Sunday, 30 April 2017

Review: Beauty of A Monster by Eleanor Lloyd Jones and Katie Fox

34104843A house filled with well-kept secrets.

A delicate balance of order and control.

A story of a life ripped apart by grief and blame…

...and the whirlwind of colour and optimism who turns his existence upside down…

...with the strength of her love.

Ikira's Review: 5 out of 5 stars

I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start by saying - If I could give it more than 5 stars somehow, I would. I am slightly biased - I adore these authors. Their previous collaboration (Whispers From The East) was spectacular and I was sooo excited to receive this one. Now, I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the next installment of both!

Anyway, this story...

Will and Joey - not quite forbidden love in the traditional sense but that nonetheless. 

Joey has put her personal dreams on hold in order to be able to care for her father. Their need for an income after he's been forced to give up work brings her to the house where; unbeknownst to her, Will resides and runs the family business. Joey is misled from the outset as to who her employer really is and initially doesn't even know Will exists; instead believing its Will's father who runs the place. She meets Bea and Graham who also work at the house and they work with Will in keeping his secret.
Will is reluctant to even employ her at all for reasons which are revealled through the story but is swayed by Bea's influence. Will is battling some serious demons and he has no intention of allowing Joey into his life other than in the capacity she has been employed within his household but what kind of story would that make?

Their joint past is something which is uncovered bit-by-bit as Joey coaxes Will out of the shadows and into the light. He fights her every step of the way but their journey of discovery is one you will never forget.

The setting of an old Manor House is perfect. The descriptions from the authors of the layout of the house and surrounding grounds bring thoughts of Pride and Predjudice to mind. The rose gardens are a beautiful touch and I could even smell the beautiful scnet in my mind as I read the relvant scenes. I heard the sheets as they were shaken off furnitre for the first time in decades, tasted the dust in the air and smelled the musty smell of the loft/attic space. The way these two write puts you right there, perfectly in tune with the characters, touching what they touch, feeling what they feel in a way so few other authors are able to achieve.

At times during the story, I was ready to shout at Will and Joey, beg Graham and Bea to 'just say' 'just do' something or tell Simon to 'do one'. Simon is the necessary evil of the story, the down-right complete and utter pig who genuinely needs a slap (or worse) and serves his purpose very well. Will is a bit of a numpty sometimes but he's not malicious or unkind - Simon helps you see the difference a little.

Bea and Graham should definitely have had a relationship at some point in the past - they remind me so much of their counterparts in Downton Abbey (BBC TV show) and I definitely hope to get to know them both more in the next story.

The story is tantalising, sensual, romantic, crazy, all-consuming and will absolutely keep you wanting more!
The final reveal is catastophic in many ways! Will they make it? Are they doomed by their past? Can childhood actions have an ever-lasting impact?

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