Cover image for Beautiful sinner
Title:
Beautiful sinner
ISBN:
9780062666598
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]

©2018
Physical Description:
355 pages ; 17 cm.
Summary:
When she is trapped in a supply closet with Cruz Walsh, who was imprisoned for years for a crime he did not commit, reporter Gabriella seizes the opportunity to interview him, and he reveals that he has loved her since high school.
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Paperback Romance Jorda
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Summary

Summary

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella's only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who's even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella's desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as "Flabby Gabby." Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn't count on is Cruz taking "up-close and personal" to a whole new level.

If there's a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it's that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family--and his true friends--more than ever. So he's back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They've both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he's learned? Don't let a good thing slip away.


Author Notes

Sophie Jordan received a degree in English and history. She attended law school for a brief time, but decide to turn to teaching. She taught high school English for several years before resigning to start a family and a writing career. She writes romance books including Once upon a Wedding Night and Too Wicked to Tame and young adult books including Firelight. She also writes contemporary paranormals under the pen name Sharie Kohler.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

First crushes get a second chance in Jordan's explosively sexy second Devil's Rock contemporary western romance (after Beautiful Lawman). Reporter Gabriella "Gabby" Rossi returned to Sweet Hill, Tex., to help her grandmother; as soon as her work is done, she's heading back to Austin. Not even Cruz Walsh, the high school hottie she could never forget, is going to change her mind. Gabby's no doormat, but she still struggles with self-esteem issues stemming from high school bullying, while Cruz tries to rebuild his life after serving time for a crime he didn't commit. Gabby's boss insists she get the scoop on Cruz's story, despite his refusal to be interviewed. Gabby wants to further her career, but not at the expense of Cruz's happiness. Jordan is brilliant at creating vivid descriptions and using flashbacks to connect the lovers. Old wounds reopen, jealousy reigns, and skeletons burst from the closets, while the foreplay is hotter than Texas summers. Cruz and Gabby are tremendously likable, together and separately, and their unknowingly mutual crush and deep emotional bond will place this masterpiece at the top of any romance reader's list. Agent: Maura E. Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Assoc. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


