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Brutally Beautiful

(Beautiful #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  6,749 ratings  ·  672 reviews
A deadly game of hide and seek.

With blood still on her hands, Samantha Matthews is on the run, running from dark secrets and a man she prays to God will never find her. Running and hiding, just to stay alive. She had no choice but to run, to leave, to hide and forget about her life before. When Samantha believes she's gained enough distance from her past and her demons, s
Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published December 26th 2013
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3.96  · 
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 ·  6,749 ratings  ·  672 reviews

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Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Christy by: Kara
5 Stars!!!!!

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What. A. Ride. Wow! I really loved this book. Stories that are a little on the dark side, maybe even a little disturbing are my favorites! This had the darker elements, but it was also comical, sensual, and beautiful. An intriguing and entertaining read.

The story begins with Sam and Jen. Sam and Jen are injured and on the run. We don’t know why or what happened, all we know is they can never go back. They are no longer Sam and Jen. They are now Lainey and Bree.

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Once they get far
Jennifer Kyle
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing




This story is told in alternate povs (which the author nailed) of a girl named Samantha who is on the run with her bff. She meets a Damaged? Crazy? Stalker? Sexy! HOT! guy named Kade who is crippled emotionally by a traumatic event from his past.

"Words had always come easily to me. Violence and hate were in my veins. I was rage personified, and horror and malice were my
Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
DNF at 73% and stop giving me that look.

Yes, I am well aware that this book marks the gazillionith time I did not finish a book since January 2014. So shoot me. I feel it’s justified to give this book a 2 star rating based on what I have read (which let me remind you is nearly 3/4 of the book). Oh and about what I read:


Some things you should know about me and how I evaluate a book’s worth:

1. Heat level and hot sex do not serve as motivation for me to finish a book. Sex is fabulous and in fact I
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

That was


"This....this is just a morbid filled ice cream cone dipped in psycho flavored sprinkles."

Yet oddly it was at the same time...


The prologue....

What did Samantha and Jennifer do??? And why??

Samantha is on the run....from her brutal past.

"Something dark haunts us all. What darkness haunts you at night? What do you squeeze your eyes closed to when the darkness bites against your back when you're alone at night? Because I was married to m
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Title: Brutally Beautiful
Series: Brutally Beautiful #1
Author: Christine Zolendz
Release Date: 5th January, 2014
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cliffhanger: No.
HEA: (view spoiler)

Once again, I was captivated by exceptional storytelling of Zolendz. Only she could came up with a story so bloody and dark and still make it heartbreakingly beautiful. I admire her for that. As much as I loved her previous series, Brutally Beautiful has one advantage more…
Dilek VT

This is the first book in the BEAUTIFUL duet. It doesn’t end in a cliffhanger; it ends in a HFN but there are still secrets unrevealed, so we need book 2 for the story to come to full circle.


Normally, I'd wait and write my review after I finish reading the series but I need to talk about this book asap. I loved it. It was like a breath of fresh air with its exquisite writing.

Ms Zolendz does it again and creates a one hell of a story and we are intr
Aestas Book Blog
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites

*** FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED *** 4.5 stars!!

Fast-paced, witty and intriguing, Brutally Beautiful was a dark and yet delightfully gripping book that hooked me from the start and kept me flipping pages long into the night. It was SO well-written. The dialogue was snappy, the plot was kept me on my toes, and the story was raw and emotionally intense. This book was truly a joy to read and I have quotes highlighted on almost every single page. If you are a fan of dark, tortured heroes and strong heroi
Jess-i-ca ~Sometimes a Gif Witch~
4.5 This shit is crazy stars....

Samantha Matthews and best friend Jen are on the run.

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"Something dark haunts us all. What darkness haunts you at night? What do you squeeze your eyes closed to when the darkness bites against your back when you're alone at night? Because I was married to mine. I was daughter to mine, and I refused to look in the mirror and see it make me as dark as them, so I walked away from it all."

They are battered, broken and bloody and wind up at a strip bar in the middl
Farah *Professor Dean's Beauty*

Wow! I have to say that this book totally took me by surprise...

It's dark mindfuck kind if book and u didn't realize I needed one like this until I started reading it.

The story is very brilliantly written with some awesome lines!

The story starts with two girls, who in the beginning we know nothing about only that they running away from something or someone battered and bruised.

"Everything and everyone I ever knew…Everything I had ever worked for…gone. Just. Like. That. "

They reach a small bar/ s
Christine Wallflower & Dark Romance Junkie
I can't get into this book, I can't, I guess it's just me being weird again. I think I read one chapter and I immediately disliked the heroine, for me this is a very bad sign... So I'm going to take the plunge and DNF. I get really cranky when I force myself to read a book I don't like.

