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Okay, I am still blowing my nose and wiping tears from my face. Every once in a while, I like to read a book that will provide a good cathartic cry session and Cruel & Beautiful delivers. What an incredible tale of epic love and loss that still meets a HEA.
This book is told from the POV of Cate Forbes and narrated nearly entirely by Erin Mallon. I've listened to books performed by Erin before, and she takes some getting used to. At first, I found her voice to be a bit too breathy and her inflections tend to make many sentences sound like a question or hesitation. Once you get past that, she does a good job. I like the way she voices male characters. Jason Clarke narrates only the epilogue and handles it quite competently.
The publisher's summary warns that the book will "leave you in the dark with questions." That is no lie. The prologue will hook you, and from there you will go on a journey through the past and present alternating nearly every chapter. I spent 3/4 of the book feeling frustrated by all of the back and forth and I had nearly decided it was an unnecessary gimmick. I was very, very wrong. You'll have to be patient - this book is 14+ hours long, but so worth the time. The reveal was SPECTACULAR.
My only complaint came down to the sex scenes. Simply put, there were too many of them. After a while, the scenes felt a bit repetitive and boring. Less would have been more in this case. Fortunately, the copious sexual encounters didn't impact the plot.
This author team of A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine were new to me. I would definitely read another book by this duo. Well worth my credit! This is one of my favourite books of 2016.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I've never been so confused by a book...but not in a bad way! I restarted this audiobook 3 times when I thought I had missed something because I was so confused. In the end I completely understood why I was lost. This book took me on an emotional ride from the first chapter. I fell in love, my heart broke then I fell in love all over again. It took me a day to finally write a review because I needed to wrap my head around it and decide if I loved it or hated it! In the end, I loved it! It is a story about true love, I love that the author gave us the past and present so there was nothing left up in the air in the end.
This is my first book by this author but it will not be my last, especially if they all come out on audio! I was very excited to see book 2 is about Ben <3 I hope it is narrated by the same people because they were perfect. I love Erin Mallon and this was my first Jason Clarke and I'm excited to listen to more!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
Wow, just, WOW!
This story made my eyes leak, my heart break and it made me happy.
An emotional roller coaster that the authors have beautifully written, and the narrators artfully pulled off.
An ugly cry if ever there was one, but it's so worth the tears.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This book is still making me tear up days later. Such a beautifully and cleverly written story with a fantastic narrator. I was completely sucked in and cried for about an hour in there without stopping with my husband beside me asking what was wrong ("I can't explain it!" was my answer)
I will listen again, one day. Once I get over the emotions the first time brought me that is. The blurb doesn't do this story justice. For something very much deeper than your standard romances, give this a go. I'll be keeping it light for awhile after this, but it's a keeper.