South Shore’s bad-boy surfer Beau Huntington has a solid plan to get through life: one night stands, getting wasted, and walls so high no one can ever get in – it’s all about numbing the pain.
And his plan’s working fine – until he meets Corrie Johnson.
Corrie is smart, determined, and focused on an elite swimming scholarship. But she has a dark past of her own, and keeps her secrets closely guarded. She’s made promises to herself not to let history repeat – ever. But is there more to Beau than he’s letting on? And is it time to let herself feel again?
It’s summer holidays and that’s when things start to unravel.
Because falling in love was never part of the plan.
It’s time for Beau to learn that the fight of his life doesn’t involve his fists.
Hell Bent is a story that matters – about life, love, and death.
It’s a story of how life can spiral out of control for those left behind.
And it’s a story of hope…
***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review.
+++TRIGGER WARNING: Contains some brief scenes of domestic abuse and violence.
Hell Bent is a gritty, poignant love story that explores the process of coping after tragedy and learning to care again when hope is lost.
- Beau’s character growth was slow and had set backs, it was real and emotionally poignant. I appreciated that Beau’s pain wasn’t an easy fix. Beau has to work hard and discover parts of himself that he buried deep in order to cope with the loss of his brother. Beau’s flashbacks were raw and beautiful examples of Beau’s inner demons and the pure love he felt for his big brother.
- Beau’s aggression is terrifying. He flies off the handle and jumps into altercation at the slightest insult. He’s all fists and sharp bunches, he revels in bloodshed and bruises. Beau needs to make them feel the pain he channels internally and chooses to ignore. The violence is sometimes shocking but becomes almost expected. When Beau learns to turn his cheek, it’s incredibly uplifting and gives hope that he can save himself from self-destruction. Beau uses his fists as a mask for his sadness and the sense of betrayal he feels from his brother’s death. Therapy sessions are especially telling and though Beau lashes out, he begins to let go. The sense of helplessness and anger at the unknown, why do people kill themselves, what drives them to suicide, it is unhappiness? The questions are endless and the answers never come. Karen Crompton does a wonderful job portraying Beau’s agony over not knowing and resentment for the pain his brother caused his family.
- Corrie is determined, strong-willed and doesn’t pretend, she tells it like it is and doesn’t have time to waste. Corrie is beautiful, light-hearted, a sweetheart with a spunky, flirty side. She knows how to push Beau’s buttons and teases him mercilessly. Her dark secret is heart-breaking. Beau and Corrie are two wounded souls who are just trying to live their lives the only way they know how after trauma. Corrie’s butterflies are poetic and haunting, she has such a big heart, it’s impossible not to like her.
- Rake and Alana are hilarious. Their lines are dirty and full of flirty, witty fun. They’re a glowing burst of energy together that adds a light, happiness to the story. They lift Corrie and Beau from their past and help them live in the now. Chemistry between Rake and Alana is undeniable and though it seems like a fling, quickly grows into an adorable sort of puppy love.
- Beau’s attraction to Corrie is mildly obsessive and feels a little like instalove. From the moment he met her, he was hot in pursuit and only upped his game as the story progressed. Despite Corrie’s blatant rejection, he worms his way into her life. Beau’s moods are explosive and he clings to what he can with a maddening desperation that is sometimes scary. Corrie is his target and dream, I would have liked to see more of a mounting attraction from Beau’s side.
- Some plot elements were a bit cliché and predictable. The crazy ex fling, the pinning guy friend, the obvious moments of trying to make each other jealous were bland but the consequences kind of made up for it. Drama extreme.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this: