Isabella—Grady Williams is a national treasure, the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient, America’s scarred superhero. With tattooed arms sculpted from carrying M-16s, this bad boy has girls begging from sea to shining sea to get a piece of his action.
When my father squanders away my college fund, I make a deal with this dirty-talking Devil Dog—I will pretend to be Grady’s girlfriend for the Marine Corps Ball, and my dad will write Grady’s war memoir.
Grady is fearless. Hell, this badass jumped on a grenade to save his fellow Marines! As much as I crave him, I refuse to allow myself to become addicted to a dangerous man who will detonate my heart.
Grady—Isabella Cuesta is an angel who can see beyond my mangled skin, a pawn used to repay her father’s debt, a woman who makes me feel like a man instead of a monster.
But I no longer believe in fairy tales.
She’s mine until our contract ends. I’ll take her hard and rough, listen to all her hopes and fears, lay down my life to protect her.
This beauty will never let herself love a dangerous man like me—a man who has killed, a man who runs towards gunfire, a man who never backs down from a fight.
But without her love, I’m not a man—I’ll remain forever a beast.
Grady Williams is a hero. He's the youngest ever to receive the Medal of Honor, but his status of America's Bravest Beast means nothing to him. He threw his body on top of grenade in the heat of battle in order to save his men, but the irony of it is that his best friend died during that same battle all the same. The survivor's guilt overwhelms him. He spends his time drinking and sleeping with the girls that throw themselves at him for a chance to bed someone famous. They act like they want him, but they don't want the real him. The one that is scarred for life and bitter. He doesn't think he'll ever find someone willing to look past his scars and anger.
When a frat party breaks out down the street from his house, Grady sees a chance to cut loose. With it being a costume party, Grady can wear a mask and fit in like a "normal" person. No one will stare at his hideous face. No one will recognize him as the "hero." Dressed at the Hulk, Grady hits the party, hoping to have a little fun. He never expects to find Isabella.
Isabella gets dragged to the frat party by a friend. As soon as she sees the Hulk she's intrigued. She is drawn to his presence and strikes up a conversation. When she witnesses him freak out over the fireworks she immediately sees he suffers from PTSD. As a Psych major she's familiar with the signs. Even after witnessing his breakdown, she still accepts his offer to come home with him. She knows what's going to happen and she doesn't want to stop it. A one-night stand isn't her norm, but she can't say no.
After a hot and heavy night, Isabella heads home. Grady thinks she left because of his face, but that isn't the case at all. She has secrets of her own. As a former Dancing Reality TV Show star, Isabella had some money saved and planned to use it for her college degree. Unfortunately, her father used it to save their family home. If she doesn't get more money soon she won't be able to finish school. Plus, they need more money to get out of debt. The dancing money just put off the bank for a short time.
Isabella's father is an author, but he hasn't had a best seller in a while. She decides that asking Grady for a favor is her last chance. She wants Grady to agree to allow her father to write his memoir - a story that the nation is dying to read. It will put her father back on top and make them enough money to get them out of financial troubles. When she approaches Grady with the request he is pissed. Just another person wanting something from him. Of course she wouldn't like him for who he really is. She only spent the night with him because she planned on asking for this all along. (TOTALLY NOT TRUE BY THE WAY.)
Isabella and Grady strike a deal. He'll allow her father to write his memoir if she agrees to spend some time with him alone to get to know him well enough to pull off acting as his girlfriend at the Marine Corps Ball that the President invited him to. During their time together they each eventually let down their guards in the hopes this arrangement could turn into the real thing.
I liked this retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but would have liked the ending drawn out a little more. It seemed rushed at the end and wrapped up a little too easily.
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