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Review: Beautiful Monster – Rick R. Reed

Beautiful Monster - Rick R. Reed

Genre: Horror, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It At Amazon | Publisher

About The Book

Hank Donner-Varian yearns for something beyond his perfect, but routine marriage. Forbidden fantasy beckons until a chance encounter with the enigmatic and devastatingly sexy Abbott Lowery turns curiosity into a dangerous obsession.

Hank’s unaware of the sinister depths beneath Lowery’s facade. When Hank’s flirtation spirals into nightmare, he’s thrust into a world of horror orchestrated by a man who once embodied his deepest desires.

In a heart-pounding race against time, Beautiful Monster immerses readers in a gripping tale of passion, deception, and survival. Can Hank navigate the treacherous maze of obsession and deceit before it’s too late? Or will the irresistible stranger prove to be Hank’s downfall, plunging him into a nightmare from which escape is impossible?

The Review

Hank Varian has everything a man could want. He has a wonderful husband of twenty years in Jonah, ten being officially married. Jonah is a family law attorney, and has taken on an increasing workload of cases with the coming of the pandemic.

Hank hit a bad patch with COVID-19. He lost his job, and the business never recovered. Two years later, and he still hasn’t found another position. He stays home and takes care of the household, which Jonah doesn’t seem to mind. He’s even started to write – three different novels – but hasn’t finished any of them.  

Hank’s been feeling restless. He’s thirty-nine, two years younger than Jonah, and stays in good shape. He gets it into his head that he wants something more than the relationship he has with his husband. Even though he doesn’t want to cheat, the power of this fantasy leads him down a dark road.

Abbott Lowery is a good looking man. Both men and woman admire him. He works in construction at times, and holds a job at Bennie’s bar. He is very much a loner, a bit odd, and just doesn’t like anyone. He has no conscience, and will stop at nothing to destroy someone’s life.

Johan is no dummy. He can tell when there’s something not right with Hank.  He doesn’t want to think bad things about his husband, but he can tell something is wrong..

Hank is now caught in the chaos of his own making.  Should he explain to Abbott that he made a mistake?  Should he tell Jonah the truth?  Should he call the police?  Or is there no way out of this nightmare he’s gotten himself into?  

Rick R. Reed has crafted a dark, psychological thriller in “Beautiful Monster.” The story brings to mind a phrase “be careful what you wish for.”  Abbott was one of those characters that you’d never want to meet. in person. With every horrifying action that Hank faces, he manages the strength to keep going. I cringed every time, and wondered when Hank would give up.

The story also deals with how the police and media prey on innocent people and their misfortunes. Judgements are made without knowing all the facts. People lie, and don’t realize what the repercussions will be and how it may affect others.

I highly recommend “Beautiful Monster,” but be warned, it’s intensely frightening and may have triggers for some. Well done.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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