Book Review: Brutally Beautiful

Brutally Beautiful (Beautiful #1) by Christine Zolendz: A deadly game of hide and seek.

With blood still on her hands, Samantha Matthews is on the run, running from dark secrets and a man she prays to God will never find her. Running and hiding, just to stay alive. She had no choice but to run, to leave, to hide and forget about her life before. When Samantha believes she's gained enough distance from her past and her demons, she stops running, hoping to find her future in the heavily wooded area of the Adirondack Mountains, a place she never expected to encounter a man with secrets as dark and as sordid as hers.

Kade Grayson is hiding, not from the demons after him, but from himself and from the entire outside world, wishing every day he could have just died. Arrogant and domineering, he’s tormented and terrorized by his past, seeing nothing good for his future. With the ghosts of his past still haunting him, he has exiled himself to a life of solitude, only living for his words and through his stories.

Until her.

An undeniable attraction, turns into hate and then ultimately obsession, an obsession that grows into a powerful story of love and redemption.

Will the bond they have begun to build between them grow stronger than the tragedies that have scarred both of their lives? Or will they allow their demons to consume them?

TeriLyn's thoughts: Brutally Beautiful was not like anything I was expecting. It is a really good story; dark, edgy, and well written. Brutally Beautiful is evocative in many ways. The mystery of the characters felt just as detached to me as they felt from the world. I felt more for them because of their past rather than from the present they were crafting together. Both Sam/Lainey and Kade's stories are powerful and though provoking; pure tragedy. The repressed emotion they garnered from each other was soul-deep. I liked the characters. Sam/Lainey is brilliant, witty, and fierce. Kade is dominant, smart, and broken. When they first lay on each other something happens to both of them, like their recognizing the ghost of their own soul in each other. Some details of the story felt too rushed for me or I got confused and had to go back and re-read. And Sam/Lainey's character left a lot to be desired. There is a cloud of mystery surrounding this woman and the little bit of information we were given just fueled my curiosity more. She is completely willing to break someone's walls down and succeeds in doing so that she is completely blinded to the fact that her own walls are impenetrable. Sam and Kade's journey for the better part of the book is them skirting around each other, finding ways to be friends in their own way. I liked the build up of their relationship but it was slow. I liked the secondary characters of Dylan and Bree. Overall, it's a good story and worth reading but some minor things bothered me and while there is no cliffhanger I'm left wanting to know more about Sam and Kade. I hope a sequel is coming so I can find out.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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