Book Review

Sunny Shelly’s Review: Still Beating by Jennifer Hartmann

Still Beating – Jennifer Hartmann

𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵, 𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘧 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴.

𝙒𝙚’𝙧𝙚 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙡 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙗𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙝.

Summary:

When Cora heads to her sister’s birthday party, she can most expect a hangover or an early morning escape from a one-night stand. Not having her wallet stolen, leaving her stranded and dependent on Dean, her sworn enemy and the last person she’d want to see.

And she certainly doesn’t expect to wake up chained up in a lunatic’s basement.

To make things worse Dean is in the same room, chained up too.

After fifteen years of insults and teasing, it’s no longer time for bad jokes. Having always thought they’d end up killing each other, Cora and Dean must now cooperate if they are to survive.

But Cora and Dean have no doubts that their abductor has a plan for them. A plan that will alter the course of their story, bridge the line between hate and love, and bind them with more than just chains.

Editor’s warning: Beware, this dark romance may shock you in some scenes. Contains psychological violence and physical abuse.

Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 STars

It’s been a few days since I binged Still Beating, and I still don’t know what I want to say about this book. I’ve had it on my TBR list for a while thanks to BookTok, and I finally found time for myself to read it in between ARCs — a rare feat for me. I was blown away by the emotional rollercoaster this book took me on. It was absolutely captivating, raw, emotional, messy, and wonderful.

The middle section in Dean’s POV was my absolute favorite. I do wish that we saw more of Dean’s healing. Because he was forced to have sex against his will as well. The entire situation messed with both of them, and Dean was so worried about Cora’s recovery. Who was worried about Dean’s recovery? I certainly didn’t think Mandy was! I suppose she was written in a way that the reader was supposed to not like her, but I hated that she was pushing Dean for intimacy three weeks after he escaped, and she set up her sister, who had been repeatedly raped for 22 days, on a blind date. And then played the victim when she found out what had happened. Dean didn’t cheat on her. Mandy drove me crazy!

I did have a few questions that weren’t answered — mainly why Dean went for Mandy when it was Cora who caught his eye first. JH answered that question in a spoiler room chat for this book, and I’m okay with the answer, I suppose. Honestly, this book wouldn’t have worked the way that it did if there wasn’t that long-standing antagonistic relationship between Dean and Cora.

This book is messy. It’s tragic, parts are incredibly hard to read, and yet it had me on the edge of my seat. I read it in a day. But it is also a wonderful story of healing and the messy side of love.

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