Erotic romance explores trauma, emotional baggage

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If a romantic, drama-filled romp filled with a healing touch sounds like a good time, this is book is just what the doctor ordered.

About the Book

After an explosive breakup, a twenty-something woman seeks fulfilment through her career and personal interest. Upon crossing paths with a charismatic man while out of town, she discovers her desires aren’t what they seem. She struggles to balance the tall orders of recovering from her breakup, focusing on restoration, and entertaining a new love interest without allowing the spoils of unresolved past issues to ruin yet another romantic relationship.

My Thoughts

Based on the description, I was not expecting the spiciness level. To be fair, I can be a bit of a prude and almost never expect the spiciness level. But also, based on the first half of the book – and I’m going to avoid spoilers here – I wasn’t expecting how the book ended either. This book involves a lot of healing, real-talk, and emotional scenes. So it’s not just a pure erotica – I don’t think. I’ll be honest, I’m not super familiar with that genre.

It took me a little to get into the book at first, and then I was hooked. Once the two main characters met, I needed to know what was going to happen. How were these two going to get to a happily ever after? Were they going to get to a happily ever after? I was not sure, and I will not spoil it for you either! You’re going to have to read it to see. And, if you need to peek at the end to find out, I will not blame you one bit. The ride to get there will still be one hundred percent worth it!


The author handled her exploration of trauma, emotional baggage, and healing beautifully. She practiced outstanding character development, introducing us to our main characters, and the full cast of side characters fully with no sections that felt like too much exposition. I appreciate that. As a writer, it’s hard to avoid, but as a reader it can be super annoying to run into a wall of exposition!

Who’s It For?

If you enjoy romance, erotic scenes, and dramatic, emotion-filled stories, you will love “Beauty Beheld.” This is the first in a series, and you can sign up to receive the second novelette for free. I will absolutely do that, and be keeping an eye out for the second full-length novel to catch up with these characters. I look forward to more from this author.

Content warning: Graphic sex scenes, cheating, emotional abuse by family and relationship partners, stalking, betrayal, secrets, and alcoholism

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Note: I received a complementary copy of this book as part of Love Books Tours, in exchange for an honest review. It has not impacted my thoughts here.

About the Author

Zariah is a contemporary women’s fiction novelist and emotional intimacy blogger. Her novels focus on women’s issues, self-love, vulnerability, and nurturing intimacy in long-term relationships through healthy communication. Her mission is to educate couples and singles in an effort to promote improved communication and prevent emotional and physical transgressions in romantic relationships. She uses flawed characters to create casual romance stories that are both entertaining and relatable for her readers.

Zariah believes everyone deserves to be loved, regardless of trauma from their past or present or the challenges that may lie in their future. She regularly states, “There is someone out there who will love us for exactly who we are, but the journey isn’t about finding them. The journey is about healing and becoming our best selves so that we can better enjoy and appreciate them when our paths cross.”

Zariah is passionate about finding ways to show up in relationships as we are while exhibiting the empathy and compassion necessary to allow your partner to do the same. She enjoys blogging about non-traditional relationship topics and challenges on her website Her debut novel, Beauty Beheld was released in March 2023. The sequel will be released in the winter of 2023.

In her free time, Zariah enjoys reading, cooking, binging on reality shows, and playing board games. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband and two children where she is currently working on her third novel in the Beauty Is Her Name series.

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