Beautiful Failure by Mariah Cole
on December 17, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Amazon • Goodreads
If you're looking for a heartwarming story about a girl who falls deeply in love with a troubled boy who changes her life--a sob story with pretty metaphors and a million ways that'll tell you how "broken" she is, STOP. Don't read another word of this.
I'm not that type of girl.
My name is Emerald Anderson and I'm not going to bullshit you: I flunked out of college after my sophomore year, I've been fired from every job I've ever taken, and I've never had a fully functioning relationship in my life.
I wish I could say that I had a cheerleader in my corner, someone who says, "No, Emerald--You're great and you are good at something!" but I don't. My grandparents are completely oblivious to my life, and my mother's dying words to me were "You're going to end up just like me one day. A beautiful nothing."
She was right.
As I decide to start my life over and take two jobs that will forever change me--one from the inside, and one from the outside, I keep my mother's words close to my heart so I can keep the sexy and mysterious Carter Black away.
He's the first man who's ever pursued me, the first man who seems bent on finding out why I am the way I am, but he's wasting his time.
I'm not broken. I don't need to be fixed. I'm perfectly fine being a beautiful failure...
Genre: New Adult Romance
Hosted by: Mary Elizabeth’s Crazy Book Obsession
Mariah Cole is a fucking genius. It’s not often I say that. I also try really hard not to curse in my reviews but I can’t help it. I cannot believe this is a debut book. I cannot believe that Mariah Cole has been holding out on us for so long.
Read the synopsis carefully. Mariah does not lie when she says,
If you’re looking for a heartwarming story about a girl who falls deeply in love with a troubled boy who changes her life–a sob story with pretty metaphors and a million ways that’ll tell you how “broken” she is, STOP. Don’t read another word of this.
This is not a heartwarming story. This is barely a love story. In fact I’m not sure it’s a love story, yet.
But I’m in love.
I’m in love with Beautiful Failure.
And the way it ends OMG I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW.
I happily sat and read this story in one sitting. I got up maybe once. Okay maybe twice.
I didn’t want to stop. Emerald is one of the BEST female leads I’ve read this year. She is more real and more honest than any others I can even think of right now. Don’t take that literally because she’s not honest in the honest sense of the word LOL. She lies…sometimes a lot.
She’s had a terrible childhood only she doesn’t even realize that. She thinks her childhood was fine. She may be able to recognize that it wasn’t normal but I don’t think she saw it as bad. Emerald is not only beautiful but smart, creative, and way down deep I believe she’s kind possibly even soft. She has a rock hard exterior and when you read Beautiful Failure you’ll see why. She makes choices that most if not all of us will NEVER have to make. But she does it and she owns it. She doesn’t complain. She doesn’t mope. She doesn’t cry.
Her mom really screwed her up.
“She taught me that people were unreliable and untrustworthy, and that eight dollars for a bottle of numbness and painlessness was worth much more than any friendship I could ever build.”
Emerald is one tough bitch.
She knows it. Everyone around her knows it.
I don’t think Carter believes it though. Carter has his eyes and even his heart set on Emerald. He does pretty much everything he can to get her to open up to him. True to Emerald’s form she makes it hard on him. But he intrigues her. He makes her feel things she’s never felt before. I think she secretly wants to open up to him even if that means she opens up to no one else.
Carter is a mystery. I was constantly guessing what his story was. Mariah Cole does and excellent job of keeping us guessing with giving us just enough to wet our palette without frustrating us. There is so much going on with Emerald that you almost don’t even realize that you know nothing about Carter. It almost seems unimportant. However one things does stand out about Carter.
He is the ULTIMATE ALPHA MALE.
I found myself flushed (rarely get that way anymore) and fanning myself.
I think he’s one of the BEST alpha male’s I’ve read in a very long time.
I found myself wanting to submit to him.
The beauty though is in the words. I never felt like I wanted Emerald to cave. I never wanted her to bat her eyelashes and play coy with Carter. I prayed she would stay true to herself for the entire book.
She totally does!!!!
This story does end with a cliffhanger and its oh so good. I NEVER saw this one coming. OMG SO GOOD!!!
I’ve said this before I’m a bit of a cover snob. However, this book totally deserves 5-stars.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
“My Kind of Love”—Emeli Sande
“Set Fire to the Rain”—Adele
“Say Something”—A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera
“Dark Horse”—Katy Perry
“Titanium/Pavane”—The Piano Guys
20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake
Back to Black, Amy Winehouse
Songs About Jane, Maroon 5
“You have a very beautiful name, Emerald.” Carter sits down again and hands me two brownies.
“I take it that buying you brownies doesn’t make me any less of a stranger?”
“Hmmm.” He watches me take small bites. “Do you like your job here?”
“That’s good. I don’t think customer service is for you.”
“Someone like you should never be allowed to work directly with people—or any breathing organisms for that matter.” He’s grinning, and I want to laugh but I keep it inside. “How old are you?” His voice is serious all of a sudden.
“How old do you want me to be?”
“Do I look like a minor?”
“No, but it’s always good to double check.”
“Young girls have been a problem for you in the past?”
He laughs. “You have a very smart mouth.”
“Pay me enough and I’ll show you what I can really do with it.”
He raises his eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
I don’t back down. That’s one of Leah’s old lines—it used to net her an easy four hundred bucks, and I’ve often wondered what would happen if I ever used it.
“Are you propositioning me to pay you for a blowjob?”
