Title: Beauty in the Broken
Author: Charmaine Pauls
When I finished this book, I wasn’t sure how on earth I was going to review it when quite frankly it had left me speechless. It brought out so many conflicting feelings in me but I was gripped and couldn’t put it down. It’s a dark and rather violent tale of two wronged souls, a ruthless man, hellbent on revenge and an abused young woman, stripped of her own free will for many years. The empathy I felt for her made for uncomfortable reading at times but her inner strength blew me away. Despite everything she’s been through, there’s still an element of defiance to her, a part of her that’s not totally broken, that wants and needs to fight back, and I loved her.
Damian is the very definition of the anti-hero. You know you should despise them but they are so intriguing and charismatic you find yourself clinging to the hope that they will have some redeeming qualities somewhere along the line. He’s a man who is determined to achieve his goals without regard for the law, or anyone else for that matter. I struggled a lot with his character at times, his possessiveness towards Lina and his often brutal treatment of her is hard to read. I didn’t get the sense that he was trying to be deliberately cruel, however, and he often shows a tender side too. His devotion to her is unquestionable. He may have had plans to serve his own form of justice on those who sent him to prison but once he discovers what Lina has endured, he becomes her avenging hero and payback takes on a whole new meaning. One which has far reaching consequences.
“Who is my husband? Who is the man carrying me to his bedroom in warm, strong arms, so careful with me, as if I could break, when he’s just broken me on his study floor?”
Beauty in the Broken is an amazing dark read, one which has now become a firm favorite, but it is not for the faint of heart. It’s action packed with a great storyline which, not withstanding all the twists and turns and surprises, flows really well and doesn’t feel overdone. There are some wonderfully vile people in this book, their manipulations at times had me holding my breath in anticipation of their next move. I may not have liked them, but they were fascinating characters and so well written. I loved Damian and Lina and when it came to the end, I didn’t want to let them go. Not perfect characters by any means, just perfect for each other.