Belle is transgender. She’s known since she was young; being a woman just fit better. She enjoys wearing her late mother’s dresses and her father helps braid her hair into any style she can think of. She loves nothing more than to curl up in the courtyard of the abandoned castle in the woods with a mug of hot tea and a new book from her favorite store in town. Her life would be perfect except for one beastly, horrible Gaston. He’s a brute of a man, arrogant, tactless, and he won’t leave Belle alone.
Relief comes from an unexpected place. The castle in the woods isn’t so abandoned, and while the Guardian who lives there can’t speak, Belle learns to communicate with sign language. She discovers a heartbreaking tale and a whole castle full of friends who quickly become extended family. Until Gaston senses Belle slipping from his grasp.
Belle knew ignoring the problem wouldn’t make him go away, and now Gaston threatens more than just Belle’s happiness. He has a sword, an ax, and an entire village of scared people storming the castle to kill the Guardian. He means to steal Belle from the first real community she’s ever found. But Belle has learned a thing or two about the magic of love, and a small man like Gaston can’t destroy that.
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