Book Review – Beneath Your Beautiful by Tamsyn Bester

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On the outside, Huntley Morgan is your typical girl-next-door, with her long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, and that’s exactly what she wants people to see. Her name exposes her to the demons of her past but remembering her reason for moving across the country to start over is what keeps her alive. For the first time since the brutal murder of her mother, Huntley allows herself to care about the people around her.
Grayson Carter has everything a 21yr old College Senior could wish for – he’s the star of Whitley University’s football team, he has a different girl willing to be in his bed every night and a supportive family. For years he has managed keep his family together and hide their dark secrets from the small town of Breckinridge, Alabama.
When Huntley and Grayson meet, a force so strong pulls them together in a hurricane of feelings neither of them could have ever anticipated. Huntley and Grayson try to stay away from each other, but when Huntley’s demons seek her out, their pasts become the biggest storm of all.
Will they learn to trust each other and build a new future together or will they simply do nothing to prevent history from repeating itself?



5 Star Review

I fell in love with this story from the very beginning. There was something about Huntley and Grayson that just pulled at my heart and was screaming at me to listen. To listen to their stories, their lives, their pasts, their wants and desires, their fears, everything. I was entranced from the very beginning and by the end of the story I was fulfilled with the craving I was having for Huntley and Grayson.

Everyone has a past, some are worse than others and some take longer to overcome – in this story it wasn’t any different. Huntley had been badly broken by an ex-boyfriend who took her heart and broke it into a million pieces. After giving everything to him and trusting that he would take care of her heart he betrayed her and broke it and Huntley has never fully recovered. She needed saving but in the end she really needed to save herself. Meet Grayson did something to her, no he didn’t save her, but I think he gave her exactly what she needed in order for her to save herself and that is what makes this story beautiful.

Grayson holds a guilt that nobody should have to carry around with him – he really just needed to set himself free; free from the guilt he holds, free from his past. After going through hell and back he decides that loving someone isn’t worth it. Letting someone into your heart and giving them to much of yourself will only end up hurting you in the end because in his world everyone leaves. One day his world changed, he knew Huntley deserved far better than him because there was just something about her that pulled him in. He needed saving and overtime he knew that she was the one person who could free him of his past and help him love again. No, I don’t feel like Huntley saved Grayson I just feel like the things she freely gave to him helped him open his eyes and in the end with her help he ended up saving himself.

“You do right by my girl,” he says.  “Because if you hurt her, she won’t survive you.”

Tamsyn told us such a wonderful story that had everything in it. The butterflies slowly came and started flying in my stomach…..


Huntley had her feisty snarky, don’t piss me off moments and I loved that about her.  She didn’t take shit from anyone especially Grayson – she would tell him like it was whether he liked it or not and that made me so happy.  She was finally able to look at her past and decide that she wasn’t going to be a doormat that she would speak her mind and let people know how she felt.

“Let’s see.  First you tell me we have to stay away from each other, then you kiss me at my uncles’ house after dinner, then I walk into the cafeteria to see you sucking face with Rebecca, then you….then you….rub your hot body all over me in the locker room and let me touch you, then you spend the night holding me after my nightmare and then you leave after staying with me at the hospital in my bed!  I heard you were a love em’ and leave em’ kind of guy but I didn’t want to believe it!  Until I experienced it for myself!  And to be honest, I feel completely jilted because I didn’t even get to fuck you before you left me!”

And then she finally gave us this….

Which in turn caused me to do a little of this….

Everything was perfect between Huntley and Grayson they were finally opening up to each other on a deeper level and trying to heal their open wounds from their past. But the funny thing about your past is that sometimes it has a way of catching up to you or coming back to smack you in the face when you least expects it which left me feeling…

When pasts become the present doubts and fears are placed within the their minds and whether or not they are made for each other.  Assumptions are made and feelings are hurt.  It’s hard to fully trust someone when everyone you loved in your past has broken that trust.  Huntley and Grayson are no different.  Are they strong enough to work through it?

“You are so determined to hide your broken soul that you don’t see how beautiful those pieces make you.  You have completely disarmed me, Huntley.  You have left my heart and soul naked and all I want is for you to see that I am in love with every goddamn broken piece of you.  I don’t want anyone else.”

After everything they had been through and after fighting off the emotions they felt for one another and finally give into those feelings to have the demons of the past come and threaten to take that away from them had left feeling….

Oh and then there were moments Tamsyn had me…..

My heart was breaking for both Huntley and Grayson because you could see so easily how much they loved each other and wanted to be in each other lives.  Are they strong enough to overcome their own pasts and heal their hearts in order to give them to each other.  Do their feelings for each other run deep enough that they will help each other along the way and carry each other when needed?

“Because nothing can make me run from you.  We all have a past, some darker than others, but being broken doesn’t mean you can’t be loved.  It just means there are more pieces of you for me to love.”

It was extremely beautiful watching this couple grow together and open up about their pasts and find a way to overcome their past. For a debut novel I have to say that I don’t think Tamsyn could have done any better. She gave us love, honesty, raw emotion, fear, betrayal, sadness, kindness, anger, and showed us that no matter what your past it – it doesn’t have to define you. You can choose to overcome your past and decide you future or you can choose to let your past devour you and never learn to let go. She gave us strong characters that I easily fell in love with and I am very excited to see where time and experience will take her in her future stories. I can honestly say I can only see them improving from her. Outstanding job Tamsyn!