Friday, April 7, 2023

Book Review - Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin


Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin is about a chance encounter uniting two people from different walks of life. 

Liliana Vela refuses to think of herself as a victim. She is a fighter and survivor. She will not let the past dictate how she lives her life.  Liliana witnessed her family being brutally murdered in her impoverished Mexican village before being kidnapped by the human traffickers. She was able to escape before the men made the exchange with her buyer.  Liliana is determined to take back her life after escaping from the men who held her hostage.  However, she realized that she has no connections or anyone to help her in America.  She feels she is all alone.

Meric Toledan decided to stop for water at a service station when he noticed Liliana needing help from some men that are following her.  He decided to help rescue her from these men, who he realizes are traffickers. When he realized that she had no one to rely on for help in a new country, he decided to marry her to keep her safe from the traffickers. The mysterious buyer refuses to let his prize be stolen away by someone else. Will Liliana be able to live her life free from the buyer in the end?

The book was an absolute borefest with almost no thrills or action. Liliana and Meric were one dimensional and dull. The two main characters always seemed to say the perfect thing to each other and they could do no wrong. The story got repetitive and moved slowly, with nothing happening plot wise. The author used the word “cold” to describe Meric’s personality in almost every other sentence.  I also found it weird that Meric is described as a cold, withdrawn, and prudent person, but then marries and wills all of his assets to someone who is practically a stranger to him. 

I felt that the plot and twists were unrealistic. It is mentioned that Meric isn’t a “people” person even with the people that work for him or are “close” to him. But Meric goes out of his way for Liliana, whom he just met but he simply found her too beautiful. Multiple times during the novel, it’s mentioned that Meric can’t be near her because her beauty is so overwhelming to him and he is afraid he can’t control himself. It all seems so shallow. I felt that if Liliana wasn’t beautiful he wouldn’t be willing to give her his entire fortune and help her with her predicament. The author’s description of Liliana’s beauty and Meric’s cold personality was repeated constantly to the point that  it got annoying. I felt that the author should have used that time and space to add more to the story’s plot.

The ending seemed far fetched and everything was neatly tied up in a bow. I felt that the ending didn't seem plausible. It left me with more questions about the validity of Meric’s familial connections. There were a lot of side stories that didn’t add value to the main storyline.  Liliana met a group of elderly residents and they seemed to be having fun and they even had an outing together. However, after an incident that wasn’t directly related to them, they were written out of the story with no additional mention of them. It made me wonder what the point was of including these characters for a few chapters. The book felt lackluster because the characters were bland, the story was long winded, and the plot didn’t feel feasible.

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