5-Star Review by Anne Halfpenny on Amazon.com
“Beautiful but vulnerable Riley Rinaldi’s passionate love affair with deviant “Lothario” Keller Cross is a sizzling erotic story of love, intrigue and Hollywood scuttlebutt. I don’t think a white picket fence awaits them, but “The Life Of Riley” does. A book to enjoy!” Anne Halfpenny
5-Star Review by Stephanie Mcguire on Amazon.com
“Wonderful book with great characters. Loved it from the first chapter!!!” Stephanie Mcguire
Review by Mark Morris on GoodReads.com
Riley Rinaldi is a makeup artist working in Hollywood…
“Riley Rinaldi is a makeup artist working in Hollywood. She’s an intelligent woman, she’s attractive and she’s successful in her chosen career. She’s got it made. Right? Well, no…
Working side by side with the most charismatic and beautiful actors and actresses in the world seems like the perfect way to spend your life until you realize that the perfection you see on the screen disappears as soon as the cameras stop rolling. The stars of the screen soon lose their shine then and the tarnish goes all the way to their cores.
This is a well-observed novel written by someone who’s intimately familiar with the real-life stories that go on in the back lots and the mazes of buildings that rarely feature on the studio tours. The characters are often cruelly real and this is a captivating story that kept me thumbing the ‘next page’ button until the story ran out, leaving me satisfied but still wanting more. If you enjoy reading about the hidden Hollywood you’ll love this. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves to read about the grit behind the glamour.” Mark Morris
5-Star Review by Henry Coe on Amazon.com
“Ever read the front and back cover and figure it looks like an interesting book? By the time you’ve reached the third or fourth chapter and discover you still have no idea what the story is or will be about? Beautiful Monsters keeps you and your imagination fully engaged from page 1 to the last. The characters are followed throughout the story which flows from page to page. It’s a great read (story and characters) that keeps you fully engaged, bringing your imagination to life while you’re always anticipating the next paragraph. Cynthia Ogren is a magnificent writer and story teller and has written a fascinating book you can’t go wrong with.” Henry Coe
5-Star Review by Amazon Customer on Amazon.com
“Beautiful Monsters is a well-written story of two people who created a relationship with the familiar Hollywood scene and managed to overcome their demons and eccentric individual behaviors. Riley Rinaldi, an executive, makeup artist becomes involved in a heated and passionate relationship with the egocentric heartthrob, Keller Cross, who has more issues of his own to overcome. Their intense and emotional rollercoaster relationship takes us through their journey of realistic trials and tribulations that make this story so much more intense. Cynthia Ogren knows how to keep you captivated. Her writing manipulates your attention to be drawn into her characters’ volatile and beautiful journey to the end. I highly recommend this book, and I give her a 5 star.” Amazon Customer
5-Star Review by Hymsh on Amazon.com
“I don’t usually buy books, but a friend recommended Beautiful Monsters to me. What a fun book to read! I really enjoyed the love story between the two main characters and the look into the lives of the rich and famous. I hope the author is working on a sequel!” Hymsh
5-Star Review by G.E. Hamlin on Amazon.com
“My takeaway from this novel is that each of us are more alike than we are not alike. The author has created believable characters with hurts and emotional baggage that will speak to the brokenness in each of us. I didn’t know what to expect in reading this novel as I write Christian novels, but I was moved by the author’s characters. I rooted for them from beginning to end.” G.E. Hamlin. Author, Marriage Takes Three
5-Star Review by A.J. on Amazon.com
“This is a thought provoking book, written I believe, for a more intellectual woman. Sexy and steamy, but with a much deeper story than many I’ve read. Can’t wait for the next book.” A.J.
5-Star Review by Marina J. Neary on Amazon.com
Film is not just an escape for the moviegoers. It’s an escape for those who are involved in the production process, from the executives dubbed as Suits to the actors and the crew. If you feel hostage to your past, to your secrets and misdeeds, to an uncomfortable relationship, playing a role can indeed be an escape. But there is another side to it – that quest for liberation can lead you into an even deeper, darker trap. If you work on a set for 20 hours, the line between reality and fantasy starts to blur. You can longer tell where the actor ends and the character begins. Makeup and prosthetics become a part of your body. You have to have a really resilient psyche to be able to maintain your sense of reality and your place in that reality. It’s the price people pay for creating movies.
Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters is a credible, psychologically authentic depiction of an entertainment microcosm.” Marina J. Neary
5-Star Review by R & B Cunningham on Amazon.com
5-Star Review by Mickalia Peckon on Amazon.com
Top 10 Reasons to Read Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren
“Ben & Kate’s Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of the book from the author / author’s representative which did not affect our honest opinion.
- Ah, a relationship set on the grounds of Hollywood. If a gossip column is anything to go by, we know these relationships aren’t easy and Beautiful Monsters takes this point all the way.
- Riley Rinaldi comes across as a competent person but yearns to fall in love with Mr. Right. When Keller Cross shows up, we are all convinced he is Mr. Wrong but she’s swept off her feet.
- Every bit of both the main characters are engaging.
- Putting aside the boy meets girl cliche, this book is a wild ride of emotions which most readers can connect with. Think of it as a lighter, fictional version of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
- The writing was great, the author has a manipulative way of keeping the reader tuned in to all the drama.
- Keller does get on your nerves but then so does Riley which makes them all the more endearing.
- As Riley and Keller’s relationship progresses, you feel happy, then sad, then happy again. Who’s been in a relationship that is happy all the way?
- The title, “Beautiful Monsters” becomes to mean so much more than the title of the movie. The beauty of a person we see in public, and the monsters they become behind the scenes. Awesome, awesome author.
- Cool story with some impressive writing skills that will give you an emotional high.
- Romance fan or not, if you like books where both characters work at a relationship in the most flawed of ways, this will be a good bet.” Mickalia Peckons
5-Star Review by Amie Iams on Amazon.com
5-Star Review by Lisa on GoodReads.com
“What a great book! The ride that Riley and Kellar took me on was a wild one. The Hollywood life style, wild and fast. Can’t wait to read more of Cynthia Ogren books.” Lisa Smith
5-Star Review by Reader on Amazon.com
5-Star Review by Reader on ReadersFavorite.com
I found Beautiful Monsters to be…
“I found Beautiful Monsters to be an intriguing read and my only complaint is that I have to wait for its sequel. Riley and Keller are standout and believable characters who meet in an exceptional town under exceptional circumstances, so this relationship had no hope of being anything but explosive from the outset. Riley has everything she needs in life except true love but finally feels she has found it in actor Keller Cross. The question that probably doesn’t need answering but keeps presenting itself at you through out their torrid affair is; is it love or lust she has discovered? What ever it is Cynthia Ogren has brought the characters alive with some very clever writing and if you can read this book without feeling the emotion and passion that jumps out at you from these very life like characters, then I suggest you check your own pulse.” Neal Davies
Review by Cathy Naser, Broker/Realtor San Antonio, TX
4.5-Star Review by Madiha on GoodReads.com
Beautiful Monsters was an awesome read…
5-Star Review by Reader on Amazon.com
5-Star Review by Reader on ReadersFavorite.com
Beautiful Monsters is…
5-Star Review By Reader on Amazon.com
Not Your Mama’s Romance Novel
5-Star Review By Pamela Stuard for Readers’ Favorite
“A must read!!! Riley Rinaldi believes she is cursed. Her beautiful looks makes her feel has if that is the only reason why men want her. Until she meets actor Keller Cross. She and Keller become as one but their relationship is very difficult because Keller is still married. Riley and Keller both have a past, but can they both overcome their past and move forward? Does Kellers wife Claudia get Keller back and does she keep Keller and Riley apart for good? You’ll just have to read it.”
5-Star Review By Reader on Amazon.com
“Well written. I am only a few chapters into the story, but have enjoyed every minute thus far.” C.H.
5-Star Review By Reader on Amazon.com
A fun book that I simply could not put down!
5-Star Review By Ruth Renwick on Amazon.com
Loved this little novel! Romantic Erotica?
5-Star Review By Avid Reader on Amazon.com
(October 26, 2014)
Hollywood Like You’ve Never Seen It Before!
The main characters, Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross would probably get my vote for favorite literary couple. Although they are among the Hollywood elite, they are nothing at all like the way most of us envision the Hollywood community. They are flawed and don’t go out of their way to hide that fact. For that reason, I found them highly likable and became involved in their story.The writing flowed beautifully. There wasn’t one incident where I thought the story lagged or went too fast. The editing and formatting was spot on as well.
In case you couldn’t tell already, I loved this book. I am now anxiously awaiting the next book by Cynthia Ogren, which I hear is a sequel to Beautiful Monsters. I can’t wait!” A.R.
4-Star Review By Rene Averett for Readers’ Favorite
“I am not really a fan of the romance genre and seldom read romance novels although I do like suspense romance and some paranormal romance. So, while I did enjoy the read of Cynthia Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters, I wasn’t totally engrossed in it. As a romance novel, it was a bit more of deviant sex than I like to read about but for those who enjoy this type of novel, it does hit some kinks. Ms. Ogren writes very well and has built strong characters. If a racy, sexy novel is your cup of tea or bedtime reading, then give this book a read.”
5-Star Review By Author and Publisher on Amazon.com
5-Star Review By Manta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
“Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren revolves around makeup artist Riley Rinaldi. Riley Rinaldi is envied by many. She has it all – wealth, beauty and sex appeal. But underneath her shining personality is a lonely woman whom many don’t know. Her life is devoid of love and she feels very lonely. At this juncture, heartthrob Keller Cross comes to the set of Beautiful Monsters and Riley is attracted to him in a big way. What follows is an awakening of her dormant feelings and their wild passion and intense love spill onto the set of the movie. The passion of these two characters dominates the theme, along with the scenes where they fight their own demons while trying to create a future.
The author has portrayed Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross beautifully with all their flaws and shortcomings. The reader will definitely fall in love with these two broken people. The grandeur and fake world of Hollywood has been captured well here through the plot. The glamour, intrigue, wild passion, the flawed characters and the movie set give the much required pace to the story. Readers are swept away as they are pulled into a world of jealousy, love, hatred and greed.
The story is wonderfully executed, making it a compelling and satisfying read. There is a bit of humor that is laced throughout, which adds to the lighter moments in this otherwise intense plot. The setting in Hollywood and the steamy and erotic scenes make it a page turner. It has all the ingredients of an interesting and exciting romance making it a compelling read.”
5-Star Review from Random Reviews
(August 23, 2014)
Prepare to fall in love with Riley, Keller, and this book.
Prepare to fall in love with Riley, Keller and this book.“Beautiful Monsters is an irreverent romp into the entitlement, complexities, and heartaches of the Hollywood elite. Riley Rinaldi, makeup artist for the stars, collides heart-on with sexual deviant movie star Keller Cross. Cynthia Ogren brings to life these two beautiful, yet broken, people, letting you crawl into their souls to experience their joys and heartaches first hand. The story is well-written, well-plotted, and emotionally satisfying, with light humor scattered amongst the darkness. I wholeheartedly recommend Riley’s and Keller’s story. When you turn the last page, you may look at love and forgiveness a whole different way.”
5-Star Review By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite
“Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren takes us into the famous land of Tinsel Town, La La Land, Movie Capital of the World, Hollyweird, Gomorrah, Land of Broken Dreams, hell … also known as Hollywood. Once there, we meet the beautiful and talented Riley Rindaldi, envied by many for her life and her wealth. Sadly, her life is lonely and missing the one thing that everyone wants: love. Then the heartthrob of Hollywood, Keller Cross, swaggers onto the set of Beautiful Monsters and Riley finds herself unable to control herself. She and Keller come together in passion and right onto the stage of Hollywood fame and jealousy.
This book is wild and intense and brings a whole new level to the erotic romance game. Cynthia Ogren has created something that is well layered, intense, and hot and it will make you fall in love with the genre in a whole new way. I always wondered what it would be like to try to fall in love in Hollywood and, while this is fiction, it certainly gives us a look into what might befall a couple, from the attitudes to the egos and so much more. I have to say I enjoy Riley as a character; she is not perfect though she may seem to be on the outside. In truth, she is flawed like the rest of us and just trying to find someone who truly loves all of her. If you want to read what I feel is a new form of erotic romance, this is the book for you; it does not disappoint.”