Ok, around the first half of the book I seriously loved it! Loved it so much that I thought nothing could make me not love it so much later.
The writing was amazing, I swear I highlighted almost the whole book. There wasn't one thing I didn't love with the writing. And with the story. I loved it all. I loved all the characters. So what made me give it 4 stars? I would have given it 3.5 but I round it up to 4.

Him. His mood swings. In the beginning he was amazing, he was so dark and twisted and I
Natalie ✩★ The Biblioholic ★✩
Whoa! Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa!!

This story was jam-packed with so many feels and I'm not talking the warm and fuzzy kind. Christine Zolendz did an incredible job of blending drama, family, friendship, chemistry, eroticism, pain, despair and trauma. She did all that and still found a way to inject a lot of humour along the way.

Samantha was a brilliant and renowned head trauma surgeon, but she was running away from her life. She was escaping a life filled with lies and was hoping to outr
Georgia ♥ Team Dex ♥
4 Damaged Stars

"You somehow soothe the chaos that's inside me. You heal me."


A woman on the run.
A man haunted, bitter and alone.
A passion that transcends logic and self-preservation.


Samantha Matthews, bloodied and beaten she ends up with her best friend working as a waitress in a freaking strip joint in the middle of nowhere. Nothing left to dream about, everything crashed and burned around her and the demons are still chasing after her. But she keeps living.


Kade Grayson, survived an unimaginab
[~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥
4 stars

Sooo... I think a storyline we are pretty familiar with. Girl on the run. Girl meets guy. Guy has traumatic past.

What I felt different with this book is the awesome heroine, Samantha. There was just too many quotes from her pov I could quote.

You need a hardcore detox for assholism

Kade on the other hand... One minute he couldn't stop staring at Samantha, the next he was just plain mean. Bottom line is: I found him creepy.

I liked this, great characters, great writing, lol momentsbut
Amy | Foxy Blogs
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Amy | Foxy Blogs by: Kara
”I learned an invaluable lesson once. If I stayed silent for long enough, and just watched long enough, people and life would pass by me, as if I were invisible. Or dead.

I was excited to start this story because all of my friends have loved this book, so far. I was told it was dark and twisted. I spent most of the book waiting for it to get dark and twisted. By the time it started to become that way towards the end I was not really feeling it. I really love dark books and had high hopes for
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“Kade Grayson kissed the thoughts right out of my head, kissed my fears and anxiousness away, leaving me empty, and then poured himself in.”

This is exactly how I feel right now. This book, this wonderfully beautiful magnificent twisted book, has stolen all of my thoughts and words.



I don’t even know what to write, what to say, to convey how obsessed I am with this story. To describe how I devoured this thing and how I wish I could go back in time and erase my memory so I could experience it ag
✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ ✝✝

I just finished reading Brutally Beautiful. That was overwhelming for me. I don't know whether it was in a good way.
Not only this book left so many questions unanswered, but it kinda gave me shivers too!

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Samantha was running away from her past and settles herself in small town by working as a waitress.
I loved Samantha, she was such a strong character. One kick ass heroine.

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As she get adjusts herself with her new life, she meet the mysterious Kade.

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Kade is the first hero whom managed to m
DNF @ Page 57


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As soon as the Hero took the OW out and screwed her in his car meaning after he already met the heroine and obsessed about her I was done with him!

"I don't read a romance for those scenes, I read a romance for the celebration of love and how the best love helps us to grow..."Those sex scenes with OW" are not the portrayal of the best love I want to feel in my romance book"

This is my second book by this author and the last! "both" had
5 Stars (Originally Read 1/17/2014)

3.5 Stars (Re-Read 5/29/2019)

Overall Opinion: I just finished the book Mean Streak and parts of it reminded me of this book, so when I realized I never wrote a review for it -- I jumped right in for a re-read. I'm bummed to say that this will be taken off my favorites shelf and my rating will be going down. I found myself feeling conflicted about the characters where I wanted just a little more back story, especially with the h, because I struggled with conne
Kelli C ~ Jack Sawyer's Heart
4.5 dark, twisted, and emotional stars. I loved this read! i love smart characters, and i love an author that can write an clever, mind bending tale to compliment them.

Two characters, both internally damaged, see right into the heart and mind of one another. Both are strong in thier own right, yet so desperate to be saved.
Meet Mr. Kade Grayson

He is a reserved ass with an underlying tone of violence. He has been devoid of any emotion since horrific tragedy at the age of 17.

Meet Ms. Sam Matthews
Kitten Mercer
3.5 to 4 Stars.

"I'm falling in love with you, and I'm going to let you destroy me."

