Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Beautifully Damaged by L. A. Fiore

Beautifully Damaged by L. A. Fiore

Ember Walsh was always the quiet one, enjoying a book and a glass of wine over the noise and crowds of a club, but when her best friend asks her to come out and meet the boy she likes Ember's world is turned upside down. He appears like a mythical avenging angel, inked, gorgeous and completely out of her league but one look and Ember no longer wants the quiet, she wants him.

Trace Montgomery has buried his damaged past with women and fighting until one day he meets an angel and suddenly he wants more, he wants her. For her, he's determined to overcome his demons but will the dark secret that links their pasts bring them closer or will it tear them apart.




This is one of those book that garnered lots of mixed review. From fabulous 5 stars to hateful 1 star. Well, usually books with more than 10k ratings have this problem. I was skeptical about starting this one and was surprised to find myself liking it very much. I was ready to rate it 5 stars when I reached 50%, but I faced some minor annoyance from the second half onward, so I decided with 4 stars.

First half of the book was very much a contemporary romance. Ember is a waitress and aspiring writer. She encounter Trace when he helped her in an altercation in a club. Due to some fate or luck or serendipity moment, she keep bumping into him in town and developed a girl crush on the man himself.

Trace is a complicated man with a hidden past. He like engaging in fight to work out his anger issue. He developed a soft spot for Ember since meeting her and subsequently befriended her. He is supposed to be a player, but from their interaction together, Ember know that he is not the man other people assume he is. 

I like seeing their blossoming friendship or maybe I shouldn't be referring to them as friends because obviously their relationship was something more. They are one of those rare couples that fell in love before they make love. I thought that make their relationship even more special. 

Trace obviously had some serious issue that he prefer keep hidden away from Ember, but I like despite his issue, he is still this caring and good natured man who know how to treat woman right. His is not one of those classic jerk or over the top alpha male. His only problem is his inability to open up to Ember and his way of protecting her is to push her away.

Ember is one of those do-gooder heroine that either you admire her or you think she can do better than Trace. I find the way she had so much faith and willing to fight to be with Trace was amazing. There are times when I think she is fighting a losing battle, but I admire her strength and willpower. I like her even more when she got angry and told him off. Anyway, I can't blame her for being totally in love with the man himself because I think he worth all the hassle.

Then came the second half of the book, which caught me by surprised because it turn into quite a suspense story. Trace's past finally came out to the light and we found out how both he and Ember's family was intertwined in an unsolved crime. Wow! Let just say there were lots of revelation and a lot of questions were finally answered. On the side note, we also have a stalker problem, which either you think is pointless/too much or what the heck, just give it to me. 

Things that could have been better

The repeatedly used of the word 'beautiful' to describe the hero. I'm not one of those who did a word count, but I was sorely tempted just to prove my point.

Since this was told entirely from the heroine POV, the way she keep describing how beautiful and gorgeous the hero was getting a tad old. They were already together for months and I already knew every single detail of his body, she doesn't need to remind me every time she lays eye on him anymore. 

Okay, I need to admit that towards the second half, when their relationship reached the level of stability and total commitment, they were both really mushy and a little corny. But I find it acceptable. Can't blame them for being totally in love, can I?

Most of the sex scenes were pretty short and tastefully done. However, I would appreciate it if the sex scene is more explicit. I thought it was a bit mild considering the cover was geared towards the erotica fans.

Overall, I was very satisfy about this story. I find both the main characters totally likable and the secondary characters brought so much more depth into the story. The suspense wrapped up pretty nicely and the ending was near perfection. The only thing that could have been better were some of the description and scene that was rather repetitive.

Rating 4/5