Book Review – Unbeautifully by Madeline Sheehan

by Maryse on May 19, 2013 · 31 comments

in My Book Reviews

Unbeautifully (Undeniable: Book Two)
Two for two this week for me and I loved this one on an almost 5-star level. Ooooooh it was almost perfect for me, even when I was appalled at a few of the men (eeeep! Deuce is too much for me, at times), I was good with the “realism”. I knew what I was heading into, and would have been disappointed if the bikers weren’t true to their characters. The author did not let us down.

There is no such thing as “politically correct” in this group. Women who debase themselves just to be a “part” of them are disrespected (and while I’m on the subject, the “old ladies” can be, and often are, too). Angry tirades are taken out on the wrong people. Murder, mayhem and criminal activity abound. Plus, they have their own version of the bro-code and the punishment doesn’t always fit the crime (in our eyes) but in theirs… well. Eeeeeeeep! From beatdowns, to “going to ground”, you eff up? You pay.

But even with all of that “scary” (or for me, excitement) in the backdrop, I will forever consider this one of my favorite love stories. The insatiable lust between these two was second to none. Within all of that raw grit, we are rewarded with chapter upon chapter of intensity. An INCREDIBLY addictive romance. Not your typical romance, no… but my heart skipped beats, and my stomach dipped, over and over again. And not just with little mini-emotions. I felt huge tidal-waves of swoon swooshing right through me and I delighted in every moment of their ride.

And lemme tell you “Ripper” was no Prince Charming. He didn’t say all of the right things, or always act appropriately, and at times, made me cringe. Decorum be damned! And by most people’s standards, he was downright scary looking (severely scarred physically, and even more so, emotionally).

“You may not be beautiful the way you were before,” I whispered, cupping his ruined cheek. “But you’re still beautiful. To me.”

But a more intense, gorgeous character? No. Well… maybe “Z” (from the BDB series). ;) In fact I delighted in this very “Zsadist” feel I was getting. Not a copy, no (and this story is it’s own). But it was this… incredible vibe of a character that will forever be my #1, and I got to fall in love all over again with a human that reminded me of him.

Maryse: Sherry. I have a must read for you and I swear Madeline Sheehan gave us a “Z” in human form and I’m in love. OMG it’s “Z”… but not a copy. Just perfect. But any way he is severely scarred on one side of his face and chest by an opposing gang member, so most only see the scars and he’s soooooooo broken. He’s missing and eye even, but has a glass one that looks real.

Sherry: You had me at *Scars*

Maryse: You’ll love him. I love him. I’ll share. I don’t wanna but he’s a motorcycle club guy, so apparently we don’t got a choice but to share. Grrrrrrr. Hehe ;)

*sigh* I loved him. And you know me… I love my “heroes” just like him. He could be crude and vulgar and downright mean. But he was so damaged, so pained, and so emotionally unattainable because of the fortress he’d built around himself.

“Baby,” he said gruffly. “Man like me got no business with a girl like you. You’re nothin’ but f$%kin’ beauty and I’m a whole lot of f$%kin’ ugly who’s already halfway to hell.”

Such immense feelings of unworthiness but I loved him that much more, with every tiny bit of himself that he revealed to Danny.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Ripper. Ripping my heart out and I’m loving every moment of it. This one has the detail and intensity, and I can see him. I’m right there.

Megan: Me too Maryse! I’m almost finished w/it and I’m so sad!

Kimmie: Its been a few days for me and I’m still having a Ripper Hangover!!!

Janette: Rite!!!!! I read it in one sitting last nite..have a total book hangover today but I could NOT put it down!!

Samantha: Such an awesome book/series!! I read both books in two days, couldn’t put either of them down! Major book hangover for me!

Trina: Loved it!! I don’t know who I love more, Deuce, Ripper, Cage, it’s endless with this series. Madeline is simply AMAZING!