This was a pretty great read. I was curious right from the very first page, until curiosity got the better of me and all I know was that I suddenly couldn't put the book down. Brutally Beautiful was the first book I've read by this author and immediately I was captivated by her compelling and very polished writing style. The characters very unconventional, not the usual or average MCs you would read in a book, but
When characters claimed that they had a “dark” past, I needed to be convinced that what they went through was indeed “dark”. I’m not mocking them for I know that their experiences could/did happen in real life, but the way it was written came off unconvincingly. At first, the hero, Kade, was dangerous, creepy, twisted. I did enjoy how his mind worked. But then, he just became too brooding and boring. It was also obvious that his pov was written by a woman (big turn off!). His transition to being ...more
Hulya Kara Yuksel
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Hulya by: Dilek VT

Absolutely amazing!!! I LOVED it. :) Thanks to my friend Dilek, Christine Zolendz became one of my favorite authors... And I also highly recommend her another book to you, it called "Here's to Falling" Ahh that book was awesome too. <3

Ps. I wanna thank to my dearest friend Dilek for recommending this book to me. Thank you babe. <3

You can read her beautiful and terrific review from this link. :)
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it

Life is tough; you have to endure the bad with the good, because the alternative is so... final. I will endure this...

This is a heartbreaking love story of two people who were both living through the aftermath of separate but both horrifically violent pasts. Each one having their soul charred beyond recognition, and trying to find a way to keep on living with what was left. Two hearts beating separately, yet drawn together by a darkness so intense that only by connecting the two coul
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
“I’m falling in love with you … and I’m going to let you destroy me.”

Christine Zolendz cements her spot on my list of ‘must read’ authors with this one! I am a MASSIVE fan of Christine’s Mad World series, but she seems to have taken this one to another level, giving us a disturbingly dark and sexy story which is both mature and intelligent, and blended fantastically with sarcastic humour, drama, suspense and a deeply intense romance. Very different from a lot of other romance books out there,
Angelisa Stone
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All I am going to say for now is.....

HOLY FUCK A CAT! You will love the Hell out of this book! CANNOT. WAIT. UNTIL. IT'S. OUT.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok

Thank you to the lovely friend that loaned me these books:) xoxo!

Ehh, this is a difficult book for me tag with a rating because it's both great and meh. 4 stars for first half ....2 stars for second half.... 0 stars for the end = 2 stars overall.

Basic Plot

Two women hit the road beaten and bloodied. Hours later, they stop at a small town and end up deciding it's as good as any place to hide from whatever hell they're running from.

The friend and bar owner fall into a relationship, further t
Jacqueline's Reads
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jacqueline's Reads by: Christy
5 Brutally Beautiful Stars

A dark twisted read, beautifully written and somewhat poetic

I read Brutally Beautiful a few weeks ago and I wished I wrote my review right when I finished, so this won’t be your typical review, which kills me because I loved it so much.

Short version of the summary

Sam and her best friend are on the run, you don’t know why, but they are beaten up, bruised and battered. We just know they left a terrible situation and both are ready to move forward with their lives. They ar
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
"It was beautiful and dark, twisted and profound."

This book was so different, I couldn't put it down. It was filled with dark tragedy and mystery, it was also hot and funny. I loved the quick-whit that Sam/Lainey had. I also loved the interactions between her and Kade. The dark, deep emotions that he felt for Lainey were so intense.

"I felt like Adam looking at Eve for the first time, having never seen another woman before her."

"I wanted to know what haunted her and hold hands in the darkne
Liv ☾
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Jade and Samantha


☾What did I just read. oh my goodness this is the scariest book I've ever read. I was scared the whole time and wanted to stop reading, but I couldn't.

☾Kade and Samantha's relationship is like no other. It's as if they need each other to keep on. They've been through traumatic things in their life to the point where the only one who will understand is each other. (REALLY TRAUMATIC THINGS)!

☾The ending scared me so much!!!! I thought I was reading a horror book more tha
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USA Today bestselling romance author. Mother. Coffee drinker. Unicorn believer. New Yorker.
Books and writing are my escape from reality.
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Other books in the series

Beautiful (2 books)
  • Cold-Blooded Beautiful (Beautiful, #2)
“I think the truth is that we are in love with the fantasy of being that one person who could inspire, arouse, or affect someone who is so untouchable to the rest of the world.  It makes us feel special; like we’re the diamond in the rough, the one in a million, the one that everyone else couldn’t be, and do what everyone else couldn’t do.  Imagine being that significant to someone?  To never have to doubt that he loves you, or needs you, or more importantly, wants you more than any other.” 31 likes
“I’m falling in love with you … and I’m going to let you destroy me.” 15 likes
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