Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cruelest Stranger” as Want to Read:
The Cruelest Stranger
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cruelest Stranger

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,151 ratings  ·  742 reviews
The first time I saw him was at a bar called Ophelia’s on a misty Thursday night. I was there to drown my sorrows after a trying day, he was there to escape the storm. After a brief yet incredibly cruel exchange, the handsome stranger bolted before I had a chance to tell him off. Incensed and two cocktails deep, I followed him out the door, determined to give the audacious ...more
300 pages
Published January 20th 2020
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cruelest Stranger, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Cruelest Stranger

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,151 ratings  ·  742 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Cruelest Stranger
Dilek VT
This book had potential but unfortunately the outcome is disappointing. I read “Absinthe” by this writer and it was really good but this one is nowhere close to it.

The writer seems to have wanted to put all kinds of tropes in one book and it is, for that reason, a shallow book because while trying to deal with each trope in 280 pages, none turns out to be deep enough, or none is convincing enough.

I thought this was going to be a "hate-to-love" story but it wasn’t as simple as that. There are lo
Dora Koutsoukou
2 🤭🤕⭐️s

Let me catch my breath since I have just finished this cruel stranger’s marathon story.
The first couple of chapters had me hooked and I was very excited. Astaire and Bennett were totally opposite characters, yet very interesting. She was joyful and pleasant, he was an arrogant and cruel arsehole.

Bennett was cold, indifferent and remote, I couldn’t believe he responded to Astaire’s emails and wrote so many words!!! It was so out if his character.
Astaire, towards the ending mentioned she
May 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf

I listen up to 2 hours of the audio book. I hate putting a book under DNF. Sadly, I give up. The blurb promising so much of mystery and hot romance. However I can not connect with anything in this book. The beginning of this book is sexy then it turns cold. I guees the problem is the main characters trying their best to reveal who they are to each other.

Miss Renshaw also fails to build the tension, mystery and the romance afterward. It does not grab my attention.

2 stars
Sep 17, 2020 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
DNF @40%

I tried, okay? I really, really did. But this book was just so absurd and unrealistic!

Bennet was a dickhead and Astaire was a dumb-chick. She didn’t know when to quit it and came of as clingy. Any more eye-rolling, and I swear my eyes would’ve been stuck smh

He in not so kind words, dismisses her and I believe he called her “an asshole” and “a scammer” who was trapping men by telling them sob stories. Bennet, baby, I hate to break it to you, but people actually have difficult and tragi
Jennifer Kyle
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
3 Stars ✨
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing

After having read just the first few pages, I was completely hooked. I stayed up all night to finish this novel - because I just couldn't put it down. A heartwarming story wherein characters were believable and flawed and wonderful.

Astaire a pre-school teacher who grew up in a not so ideal environment but it didn't make her hard or jaded. She has this positive attitude and chooses to see the good in people. So, meeting Bennett is really a challenge to her personality.

Bennett the arrogant,
Nikki ღ Navareus

I really enjoyed this story. Bennett was such a bastard to Astaire through a great deal of the story (and I SO love these asshole heroes!). Astaire was a bit of a pushover, kindly taking all the shit Bennett's threw her way. It was fun watching Bennett finally thaw out and allow himself to be loved for the first time in his life. The story turned out to have a very sweet HEA, with a bit of ugly family drama thrown in for fun. I loved it all.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: two-star, 2020-read

I may be a cruel bastard, but I’m no monster. And there’s a difference.