Lori: I read both books in two days too, and I loved them but I think I loved this one a little bit more! The heartache, the intensity, it got crazy intense (back at present) couldn’t put it down…loved it!

Maryse’s Book Blog: I think I love this one more, too. Their connection and their need… No holds barred. No games. Just BIG intensity and its non stop, but I get it. The “can’t get enough” in this love story has me so satisfied, and it eased in just perfectly. Not too fast, not too anything. Just OMG intense.
 And he’s thinking how fast it all is, but the way it “got there” still works. This is a case of “it’s all in the detail” and the author has this one right.

Jeniffer: Maryse! you always have the perfect words! Yeah, this story was very intense and so real!

January: Such a great book. Had a slight issue at the end of the book what they did to Mama Vi. Clearly. I got over it cuz I love me some Ripper and this series is in my top 5 Fav’s!

Maryse’s Book Blog: I LOVED the first one. In fact I wondered if this one could live up. It does.

Jillian: I think I appreciated that their situation was quite as effed up as Deuce and Eva’s. It was still intense and dramatic, but different than the train wreck that we loved from Undeniable.

Tausha: I LOVE Ripper! I read this book in one day & have fantasized about him all week.

Jacque Olivar Wright There is something about those bad ass bikers with tortured pasts. I love how Deuce & Eva continued on in this one!!!!

Kathy: This one is even better.

Jennifer: I started it this morning and I think I’m even more in luv with him than I was with Deuce!

Barbara McSpadden A really great read! I love how there’s enough of Deuce and Eva added to it along with Ripper and Danny. I just loved the whole thing! I really need the next one now…

Kirsten: Maryse I highlighted almost the entire prologue. I knew I was going to love this book as soon as I realized I did that. I Ripper and Danny, and I’m anxious for Cage’s story.

Laura: I wasn’t sure I could love a book more than Undeniable…but Unbeautifully is it!!

Shan: That’s exactly what I said! Her writing is crazy good…so raw and real that it’s like you’re there…love love love!

Toski: EEEEEEEKKKKK! I this so much!!!
 I told Madeline this one was WAY deeper read. Less funny Deuce talk (which I LOVE ) but I loved the emotional side of this one. ..

Carrie: I’m on the worst book hangover EVER after this one! I loved every minute of it!!!

Oh I agree you guys. I loved book #1 for the daring ride it took me on. The author took some crazy chances, kept me on the edge of my seat, which had me connecting to all of them even more. The whole “surviving a trauma together makes us bond” and boy did I bond with them. LOL!! And while I didn’t quite fall head-over-heels for Deuce (he’s much more than I could handle), I think Ripper was right up my book-alley!

‘Cause as “bad” as Ripper is (and don’t get me wrong, he’s acted atrociously and hasn’t looked back), he’s… good. Sweet. Sad. He just needs the love of a good woman, and I, er… I mean… DANIELLE ;) might just be the one to heal him. Sure, he’s no Prince Charming but a knight in shining armor? That just might describe him to a tee.

So what’s it about?

Thirty year old Ripper (one of the higher ups in Deuce’s motorcycle club) takes Deuce’s drunk eighteen year old daughter (Danny) home from her prom one night. And she’s been crushing on Ripper something fierce, and her inebriated self lets him know just how much.

And well Ripper struggles with himself over what to do ’cause

  1. He doesn’t consider himself worthy of a girl like Danny.
  2. You don’t mess with the daughters of the brothers.
  3. Deuce (the president of the club) will absolutely KILL him if he finds out.
  4. How old is she again? and
  5. Ahhhh screw it, let’s get it on!

Hehe….

Yeah, she wanted him, the looming wrecking ball.

And f&$k him, he wanted her more than he’d ever wanted anything else, and the wrecking ball swung.

… yeah you can figure out the rest. ;) In fact, if you don’t mind crude, rude, dark and gritty (these guys think nothing of demanding a woman to “service” them) I implore you to experience this one in it’s coarse exquisiteness.

