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5 Books like Beautiful Disaster: Slightly Less than Grey

Mandy Baldwin itcherJamie McGuire’s 2012 novel introduces male protagonist Travis, who might be Abby’s dream or her worst nightmare. If you’re looking for an alternative to the sting of the lash and the nip of clamps, this is the book for you. Books like ‘Beautiful Disaster’, ‘Thoughtless’ or ‘Bully’ add a touch of class to the brutal business of being naughty but nice. ~ Mandy Baldwin

Dangerously Delightful

Abby is a good girl who works hard and hopes that going to college will put her sad past behind her. But then she meets Travis, a tattooed bad-boy with a reputation for things Abby has hardly even dreamt of.

As Abby seems immune to Travis, he poses a bet that will cost each of them a month of their lives: if he can stay celibate for thirty days, she will live with him in his apartment for the same length of time.

It’s a game of cat-and-mouse as each is determined to have their own way.

The novel portrays flawed and manipulatve characters but both are consenting adults so the reader can enjoy the ride as their relationship begins to show signs of real beauty, only to crash and burn on the rocks of their personal weaknesses.

***

Books Similar to ‘Beautiful Disaster’…

‘Thoughtless’ (S C Stephens, 2012)

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Kiera and Denny have been a happy couple for two years and are building a life together in a new city.  But when events force the couple to spend time apart, the cracks begin to show.

Kiera is unable to stay alone and begins to lean too heavily on a local rock star. At first, he’s just a friend – but one night, she faces an emotional crisis and suddenly she is in too deep, risking everything she thought was most precious.

This is no fairy-tale romance, but it is cleverly told so as not to be judgemental and all the choices Kiera makes are shown to be her only options at the time.

Flawed but un-put-downable.

Similarity Match: 85%
There is emotional manipulation here but with three people involved, it’s crowded and hard to see who is manipulating who.

***
‘Wait for You’ (J Lynn, 2012)

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College is Avery’s big escape from her problems, taking her a long way from home and putting the memory of trauma behind her. She meets Cameron, who seems too good and gorgeous to be true, but the attraction between them is instant and mutual.

Just as Avery thinks everything is going well, the threatening emails and calls begin. Someone she never wanted to see again has tracked her down. She is terrified as she realises she may never be able to escape, thus putting her relationship with Cameron on the line: if she tells him who and what she is afraid of, will she lose him?

The revelations of Avery’s past are truly shocking, and the outcome is unexpected.

Similarity Match: 80%
New freedom at college and a life left behind, but this is numerously layered below the playful surface.

***
‘Fallen’ (Abbi Glines, 2013)

Image Source: syah

When her mother dies, Blaire has to leave the farm she grew up on, and is suddenly thrown into a more glamorous life with her father and his new wife. There comes an added complication when she falls for her step-brother, Rush. 

Rush is a spoilt brat: brought up with unlimited money, parents that grant his every wish, and gifted with good looks and easy charm. He is a magnet to a girl like Blaire who has no idea of how to deal with her mixed feelings for him.

Similarity Match: 75%
A dangerous attraction to a bad boy, but Blaire has survived too much to be taken in by any amount of manipulation.

***

If You Like ‘Beautiful Disaster’, You Will Like…

A book like ‘Beautiful Disaster’ shows adults playing at manipulation, but what happens when teasing turns to bullying and it’s no longer a game?

These recommendations take away the mask to show the intimidation behind the charm.

‘Corrupt’ (Penelope Douglas, 2015)

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He is her obsession and her worst nightmare. He is terrifying, intimidating, and somehow always there. He makes her afraid on so many levels and she can’t do anything about it because he is her boyfriend’s brother.

He knows she can’t defend herself and he is going to make the most of his power: to frighten her, manipulate her, and if he can get away with it, hurt her.

And how much more does he dream of doing?

Years ago, he put his friends in prison and now they’re gone and he is alone. It’s the time for revenge – a glimpse into the mind of a psychopath who is the local golden boy.

If you are looking for the playful side of danger, ‘Corrupt’ is not what you are looking for.

Slowly reveals a complex plot, with real depth in each character and a believable back story.

***
‘Bully’ (Penelope Douglas, 2014)

Image Source: images-amazon

Tate made the mistake of falling out with her best friend and now he has turned into a bully who seems determined to ruin her life. She has spent years trying to stay away of his way, even moving abroad to avoid him.

Now, she has decided she is going to face him down and not be intimidated any more. As the plot develops, he begins to feel ashamed of his campaign to make her miserable.

As Tate feels remorse, she finds that her dread steadily turns into love.

An entertaining read, but it seems incredible that years of victimisation and hounding could be forgotten simply because someone seems to have a change of heart.

Fast paced but it’s hard to believe in the sudden sexual chemistry.

***

Not All Sweetness and Light

Relationships which make the grade are nicer but dysfunctional adventures make for better reading.

Do you think variety spices up life?

Please leave your comments below.

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