Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger

Rating: 4.5/5 stars Beautifully Cruel

Length: 319 pages

Series: N/A

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, New Adult, Dark

Publication date: May 15, 2020


“Why, bless your heart, Mr. Driver. But you don’t have to worry about me. I’m only helpless when my nail polish is wet, and even then I can still pull a trigger.”

(Tru, Ch. 6)

Truvy Sullivan thought she was living a pretty normal life – going to law school, working as a waitress to make ends meet, and living with her good friend who didn’t have the best taste in guys. That is, until one rainy night a stranger saves her from a vicious attack. Not even knowing his name, Tru realized that the only place she felt safe was in his arms. But safety is an illusion and sooner than she’d realize Tru was going to learn that this mysterious alpha wanted something in return.

The characters are what brought this world together for me. Geissinger almost made them feel real, each with their own secrets, desires, and faults. The personal conflicts in this story, such as unrequited love, are things that could happen in real life. While the characters might go above and beyond in their reactions to these conflicts, I have to admit it made for a great read. Besides, what’s fiction for if not to have the reader suspend disbelief and experience something that they wouldn’t otherwise in their life?

While I wouldn’t ever want to find myself connected with a “bad boy” such as the likes found in this novel, I absolutely adore reading about them. The bad boy trope exists for a reason and it’s certainly one of my favourites to read about in romance novels.

I also really enjoyed the way that Geissinger used mundane activities – such as working a shift in a diner – throughout the story. Life it’s always fast paced, but it’s sometimes in these calmer moments that the most intense things happen. By having the contrast between the mundane and the extraordinary sprinkled throughout the novel, Geissinger managed to make this a fast paced read that caught and held my attention from the beginning.

The explicit content in this book wasn’t too bad either. While some people might prefer a tamer romance read, I really enjoyed the way that Geissinger wrote the more explicit scenes. They were hot and steamy and never felt out of place. If you’re interested in this kind of romance novel, look no further.

One thing this book showed me is that I seem to really enjoy romance books about the mafia. The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen was the last book in this subgenre that I read (and greatly enjoyed) so if you also enjoy reading romance books like this one I’d recommend giving that one a try as well. That being said, Geissinger did a fantastic job in Beautifully Cruel and this novel deserves a read on its own. I would highly recommend picking this book up if you’re looking for a great new romance read.



*Spoilers ahead*

He looks at me, breathing hard as he gazes into my eyes. “Ready?”

I debate with myself for a tense, breathless moment, hating myself for not saying a forceful no instantly. But it’s not a no my body is feeling. It’s a big, fat, unequivocal yes.

(Ch. 16)

There’s not much I’d like to put in the spoiler section of this review as I hope you pick it up and enjoy it all on your own. That being said, there are a couple of things that I want to talk about.

I can’t imagine being expected to put your life on hold for twenty-eight days to have a whirlwind romance and then act as if it never happened. Especially not when you’ve already got an emotional attachment like Tru does. Even though Liam ended up sneaking her away to his penthouse suite and basically trapping her in there with him, she does a pretty decent job at holding her own. She had every right to be pissed at him for his actions – even if she hadn’t already turned down his offer. The fact that she did and then stood by her morals placed her pretty high up in my books.

Yes, she eventually realized that she wanted to be with him in the short time frame that they had, but that was a choice she made on her own. She still held back from sleeping with him after that first night, even though it was clear she wanted to be with him. Yet Tru stuck to her morals, as is her right.

It’s also clear that Stalkholm Syndrome plays no part in her decisions, which I greatly appreciate. I find that this is a cop out that many works of fiction use in situations such as Tru’s. They have the main character begin to have feelings for their captor and then in the end they get together. Thankfully, Tru doesn’t go through this at all. She already had a thing for Liam before he whisked her away. She knew that he wasn’t “good for her” on the outside, but her heart told her that there was hidden depth to him. While a cliche, I’m glad that Tru listened to her heart and gave Liam a change.

The final thing I want to touch on briefly is how much I enjoyed the fact that Liam ended up being the Mafia Pope and an informant/sleeper agent at the same time. While I knew there was more to Liam’s story, I absolutely adored this twist in his past. Of course I’m saddened that he lost virtually his whole family and that’s what drove him to take the past he did. But to hear that he isn’t all bad and is willing to give it all up for Tru was a great plot twist. Sure I expected him to step down from his role as Mafia Pope to be with Tru, but I didn’t expect it to be a front. Well played, Geissinger, well played.



All in all, I adored my time in this world. I tore through the book and loved every second of the ride. After reading Beautifully Cruel, I look forward to picking up some of Geissinger’s other works.

If you’ve already read Beautifully Cruel, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. If you haven’t yet, go give the book a read and then come back here and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to know your take on the events in this books, to hear what you liked or didn’t.

2 thoughts on “Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger

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