My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Through a free short read, Beauty Touched the Beast, I was introduced to this relatively new author around 2 yrs. ago; a story that stole my heart completely. I gushed about it in my review because I couldn’t help it. It’s not always that you find a good story from a debut author, more so if it’s a freebie. And because I found both, I’ve been an avid reader of Skye Warren’s books, all of them till date.
Beauty Touched the Beast, (now) book 1 of the Beauty series, was indeed about a ‘beauty’ and her ‘beast’. Beneath the Beauty is the continuation of their passionate love story.
The H, Blake who has been scarred from his time serving in the army, finds something wonderfully beautiful in his cleaning maid, a college student Erin. Blake has been a hermit ever since his accident; his life, carefully planned career ruined by the trauma as well as the social stigma around a facially scarred man. It’s only Erin’s presence that gives him some peace of mind. In book 1, their attraction was plain obvious since the beginning. Then, an ‘oopsie!’ (but sexy) moment between Blake and Erin led them to explore that attraction. This also gives them some hope of finding true love for the first time in their lives.
I loved in this story was how SW pulled off all these so brilliantly in those few pages; a story along with some hot needy sex without making the characters act like cardboard cutouts. I was frustrated but it stemmed from the fact that I wanted MORE!! If you read my review you’ll get the idea. Since then, I always hoped that Ms. Warren would write something more about Erin and Blake. So when I heard she’s writing sequels, I was thrilled.
Book 2, Beneath the Beauty, starts right after where book 1 left off. Erin and Blake have been seeing each-other for a few weeks now and blissfully happy. We get to learn a bit more of Erin and Blake’s meeting in the past and how she came to be hired in his house. But, even though ILU was said between them, both are still vulnerable inside because they have issues that left scars on them.
Blake’s is more obvious, though we also learn about his fiancée who left him after the accident. He has always been brilliant, something that Erin noticed from the start. Blake’s intellect attracted her as much as his scarred face and that endearing lopsided smile (which was an outcome of the scar-tissue). Blake has a big heart and he proved it with Erin more than once. We get to learn a bit more about his life before accident and how he was groomed to be someone, only to become virtually no one.
That’s all in his head though, because to Erin (and me) he was ah-meh-zing!
Even as their secret affair goes on strong, Erin begins to feel insecure. She had a douchebag boyfriend who put the thought of social status inside her head. She knows she’s poor and Blake is... not. Her thoughts about ‘would this be enough’ were very logical indeed. But Erin needs to work because she needs the money to finish her graduation. She also feared that Blake would probably leave her at some point. Is this really the ‘love’ they think it is? Where would this relationship ultimately lead to? She wants Blake to open up to her, and give her the reassurances.
Soon the news comes. Blake is appointed as an associate professor in the same university where Erin is studying. He never wanted a job to mingle with people but for Erin, he’d do anything. He also realized that he needed this to ‘return’ to the civilization. Erin is really happy but can’t help worrying too. At this point, their relationship can’t be exposed due to the student-teacher fraternizing policy. This could cost Blake his job.
It seems, to test their resolve a bit more, someone from Blake’s past returns abruptly. What would Erin do now? Would Blake still want her the same, or would he return to someone who is more of his equal in financial and social standing?
I can only say Blake has been the sexy guy I knew from book 1. He is SO good to Erin (and SO GOOD in bed) that he’ll only leave you purring for more. He’s plain crazy about Erin, so her thoughts did frustrate me a little. But as I already mentioned, it’s logical because even though their relationship is deep and intimate, it’s still young. The ending was very sweet, with honest, open admissions from them both. It makes me believe that they’ve taken one more step towards that HEA I envisioned for them.
Do I even have to mention that I’m looking forward to book 3, Broken Beauty?
4.5 stars. Highly recommended!!
This review is a part of the Super Book Blast hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions. I was provided a review copy by the author, for which I’d like to thank her.