New York Review of Books Review

ROMANCE IS BOTH loved and derided for its formulaic nature. It is comfort, escapism and reassurance in a troubling world. It is generic in the truest sense, a genre defined and constrained by a handful of conventions. The heart of every romance is a love story, and by the last page of the book the lovers wind up together, happily ever after or at least "happily for now." (Less codified but no less crucial is that no children or pets are harmed. This is a place for happy endings, after all.) These rules give rise to a rich variety of stories, but they are constraints nonetheless. Here are four recent books that either test the boundaries or occupy the essential core of what a romance novel is. A romance is more than a book with a love story, it's a book about a love story, and J.R. Ward's CONSUMED (Gallery Books, $26.99) edges right up to the wrong side of that line. But in the end, the love story is still the center of things, and what surrounds it is a complex world, a context that defines the central couple as much as their love does. The book opens with the firefighters Danny Maguire and Anne Ashburn battling a blaze in an abandoned warehouse. They have a longstanding flirtation and recently slept together for the first time; here, the usual fodder for the first half of a romance is relegated to back story. But there's still so much to cover. Their mission goes wrong, leaving Danny traumatized and Anne unable to be a firefighter anymore. (A disappointing turn for readers excited for a firefighter romance that involves an actual female firefighter.) Ten months later, Anne is working as an arson investigator, and Danny's making a right mess of his life, chasing a death wish on the job and off. After some particularly unsound decision making, one of Danny's crew mates asks Anne to check in on him, which forces the two to grapple with their unsettled past - and, of course, their intense attraction. At the same time, Anne's digging into an arson case with some dangerous, powerful people behind it. That case, Danny's friends, Anne's family and the maneuverings of local politics all weave through the rest of the story. (Less thoughtfully integrated are Ward's peculiar political asides: A hospital nurse is derided as a microaggression-sensitive millennial despite the fact that Anne is surely a millennial herself, and some loafer-wearing bros display their knavery by telling a Latina waitress they're going to report her to ICE. It's equal-opportunity mockery, but pointless and distracting.) But Anne and Danny's developing relationship is still central, even if it doesn't dominate. Most impressive, while Anne sees and understands Danny's trauma, she doesn't magically cure him of it. Nothing is easy or simple in this love story, but it is realistically complex - even amid the TV-drama levels of intrigue swirling around it. The question of whether love can or should heal trauma also crops up in Brenna Aubrey's HIGH RISK (Silver Griffon, paper, $14.99), in which a former NASA astronaut falls in love with the psychologist of the SpaceX-style commercial spaceflight operation he's the poster boy for. But there's a more pressing issue here: This book ends with a cliffhanger. The main characters are thoroughly in love by the end of the book, though they haven't told each other yet. But on the final page, their story is unresolved. Many romance readers and authors think this clearly violates the requirement for a happy ending. But for others, that edict is clearly not so cut-and-dried, as cliffhanger romances continue to be written and published. Up until its intentionally unsatisfying ending, "High Risk" reads like a pretty wonderful romance, with a cocky astronaut and an endearingly geeky psychologist, with a high-pressure context and complex back stories for both. Commander Ryan Tyler is another post-traumatic hero, drowning himself in vodka and meaningless sex. Gray Barrett is assigned to be his minder in the lead-up to XVenture's first crewed mission, to keep him in line and out of the tabloids. When they start sleeping together, I was a little worried about their professional relationship - this isn't just a workplace romance, but an affair between an astronaut and the mental health professional tasked with ensuring his fitness for flight. As things went on, I became more troubled by the fact that Ryan's recovery depended entirely on his love affair with Gray. I'm not going to diagnose fictional characters with codependency, but in such an otherwise sharp and sensitive novel, I wish I hadn't even had the thought. In Sophie Jordan's BEAUTIFUL SINNER (Avon, paper, $7.99), there is no good reason for Gabriella Rossi and Cruz Walsh to be apart other than the paranoid hand-wringing of their friends and families. When the two were in high school they had huge crushes on each other, though of course neither knew about the other's feelings. Now, years later, Gabriella's moved back to their small hometown to help her grandmother recover from surgery, and Cruz is back, too, having been released from prison after being wrongly convicted of a crime - the murder of Sophie's cousin. Of course, Cruz's affirmed innocence isn't enough for most of Gabriella's family, or their judgmental small town. The two of them face plenty of irrational malevolence from the peripheral characters, including Gabriella's sister and her coffee shop boss. But let them all fade to the sidelines, as Gabriella and Cruz do while they're falling in love. Just keep your eye on the romance, as a hot guy discovers he can be loved for being good, and a good girl discovers she's been hot all along. The story isn't fluffy, but the strife is shallow enough that the end result isn't angsty but sweet and smoldering instead. If you want smoldering and fluffy - fluffy and delightfully filthy, too - then look no farther than Rebekah Weatherspoon's RAFE (Rebekah Weatherspoon Presents, paper, $14.99), subtitled, with endearing directness, "A BuffMale Nanny." Rafe, both the book and the character, are wish-fulfillment at their finest. The heart surgeon and single mother Dr. Sloan Copeland has just had her babysitter quit without notice. Enter Rafe Whitcomb, buffmale nanny indeed, a bearded ginger covered in tattoos whose previous clients have just moved to Australia. Rafe is, like many other romance heroes, very tall and built like a Greek god. He is also, as sadly few romance heroes are, an exceptionally good person from Page 1. Rafe is as comfortable whipping up four dozen snickerdoodles for the school bake sale as he is working on his motorcycle. Even more important, he's amazing with Sloan's daughters, 6-year-old twins; thanks to his experience taking care of his younger half sisters, he even knows how to wash and braid the biracial girls' hair. Sloan and Rafe's love story is as much a fantasy as the man himself: They confess their attraction right offthe bat, and proceed with lots of open communication and little regard for the fact that Sloan is Rafe's employer. But that doesn't mean things don't feel real. Sloan and Rafe come together with candor, awkwardness and humor, and their friends and family are all vivid characters. Sloan's ex-husband is the one villain, but while he's a bit caricaturish, Sloan's reactions to his malice are painfully real. And their daughters are brilliantly written, precocious kindergartners who feel like actual children, funny and honest and two distinct people despite being children and twins. I actually missed them when the book was over, but luckily "Rafe" is a breeze and a delight, a perfect book to read over and over again. JAIME GREEN, the Book Review's romance columnist, is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in Buzzfeed, Popular Science, The Cut and Unbound Worlds.