Bennett is a dickhead. And Astaire is a ray of sunshine who just can’t help herself and meddle into a complete strangers life by sending him an email consoling him for his loss. First I was annoyed with her being so nice to a dickhead like Bennett, it was completely unnecessary but then later I just got over it because that’s how her personality really is. You can’t really change a person
Bookgasms Book Blog
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ratula
Anyone who knows me knows that fictional mean boys make the world go round. THE MEANER THE BETTER! There is something about the spirited banter and the back and forth that has made me an addict. For that reason I loved Bennett Schoenback from the get go. He was cruel and heartless (oh the irony!) with a huge dose of cynical charm that I could not get enough of. At first his connection with Astaire was tumultuous at best but after getting to know one another, a love story was born. I thought th ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well, HE was definitely just one fine SON OF a BITCH!!! Till 60-70% of this book.. His behavior was just... Cruel, Cruel, Cruel...
She was a goodie-two-shoes, ... Too much gold heart here, but well, i liked her: she didnt have sex with him till 60-70%... She was kind and all that but yes, she had a backbone as well... Although she grew up in system, and only from 14 years old she got a stable home... She was through a lot in her life... And then she went and took a pity of this cruel man.
Too much
Ilaria reads too much :)
Mar 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
I can’t stand him
Parked for other mood
Bennett’s and Astaire’s story takes off on the wrong foot, then slips bewilderingly into instalove with a relationship built on a clash of personalities and a series of coincidences, each one more mind-boggling than the past. That, in short, is ‘The Cruelest Stranger’.

It was the title that was eye-catching—and I’m always intrigued by grumpy (sometimes hurtful) characters, though Winter Renshaw gave some basis for understanding the kind of behaviour Bennett showed. Like several asshole ‘heroes’
Keri Loves Books
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rain Brings New Beginnings

A heart-wrenching and heartwarming enemies-to-lovers romance that will make you believe in fated soul mates.

One night in a random bar and both their lives change forever. He’s the biggest jerk she’s ever met. She’s sunshine and all the good things about life. He’s a pessimist but sees it as being a realist. She always gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and looks at the bright side of life. She’s the light to his dark.

You never know the pain that someone else is goi
I’ve long been a fan of Winter Renshaw and consider her a hidden gem of an author and I would love to see other readers discover her.

Astaire is a young woman grieving. Her fiancé died in a car crash way too soon. And what makes it sadder is she grew up in foster care and has no family. She does have a job she loves though, as a kindergarten teacher. But it’s time she starts to move on and she is waiting in a bar one wet and rainy night for a blind date. She approaches a guy who she thinks might
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Had so much potential to be a 5 star read but it just missed the mark.
Super disappointing.

Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

First of all the book started well then its just when to the left to the left and became so unrealistic and complicated. There were so many things happening at once, so many coincidental meeting, so many secret coming out at once. It was so easily predictable. No atom of suspense. The Hero is the greatest asshole I have ever come across while the Heroine no comments for her. The additional character lets just say they didn’t have any impact in the book. Also, the way the author was just thr
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
4.5 Stars

Wow! I absolutely loved the banter between Astaire and Bennett. These two were so much fun and Astaire definitely stole the show while not backing down and going head to head with Bennett.

Yes, there were many OTT angsty situations, but for reason, to me, they just worked.
Anna Valsa
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
She was amazing, he was an asshole. That's it. 😐 ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Hinson
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I may be a cruel bastard, but I’m no monster.”


I’ve only read one other book from Winter, but Hate the Game was such an phenomenal read that I decided right then I would read ANYTHING she released. When I saw this one hit, I added it to my Kindle library before I read the blurb.... that’s how much faith I had in her abilities (again, based off one single experience). I was eager to dive into this one, but in an effort to stick to list order I resisted as long as I could. That was until I made t
Beneath The Covers Blog
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads, arcs, kelly
I went into this book blindly, intrigued by the title alone–a title that gave me the impression it was to be an enemies-to-lovers story. And in its own compelling and ambiguous way, it is. But between the complex layers of story line is woven a perception of opposites attract – a story of two damaged and flawed characters, but where one is bitter and pessimistic, the other is compassionate and sincere.

The Cruelest Stranger is an emotional love story of redemption and second chances, a romance th
Thuy Taylor
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, this is my favorite WR book. Bennett and Astaire had the worst accidental meet up. She thought there was a possibility that he was her blind date, but Bennett is angry, exasperating, infuriating, standoffish, a big ole meanie to her, just by her trying to ask a question. GAHHHHH, I felt my anger rise when that happened to her. This guy, really? But, when someone is that angry, there is a backstory there. Astaire is wanting to find out, she always looks on the bright side of things ...more
Jamie Campbell
what an emotional beautiful well-written story!
I was hooked on the first page. once I started reading I couldn't put it down and ended up finishing it at 3:23 in the morning.
I absolutely loved this book. this author is definitely one that will be on my to be reading in the future list.

