Welcome to my stop on the Beautiful Facade book tour!
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Published: 2 February 2021
Warnings: Sexual assault, substance abuse, language
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.
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Beautiful Facade isn’t the sort of romance that I normally read, but I’m glad that I did. It is a far deeper story than what I would normally choose. The characters are flawed, imperfect people, dealing with heavy issues. We get to join them as they attempt to muddle their way through the winding path that their lives are taking.
Kai and Winter are best friends that lost contact many years ago. And when they meet up again, both are thrilled to have found each other. But life has moved on in the mean time, and things between them aren’t as they used to be. There has never been more than friendship in their past, but their emotions are more tangled this time. Plus there’s the matter of Winter’s fiancé, Liam.
Winter has made a good life for herself in Melbourne (she is from Perth, which is where she lived when she first knew Kai) and she is happy with how things are going for her. She has some issues, but she feels that she has moved on from most of the troubles in her past and her life is progressing in a way that pleases her. But when Kai comes along, everything starts to get confusing for her. And Kai himself isn’t helping to calm the confusion.
Throughout Beautiful Facade you’ll be taken on a sometimes confronting journey with Winter as she faces old issues as well as new ones. It is deeply personal, with Kathryn S. Rose having done a fantastic job of bring Winter in all her imperfect glory to life on the page. And while I at times felt myself cringing away a bit at some of her choices and behaviour, I felt like I was watching a struggling friend. And her relationship with Kai is both engaging and troubling, at times in equal parts. I really liked Kai’s character but I did sometimes want to shake him and tell him to stop Winter before she made any more bad or troubling choices. As for Liam, I never really got to feel that I came to ‘know’ his character.
I LOVED that this book is centred around my home town of Melbourne, Australia! It was such fun to be able to picture travelling along the same roads that they were visiting. The night clubs of St Kilda were a flashback to my own younger years and even Crown Casino got a mention. Although Kathryn S. Rose was bringing the scenes to life in her descriptions, it added an extra layer of fun for me to be able to recognise the sites. And for anyone who ever wonders about how beautiful Tasmania is, there is a good part of the book spent telling you about that too.
Possible spoiler alert in this paragraph! Winter has sexual assault in her past. It is never described in detail, but it is referenced a number of times and has a lasting effect throughout the book. Winter and Kai also drink copious amounts of alcohol and use drugs at various points, with it being seen by both of them as acceptable and perhaps even normal.
Ok you can look again now.
If you like to read books that delve deep into the characters while taking you on their journey, this book is for you. The story is a bit dark, and definitely at times heavy. But I enjoyed the journey.
Thank you to Xpresso Tours and Kathryn S Rose for my copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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.
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