July 4, 2013

Braine Reviews: The Nature of Cruelty by L.H. Cosway + Giveaway

Series: Stand-Alone
Format: Mobi
Release Date: June 28, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary - New Adult
Cruelty is a cycle. Once inflicted, it spreads.

Her name is Lana. She wasn’t dealt the easiest cards in life. She wasn’t dealt the hardest. She has an illness, but she doesn’t let it rule her. The first time she laid eyes on her best friend’s twin brother, she fell in love at first sight. It didn’t last very long. He was a hateful boy who made her miserable. The happiest day of her life was when he moved away to London six years ago.

His name is Robert. He breaks the ones who love him. He’s always liked to play games with Lana, see how far he could push her. He once thrived on her pain, but no more. Now she’s coming to London to live with his sister for the summer and this time he plans on being her friend instead of her tormentor. But Lana is scarred by his past bullying. She doesn’t trust him, nor does she have any reason to.

When the two find themselves living under the same roof, they call a truce. This summer will change both of their lives, as they put their history aside and learn one another from scratch.

When fear takes over, we use cruelty as a mask. Robert and Lana’s story will see their masks slip away as the love they felt on the inside shows its true face.

L.H. Cosway's latest novel, THE NATURE OF CRUELTY is essentially a story of love evolution. Per the blurb, Lana Sweeny and Robert Phillips' paths crossed when both were in their teens. Robert's parents just split and their mom moved them to Ireland where Lana and her family lived next door. Lana and Sasha, Robert's twin, became fast friends while Robert chose to be Lana's biggest bully, terrorizing Lana throughout the years, causing her much embarrassment and heartache. Their cat and mouse cycle ended when
Lana came out to London to stay with Sasha for the summer. As the two besties reconnect, Lana's relationship with Robert also evolved. The former have grown accustomed to Robert's horrendous ways and the latter finally mustered the maturity to admit his true feelings for Lana.

Let me start with Robert Phillips. When the novel opens, we instantly get a taste of what Lana endured throughout the years. The dude is a bully, spiteful, immature, cocky and irresistible. It's so easy to hate the guy but despite his crude attitude, one could easily see that he's a tender caveman. The type who's so emotionally awkward he thinks thwacking his woman in the head is an expression of love. Cosway, however, gave Robert instant redemption. Interspersed in the chapters is Robert's story and how he struggled with being in love with Lana all this time. It still doesn't justify how awful he was to her but to have that knowledge in the back of my head made the before-and-after contrast more striking and rich.

Lana Sweeney is your brainy, virginal, girl-next-door. She's sweet, kind to a fault and has loved Robert unconditionally despite his caveman tendencies. Lana is a nice girl through and through and come to think of it, her only character flaw is how extremely nice she is. She can be a little quirky with her love for vintage fashion and ancient Greek literature but aside from being a Type 1 diabetic, Lana is pretty normal. Her patience towards Robert's antics is what makes her exceptional. 

There is a short list of secondary characters with Robert's obnoxious dad, Alan, as the main anti-hero and Robert's bulimic, ex-girlfriend Kara the distraction. The conflicts Robert had with them are predictable and aside from snide remarks towards Lana, nothing major really happened in these scenes. No forbidden love. No dramatic confrontations with the current and ex-girlfriend. The main conflict lie on Robert's spitefulness and principles and how his attitude bled into their relationship.  The secondary conflict, and IMO is far more interesting, is Sasha's and her sexuality. Coming out to her parents, family and Lana must be terrifying and exciting for her after hiding it for most of her life. I'm a little disappointed that this novel is a stand-alone because Sasha's character is very interesting  and I wish L.H. Cosway can be persuaded to write a novel about her.

All in all, THE NATURE OF CRUELTY is a pleasing story. I like the simple plot and complex emotions displayed by Lana and Robert though I feel like the story is more Robert's than Lana's as the former's character development is the soul of the novel and his POV is what drew me the most. The characters are easy to identify with and the dialogue is witty and honest. You won't find tortured souls and aside from Robert's bullying, there's no soul-shattering stories of abuse and the like and nobody died or is dying. Simply put, THE NATURE OF CRUELTY is a story about love and though unintentional, how we are most cruel to the ones we love the most.

NOTE: Meme taken from L.H. Cosway's Facebook page.
Purchase The Nature of Cruelty 

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books

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  1. Saw this on Goodreads...I'm not a big fan of the sweet and innocent heroine but Robert sounds interesting!

  2. Brandi - yes they are, their romantic journey is very relatable.

    Amir - LOL Why am I not surprised?! Robert is such a lovable asshole.

  3. I love her works. Every time, she manages to surprise me.
    Robert was a delightful jerk!


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