Title: Beautiful Facade
Author: Kathryn S Rose
Published: February 2021
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Rating: 2 stars
Cover: It’s okay
On the day that 16-year-old Winter Starling had her life and dreams shattered by a sexual assault, she meets Kai, a boy from her high school obsessed with music. They develop a deep friendship, which comes to an abrupt end when Kai unexpectedly has to leave. Winter has no idea why he went or any way to contact him.
Ten years pass, and Winter has constructed a new reality for herself. Now living in Melbourne, she has a successful career in advertising and is engaged to Liam King, a star player in Australian Rules Football. Winter has a perfect life.
During a night out, Winter runs into Kai, now the lead singer of ‘The Stonevilles.’ Winter and Kai rekindle their friendship, and to everyone around them, their attraction is evident. With Kai back in her life, Winter’s past threatens to ruin her relationship with Liam and everything she has worked to achieve. But can she risk losing Kai a second time?
Emotional and edgy, Beautiful Facade is about love, loss, healing, self-discovery, and the messy battle between one’s head and one’s heart.
Happy book birthday to Kathryn S Rose’s Beautiful Facade! Thank you Rose and Xpresso Tours for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Pretty much right from the beginning of this story, you learn that 27-year-old Winter has officially faked it until she made it–working through trauma from a sexual assault in high school and somehow convincing her famous Australian footballer fiancé that she thrives in the spotlight, and working up the ranks in her great job. When a friend from her past shows up and brings back memories from high school–the good, the bad, the ugly–Winter’s mask starts cracking and she can’t seem to cover up the holes in her facade quick enough. Does she even want to anymore?
For me, the idea of this story was great, but the execution fell short. Kai is supposed to be this mysterious enigma who vanished in thin air with no explanation, but for me, he was pushy, unstable, and it’s strange how obsessive he is with Winter. The build up to solving the mystery of Kai ended with a quick, lackluster explanation. Actually, the last part of the book just felt like an information dump with very little satisfaction in discovering answers. The idea of Winter living out this beautiful facade wasn’t developed as well as it could have been, and most of the story was taken up by her conflicting feelings for her returned best friend. And the famous, gorgeous footballer? What a one-dimensional jerk.
While I struggled with the execution of the story, I did enjoy Rose’s writing style. It was fun reading a book about characters my age juggling work, relationships, trauma, healing, and somehow managing a social life. I will be interested to see what Rose comes up with next.
Kathryn S Rose is a mum, wife, reader, writer, traveller, and food enthusiast. Writing a book was always on her bucket list, and finally, with Beautiful Facade, it has come into fruition.
Kathryn is interested in the study of human behaviour and obtained a Bachelor of Social Science, with a focus on Community studies and Welfare Work.
Since completing her studies, she has worked in several jobs, which have enhanced her understanding of social issues, human development, relationships, and lifestyle. Some of these insights are reflected in her writing and give her inspiration.
Besides books, Kathryn has many other loves. She enjoys listening to live music, relaxing at the beach, embarking on random hiking adventures, and indulging in too much food and wine with family and friends.
When Kathryn and her family aren’t traipsing around the world, they can be found residing in Perth, Western Australia.