Twelve years ago, it looked like Del Prescott had it all. The wealthy family, the car, the looks and charm, and the perfect boyfriend. Then, mysteriously, she disappeared to “study abroad.” Now she’s back, and it’s not merely to attend a high school reunion. She’s here to face her demons—and Blake, the man she has never stopped loving.
Blake Mitchell is a changed man, thanks to surviving twelve long years of difficulties that began after Del dropped out of his life. Now she’s back, and she’s nothing like the polished, stylish world traveler he imagined she’d be. There’s a darkness about her, and a grim expression in her eyes that says she’s prepared for fight or flight.
Blake’s concern for her breaks down the walls Del has built around her heart and she finally begins to heal from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her own family. But the betrayal goes deeper than either of them ever imagined—and it’s about to come back to haunt them.
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As you know, I don't do summaries because generally when I do or when I read reviews of the same nature, I find too much of the plot is given away. And besides, Shiloh did a fabulous job with the blurb. It is a perfect summary of the book.
My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book. In my opinion, this is one of the best books Ms. Walker has ever written... ranking right up there with Her Best Friend's Lover and His Christmas Cara which are my two favorite Shiloh Walker books evah.
Del is a strong heroine who has overcome so much and is still working her way back to normality. She comes home, though she doesn't want to, but after running into her cousin Vance, he passes her address on to Del's best friend from high school, Manda, who basically forces her back to Prescott, Tennessee. So, Del decides to face the past, deal with it once and for all, and hopefully move past it. She just didn't count on it being able to, after 12 years, bring her to her knees.
After 12 years away, Blake still pines for Del, not really knowing the depth of that emotion until he sees her. But the Del he once knew is no more. This is a harder Del, a cautious Del, and the fear he sees in her eyes makes him want to pound something or someone into the ground. Oh how I love him. He is a sigh-worthy hero, one that touched me and had me falling in love with him from the first moment of introduction. By no means has his life been easy since Del has been gone. Oh, no. He's had his own issues to deal with, but now, she's back, and he wants her to stay... with him. He makes no qualms about his feelings for her, no excuses. He's a man who admits to his feelings and doesn't pussy-foot around, hemming and hawing, and that to me makes him a unique hero as of late. When he finds out what happened in Del's past, he really wants to kick someone's ass, and who could blame him? But instead of doing that, he's there for Del, supporting her, helping her work through her issues, and giving her the one thing she needs: Love.
Beautiful Girl is Shiloh Walker at her best. The characters in the story come alive from the first page, and the emotions... This book is packed with emotional intensity that is so vivid, so real you can't help but want to protect Del and hug her, and fall in love with the amazing man that is Blake. God, what Del has had to deal with. The intensity of it broke my heart. I'm not ashamed to tell you I cried for her and with her. I also, like Blake, wanted to beat the hell out of someone, and also hug her and protect her from the horror that has haunted her since she was 16. I felt Del's pain, her fear, her torment. I felt Blake's anger, rage, and love.
I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for more than a superficial read, for someone who is looking for a story with substance, grit, and emotion. I recommend Beautiful Girl anyone and everyone. This story IS. THAT. GOOD. So good, in fact, that I must site a few examples (I asked permission first), just a few sentences or paragraphs that will give you a taste of how beautifully written this story really is.
Blake seeing Del for the first time.
She looked like she was dressed to fight, Blake realized. Well, maybe not fight. She didn’t look like she was out cruising for trouble, but she sure as hell looked ready to deal with it if it happened her way. This dark haired woman carried herself with a tense, wary grace, ready to defend herself or take off running. Like she’d had to do both in the past, and she was prepared to do either or both again.
The bell over the door chimed and Vance held the door open. The woman stepped through and Blake almost turned away. That wasn’t Deedee. But then her eyes met his and his heart stopped.
Those pretty, misty green eyes were unmistakable. He had dreamed about those eyes more times than he cared to remember. But her gaze wasn’t so soft now—hell, with the exception of the breasts straining under the thin cotton of her shirt, nothing about her looked soft.
She wasn’t just dressed to fight. She was prepared to fight.
She glanced at Blake. Sadness filled her. He was watching her with that same, intent stare she remembered from high school. Like she was the only person in the room. And it still had the weird affect of making her heart dance in her chest. If she wasn’t so screwed up inside… She cut off the what if thoughts before they could fully form.And one last one... here's what I mean about Blake and his emotion.
What ifs were fairy tales and Del was damaged goods. She wasn’t so messed up that she couldn’t realize it was the victim inside her talking. She did all the things she knew she was supposed to. She had a small, select group of friends she could talk to and there was even a support group she hit when things got too rough. The other stuff, she dealt with, attending her meetings faithfully and she was determined she wouldn’t ever slide down the dark road she’d walked for so long.
But she was also realistic enough to know that getting past all her issues was still a long, long time coming. And it may never come.
She reared back with her head and caught him in the nose. Pain flared hot and bright but he didn’t let go.Can't you just feel it? The intensity? God, I love it.
He almost did, when she started to cry. Rage burned inside him, a slow fuse at first, but with every soft, muffled sob, it grew hotter and brighter until it felt like a supernova had settled inside his gut. He wanted to tear something apart with his hands. No. Someone. But he couldn’t do that until he knew who it was he had to kill.
The only thing I would liked to have seen was for Del, just once, to have had the chance to belt Louisa Prescott Sanders. God, just once to give that amoral witch a good fist in her face would have had me clapping aloud.
Go buy the book. You're going to love it!
Read An Excerpt.
Buy It Here.