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Beautiful Graves  By  cover art

Beautiful Graves

By: L.J. Shen
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
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Publisher's Summary

From USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen comes a passion- and angst-charged story about a woman caught between a secure relationship and a once-in-a-lifetime spark with her muse.

They say first loves are oftentimes the end of one’s innocence.

Those words couldn’t ring truer for Everlynne Lawson, whose first brush with romance came with a heartbreak…and the thing that seems to follow her everywhere she goes. Death.

After a great tragedy, Everlynne loses all she cares about—her dreams, her family, and her soulmate, Joe.

Guilt-ridden, Everlynne decides to isolate herself in Salem, Massachusetts. A shell of the woman she once was, she takes her days one at a time, careful not to allow herself the joy she believes others in her life were robbed of. But when the mysterious, handsome Dominic storms into her life, it becomes more difficult to stay in solitude. Dominic is different: adventurous, joyous, with lust for life and a passion to make her his.

Everlynne is on the cusp of reinventing herself once again when the old wounds of her past are resurrected, rawer than ever. There is nothing worse than being in love with two men.

Especially when one of them hates you.

©2022 L.J. Shen (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about Beautiful Graves

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    1 out of 5 stars
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WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!!

I Love lJ !!!! I just auto download every book. I have said a million times ‘NARRATION IS EVERYTHING IN AUDIO BOOKS!!!
Sorry I tried but the narration is too boring to follow🥺I will get my $ back and buy the book🤷‍♀️Too bad so sad I expect top shelf authors to have top shelf voice actors!

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Usually love LJ Shen

LJ Shen is one of the most talented writers of our day. Her books are an automatic pre- order for me. This story was no different.. a very compelling page turner. However, I absolutely detested the lead female protagonist! There wasn’t one thing that was likable about her. She didn’t really even redeem herself in the end. Everyone just puts up with her shit the entire book because they love her. She so did not deserve her happy ending…..
I hate that this is my review… but, it’s a truthful one. Highly recommend all other Shen books.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Heroine 👎🏼👎🏼👎🏼

I’m a huge fan of Shen’s. I own every book she’s ever written. I own most paperback special covers too. So it’s tough for me to say this but I did not care for this book. I’ve never given her less then 5 stars before. But sadly this one is getting 3. The main reason is that the heroine was awful. Shen’s heroines are always strong females, bringing alphas to their knees. Everly was “poor me” this and “poor me” that. The victim theme became old super quick. She’s co-dependent. She not only needs people to take care of her, but she expects them too as well. Bring back the Emilias and Rosies. Even Emmabelle, who was probably the most frustrating heroine ever written, was more tolerable then Everly.

I love Joe! Great character! But she didn’t deserve him. She was incredibly selfish when it came to him. She toyed with him and his emotions and I lost so much respect for her. And that letter? GMAFB!!! I can’t with her!!! I did like that he threw things back in her face though. She honestly deserves worse then what he dished out. But it was devine to watch him hand her her a$$ a few times.

The story itself was just ok. Not my favorite. I’m honestly REALLY bummed out that I didn’t click with this book. From the announcement of it’s release, I have been super pumped to read it. And the cover is absolutely beautiful. I just couldn’t get over how she felt like she was responsible for every little thing that happened in the universe. Annoying AF!!!

4 people found this helpful

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Not typical Shen but still good

This for sure is NOT typical Shen- no Alphas, no smut. It is something totally different. I read some reviews that hated the main character and felt she was self loathing and weak but I just felt like she was one that struggled with loss and guilt. It just took her awhile to get there, to find her strength. It was a story of kismet, love, loss, renewal and strength. Overall I liked it but I will agree that the narration is VERY difficult. The voice was too old for Ever and I just couldn’t get past it. The whole time I wished it was a different narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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A bit underwhelmed

The start of the book felt slow and I hung in there hoping for a good twist or some real conflict. LJ Shen gave me the conflict I craved but it was over kind of fast. GREAT conflict, but it was a small part of the story.
The main character is a bit dull and self loathing, which is part of the story, but it was hard to like her. The story is more about her healing and over coming her inner sorrow. I wasn’t feeling good sparks or chemistry between the love interests. Which may have been due to the narration.
I went back and forth on the narration. I think some of my complaints with the story feeling slow and both boring, at times, was because of the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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Struggle/ Annoying 👎🏽😞

I love all of LJ Shen books with the exception of this one. The marry go round of “I want him because I love him but must leave him because I love him” got to be a real annoying ride. I wanted to skip to the end so bad just to be done with it but stuck it out to see if the book would redeem itself. It didn’t. I don’t know if the narrator hurt my chances on liking the book but she certainly didn’t help. Maybe Savannah Peachwood as the narrator would have made Ever less irritating but who knows. Thank God for HEA endings. I almost feel like this wasn’t in LJ Shen’s voice. Maybe the manuscript was so heavily edited that it changed the tone of the book. What ever the reason I look forward to her next release, I’m sure I’ll enjoy that one much more.