5-Star Review By Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite
“Riley’s love life had always been disastrous, to say the least. All her past relationships had ended up in one disaster after another and so she had sworn off relationships. While working as an executive makeup artist on the set of a movie, she found her relationship history repeating itself when she had a one-night stand with the star of the movie. The next day, she was the sole topic of gossip on the set, and as if that was not bad enough, her ex decided to join in the circus. But then she found herself working on the most handsome and charming man God has ever created, Keller – another star in the movie. It was clear from the start that Keller was interested in her and, much as she was interested, she told him that she did not date. But the chemistry between the two was so intense that they could not deny it so they decided to give it a try. But Keller had a soon to be ex-wife who did not want to let him go and a very dark secret that would scare even the most understanding of women. Riley’s emotional issues also did not help matters much.
Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is a sad, dark and twisted but beautiful love story that touched the very bottom of my heart. What was most amazing is the way Cynthia Ogren brought out the emotions of the story in such a way that made me feel all the struggles of the characters, their desires, pains and the beautiful moments too. This enabled me to connect with them and understand their actions, whether right or wrong. I have never seen two people so wrong for each other and yet at the same time so right for each other, but the way Cynthia wrote the book made me see clearly why this was so. At times, I found myself rooting for them to make it and at other times fighting the need to scream at them to make up their minds already. And at some points I needed a tissue to wipe away the tears caused by the pain their love was bringing them. Beautiful Monsters is one hell of an emotional story and worthy of every single minute spent reading it.”
5-Star Review By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
“Beautiful Monsters is a contemporary romance written by Cynthia Ogren. Riley Rinaldi is a makeup artist working in Hollywood. When we first meet her, she’s trying to sneak out of a lead actor’s trailer on the set. Stephen had a lovely accent and played a very sexy vampire, but Riley realized after the fact that she was attracted to the character he played, not the star. Riley’s had a hard time romantically. She chooses the wrong lovers and is still smarting over the last unhappy relationship which ended when an irate wife she hadn’t known about burst in on the scene. Ignoring the looks and good-natured ribbing from her friends and co-workers, Riley finds herself attracted once again to another, older actor named Keller Cross, who is quite irresistible and has assured her that his marriage is definitely over, but it’s so very hard for Riley to learn to trust someone again.
Cynthia Ogren’s contemporary romance, Beautiful Monsters, is a well-written and enjoyable story. While it does contain some scenes that could be considered steamy and mildly erotic, they are tastefully written, and I did not find them at all offensive. Riley and Keller are marvelous characters, both of whom are flawed and very human, even if they are both physically beautiful. They each have issues that work to make them fully defined in the reader’s eyes, and their struggles with trust and acceptance keep up the dramatic suspense. There’s also a wonderful supporting cast of characters in Keller’s and Riley’s friends, especially Bebe and Riley’s adopted mom, Carmen, the housekeeper. Beautiful Monsters is quite a good read. I found myself reluctant to put it down until I had finished the last page. It’s highly recommended.”
Comments by ARC Readers
- “Look out Hollywood! Your ears must be burning!!”
- “This novel from Cynthia Ogren is absolutely amazing. It really gives you the sense of being the paparazzi as you read page by page, looking into these brilliantly crafted characters’ lives from the outside.” G. Thomas
- “Quick, get the top Hollywood movie producers in a room and let’s see them fight over this script!” J. Spidel
- “I am an avid reader who enjoys a bit of scandal in the things that I read. Beautiful Monsters hooked me up to a transformer, slammed down the switch and poured on the juice! This work energized me and threw me into a world I never realized could be so intense.” S. Terranova
- “I have been an author for twenty plus years and all I can say about Beautiful Monsters is wow! Why couldn’t I have written this one? Guaranteed to be a best seller!!”
Review of Cynthia Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters by Author Mathew Peters
“If you’re like me and haven’t read a romance erotica book, take everything you think you know about the genre and set it to one side. Now, pick up a copy of Cynthia Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters and let the wild ride begin.
