Book Review – Cruel & Beautiful (Cruel & Beautiful #1) by A.M. Hardgrove & Terri E. Laine

Posted March 17, 2017 by Geybie in Book Review / 38 Comments

Cruel and Beautiful by Terri E. Laine, A.M. HargroveGenres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Standalone (part of a series)
Published on: November 12, 2015
Pages: 401
POV: First Person POV
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5 STARS
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“Even if we did have to fight to overcome the cruel, we hung on to the beautiful and it was damn worth it.”

What a beautiful, unforgettable epic love story. I have never cried this hard since my last ugly-cry book, and I have a feeling that this book will stay in my heart for a very long time. This story had broken my heart to pieces, rebuilt it in the process, and made it complete again.

My advice for you are, first, if you haven’t read this book, don’t think that you know where it is going. Second, if you are the type of readers, like me, who like to know the ending before reading a book, please, DON’T DO IT. It will ruin your experience completely. Go blindly even though you are dying to skip some chapters and reveal the secret. Let the story speak to you and make you experience it yourself.

What is the story about?

It follows a college student named Cate Forbes who focuses on her study and has never had a serious boyfriend. One day her best friend Jenna says that a guy wants to ask her out. Unknown to her, she has met the guy in a party before but was too drunk to remember it. Even though she is reluctant at first, she finally agrees to give her phone number to him. The first time she hears his voice, she feels attracted to him and the attraction is getting strong the moment she first lays eyes on him. His name is Drew McKnight, a young doctor whose career is set in Oncology. He is seven years older who is ready to have a serious relationship, whose eyes set on Cate.

“I remember the first time I saw you.” His voice breaks into my tumbling thoughts. “You had no idea I saw you. I remember thinking that’s a woman I can see spending the rest of my life with.”

They both feel a special attraction to each other from their first date. Drew is an easy-going, open-minded, funny, loving guy who does his best to show Cate how serious he is to make their relationship work. In the other hand, Cate is a smart, loving, and hilarious girl who has never attracted to any guy and dreamed of having a serious relationship. She has never thought that she will love someone so deeply and have someone loving her back even more deeply. He is the perfect man she has never thought exist and has proved to be more than perfect to her every day. Even though they both have dreams of their own to accomplish, they know they cannot live without each other, so they then get married.

“The way he looks at me, it’s as if he’s looking into my soul.”

What did I love about this story?

First, a mixed of instant and slow-burn romance. What do I mean by this? They both fall in love the first time they see each other and the attraction and connection are undeniable. However, it takes time before they consume their relationship. Their relationship is not merely physical but is based on something deeper, which are trust and understanding. They decide to get to know each other first and show what love truly is before taking it to the next level. It is beautiful, strong, and built like no other. Their love is the truest and their story could not be more perfect: past and present.

Second, the alternating parts of past and present are written cleverly and beautifully. It kept me sit on the edge with my heart beating faster as I turn the pages. All the twists are cleverly written in the way that made me want to skip all the chapters to get to the end but not want to miss a word at the same time. I was frustrated with the anticipation built in my heart as if my heart would burst out of my chest anytime. It was a torture but I was glad I read it the way it should be.

Third, the hero is/was perfect. If I were to be asked which heroine I would want to become, the answer would be, without a doubt, Cate Forbes. She had the perfect love any woman on this earth could only dream of. I couldn’t have loved Drew more. He was a beyond belief man. Everything about him and how he treated his woman was amazing. His love was a living proof of what kind of a man he really was.

“This is yours for as long as there are beats within it. Everything I have is yours. My love, my heart, my soul, and my life, for however short or long it may be.”

“It’s time to take the first step. Will you take it with me?”