2 people found this helpful

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It was a struggle

This was the first LJ Shen book that I could put down. The story was good. The heroine was sooo boring. she was weak and for lack of a better word, dumb. The book dragged for at least the first half, then a great ot twist, then more drag. The narrator didn't help at all. It wasn't horrible, I was able to finish the book...it was just a little disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

I love this author, but I am truly disappointed in this book. Every emo book. It is not for me

1 person found this helpful

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Not one of my favs

Love all your books this heroine was to weak for me to like .. thanks lj

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Not the Usual for L.J

i didnt like it and skipped over a lot to the end. It felt drawn out. This is the first time i have not liked one of her books.

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  • Alex
  • 11-27-22

Wonderful book

This is an amazingly angsty book with the most beautiful love story. I suggest you go in blind for the best effect. I loved it! 😍

The narration was perfect!

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  • sybil_ann79
  • 10-21-22

Emotional and raw.

Emotional. All consuming. Unputdownable

“You should’ve gone after your heart, not your fears.”

5 FOR EVER STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This story was emotional, raw and messy.
It’s a hurt so bad kind of story, but still had a balance of humour- sometimes surly, sometimes dark and sometimes corny.

Everlynne’s journey gripped me for the start until the very end. A traumatic loss can change so much and this story captured the full devastating on not just one individual- but families, friendships, relationships…

Admittedly, I did get frustrated with Ever’s choices at times- her actions, her self imposed guilt, and fear to live was a theme for most story but IMO it wasn’t overdone so as to put a downer on the story.

I mean there was Loki and Pippa and Renn!

I’ll be real here: I struggled with some of LJ’s more recent releases being too hallmark-y but this book took me back to the time when I first discovered her writing.

I enjoyed the audiobook narration, and it was good to have the read and listen option which I used for the latter half.

Side note: This book might not be for everyone but it was everything and more for me.

I don’t think these TW are spoilers (as I still haven’t read the blurb- I just knew I wanted to read this book)

TW: loss, grief, love triangle (? Cheating)

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  • JUSTINE TAYLOR
  • 10-15-22

Really enjoyed it

I rally like today book. Unlike the hot holes series the male characters did not come across as sex pests. Like the main character and her meant to be.
Was drawn out a bit to long for me though.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Wimble
  • 10-15-22

Like running on a treadmill in front of a white wall

Avoidance. It ruins potential. It is a painful curse.

It is the theme throughout this book. It is also present in the writing.

Everlyn avoided everything and everyone in her life. Stubborn cowardice, perhaps? Convenient excuses or mythological beliefs? Whatever the reason, her story was sad even at the end. Why? It should’ve been a happy ending… Because reading a book that is 99.9% about a deeply flawed life and the hurt it causes along the way, doesn’t allow the grand gesture in the end to heal the scars that I am sure are left behind on Joe’s heart. It doesn’t absolve Ever. That said, I don’t think Ever or the author wants her to be absolved. Yes, there is the Ever after, but I almost don’t believe she deserved it. So, I am left conflicted.

The author also avoided new ideas, imaginative evolution and her characters’ growth. Instead opting to write in a safe way. The soap opera way. Where the two loves never really get to be together, so that the reader continues to long for that happily ever after. Attempted teasing. This would’ve been a much more interesting story if the author didn’t use avoidance to manufacture emotion. Unfortunately, the story was very long and filled to the brim with delays and circular circumstances. It dulled my love and emotion for the characters and their story. It was like running on a treadmill, wishing it would end. Rather than running in the hills and enjoying the glorious surroundings. The author avoided Ever’s ability (and she had it in her) to make assertive steps and stop her self pity. This avoidance lead to a book that is far from imaginative and inspiring. Instead it was predictable cover to cover.

The white wall in front of the treadmill stayed constant throughout.

Stereotypical. Predictable end-to-end. Frustrating. Manufactured tension.

As such, neither Ever nor LJ Shen really evolved.

That said, the characters are vivid and the descriptions good. But it is the Grave of enjoyment.

The mantra of this book:

“I am in love with you but we cannot be together.”

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-13-22

It was OK

I am usually a big fan of Shen's writing, but this one fell flat. The first part of the book was so boring I nearly stopped listening. It did pick up with some suspenseful moments so I kept listening, but i was quickly able to predict the story, that was a let down... The herione was not to my liking at all. She was a borderline doormat, accepting everything as her fault and going around and around in circles. I mean, I get she was dealing with grief, but come on, stop running. oh and the icing on the cake was the Hero who supposedly loves the herione but is OK with allowing lies that harm the herione, he, sleeps around and tells the herione that he won't wait around for her -
Too many eye roll moments
Definitely feel I wasted a credit 🙃

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  • Mel
  • 10-05-22

Yay!

Loved this read. Didn’t even read the blurb before purchasing, just knew L.J would not disappoint. 😍

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J Sab
  • 10-05-22

An astonishingly Beautiful story

I downloaded to listen, but as I got further into the story, the narrator didn't really suit the character, so I purchased the book for my kindle.
this books is well written, well researched to create a very beautiful story.

highly recommend this book to anyone that will listen