Beautifully Brutal is the first release in the Cavalieri Della Morte series, a collection of books based loosely on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Only these ‘Knights’ are anything but just and true. They are a group of assassins and fixers who only answer to Arthur Calthorpe, and he certainly hasn’t tasked them with ‘ensuring the peace of the kingdom’.
This intriguing and fascinating idea was dreamed up by the opening author, Dani Rene and, if her book is anything to go by, this is going to be an exciting series of reads.
For me the majority of the book was a solid 4 stars, though it had a few annoying aspects that would often score a book only 2 stars. In the end I’ve compromised on 3.5 stars with the proviso that in my rating system this is still very much a positive review. On Amazon I will be leaving a rating of 4 stars.
I’ve read several other works by this author, this one ranks as the most gripping in terms of story line and pace. It teeters on the edge of darkness, with its background of murder and violence, though in and of itself I wouldn’t label it a dark romance. However it is an absolutely cracking romantic suspense and well worth reading. The mystery and intrigue is incredibly well executed, I often had no idea who to trust, who not to trust, who was good and who was a bad guy. Suspect everyone, trust no-one became my motto!
Beautifully Brutal is a better than average read, for a good chunk of the book it had me on the edge of my seat. However several little things together just kept it from becoming a great read for me.
Pacing at the end was SO quick that I actually lost track of who was where and what was happening at one point. It didn’t help that characters learnt information ‘off the page’ that we weren’t privy to until later in the story. This resulted in me having to go back and re-read part of a chapter or two, using the benefit of ‘hindsight’ to fully comprehend the whys and wherefores of some events. I want to stress that this refers to only a very small percentage of what was otherwise a riveting read.
The story is a little different in that we don’t see the falling in love part of it. Lance and Giuliana are already totally besotted with each other, so the romance aspect was more subtle. However I firmly believed in their connection and love for each other. The pair also shared an intense chemistry that lead to some very hot bedroom scenes. Whilst they don’t actually get down and dirty for quite a while, I still got the impression of a very hot and sexy story. Plus the twisty plot kept me busy, leaving my mind otherwise engaged.
I do agree with another reviewer (on Goodreads) who was annoyed about the man-whoreish ways of the hero. Apparently being madly in love with our heroine, and desperate to know where she is, wasn’t enough to help him keep it in his pants. Thankfully we don’t experience this activity first hand (other than one kiss), but rather via his very arrogant musings on how he can get any woman he wants. It also only really lasts for the first couple of chapters too, so didn’t really impact most of the story.
Sadly the following passage slapped me in the face enough to throw me momentarily out of the story
Lance Knight, Beautifully Brutal
“Insufferable?” I chuckle. “Yeah, I know. But you love it. I can’t stop thinking about how pretty your virtue looked coated all over my cock.”
He’s referring to the blood from having taken her virginity. Just… no, really, no, just – urgh. However I’m sure this is an example of ‘it’s me, not you’ and plenty of readers will love it as much as I hated it. After all isn’t that the beauty of books, that there is something for everyone, and heck it’s easy enough to skim over parts that I don’t care for.
So in summary this was a good read with an exciting plot and decent characters. There’s too much sex and swearing for it to be anything other than an 18+ read, but if you’re OK with that then I do recommend it.
Title: Beautifully Brutal
Series: Cavalieri Della Morte
Author: Dani Rene
Release: April 4, 2019
Genre: Romantic Suspense
In a world ravaged with violence, I still think about the beauty who was taken from me. I’ve turned rabid in her absence. The dormant beast she had tamed is ravenous, feeding on brutality and bloodshed.
I focus on the kill, until Arthur confesses his trump card, shattering every hope I had of reclaiming her. Focused on the job at hand, I step into the lion’s den, only to find nothing is as it seems.
My beast hungers to be satiated.
And my beauty is the only one who can feed it.
A dark treacherous journey where happily ever after may be just out of reach.
Dani is an international bestselling author and proud member of the Romance Writer’s Organization of South Africa (ROSA) and the Romance Writer’s of America (RWA).
A fan of dark romance that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. It’s from this passion that her writing has evolved from sweet and romantic, to dark and delicious. It’s in this world she’s found her calling, growing from strength to strength and hitting her stride.
On a daily basis, she has a few hundred characters, storylines, and ideas floating around in her head. From the feisty heroines she delivers to the dark, dominant alphas that grace the pages of her books, she promises light in a world filled with danger and darkness.
She has a healthy addiction to reading, TV series, music, tattoos, chocolate, and ice cream.
Social Media Links:
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5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.