Fourth, a perfect combination of emotions: humor and ugly-cries. It made me cry my eyes out and laugh out loud, which are two extreme emotions I rarely feel in one story, or at least, not as deep as how this book had made me feel. The humor was exceptional—I had never laughed that loud before. It felt wrong at times, how easily I could go from laughing to crying, back and forth. 😀

“You have regrets, don’t you?” I shake my head. “It is not that.”
“Please tell me. I don’t want anything to weigh on your mind.”
My stupid, stupid mouth blurts right out, “I look like an overgrown grizzly below the waist.”
I suppose being a man, he doesn’t understand. So I raise my indek finger and then aim it directly between my thighs. It’s obvious when the light bulb goes on because he smiles. Hugely. “It’s fine. I didn’t plan on us getting naked, anyway.”

I would have wanted certain parts to be shorter and the after revelation parts to be longer to have the picture of their new life together, but all in all, I enjoyed it big time. I highly recommend this perfectly written book for those who love emotional, slow-burn, unique, epic love story. Just remember, as I said before, please, go blindly without any assumptions and don’t skip a chapter or read the ending. Don’t worry, there is a happy ending. Just open your mind, grab a box of Kleenex, and enjoy this cruel yet beautiful love story.

For more recommendation:

GBB Ultimate List of Book Recommendations

I’m a fulltime reader who can’t live without books especially romance novels. In addition to books, I love animals, music, and dance shows. I hope you find your next read through my reviews and lists of recommendations. You can recommend me your favorites as well by leaving a comment on my ‘Recommend Me Books’ posts or check them out for awesome recommendations.

38 responses to “Book Review – Cruel & Beautiful (Cruel & Beautiful #1) by A.M. Hardgrove & Terri E. Laine

  1. I love the sound of this one! I’m a sucker for angsty, emotional love stories that wring every tear out of me. (I’m a glutton for punishment I guess!) But I’m sold. You’ve convinced me and I’m off to one-click this one.

  2. I am not usually a fan of angst, but you sold this one so well that I am seriously considering reading it. I love books that go back and forth in time.

  3. my goodness, your feelings for this are so strong! that is amazing how much you loved it. When I read the review, and the instalove part I wasn’t sure. But I get where you are coming from when it can be both insta and slowburn. I guess I could get pass that if I enjoye
    .d the rest of it

  4. Sophia Rose

    I’m not usually in the mood for them, but once in a while I want a book to make me sob from the feelings it gives me. Sounds like this was a good one for that. Thanks for sharing about it, Geybie!

  5. carolesrandomlife

    Wow! It sounds like this was a really powerful story to make such a huge impact on you. I am so glad that you enjoyed this one.

  6. Eeee an ugly cry. It’s been a while for me on that. I’ll mark it down. All yall crazy girls that read ahead. What to do with yall! lol I go into every book blind and love the surprise that comes with that (I don’t even read blurbs). Looking forward to the surprise of this one 😀

  7. I love when a book makes me ugly cry. Come to think of it, I haven’t cried in a really long time over a story. I usually do read ahead, especially when there is some kind of crazy mystery. That’s a bad habit. Sounds like you really enjoyed this book. Great review!

    • It is amazing. I hope you give it a try when you’re in the mood for something emotionally deeper.
      Have a great week and happy reading, Thanks for stopping by. Btw, I love your blog. 😀

  8. I don’t really like books that make me cry, but I am glad you enjoyed this one. And that’s good to know to not read the last page first for those who do that. I always start at the beginning, but I have heard some other readers who do the skip to the end part thing first.
    Nice that while this one had an instant connection between the two it took time for them to build upon that and their relationship to grow deeper. I’ve read a few books with that past and present style and it can really add to the suspense. Great review!

    • Thank you, Lola. I do have a bad habbit. I want to read the ending to make sure who ends with who and whether or not there is a happy ending. Sometimes, it help but often it ends up ruining the whole experience. Thank God, I didn’t do it while reading this book.
      Thanks for visiting. I love you have a great week and awesome reads. Happy reading. 😀

    • Oh good. I have a bad habit. I always check the ending to make sure there is a happy ending. Thank God, I didn’t do it when reading this book. Thanks for visiting. I missed you. 😀

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