Book Review – Cruel and Beautiful by Terri E. Laine & A.M. Hargrove

by Maryse on March 13, 2017 · 19 comments

in My Book Reviews

Cruel & Beautiful (A Cruel and Beautiful Book Book 1)
<— *claps and claps and claps* HOORAY!!!! A slightly older one from my TBR list that my friend Samantha finally convinced me to bring right back to the top. And I couldn’t help it after her reaction (and remembering Amy mentioning it a ton), so I jumped in.

Samantha: you HAVE to read this book. It’s the best book I’ve ever read.

Maryse: ON IT. Thank you!!!

Samantha: I laughed, I cried and the plot twist… Omg!

Maryse: OH EM GEE!!!!!!! I just read it and OMG!!!!! It was awesome. AWE-SOME. THANK YOU my dear friend. You and I still have the exact same book-taste. ;)

Samantha: That book to me is like beautiful disaster to you.

Samantha and I bonded over many things many years ago, but we bonded EXTRA hard over Twilight, and again over Beautiful Disaster and quite a few other books. So… her specifically telling me this was the best book she ever read, lit a fire under me!!

In fact, I sort of remembered this story being mentioned from past comments and posts, so instead of looking it up again, I just went in blind as a bat (other than remembering some of my other book-buddies had gone crazy over this book, too).

Amy: So good and SO emotional.

Jenifer: I want to re-read, it was fantastic!

Chelli: “Wow….just finished Cruel and Beautiful by AM Hargrove….wow…there aren’t words..you think it’s one thing and then….then it’s something completely else, but just as amazing…it’s sexy, there’s angst, and the feels…wow..I wish I could tell you more but you must just go into this book without knowing in order to experience the whole effect… Ok I know I just said this but wow…you must put this on your tbr I’m in such a book fog I can’t even consider starting something else..I feel like I need a few days to absorb and decompress lol ok I’m done pestering you haha”

Cheryl: Maryse, I’ve read Cruel & Beautiful. It’s an angsty, tear-jerker with surprises. I really liked it.

Amber: I just finished Cruel and Beautiful. It was fabulous! I’m sad it’s over, but happy that it is. It had my emotions all over the place. Such a great great read!!!!

So for all of you that want to go into this blind, and truly experience everything fresh, just with the knowledge that we HIGHLY recommend it, stop reading my review now. :D  

No worries if you continue reading my review. I’m not even going to spoil this story. NOPE. But I don’t want  you guys going in thinking “things”. I want you to go in like I did. I didn’t even read the blurb. I had NO CLUE. Just the cover, the title, and my friends freaking out.

That’s the best way to go in, if you ask me. ;)

There’s not even going to be a “what’s it about?” section. In fact the authors warn:

Warning, this book will leave you in the dark with questions. That is the point. Resist the impatient urge to skip ahead and just enjoy the ride. All questions will be answered. Promise.

Don’t even read the blurb!! Don’t do it. Just read this book. :D  Don’t think. Don’t try and figure it out!!!!! Just go with it.

And I must say HOLY PLOT TWIST BATMAN!!!!! OMG. I thought this was going to be your typical, angsty, tumultuous, big secret, second chance romance book (by what I was reading in the first half), but nope. Nope. It’s so much more than that…

Maryse: Amy… Did I tell you I’m just finishing up Cruel and Beautiful? I’m having a WTF moment right now. ;) It’s you, right? That loved it so much?

Amy: OMG Maryse…I didn’t know you were reading it!!!! I DID love it. :D … And for your listening pleasure, a song that ALWAYS brings the past part of that story to mind… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1GU8Ekk8Pbs You’re welcome. :lol:

Maryse: GAH!!! I’m scared to click on that link Amy. You tend to find me the hurty-heart songs!!!

Jaime: For what it’s worth. I cried my face off reading cruel and beautiful.

And I just wanna say…

YOU SNEAKY BRATS!!!!! All y’all that recommended this to me!!! *snort* :P And especially the authors. The sneakiest of ‘em all!!!!!! Genius kind-of-sneaky, in fact. ;) I’m thrilled. So unique, I have NOT read anything like this before, and while I had a HUGE WTF moment, I can say it all makes so much sense, and totally works.

