Anyone who has studied folklore and fairy tales is aware of the motif of the Monster Bridegroom. You see it in many fairy tales including East of the Sun and West of the Moon, Hans My Hedgehog, and my favorite, Beauty and the Beast.
These stories all contain a young woman who makes a bargain perhaps even a marriage of convenience to an animal, such as the bear in East of the Sun and West of the Moon, or a half-animal such as Hans My Hedgehog. In Beauty and the Beast she doesn’t marry him, but he continues to ask her to wed him night after night.
Scholars see these fairy tales as allegories of marriage and relationships. After all, you never really know someone until you’ve moved in with them, slept under their roof, shared meals with them, or your dreams… your future. And the original literary story of Beauty and the Beast by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve is social commentary about the state of marriage in 18th century France. It boldly shows the lack of agency women had in determining who their arranged marriage husband would be—beast or man.
As in the original Beauty and the Beast, what all Monster Bridegroom stories grapple with is trust.
- Do you trust that your partner who might look or act like an animal is an enchanted prince who’s been cursed?
- Will you have enough in common with them to make a satisfactory life?
- Do you trust the person you pin your futures on will have your best interests at heart?
These are questions couples are still asking.
The other issue Monster Bridegroom stories discuss is self-discovery. The Beast represents not only the “other” outside of societal norms and traditional ideas of nobility and beauty, but also sexuality. Humans associate sex with animals as they do not appear to discriminate among partners nor when or where they copulate. It can be argued that in endeavoring to woo Beauty, the Beast is inviting her to recognize the wildness that lives within her. Author and academician Valerie Frankel refers to this as “Wedding the Animus”:
“In the game of love, the hero and heroine each view their partner as a shapeshifter. This “other half” they must cleave to like themselves has frightening mood swings and unpredictable desires. Physically, the two people are opposites, with contrasting desires and emotions.”
In a twist on the tale, WOLF AROUND THE CORNER’s Monster Bridegroom, Frank, who is cursed with lycanthropy and can shift into a wolf, is the vulnerable one in the relationship. In a sense, his lover Tom is more the monster. Tom is a gorgeous man of Frank’s dreams who has dropped into the town of Waycroft Falls and quickly sweeps Frank off his feet. Frank does things for Tom he’s never done before, never thought to do. Tom engages his sexuality in a way that inflames Frank, imprisoning him to his growing desire to remain with Tom despite the fact that the actor will soon be returning to the big city and the bright lights of Broadway. Although Frank is the partner who can appear bestial, Tom is the “other” outside of Frank’s norm and poses the most risk—to his heart.
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Check out Wolf Around The Corner:
Length: 200 pages
Editor: Kierstin Cherry
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Frank’s family taught him that his wolf was dangerous, unwanted. Now his best friend’s brother wants him in bed and on stage. But giving into his wolf’s need for love could risk the quiet life Frank has created for himself—and his heart.
Settled in the small town of Waycroft Falls, Frank is content to be a lone wolf among the white picket fences and dollar book bins until he finds himself sniffing his best friend’s brother. Tom smells like hot apple pie and his Broadway smile has Frank lolling his tongue. But when the visiting actor learns Frank’s secret and plies him with hot kisses to get him to star in his play, Frank can’t help but wonder if Tom is only acting.
Tom ran away from family obligations to be a Broadway star. If he could make it there, he could make it anywhere…but he didn’t. Trudging home to Waycroft Falls to open his sister’s new performance space brings him face to face with a werewolf—a werewolf that would be perfect for Tom’s shoestring production of Beauty and the Beast. Staying in Tiny Town USA would be worth it if he can somehow convince the sexy wolf to expose his furry condition on stage and howl privately in Tom’s bed.
Wolf Around The Corner, a paranormal semi-finalist in Passionate Ink’s 2017 Sexy Scribbles Contest, is a full-length fairytale romance with a side of wolf shifter. If you like your romance with gorgeous men, humor, and small town magic, you’ll love Wolf Around the Corner! Buy your copy now and settle in to watch the drama unfold!