BEAUTY FROM PAIN was one of those books I picked up on a whim after having seen that Samantha Young liked her books. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and having not read anything by Cates before this, I didn’t know what to expect. But after reading this, I am now a fan.
Laurelyn Prescott is an American in Australia, taking off three months from her music career to get her priorities straight. She is staying with her friend and brother for the duration of her visit, but as soon as she gets there, she captures the eye of one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors and winemakers in Jack McLachlan.
Jack is a man of simplicity. He likes to cut out conflict entirely from his life so when he proposes to Laurelyn that they should have 3 months of no strings attached sex, Laurelyn is a bit surprised by it all.
Before she agrees to the outrageous deal, she wants to get to know Jack a little more. While the premise of the book isn’t exactly stellar on its own, the interplay between characters is what makes this book work.
I don’t think the blurb does the book justice. Nor does the prologue that is on the author’s website, so I’ll share a short excerpt from a scene that I thought would hopefully show how great this book is:
“Are you wondering how I knew it was you?” I could hear the amusement in her voice.
“Could it possibly be because I’m the person who sent you the phone and I’m the only person with the number? Or because my name came up on the caller ID?”
She laughs. “None of the above.”
“No, huh?” Though I’d been in a hurry before leaving this morning, I had taken the time to program a personalized ringtone. “Maybe it was the ‘Talk Dirty to Me’ ringtone.”
“That’s the more likely reason.”
“Liked that, did you?”
“Very much so. You deserve extra points for that.”
So, she’s keeping score? “I was unaware of the extra point system. What does a personalized ringtone earn me, Miss Beckett?”
“I haven’t chosen a reward system yet, but I’ll let you know once I decide.”
She has another decision I am way more interested in than a points-and-reward system. “Please do. I might want to work harder on earning extra points if the reward is worth the work.”
“My prize is always worth the effort, Mr. Henry.”
Laurelyn has this playfulness to her that surprises Jack. He finds it refreshing from the other twelve women he has been within the last four years. So it was nice to see that interaction as Cates built upon the romance page by page. As I saw how wonderful they were together, I found myself hoping that Laurelyn took Jack up on his offer.
The book ends with a cliffhanger that makes me want the next book desperately. I need to know what happened to them and if this relationship will actually work. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m expecting great things for the next book in the series, BEAUTY FROM SURRENDER. I’m very glad I found this new author to read!
Fans of Day’s Crossfire series would enjoy this book.