I finally finished rewriting chapter 8! The revision is now posted on FictionPress, under the same title as before. The scene after the kissing contest is now completely different; even the tone of the chapter is different. The ending does not offer as much closure as the previous version, but it plays into an important relational hurdle for Rome and Labriella. Labriella is an argumentative pacifist, and Rome likes to kill his problems to make them go away. Ignoring that would romanticize the nature of the beast, and I cannot do that. Sorry, but you’re going to have to take Rome with all his faults.
That is something I really appreciate about my favorite authors: their ability to make me love a volatile character. The reality is that a beast would be terrifying, even if you found them attractive. A lethal predator doesn’t suddenly become tame because he has a woman. It’s my job to make that terrifying wildness attractive to you. 🙂