Beautifully Damaged by L.A. Fiore
Elizabeth - 4.5 crowns
review Omg! 4.5 crowns.... This book had everything! Innocence, innocence lost. Butterfly's and passion, lust and swoony hotness... Perversion and madness... Sickness and healing. Violence and tenderness. Twists and turns and shocks that made me gasp! Tears of pain, sadness, anger and joy! But mostly... A beyond beautifully damaged soul... Full of love, just needed help getting there... Trace Montgomery....
Joanne - 4 Crowns
I need a breathing treatment. This book is hazardous to asthmatics such as myself. What a roller coaster ride to Hell, where we shook hands with the devil ...and came back....just wow.
Kelly - 5 crowns
There is no other way to describe this story, except that of its title. Beautifully Damaged is everything I long for in a book. The myriad of emotions it evoked was palpable and profound and not always pleasant, and yet this book offers so much more as it resonates strongly of hope and new beginnings. Ember’s voice is a beautifully conducted symphony as she takes you on an incredible journey with one man as he fights to overcome his hidden demons. A soul so tainted, a heart so torn, his only means of survival is to lose himself in hoards of women and brutal fight rings – anything to dull the pain he harbours inside due to past childhood events. No one can save him, because no one has ever tried.
That is, until now…
Ember Walsh is a shy, selfless 23 year old who moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. In order to make ends meet, she secures an evening job as a waitress serving New York’s elite crowd.
It’s not until she is dragged to Sapphire, a local club by her best friend and roommate Lena, that she first sees him. 6ft 4 of solid muscle, dark spiky hair with the bluest eyes and a full tattoo sleeve, his menacing aura and male dominance should have had her running for the exit. And yet, he becomes her avenging angel as he rescues her from an inebriated guy with wondering hands.
Trace Montgomery cannot go anywhere without an entourage of women, all ready and willing to make carnal memories with the biggest playboy in town, and yet the shy woman with chocolate brown eyes isn’t like those girls - she’s pure, with a timid smile and a conservative dress sense; everything he didn’t deserve.
Walking away should have been easy for them both, and yet Ember couldn’t get the image of her saviour from her mind. A terrible shame… considering she was probably never going to see him again anyway, right?
Trace is everywhere…
On her morning run.
At a jazz festival
At the karaoke bar
…A perpetual stalker that seemed to follow her every move.
So it is inevitable that they become acquainted, and when friendly acquaintance transcends into emotional attachment, Ember realises there is more to Trace than meets the eye. His elusive behaviour and cold exterior contrasts to the warmth she knows stays locked away inside.
“The image he allowed everyone to see was just that, an image. The real Trace Montgomery was far more complicated and I feared that underneath his seemingly put together and beautiful outer package existed a damaged soul.”
When a local senator starts his campaign, Trace becomes more distant, and gradually starts pulling away. Knowing there is a link between the two, Ember starts to do a little digging of her own… Who is Charles Michaels? And how does he fit into Traces’ life?
Trace is still running, running away from his past but he can’t seem to let go of the woman who has captured his heart, and yet in order to protect her, he must save her from himself, his secrets, and those that are plotting to hurt him.
As the open can of worms turns into a barrel of snakes, the secrets and shame of Trace’s past seem to have a catalytic affect, when Ember’s own somehow seems to become entwined. Yet, excavating the truth becomes crucial to them both, as they delve deep into their own investigation of murder and deceit with the help of a new friend, Lucien Black and Ember’s Father and Uncle. Trace and Ember find a newfound trust and freedom in each other as their love blossoms into a passion so all consuming, they know that in order to have a future together, the past has to be re-visited and those inner demons put to rest.
L.A. Fiore is a Master Jedi - her force is strong. She has, hands down delivered one of the most beautifully constructed love stories I have read in a long time. Because it’s not just another ‘love-story,’ it is a cleverly constructed investigative crime novel that has been inter-joined effortlessly. It has more plot twists and turns than the proverbial rollercoaster! One’s I didn’t see coming. A few things were predicable but certainly not all.
I can honestly say I enjoyed this book as much as, if not more than ‘Bared to you’. It has a similar vibe and yet I connected so strongly to Trace Montgomery, I actually think I’m in love with him.
He is the epitome of damaged, his self-esteem stripped, and yet we gradually watch him grow, blossom, escape the confines of his own living hell and re-emerge into the light. That light is Ember, and I’ve got to say, she has become one of my favourite book heroines of all time. A selfless, yet strong female lead that would stop at nothing to save the man she loves so irrevocably.
"I love you truly, completely and hopelessly. You don’t have to suffer in silence anymore and I swear to God I will never let anyone hurt you again.”
It was refreshing to actually have the heroine become the hero. To take a broken man and watch her build him back together, piece by agonising piece. Her hopes and dreams for Trace to find acceptance and inner peace with himself became a dream of her own, and I felt so connected to her cause that it made me fall in love with reading all over again.
And when it happens, O.M.G! The second part of this book is a love fest that made my tummy tingle and my heart flutter. I even audibly sighed a few times, and felt myself hugging my kindle at the end. Why? Just take a load of this…
He knelt in front of me and framed my face with his hands before brushing his lips gently over my face in a touch that was both reverent and deeply moving. I felt his lips move against the delicate skin under my jaw when he whispered, “All that I am, this very damaged and unworthy man, is yours.”
I am so proud of you…” He started towards me before he whispered, “…in awe of you,” he stopped just behind me as his hand lightly brushed down my arm before moving around my side to rest against my stomach, “…so fucking in love with you.”
No one ever has, or ever will, know me the way you do, you’re inside me, you are my heart…”
To say I loved this story is an understatement, it has hit my 5 star favourite shelf and I would love for the author to continue with this series, giving Lucien Black his own book. One can only hope…
There were a few mistakes, missing commas and the writing in the second half outshined the first, but I didn’t care about any of that. The storyline was too good to ignore so I can’t even knock half a star off because of it. I have a book hangover from hell, for that reason alone, this is a 5-star winner.
Broken Alpha-Male / Strong Heroine fans, READ IT!