If that sick bastard wants to raise Honor, he’ll have to pry her from my cold, dead hands.
he was so great for Honor

When I took it upon myself to approach your date to let him know with exactly whom he was dealing,
Natalie Brooks
2.5 stars. This was pretty painful. All of the characters were too extreme. The extremely evil mother and brother. The extremely naive, overstepping heroine. The extremely cruel-then-whiplash-not-cruel hero.

As I’ve found with other books by this author, the elements are there to make a good book, in terms of the plot. But the writing and character development do not do the plot justice. In the hands of a different writer...

I checked my read shelf and saw that I’ve had this same frustration with
Jan 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
Ugh ... doormat of a woman obsessed with the alpha billionaire super important tall dark and handsome jerk that every girl wants by killing him with kindness after he repeatedly treats her like trash. 👏🏽 Awesome, yay, just what your female readers want to read. Yeah, NO! Lame! Skip! DNF 50%
4 golden hearts

It was a raining evening and Astaire was meeting a blind date at a local pub. A man only described with strong features. She notices the lonely hot guy sitting in the corner. Assuming that she hit the jackpot, she approaches the man only to be send with her tail between her legs straight back to her corner. Except Astaire isn’t “get the hint” kind of gal. She’s the kind to follow the mystery man straight out the door into the rain. He doesn’t know it yet, but he soon will want th
Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)

Astaire has suffered the kind of loss no one should ever suffer, but yet she's so kind and compassionate, she's like sunshine. When she meets Bennett Schoenbach, it's on the anniversary of that loss, and she's had a day. And he makes it worse, so much worse just by being his hostile, asshole self.

So how on earth did she come to fall for such a dick? Well, the heart (and body) wants what the heart wants, and she's determined to figure him out, as determined as he is to keep her out, to keep h
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All the angst I expect from a Winter book, some steam, some drama, and a HEA

On a dark, rainy night, Astaire goes to meet a blind date. She was set up by a co-worker. After a stop to make herself presentable after the rain, she sits at the bar waiting for her date. All she knows is his name, he has dark hair, and is over 6 ft. Not altogether down with this after a long day, but she tries anyway. And a case of mistaken identity leads to Bennett and Astaire's first encounter.

And it is far from ple
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
Looking for something angsty to read that will keep you entranced the entire time? Then read The Cruelest Stranger by Winter Renshaw. I read over 200 books a year and have read almost everything published by this author and in my opinion her latest release, The Cruelest Stranger, is her best work yet. It’s a suspenseful enemies-to-lovers drama with many, many layers that were interwoven perfectly.

I do believe people are a product of their upbringing and Bennett Schoenback is a prime example. As
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • When I Was You
  • Ruthless
  • The It Girl Wears an XL (The Curvy It Girl #1)
  • The Harder You Fall (Rixon Raiders, #3)
  • Just a Boyfriend (End of the Line, #2)
  • Dear Ava
  • Dangerous Games (Dating Games #3)
  • Booty and the Beast (Touchdowns and Tiaras #5)
  • Falcon (Trinity Academy Book 1)
  • You Have to Believe Me
  • Twisted Vow (Sinful Truths, #2)
  • Billionaire's Secret Baby (Hamptons Filthy Rich #2)
  • This Is Love (This is, #3)
  • Tempted to Kiss (Hard to Love #3)
  • Devious Lies (Cruel Crown, #1)
  • Taken as Collateral (Mafia Masters, #2)
  • Elijah Wolfe (Wolfe Brothers #1)
See similar books…

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
33 likes · 8 comments
“When life kicks you when you’re down, fight back. Don’t lie there and take it,” 3 likes
“Nietzsche says, “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process, he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” 2 likes
More quotes…