Things get bloody in a world where everything is always a life or death situation. What happens when a club member breaks the rules? And what happens when an angry heart suddenly comes back to life… (good!!) but for the wrong person? (bad!!)

He wasn’t pissed off anymore, either. He was something else entirely. He was…

What the f%$k was he?

F$%k it. Whatever he was feeling, he didn’t want to ignore it. He wanted more of it; he wanted to own it.

Right. Now.

Danger. Sneaking. Betraying. Secrets. Torment. Jealousy. Pain. Passion. Over and over again.

And this isn’t just a love story with our kind of characters, “in theory”. You know… described just right (scarred, angry, broken with the whole “star-crossed” lovers theme). No. Madeline Sheehan breathed life into them. When these two came together, I forgot where I was. Their voracious passion for each other… the whispers, the breaths, even the crude murmurs (especially the crude murmurs) melted me. The constant deeeeeeeeep need until it hurt, but they couldn’t stop.

And yet… they had to.

I LOVED being Danny. I loved that her bad-ass father was trying to keep her from his life. The life he loved. The only life he knew. I loved that she was somewhat “sheltered” (I loved her pink and sparkles) and that he had dreams for her…

It was a never ending cycle of allegiance and respect and … love.

Even so, I knew this life wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Being the daughter of a hardened criminal, I knew sunshine and roses for what they really were. Few and far between. Especially with my family.

… and I loved that her heart still ended up leading the way. I loved her eventual darkness. I loved when her personality split down the middle. I got that. And I especially loved being “her” as her heart bound with another. I just can’t imagine crushing on another man in this series as much as I did, Ripper.

“I like you, Ripper,” she whispered, sliding her arms over his shoulders, threading her fingers through the hair at his nape, causing a ripple of tiny, pleasant tingles across his skin and a warmth inside of him, the likes of which he’d never had before.

“Yeah, beautiful girl,” he whispered. “I’m feelin’ you too.”

*Swooooooon*. Nope. There’ll be nobody else for me, in this series. Although… there is Jase. ;)

Oh SOOOO SO GOOD. Soooooooo angsty but in true bad-ass form. And like you guys, I LOVED how we got to live the reality of Deuce and Eva, too. I love how the author took us “there” ’cause I KNEW!!! I just KNEW it couldn’t and wouldn’t be roses for them considering the trauma she survived and what he saw. The author did not gloss over that pain, the resentments and the blame, and I appreciate and trust her even more, for it. The meaningful touches are there, detail intricately threading together the club and the family (blood or not), some resentments burning, but the strength of them as a whole, still holding them all together. For now.

I could re-read so many parts of this book (such emotionally overwhelming detail) and have that same melty feel. I’ve said it before, but it stands for this one too. These characters were alive, their need for each other was monstrous and they overwhelmed me in the most delicious way.

So what is holding me back on a 5-star? There was a scene towards the end that surprised me. While I can believe that something like that might happen in their cruel world, and these guys are as bad as they get when they wanna be, I dunno, I suppose I didn’t expect it to go there, I didn’t even THINK about it until I was confronted with it, and I could have easily done without it. Also, the gang-war was glossed over, and while I’m kind of glad that it was (which allowed me more time with the romance aspect of the story), I feel the end was hurried, in that respect. But that’s about all, that held me back.

Okay, so you know what? I see I gave Undeniable 4.5 stars, and I stand by that, so umm… since I loved this book even more, I guess I did love it on a 5 star level. I suppose I’ll just go by how I feel about the story overall, how much it impacted me and how I couldn’t put it down (except to swoon with you guys). ;)

A tiny part of one of my favorite scenes ever in the whole wide world. You know… ;) That week.

“Hurts,” she murmured, her eyelids fluttering.

Yeah, it did. He was so damn sore and yet…

Best. Week. Ever. I will re-read that whole exquisite part over and over again. Now THAT was heartfelt detail. Whoa. Unforgettable.