“Is that what it sounds like?”
“It does.” He smirks. “It also sounds like you’re full of it.”
I blink, and then I burst into laughter. “It was a joke.”
“So you are a child?”
I roll my eyes and stand up. “Whatever. Enjoy your coffee.” I walk away without letting him get another word out.
Sexy as hell or not, I don’t need an unnecessary distraction; I need to focus on getting out of this city.
Beautiful Failure Deleted Scene
“Em! Em!” Leah walks through the front door with shopping bags dangling from her wrists.
“Yeah?” I hold the phone against my neck. “I’m ordering pizza. You want some? We could watch bad movies and make fun of them together.”
She shakes her head and rolls her eyes. “Riiiight. I’m leaving for New York tonight with Vincent. Look at what he bought for me to wear on the plane!”
She pulls out a white satin dress and holds it against her chest.
There’s no doubt that she’ll look beautiful in it. She looks beautiful in everything…
“When are you coming back?”
“Monday maybe? Tuesday? It’s not like I’ll be in a hurry. It’s New York, kid.” She perfectly imitates a New-Yorker’s accent.
I hear the pizza operator saying “Hello” over and over so I finish ordering the pizza, watching Leah pull out her other designer purchases.
When I set the phone down, she motions for me to come over.
“While I’m gone, feel free to invite your boyfriend over,” she says. “Do you need me to get you some condoms?”
“I told you I dumped him two months ago.”
“So?” She shrugs. “You can still use him for sex. Oh, wait. I forgot. He wasn’t good at it, right?”
She sighs. “I hate when that happens. I always have to fake my way through it when the man has no idea what he’s doing. It’s a damn shame, really.”
“My writing seminar is Monday night. Can you tell Vincent you need to be back by then so you can make it?”
“Of course! I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” She presses her finger against my lips and sighs. “You put on too much gloss today….” She reaches into another shopping bag and hands me a new compact make-up case. “You should use this for your presentation on Monday.”
“Thanks.” I force a smile and listen as she starts to show off more of her purchases, knowing damn well that she won’t be in the audience Monday.
She’ll forget like she always does, and I’ll forgive her like I always do. Then we’ll both end up drunk and restless on our balcony…
I’m really excited to be able to share this. Beautiful Failure (Carter’s POV)
First Encounter Scene
Walking inside of Starbucks, I expect to see the familiar bubbly blonde behind the counter, the one who never bothers to ask what I want to order. She always greets me with a “Hello, Mr. Black! I’ll have your grande coffee with two hazel nut shots right away!”
But today, there’s someone new. Someone with black hair who hasn’t even bothered to look up at me.
With her head down, she types a few buttons on the register and sighs. “Starbucks Bistro. What’s your name and what do you want?”
“Is that the new greeting now?” I smile. “Did it change recently?”
“They don’t pay me enough to make conversation,” she says flatly. “What’s your name and what do you want—Please?”
This is a first… “Carter…Carter Black. Grande coffee with a hazelnut shot and two sugars.”
She writes on the cup and quickly turns around, mixing the drink on the back counter. From behind, I notice a small grey and black tattoo on her neck, partially hidden by her long ponytail.
What is that?
I’m admiring her ass when she suddenly turns around and gasps.
She blinks, staring at me with her lips slightly parted. She looks as if she’s about to say something, but no words come out of her mouth.
Her mouth. Her fucking mouth.
Plump, pink lips. Bow shaped. Perfection.
“Are you going to give me my coffee?” I look into her dark green eyes. “Or do they not pay you enough to do that either?”
“Three dollars and seven cents.”
I keep my eyes locked on hers as I hand her the card, wondering why I’ve never seen her in town before.
Once she hands me my coffee, I decide to ask why. “When did you start here?”
“Thank you for visiting Starbucks.” She rolls her eyes. “Have a nice day.”
I smile and bring the cup to my lips, never taking my eyes off hers. I can tell I’m making her uncomfortable because she’s shifting her weight from foot to foot and blinking every few seconds.
“Is there something wrong with your coffee sir?” She purses her lips.
The coffee is actually the best it’s ever been, but I don’t want to leave the store just yet.
“It’s a bit bitter,” I say.
“No, it’s not.” She crosses her arms. “I just made it.”
“I’m pretty sure it is.” I hand the cup back to her. “Can you add some more sugar please?”
“There’s a condiment stand on the back wall. You can add it yourself.”
Is she serious?
I look at her nametag—Emerald, and prepare to really have some fun with her, but the familiar blonde suddenly steps next to her.
“Mr. Black, is there something wrong?” she asks.
“Not at all. I was just asking Emerald if she would add some more sugar to my coffee.”
“Oh! I got it!”
As she remakes it, I smile at Emerald—ignoring the fact that she’s scowling at me. It makes her look even sexier.
“There you are.” The blonde smiles as she hands me the new coffee.
I take a sip of it and immediately regret having it remade. It’s good, but what Emerald made was ten times better.
“Much better.” I look at Emerald one last time, deciding that I’ll be back at the exact same time tomorrow. “Thank you ladies.”
Emerald rolls her eyes and mouths “Asshole,” but she quickly forces a smile. I debate whether I should ask her to say that out loud, but I decide against it.
I’ll have plenty of time to see her this summer…
10.00 Amazon Gift Card
10.00 Starbucks Gift Card
3 e-book copies Beautiful Failure
5 signed Beautiful Failure Postcards