It would be easy to focus on the excellent pacing, the well-drawn characters, and the intriguing plot of this book, all of which will fully satisfy devotees of romance erotica. But I’d like to focus on other aspects of Beautiful Monsters, those that appealed to me and led me to read compulsively this wonderfully executed and beautifully told story.
Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross are likable, yet extraordinarily flawed characters. Their journey into and out of love has all the to-hell-and-back-again qualities associated with a glamorous Hollywood production. Oh wait…it IS a Hollywood production. But the fact that the setting is Tinseltown should not lead one to think the characters are shallow and two-dimensional, because all of Ogren’s characters come with fully rounded personalities, idiosyncrasies, and yes, lots of baggage.
What is less obvious is that the setting and the Hollywood production around which all of the action centers, the vampiric “Beautiful Monsters,” serves as a metaphor for Lala Land itself, and for the people which populate its palatial houses and its slapdash sets, its raunchy clubs and seedy tattoo parlors. Beautiful on the outside, monstrous on the inside, the town’s inhabitants are consumed by jealousy, love, anger and greed.
But what Ogren unfolds against the reprehensible backdrop is a lyrical tale of love addiction, one that is intoxicating and breathtaking. The story grabs the reader in a passionate embrace and will not let go until the story is spent. The reader emerges fully satisfied, caring about the main characters, and eager to be swept away in another story from the mind and heart of this truly wonderful new storyteller.”
–Matthew Peters, author of The Brothers’ Keepers (MuseItUp Publishing) and Conversations Among Ruins (forthcoming through All Things That Matter Press).
5-Star Review By Pamela Stuard on Goodreads.com
A must read!!!
“Riley Rinaldi believes she is cursed. Her beautiful looks makes her feel has if that is the only reason why men want her. Until she meets actor Keller Cross. She and Keller become as one but their relationship is very difficult because Keller is still married. Riley and Keller both have a past, but can they both overcome their and move forward? Does Keller’s wife Claudia get Keller back and does she keep Keller and Riley apart for good? You’ll just have to read it.” P.S.
5-Star Review By Patrick Loughrey on Goodreads.com
True love never runs smoothly…L.O.L.
“Beautiful Monsters is the perfect example of that well-known phrase in life. Beautiful Monsters is an awesome read. The storyline is perfect, as its keeps you totally hooked from start to finished to find out what happens at the end. Cynthia has shown great imagination and is an awesome author. The book is funny, exciting, easy to read and fast moving, and it take you on a roller coaster ride, as the storyline unfolds. The characters in the book are awesome, strong, funny, with a great sense of humor. I love this book and I recommend it as a must buy and a must read. You will love it! My rating is 10 out of 10. More books please Cynthia Ogren. I can’t wait till her next one comes out; it will be awesome.” P.L.
4-Star Review By Kayti Nika Raet for Readers’ Favorite
“In Beautiful Monsters, an erotic romance by Cynthia Ogren, Riley Rinaldi is a Hollywood make-up artist who feels that she’s cursed in love even though she seems to attract the obsessive attention of every male she meets. So when Keller, an actor in Hollywood’s latest vampire flick, shows some interest, Riley is initially very standoffish even though there is an undeniable attraction between them. They are both very passionate people and when their romance begins it’s white-hot, almost burning out of control as they constantly fight and make up. There is also the specter of Keller’s soon to be ex-wife that is driving a wedge in his and Riley’s torrid, BDSM-filled romance. She doesn’t love Keller but she loves his money and is willing to do anything to keep it all to herself. A wild ride of a novel, Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is filled with surprising twists and turns for an unlikely couple crazy in love.
Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is a quick read and, while it is a romance, it’s definitely no chick-lit with a navel-gazing heroine obsessing over shoes. Keller is quite the bad guy and the romance between them is very hot and volatile, so much so that I often found myself wondering if the two of them would survive until the end. Filled with an interesting cast of secondary characters, Beautiful Monsters is a very dark romance and might be the perfect choice for an adventurous reader looking for something a little extra in their romance novels.”