5 stars it is!!!

P.S. WANT MORE? Here’s the Undeniable Series Reading Order

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

toski May 19, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Loved this review Maryse. Been waiting and tad stalking for it.
I knew you’d love UB…..and your review. Dead on!!! <3

Linda May 19, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Read both books in this series over the last two days. Yeah major sleep deprivation but soooo worth every minute. This series is by far the most intense subject matter I’ve ever read. But your blog and reviews had me curious and fell in love with these characters. I experienced about every emotion possible and will not be able to forget these stories!!! These books are definite rereads and top of my 2013 list!!! Love your blog and recommendations and your passion for great novels. Thank you thank you Maryse;)

Jaime May 19, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Love that you can put in to words what we are all thinking! About that part at the end….that didn’t work for me either. I don’t think it was needed. I already know that these are bad guys and that just ruined the flow of the story for me. Didn’t ruin the story since it’such a small part, but i had to stop reading and go “really? she’s going there?”

LucyLou May 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

So glad you love this book Maryse. We were reading it at the same time and kept thinking, Maryse has got to be feeling the same way I am; it’s just too great!!! Love Madeline’s outlaw biker world and can’t wait for the next one!

Shelly May 19, 2013 at 11:32 PM

I too enjoyed Ripper and Danny’s story a tad bit more than Deuce and Eva’s and I lived Ripper as a character. The gritty and raw story sucked me in. But like you, that scene toward the end just felt wrong on a variety of levels. I’m now looking forward to Cage and Tegen’s story!!

sandy sciacca May 20, 2013 at 6:42 AM

wow totally agree with evrything u said, and the thing at the end I feel the same way, but hey we didnt’ write it, and thank goodness for all these great writers:)

Lisa May 20, 2013 at 6:48 AM

Awesome review Maryse!! You make me want to read Unbeautifully all over again! I could and like you i reread some of those intense parts! It definitely goes on my reread list. So many books i can definitely read over and over!! Have you read Diamond Girl yet?? More rough around the edges guys!!

Laura May 20, 2013 at 8:23 AM

i loved this book! i wish we could have a large epilogue but, it does not matter…now we have to wait for Cage story!

Hollie May 20, 2013 at 9:01 AM

LOVED this book!!! I’m not a big fan of the long time frames in between book releases though…….I read way too many books and after a couple months, its tough to pick up where a previous book left off….at least they have no cliffhangers.

Jessica May 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Loved your review Maryse, and I love.love.loved this book..they just keep getting better and better. I too have many highlighted parts that I keep revisiting just to keep it close :)

kelli May 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Thanks for the review. I am so on your page with this! I loved the entire thing, I didn’t put the Z connection together until you mentioned it, but I see it know. Thanks for mentioning the end scene. I definitely agree, I found my stone wall boundary of where a book can go, totally out of my comfort zone to the point of, really? wtf!

Jean May 20, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I’ve been waiting for your review! We read this book together! Your thoughts are completely accurate. I loved ripper too and had a hard time with deuce. Loved the first book, but loved unbeautifully even more! Great author…definitely added these to my favs! (And I read sweet thing this weekend and loved it too)! Thank you Maryse for all you do for us!

Maryse May 20, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I’m so happy we read this together. So who are you guys most anxious for? I know what’s next, but what character’s story do you want to know more about?

For me it’s Jase, ’cause I KNEW he was totally in love with Dorothy and I felt like he loved his wife too, in Deuce’s book. What a mess. I’m hoping the author will go back in time with them, how they first got together, when it got serious, his wife etc… and this Hawk issue really threw a curveball into things. I honestly have NO idea how that triangle is going to turn out…

Julie O May 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Just read “Unbeautifully” and have to second everthing you said. I hope
she writes a book about every badass guy in the MC. I would especially
like someone special to come along for ZZ.

