Release Date: December 16, 2013
Genre: New Adult
If you're looking for a heartwarming story about a girl who falls deeply in love with a troubled boy who changes her life--a sob story with pretty metaphors and a million ways that'll tell you how "broken" she is, STOP. Don't read another word of this.
I'm not that type of girl.
My name is Emerald Anderson and I'm not going to bullshit you: I flunked out of college after my sophomore year, I've been fired from every job I've ever taken, and I've never had a fully functioning relationship in my life.
I wish I could say that I had a cheerleader in my corner, someone who says, "No, Emerald--You're great and you are good at something!" but I don't. My grandparents are completely oblivious to my life, and my mother's dying words to me were "You're going to end up just like me one day. A beautiful nothing."
She was right.
As I decide to start my life over and take two jobs that will forever change me--one from the inside, and one from the outside, I keep my mother's words close to my heart so I can keep the sexy and mysterious Carter Black away.
He's the first man who's ever pursued me, the first man who seems bent on finding out why I am the way I am, but he's wasting his time.
I'm not broken. I don't need to be fixed. I'm perfectly fine being a beautiful failure.
My mother was a whore.
You know it's going to be a bumpy ride when a novel starts off like that. I always get anxious when reading NA novels because it's notorious for churning these gut wrenching stories that aims to make the readers cry followed by intense sex to pacify us. And as I'm a control freak, I don't want my emotions to be manipulated like that... except when I'm in the mood to play submissive and allow these brilliant authors to torture me.
With that in mind, I had my walls up when I started reading Mariah Cole's BEAUTIFUL FAILURE. The synopsis coupled with the cover art is screaming classic new adult so I was bracing myself for heartache or something like that. Well my dear Supies, I got a little sad over Emerald Anderson's story but I was smiling and was feeling light hearted for the most part. I am a big fan of Sarcasm, it's the best way to my cold heart, and Emerald dropped some pretty dry lines that had me laughing, blunting the sharp edges of her story.
Don't make friends. make sponsors. If you can't get anything out of someone or use them for a specific purpose, kick that person out of your life ASAP. - Leah's words of wisdom to Emerald.
Being the daughter of an escort is pretty tough, seeing a parade of men go in and out of your life with a mother who treats her daughter like a buddy than her offspring is sure to mess up anybody. Add suicide into the mix and you have a semi-broken child in your hands. Emerald cracked but didn't break, after her mother's death she moved to Blythe, Alabama with her bible thumping grandparents. Still grieving and feeling very angry, Emerald was on a downward spiral, dropping out of college after a sex tape scandal, going on drunken blurs, getting caught driving under the influence which had her going to mandatory AA meetings and paying an expensive fine. And with her pathetic customer service skills, Emerald finds herself getting fired constantly until her friend suggested she try stripping. But before you make a judgment call, let me share why BEAUTIFUL FAILURE isn't exactly your trainwreck NA novel.
Emerald Anderson dictated the tone of BEAUTIFUL FAILURE and despite her rather tragic backstory, she handled it with much spunk and sense of humor albeit dry. She's pretty, very smart, artistic, stubborn, quick witted, a go getter, loner, independent and definitely not a doormat. She's not the type of heroine who's waiting for Prince Charming to save her on his white steed, Emerald knows she's in the bind and she's doing her best to be her own savior. Until Carter Black went to Starbucks for coffee. [Side note: Emerald had a short gig as a barista and that's where they met]
Carter Black is swoon worthy and I'm majorly crushing on this boy (DIBS!!!)! First of all, Carter is a GENTLEMAN. Not the suit wearing, polished, domineering type, he is a real Southern boy. He'll open doors for you, pay for your dinner, pulls out your chair, stands up when you need to go and everything our Momma told us good a man should be! Carter Black isn't the possessive type, he won't mark you as his, he won't try to own you or pull any sort of power play to get our engines revved up. He'll COURT you with nice thoughtful gifts, take you on romantic dates, cook for you and make slow, deep, passionate love through the night. Need I say more?
Is there a series of tests that I have to pass before I'm deemed worthy of your d!ck?
I was falling in love with Carter vicariously through Emerald and despite their obvious attraction for each other, I love how each of them played hard to get in their own way. Emerald did her best to deflect Carter's advances and Carter didn't take advantage of Emerald's vulnerability when she finally caved. Carter didn't push nor did he just want something physical with Emerald, he took his time in tearing her walls down and it's only after she's emotionally available that Carter took their quasi-relationship to the next level. The only stone left unturned is Carter's backstory. Hopefully we'll know more of him in book 2, which I desperately need right now plus that cliffhanger ending isn't really helping the situation.
Aside from the fantastic MCs, the secondary characters of BEAUTIFUL FAILURE really helped in making the novel emotionally light. I loved Emerald's grandparents, they're Jesus lovers but not in an overbearing way. They're very understanding and supportive of Emerald which she desperately needs in her life right now. Emerald's mother, Leah, is someone I'd love to hate but from Emerald's flashbacks, I sort of understood why she was a crappy mother. Not justifying Leah's actions but it made me see that her heart was in the right place, she just didn't know any better. Her friends, Sarah and Robyn, over at the strip club are girl's girls too! Emerald grew up friendless and these two showed her the perks of having good girlfriends. Even her manager at The Phoenix, Michael, is a great dude. I was expecting a slime ball but the dude's pretty protective of his kittens so there's no shenanigans there.
sometimes the prettiest people do the ugliest things.
BEAUTIFUL FAILURE is an amazing and surprising read. The characters are superb, the situations unforced, the dialogue snappy, the romance is swoon worthy and the plot has a lot of heart in it. It's sappy in a jagged pill kind of way but it (hopefully) won't give you bug eyes from crying. I love the small town feel contrasted with a girl with big dreams. I love that MCole didn't grind Emerald to ashes and had some dude build her back up, I'm all for girl power and I appreciate a heroine who can save herself. I love that we finally meet a hero who isn't a jackass but is a true blue gentleman, we need more good guys to root for. BEAUTIFUL FAILURE is a solid debut, MCole's Beautiful series is far from being a failure, it will leave you with happy and romantic emotions that will linger for some time.
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Mariah Cole is a Starbucks addict (hazelnut shots please!), New Adult author, and an incessant daydreamer. Known for pushing the envelope, she’s an avid reader of indie books and is always looking to chat with readers and authors alike.Link Up with Mariah
Happy holidays! I hope one of you wins :)