NOW LIVE ~ Beautiful Revenge by Sienna Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

My name is…was Alena Ivanova.

Five years ago, I made a mistake. A big one. One that cost me the only man I will ever love.

Now in the lonely moors of north England, I live with my cold, cruel husband. My only friend is his daughter from a previous marriage. At least I didn’t starve to death during the bitter Russian winter.

When my husband arranges for a potential investor to stay with us, a mysterious self-made millionaire by the name of Mr. Wolf, imagine my shock when he walks in…

My name is…was Dimitri Volkov.

Until she broke me.

Five years I’ve worked for this moment.

Five years I’ve dreamed of revenge.

Bit by bit, she will watch her charmed life crumble to the ground.

Then when she needs me the most, when she is desperate, scared and alone like I was all those years ago…

I will destroy her.

Although this book is part of a series, it is a standalone novel.

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This book was so near perfection, it had just the right mix of pain, angst, love, and healing.  I have a love/hate relationship with epilogues and this book is the perfect example of why.  I can appreciate it for what it was, but I think it belied the intense emotion of the rest of the book.

There were moments in Beautiful Revenge where the writing was pure perfection.  Where the prose was so beautifully illustrative I had to step back for a minute and just let myself revel in the elegance of those passages.  Those glimpses of genius are why I fell in love with Sienna Blake’s writing in Paper Dolls and why I will keep reading her books in the future.

I was particularly fond of the settings of this book, both the St. Petersburg winter in the past and the foggy moors of northern England, they were so well described I could feel the dark, wet, coldness of them while I was reading.  That made the experience of the bitter, cold revenge Dimitri was serving that much more poignant.

While the backdrop for this story was very dark, and I have no doubt Alena and Dimitri had more darkness in their childhoods than I’d care to think about, the story itself wasn’t as dark as I thought it might be.  While the characters were continually finding new ways to hurt each other, it felt more like they were protecting themselves from repeatedly experiencing the type pain that can only be dealt by the people they most cared for.

Dimitri and Alena both had lovely character arcs in this book.  Dimitri, in particular, grew and changed profoundly with his circumstances, it was lovely to see him come to terms with the things he believed and what had actually happened.  Alena’s arc was entirely different than Dimitri’s.  While she did change in small ways, and for a while the core of who she was suppressed, she mostly remained the same girl who believed in hope beyond all else.  Even when everything around her was shattering, she still found some glimmer of a better future guide her.

There were a few things I wished were touched on more, particularly the trauma that Alena experienced in the beginning of the book and more of Alena and Dimitri’s childhoods, but all in all I was very happy with this book.  I wish I had stopped reading before the epilogue, as I didn’t feel it added to the book but rather detracted from its poignancy.  I’ve never been an epilogue girl, though, as I like my books to have a little ambiguity in the end.

This was a beautiful book.  An elaborate drama based on hasty words, misunderstandings, and rash decisions.  It pulled on the kind of pain we all fear, that of losing the ones we most love.  In that way, it was relatable, which made the extreme circumstances the characters experienced much easier to understand because that type of hurt transcends money. The world constructed was beautiful and dark and I hope the rest of the books in this series follow with the same tone and setting.

Sienna Blake is a storyteller & ink slinger, word spinner of love stories with grit, and alter ego of a USA Today Bestselling Author.

She loves all things that make her heart race — roller coasters, thrillers and rowdy unrestrained sex. She likes to explore the darker side of human nature in her writing.

If she told you who she really was, she’d have to kill you. Because of her passion for crime and forensics, she’d totally get away with your murder.

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