Jaime May 20, 2013 at 3:05 PM

I can’t wait to find out more about Jase, Hawk and Dorothy. I definitely need some back story to decide who I want her with! I too felt like Jase really loved her, but there is so much of the story we don’t know. I just know there is a really great story that we haven’t heard yet.

Jean May 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Ugh…the love triangle with Jase, Dorothy and Hawk makes me angsty (reminds me of Thoughtless and the pains I had in my stomach for days)! BUT, I still want to hear ALL their stories!! Never thought I would be so into these books!

Jennifer May 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM

I may end up crushing on Hawk in a big way! I liked Jase, but the intense feelings and actions Hawk took with Dorothy has commanded my attention! Cannot wait to see what happens with that! Loved Ripper and Danielle’s story so much, but I do hope ZZ gets his happily-ever-after in a scary, motorcycle club with a criminal element kind of way:)

Jean May 20, 2013 at 3:33 PM

LOL Jennifer! Couldn’t have said it better!

Maryse May 20, 2013 at 3:48 PM

LOL Jennifer, well said!!

Yes I DO love ZZ. Poooor sweeeeeeet ZZ. I bet he’s gorgeous, too.

Shanda May 20, 2013 at 6:43 PM

I am reading this now, I am kind of following your TBR. I finished Sweet Thing yesterday and totally loved it. Still was thinking about them this morning. So yea bring on Ripper and the gang LOL

Jacque May 20, 2013 at 6:45 PM

I vote for ZZ too! I kept waiting for him to re-appear. I felt so bad… all he did was love and take care of Danny in his own way. He deserves his own happiness, no?!?!

Jennifer F. May 20, 2013 at 8:04 PM

I agree, Maryse. I had to forget I read “that scene” toward the end in order to not lose the absolutely awesome feeling “Unbeautifully” gave me. Love your review!

LucyLou May 20, 2013 at 8:24 PM

I want to read a story about ZZ. He is the nicest blood thirsty criminal of em’ all. Hahahaha

Jenn May 20, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Just finished it…….it was so intense. I enjoyed it so much I am having a hard time picking up another book.

Maryse May 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Me too… I knew this would happen. So I scrolled “back in time” and chose a Kristen Ashley book I’ve been meaning to read forever.

Jean May 21, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Jenn and Maryse….I am having the same problem. Don’t know what to read next!!! I’ve never read any Kristen Ashley books…..(gah!) Any you would recommend I start with to get me out of this book slump?!?!

Jacque May 21, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I think I have read all the KA books. I need another biker book, however, if anyone has a suggestion!

Maryse May 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Jean!! I could go on and on about Kristen Ashley.

I started with “Sweet Dreams” and still consider it my favorite (and every book in this series, I loved). Bikers in this one…

I also LOVED the first book and the last book in the Dream Man series Mystery Man and then Motorcycle Man and they can be read one right after the next. Then right on to her Chaos series (which is the Motorcycle Man spinoff) – BIKERS!! :) (although all of the books in her Dream Man series are great… – I’m just telling you my favorites).

I LOVED “At Peace” too…

:)

Jean May 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Maryse, thank you for all the recommendations! I have a nice long weekend ahead of me and looking forward to READING a lot!! You are the best and don’t know what I would do without your blog!! Meant to tell you how much I loved seeing your name in “Sweet Things”…..I felt like I really personally “knew” one of the characters!! Haha!

Maryse May 22, 2013 at 10:02 AM

LOL!! I saw that… and at first, I thought for a second that the author had written a “note” to me personally at that part since she sent me the review copy…

and then my mind *clicked* when I remembered the “Maryse cameo” that had been mentioned.

It’s weird how my brain read that part “properly”, and still my mind wondered what the heck was going on. LOL!!!

Tina July 15, 2013 at 12:04 AM

WHA……..What-What!?? There’s a BOOK TWO?! I just finished book ONE! YESSSSSSS! I’m on it! THANK YOU MARYSE! :)

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