The Beau & The Belle by R.S. Grey

the beau and the bellegoodreads-synopsis

Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.

I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.

That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.

A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.

Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.

Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.

My old friend, Mr. Fortier.

But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.

When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.

Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.

commentary

This book review is LONG overdue. The first R.S. Grey novel I read was Chasing Spring, and even to this day, I still gush about it. SO, I have been following the author on her social media, and I am a huge fan of her covers for adult books. Now, I was in the mood to read a R.S. Grey book, especially her adult books…now how bad could it possibly be?? Those were my initial thoughts, but, boy did I cringed throughout my reading experience!

Maybe I am not the best person to turn to when recommending Adult books…I felt this book was uncomfortable for me. I wanted to go back to my YA books, and not touch a New Adult book.

So, what had happen was that this book included a very questionable relationship between Beau and Lauren. In the first part of the book, Lauren is a teenager that actively lusts for Beau. I had no problems with it. I have to admit that the author wrote Lauren as convincingly human as she could be. Lauren was realistic, and she developed a crush on a much older guy…now my main issue was the behavior of Beau towards Lauren in the first part…He was aware of the very QUESTIONABLE relationship they could have gotten into in the first portion of the book. YET, he felt the same for her…I felt gross…

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Lauren was the worst protagonist as well. She would get mad at Beau for not trying to flirt with her, or be her boyfriend. She wanted a relationship with him, though he kept repeating to her that she was UNDERAGE! This book has no need for the REVENGE element. The protagonist was so stupid…I can’t even. Lauren was so infuriating…and out of all the least liked characters on my list, she is now officially NUMBER ONE.

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Other than that, this was supposed to be a romantic comedy, and yet I found myself neither laughing nor amused. Maybe this wasn’t the book for me. I wasn’t satisfied with either character. Lauren as an adult acted as if she had never gotten away from her cringing teen phase. I wanted Lauren to be a changed person, especially when Beau reappeared into her life. I wanted Lauren to be strong…but I guess I had too many expectations going into this book. May I consider another Adult book from R.S. Grey…maybe….I guess I can try for next year or in the next five years. I was in the mood for something romantic…and yet I found myself hating every bit of this book. I’m disappointed, but this was not marketed for my demographic.

Final Rating: ⭐ (1.5)

Chasing Spring by R.S. Grey

Think about it. Does the ending even matter? Shouldn’t the middle be the happy part? It’s the biggest chunk of our life, and yet no one ever asks if two people had a happy middle. They care too much about the ending.

Goodreads Synopsis: I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.

I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved.

To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.

I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved

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Commentary: I liked the book way more than I thought I would! It really exceeded my expectations! I kept seeing this book being hyped on bookstagram, well the people I follow were hyping it up. I decided to check it out for myself.  I really liked the author’s writing style; it made me want to check out her other books for future reads.

Anyways, Chasing Spring is about Lilah and Chase, they used to be best friends but tragedy separated them. When Lilah returns back to her hometown, she has changed completely in her looks and attitude. She has a tough exterior, but deep down she is broken inside.

That’s when I finally realized I didn’t really fit in anywhere at my high school, not with the stoners, and not with the popular kids. My hiatus in Austin has succeeded in separating me from everyone. I was a complete loner.

Since she lives in a small town, just about everyone knows her family secret. Chase has always loved Lilah, and when he learns that she has returned, he knows that underneath it all, she is the same Lilah as always.

I really liked Chasing Spring; it wasn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t have high expectations for this book, but it had me hooked. This book is told in two povs, and I enjoyed reading about both characters. I liked Lilah and Chase equally, though I did feel that Lilah was a bit more developed. The characters felt really realistic to me. Chase is the typical boy next door. He is charming, kind, and very patient. He was very swoon worthy for me. He is definitely going on my list for book boyfriends. He never gives up on Lilah, he knows that he can fix her while everyone else sees a “broken” girl.

I had known Lilah would be a challenge, but she was proving to be more complex than any of my old cameras.

When Chase moves into Lilah’s house, Lilah forces herself to avoid him at all costs. She loves Chase as well, but she has insecurities.

Chase was supposed to marry a prom queen, take over the Blackwater Ford dealership, and run for city government. Me? I was supposed to turn into my mother.

Though Lilah may be tough and angsty on the outside, she is just trying to do her best. The town judges her by her appearance, but no one pays attention that she is very studious and kind. I really like how Lilah changed throughout the book. When she is first introduced, she is a rebel and constantly hides her feelings. She pushes people away especially Chase. Slowly, she lets Chase come back into her life.

I loved Chase. I loved him and no one could see how beautifully pure the feeling was. They were too consumed by the juxtaposition of what “was” and what “should be”.

There isn’t a love triangle in this book, just a lot of misunderstanding between the protagonists. After learning the dark history of Lilah’s past, it did make me cry a bit. I really liked that Lilah finally had her closure with her past. This book was sad, but it had fun moments as well. I really enjoyed all the twilight references, it made me laugh. I was rooting for Chase and Lilah’s happiness the whole time, and the ending was really cute. I enjoyed every moment of it. Overall, I loved this book. I did have a bit of minor issues with it, but it was a really good romance book especially for this month.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5)