Friday, 24 May 2013

Review: Madeline Sheehan's "Unbeautifully."

(Giveaway: Signed copy of Undeniable at the bottom of this post)
 Holy buggery am I a glutton for emotional punishment or what? Did I not learn the first time around with “Undeniable.” (That book that stayed with me for days afterwards.) Obviously not, because last night I started reading “Unbeautifully”.  I knew this book would take me on a journey and I knew there would be parts of the story that would be painful to read, emotionally draining and even uncomfortable but I’m a sucker for a love story, even the unconventional kind which this definitely was. Undeniable was one of my favourite reads of last year. Deuce and Eva’s story just broke me. I was a blubbering mess by the end  but there isn’t a single bit of it that I would change. Gut instinct told me “Unbeautifully” would be no different. “Ah what the heck”, I told myself, “grab a box of tissues, be brave and just read it.” So that’s exactly what I did. I was soooo not disappointed. What an amazing story. 

So what’s it about?

Ripper and Danny’s paths were not supposed to cross, not in the way they did anyway. It wasn’t written in the stars, it wasn’t fate and it definitely wasn’t destiny but it happened all the same. That mid summers night everything changed and not even will power could stop what happened next.

Danny’s life had not been an easy one. At eighteen, she had a mother who hated her and a father who was so consumed with his own problems, he neglected everything around him including her:

.... my family fell apart and I’d been forced to take on responsibilities that took

me away from my life. A life I didn’t have anymore.

Even the High School Prom she had been so looking forward to was a disappointment. Nothing was working in her favour.... that is until Ripper rode into her life. In one night he gave her everything she had been craving:

God, how long had it been since someone had held me? Touched me?

I couldn’t even remember the last time someone hugged me.

I gripped him tighter, seeking a connection I didn’t realise I was looking for

until his hands squeezed around my waist.

There was no turning  back for Ripper either. Danny had gotten under his skin and broken down the walls that had been up for so long:

... The bricks began to fall... one by one until it was a free for all and suddenly he

could breathe again when he hadn’t even realised he’d been holding his breath.

Breath he’s been holding for five years.

But theirs was not meant to be a bed of roses. It was marred with pain, suffering  and sorrow and as quickly as they had found each other, one tragic event forced them apart. In a world of ugliness and chaos, would their love survive?

Yup, Madeline Sheehan got me again, in every aspect of the word. The story, the characters, my connection with them…. wow. This book was a page turner… I was hooked from the word go and I didn’t want to stop reading until I was through. I was taken completely out of my comfort zone, with my thought processes and emotions challenged like never before. If you’re looking for predictable, this book isn’t it.  If you’re looking for a drop dead gorgeous, six foot, blue eyed dream boat who sweeps you off your feet, you won’t find him here:

The second time I fell in love it was with a badly scarred face,

the stuff of nightmares., the sort of disfigurement that

 mothers steer their children away from.

Meet Ripper. He was everything your mother would warn you to stay away from. He was 100% bad ass, a criminal of the worst kind with a conscience that was clear. But there was just something about him. Madeline Sheehan made sure I saw beyond the harsh exterior.  And what I saw was someone who was so emotionally and physically scarred by the events that had taken place so many years ago, he couldn’t move forward with his life:

“So why don’t you clue me in as to why a girl like you is tryin’

for a disgusting fuck like me?”

In Danny, Ripper found hope for a better future. She made him want to live when there were times all he wanted to do was die:

He would give it all up for her. For his woman. Because she sure as shit was his,

and he’d go to hell and back ten times over before he lost her.

When ripper was with Danny (especially towards the end), I saw a caring, loving and protective side to his nature (in an unconventional way obviously so don’t expect hearts and flowers because that’s not what you’ll get). Oh and bad ass biker boy was funny. There were times his thought processes had me laughing like a hyena. Put all of these things together and yes, Ripper had me swooning like a love sick puppy.

And Danny... life really did throw a whole heap of crap at her. From the moment she was born, it was downhill. Ripper walked into her life when she was at a low point, When everything she had ever dreamt of was gone. She was so vulnerable and fragile, my heart just broke for her. But this wouldn't be the worst of it,  that was yet to come. But out of it, Danny would become a stronger person, one that would survive even if those closest to her let her down again, even if those she loved left.

Life will go on. With or without you. Before you, after you, all around you,

 life has always done just that. Gone on.

There were so many things about Danny and ripper I just loved. The way she made him lose his mind, the way he had control over her emotions  and the unsaid dialogue they had between them:

Are you going to leave?



Yeah baby, really

Why not?

He glanced down at himself. Can't exactly get off the couch, can I?

Now that’s what you call a connection… saying all that without uttering a single word!!!! Just brilliant. But there was just so much going against them: her age, the fourteen year age gap, her father, the Hell’s Horsemen motorcycle club, ZZ. But despite this I was desperate for them to have a shot at happiness, to work through the crap, to give it a chance.

Although the main focus of "Unbeautifully" was Ripper and Danny's story, Madeline Sheehan completely surprised me by giving me Deuce and Eva chapters. Although the book had ended well, the last few pages of Undeniable had touched on the fact that it hadn’t been easy. The horror Deuce and Eva had both lived as a result of Frankie had taken its toll on them as individuals but also as a couple. These chapters gave me the struggle they had faced and the battle they fought to get their “HEA”. It really completed Deuce and Eva’s story for me.

Madeline also introduced us to the other members of the Hell's Horsemen who would be getting their own books: ZZ, Jase, Hawk and Dorothy and Cage and Tegan. From what I’ve read, these books are not going to disappoint.

This story isn't for the faint hearted or for the easily offended. Madeline Sheehan hasn't held back in any way, shape or form and because of this Danny and Ripper's story is  raw, gritty and real. I am so glad I read "Unbeautifully" and can't wait for the next book. "Unbeautifully" got full marks from me:

5 beautiful Hearts.

Favourite quote (although there were many) and it is a little spoiler so don't read it if you don't want to know!!!!

All scars tell a story, beautiful girl," he said, releasing me to trace the marks on my stomach.

"Yours are tellin' me how healthy and fuckin' perfect my kid is gonna be."

"And mine," he said softly, grabbing my hand, trailing the palm across his cheek and then his

 chest. "Tell the story of how I found you."

OK so now I'm going to cry again!!!!

Click on the book cover and take a look at my 5 Heart review of "Undeniable," the first book in the series.

And this is what you have to look forward to!!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Could not agree more. Loved this book Cannot wait for Cage and Tegan

  2. Great blog & review for Madeline!! Thanks for the chance to enter!! =) I, too, CANNOT wait for Cage & Tegan's book!!

  3. Madeline's books are just brilliant. They really take you out of your comfort zone and I've had book hangovers with both Undeniable and Unbeautifully. Roll on book 3!!!! And "Diary of a Crack Whore" which looks equally brilliant xxx