When I spotted “Beautiful Sinner” on my Kindle I immediately jumped into reading the book. I really enjoyed the previous book in the series, Devil’s Rock, “Beautiful Lawman.” It was my first book by Sophie Jordan and I could not put it down. Although these are only books four and five, I did not feel lost in the storyline and could immediately pick up any events that shaped the characters in the previous books. When I read about Cruz I was immediately interested. Although the previous story was about Piper, his sister, I was intrigued by “badboy” Cruz and his time in prison! I couldn’t wait to read about him.
Cruz was sent to prison for murdering a woman who happens to be the cousin of the heroine, Gabriella. Gabby, or “Flappy Gabby” as she was called in high school always had a crush on Cruz. They didn’t interact in high school even though they had classes together. Gabby was terrorized by a bully and was often on the receiving end of the mean girls in high school and their taunts. Gabby leaves behind her home town and starts a new life as a reporter. When her grandma becomes ill she returns home to take care of her. But Gabby holds many of the same scars from her high school years and is determined not to set up roots. While attending a high school graduation for her niece she bumps into Cruz. Cruz is freed from prison and exonerated for the crime he never committed. But much like Gabby he still carries the wounds from his past with him. Although innocent many of the towns people still see him as guilty and an outsider.
I was really torn with this story. There were parts I enjoyed and parts that I felt impatient with. I was so eager for Gabby and Cruz story that my expectations fell a little short. I liked both the hero and heroine but felt that their chemistry lacked. Gabby has since learned to embrace her curves but carries many of her insecurities with her. She lets the people in her life bully her. Everyone from her boss at the coffee show where she works temporarily, to her sister, to her boss back at the Texas newspaper where she worked. I liked Cruz also but I felt there was a connection missing with him. He made a good life for himself after prison but he was very closed off. Once he realizes that him and Gabby share a connection from high school he is determined to give into his feelings for her until he gets scared and backs off. I was really looking forward to the story between these two but many times their troubles seemed overly dramatic the people overly immature and the chemistry a bit flat. I’m sure fans of Sophie Jordan will enjoy reading this installment in the series and if there are more books left, I will read them. But for now, Gabby and Cruz were just ok for me.
**ARC provided by Publisher**