist Dr. Robert “Belle” Belleterre loves flowers, green trees, his best friend Judy, and “his baby”: the new face cream he developed to help put his father’s small cosmetics company on the map. Sadly he gets no help from his alcoholic, gambling-addicted father who loses Belle in a poker game to Magnus Strong, the CEO of Beauty, Inc. the largest American cosmetics company—a man infamous for his scarred ugliness.

Belle finds himself uprooted from his home, living in a wildly crazy apartment in New York owned by Mr. Pennymaker, and completely unprepared for his mad attraction to the charismatic Strong. Feeling like a traitor, Belle fights his passion only to see more and more of the goodness and humility hidden by Strong’s ugly face. But when Belle’s family starts manipulating his life again, the odds turn against happiness for beautiful Belle and his beloved beast.

3 Be our Guest hearts

Dr. Robert “Belle” Belleterre is young, beautiful and forced to work for his competitor, Beauty Inc., when his father gambles away shares in their cosmetics company to Magnus Strong. That means moving away from his best friend, Judy, and the great outdoors of Oregon. Despite his reservations, he begins to warm up to New York. It doesn't hurt that Beauty Inc. does wonderful things for women and various charities. And it most certainly doesn't hurt that Belle's new apartment comes with its own atrium in the lobby, and incredibly friendly neighbors.

Magnus makes for a wonderful "Beast". He's confident, self-assured, and humble. Scarred from a car accident that killed his mother, he has difficulty believing that Belle can have genuine feels for him that don't stem from gratitude. He's so darn likeable that you can't help but root for him.

This story is a really good reimagining of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale; from the polite way Magnus speaks, to the flowers and food themes. It's all happiness, and cheesy-gooey silly in the way only a fairytale can be. I was honestly expecting everyone to break out into song.

Expect that little bit of crazy that comes with all fairytales, as Belle runs from one crisis to another. His family is determined to get Belle back to save their company at any cost, and coupled with jealous men and crisis of the friend variety, drama has a tendency to come out of the woodwork just for him.

And expect the absurd.

(Belle and Magnus are next to each other in seperate bathroom stalls)

Belle’s foot waggled again, then crept across the floor until he bumped into Magnus’s shoe. What the hell did he have in mind?

The foot vanished. A second later it reappeared, shoeless. A burgundy sock clung to the slim foot as Belle searched the premises until his foot again came in contact with Magnus’s leg. The foot slid down until it hooked the bottom of Magnus’s pant leg, then insinuated itself up inside the pants until the stockinged foot made it to Magnus’s bare calf. What kind of gymnastics was Belle having to do to get his foot this far into Magnus’s stall?

I was wondering the same thing!

He shoved the foot right into his crotch, and Belle’s toes began to gyrate, sending shocks of electricity through Magnus’s groin. He ripped off the sock, leaned down and kissed Belle’s bare toes one at a time, then opened his fly, scooted farther forward, and pressed the bare, moist digits against his aching rod. Holy crap...

I can't even imagine how that's possible.

Maybe you're wondering, why only three hearts?

Well, it's told in an odd mix of first person and second person, that read a bit strange and felt unpolished.

It's cheesy at times. Oh so cheesy.

And the rest is all on me. Judy, Belle's best friend, has a health crisis, and if I had a heart, I'd feel really bad about it and instantly love her. But I didn't. I found her annoying. I know *cringes* I'm sorry. I'm in a phase right now where I'm just sick of reading about female best friends that the MC absolutely can't live without. It's just.... I. Can't. Even. Overall, it was a little too over the top for me.

But it was still cute and I'd recommend it to anyone who loves a good fairytale with two men who get their HEA.

A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Find out more on Goodreads & Dreamspinner Press.


  1. Kristan, thank you so much for reading Beauty, Inc!! : )

    1. Thank you, Tara! Magnus makes for the most amazing beast, ever :D