And I don’t want to say anymore.

Ugh. My goodness you guys. It’s a must read, it’s everything I love in a love story. It will keep you guessing, and swooning, and stressing, and worrying, and fuming, and feeling, and thinking you “know” where it’s going (with my reading past, I was so sure I knew), but you won’t see it coming. I didn’t.

And it is so worth the journey as we go from past to present slowly (yet perfectly paced) piecing it all together. Watch your heart. IT will FEEL. BIG TIME!!!!!!

I’m giving it 4.5 stars!!!! <— 4 stars for the first half… I liked it (but I was all… hmmm… nothing new here), but OMG I LOVED the second half so much more.  THAT is where it really gets going, and once I let go of my preconceived ideas and just went with it, I was bowled over. Boy did it take me there.

P.S. Don’t be scared of the “book #1″ status. This book is complete. I don’t know if #2 and #3 revisit, or explore the same (or other) characters from this book, but I’m about to look it up.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracey March 13, 2017 at 11:10 AM

This is my favorite book of all time! The second book was also awesome. I bought the third and I’m going to read it on the plane tomorrow!

Maryse March 13, 2017 at 11:24 AM

LOL!!! What a coincidence, Tracey!! Okay now I’m off to research the other two. :D

Dawn Bush March 13, 2017 at 11:33 AM

It’s free on Kindle right now! YAY!

Maryse March 13, 2017 at 11:57 AM

YAY Dawn!!!!!!! Thank you for telling us!! I had already one-clicked it a year or so ago.

Jen March 13, 2017 at 12:23 PM

I have also had this on my TBR list. You just talked me into it. Going in blind. YIKES! Thanks for the recommendation.

Amy March 13, 2017 at 12:39 PM

I went scrub shopping online right after reading this one and got crazy emotional all over again.

Now you know why. ;)

Amy March 13, 2017 at 1:06 PM

Okay Maryse…so now you can read Female of the Species. Trust me, you really, REALLY want to read it. Really.

Okay? Okay.

And I won’t hassle you again for a while about any recs. Most likely. Maybe. We’ll see.

Maryse March 13, 2017 at 2:01 PM

Oh I DO really want to read it Amy. OH YES I DO!

And now I get it about the scrubs. ;)

Maryse March 13, 2017 at 2:02 PM

*snort* YOU CRACK ME UP!

Cait March 13, 2017 at 3:09 PM

Ok so when I read your review and you liked it so much and all your hardcore followers loved it well I one clicked…… again! Iv only read the prologue and a tear just slipped out!!!!

Susie March 13, 2017 at 3:12 PM

FYI, I just snagged this for free on Amazon.

Maryse March 13, 2017 at 3:15 PM

*rubs hands together with glee*

:D !!!!!

Jean March 13, 2017 at 3:24 PM

I’ve had this one for a while! Moving it up on my TBR and will definitely go into it blind!

Cheryl March 13, 2017 at 4:01 PM

Loved this book. I need to check out book 2 & 3. :)

Sharon March 13, 2017 at 5:15 PM

I did the one-click!

Carly March 13, 2017 at 7:02 PM

Because I’m a complete idiot, i read a review on goodreads. Well not so much a review. Anyway, I think the poster totally gave the ending away (there was loads of thanks for the warning…) And now I want to cry because if it’s true…. What lesson did Carly learn today? Don’t look on goodreads when told to go in blind

Maryse March 13, 2017 at 8:15 PM

*hugs Carly*

I know the feeling Carly. It’s happened to me. What a bummer, each and every time.

Samantha March 15, 2017 at 10:58 AM

So glad it affected you the way I thought it would. My favorite book EVER! I want to re-read it and I just read it a couple weeks ago. I’ve NEVER wanted to re-read a book before. I’ve only done it prior to watching the movie version of a book so I can see how much the screwed up the movie :0) Thank you for reading it and not only that but jumping on it right away so I could gush with you.

Cait March 16, 2017 at 3:53 PM

So I just finished it and it didn’t disappoint! The tissues were out but my heart is full!

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