A Beautiful Disaster by Willa Okati

A Beautiful Disaster by Willa Okati
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (130 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal sex
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

After being betrayed and abused by an ex-lover, Sean trusts no one–but he can’t help wishing he could trust gentle-hearted tattoo artist Riordan. When these two vulnerable men, scarred inside and out, find each other, neither is willing or able to walk away.

Both starved for touch and lonely in his self-imposed exile, Sean can’t help wanting Riordan both body and soul and in his bed, and Riordan is captivated by the sweet nature and the beauty he can still see beneath Sean’s scars. Yet despite his hunger for affection, Sean can’t break free of a cycle of shame and despair, not even as Riordan’s falling in love with his beautiful disaster.

Will Sean be able to break through the barriers he’s built around himself and let Riordan in–and will Riordan find the key to unlock Sean’s frozen heart?

Trusting again is scary but worth it with the right man. Sean has survived an abusive relationship but he still has the scars – physical and emotional – that plague him. He’s not really living, but he doesn’t know how to change that until he meets the mysterious Riordan. He is a nurse by day and tattoo artist by night, specializing in tattooing scars. Initially intrigued by the haunted Sean, Riordan decides to take the prickly, scared man as his own. It’s not easy for either man but when it’s right, it’s worth any amount of work.

A Beautiful Disaster is a sweet, lovely romance about the power of redemption. Sean is struggling with resuming his life in some form after his abusive lover ran him down with his car. The scars are not only physical but deeply mental and emotional too. However, time with Riordan seems to show Sean that good things can happen if he wants them. The two men are nicely drawn and work well together. They have obvious chemistry and their love affair feels organic and natural. Both men are truly three-dimensional and make for a quick, engaging read.

The story tends to play on the trope of loving curing all but the depth in which Sean is developed helps sell this idea. He’s too hurt and damaged to change as entirely as the story says in that time but it’s a romance so I didn’t mind suspending disbelief to believe the change. Likewise Riordan seems to fixate on Sean for no real reason, perhaps they’re soul mates, so it took a bit for me to be able to really buy into the concept. What really helped was the level of detail in the tattoo scenes and the mysterious best friend, Jae. Will he get his own book? I can see it.

The writing is clean and easy, making the pages fly by before I noticed it. The feel of the story is perfect for a dark, rainy night but it has a definite happy ending. There are some darker themes introduced but the material is kept very superficial and not much angst is involved. It helps keep the story lighter and easier to read in one sitting. I’d recommend this both to new readers as a good introduction and those long time author fans.

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