• Terrible Beauty

  • Molotov Betrothal, Book 1
  • By: Anna Zaires
  • Narrated by: C. J. Bloom
  • Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (165 ratings)

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Terrible Beauty  By  cover art

Terrible Beauty

By: Anna Zaires
Narrated by: C. J. Bloom
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Publisher's Summary

A family contract. A dark bargain. No escape.

Eleven years ago, I met him. A year later, I was betrothed to him. Now he’s come to claim me, slaughtering anyone standing in his way.

My husband-to-be is a monster from a family as ruthless and powerful as mine, a man who deals in violence and destruction...a man terrifyingly like my father. For more than a decade, he’s stalked me, shadowing my life.

I fear him. I hate him. Worst of all, I want him.

My name is Alina Molotova, and Alexei Leonov is a fate I can’t escape.

©2022 Anna Zaires (P)2022 Anna Zaires

What listeners say about Terrible Beauty

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just wow🔥💥☄️🔥

Anna Zaires has done it again. She never disappoint
This book is just wow 🤩 I. I can’t wait for the next one.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A DUET, A CLIFFHANGER & A DISAPPOINTING NOPE

This is one of my favorite authors and I never thought I’d be giving one of her books a one star rating.. especially a Mafia story.. however, here it is. This is not dark, nor is it any type of romance as, over the decades plus of their constant angsty and repetitive push n pull, the heroine dreams of the patient hero but acts like she hates him. It’s an arranged Mafia arrangement/engagement between families for peace but they only clash a few times over the many many years. His obsession starts when she’s fourteen (he’s nineteen) and is told in alternate past/present chapters that sadly dragged on and on as the angst and mixed signals of the heroine’s story never took the relationship any further.. until the last few chapters where FINALLY things started to progress. However, by that time, I’d totally lost interest in the plot, the characters and what will happen next after the cliffhanger ending. Also, fyi, this is a two book Duet but, at the time of writing this review, the second book is not listed anywhere. Good narration though.

Worth a credit? Sadly it’s a no from me.. but you may love it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A dark and oh so sensual listen!

It feels like I’ve been waiting for Alina & Alexei’s story for a long time and it’s definitely worth the wait. I love their story. It’s dark but oh so sensual. Told in alternating timelines between the past and present, we get their story from the beginning and can see how the past catches up to the future.

CJ Bloom did a wonderful job narrating this book solo. Her tone and pacing was easy to listen to and each of the main characters’ voices were distinct enough that I didn’t have any problems following who was speaking.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dark, intense, suspenseful, and steamy

Audiobook: Narrator - C.J. Bloom

I always enjoy Ms. Bloom. Her voice pulled me into the story and her performance kept me engaged. She made these characters come alive.

This was a dark and intense journey filled with suspense as the heroine’s family promises her to a rival family’s son. The perfect mafia princess set up and I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next with each turn of the page.

Alina might have been a “princess” but her hopes and dreams were far from the life her family lived. I loved the real her as well as what she does to relax when needed. She was a bit unique in that regard. As things began to take a darker turn in her life, I felt her anxiety and her struggle. Holy heck, this author knows how to frame the darkness without pushing things too far.

Things were told completely in the heroine’s point of view so it left me guessing as to what Alexei’s true intentions, his thoughts, and his ultimate goal and the reason behind it, was. His character was shrouded in mystery and definitely hidden in the shadows. When he finally shared a bit of his side, I was thunderstruck by it all. Definitely worth reading just to get to that point!

This is a bit of a slow burn but the chemistry between this hero and heroine is undeniable throughout the story. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a little darkness with their romance. You’re going to love Alexei!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Don’t read if you don’t like flashbacks and cliffhangers

The story has potential to be explosive once the second part is released. Narration was great, a dual POV would have been better. The book is 80% flashback which is lazy writing in my opinion but I’m probably still going to get the second one to see what happens. If l could go back I’d just wait for the whole thing to come out as this one isn’t as good as the other story about the brother. Not worth the credit but not horrible either.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not sure how to feel!

On the one hand, Anna’s writing is fabulous, as always! And CJ Bloom always wows with her narration.

That said, I’m not a huge fan of the back and forth between then and now with the chapters. I understand why she did this, however, and we definitely have a much better understanding of Alina and Alexi’s long and complex relationship.

I also don’t like that we are really only a few days past where the Molotov Obsession ended. I really wanted to be further along in the timeline. I understand that there is a lot of story to tell with these characters, but now I have to wait for the next book(s) to see how it all plays out.

With all that in mind, YES it’s worth a credit and I CANNOT WAIT for the next installment!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating!

This is the first book in the Molotov Betrothal series, a Mafia Romance. I read it, and loved it. The audiobook version is amazing! Alina Molotova and Alexei Leonov's story is dark, and intriguing, filled with secrets, mystery, and twists and turns. Alina is beautiful, strong, smart, and stubborn. Alexei is enigmatic, ruthless, possessive, and controlling. They are opposites attract. The back and forth, past to present is easy to follow. The characters are amazing. The story is told from Alina's POV, and I can't wait to have Alexei's perspective in the second book! The storyline is enthralling, and intricate. I liked all about it. CJ Bloom did an excellent job with the narration. Looking forward to listening to the next book in the series, to know what happens next. If you like Mafia Romance, this one definitely is for you. Anna Zaires never disappoints!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Twisted Dark Romance

Alina and Alexei have won my heart! Wow! Their story was a page turner and I couldn’t put it down! Their twisted romance was intense. The back and forth between the past and present really helped set up why Alina ran away and hid with Nikolai. Alina’s fear of ending up in a toxic obsessive marriage like her parent’s marriage was so strong it caused her severe anxiety. Alexei was completely obsessed with Alina from the first moment he saw her so he pushed his way into her life and tortured her with his intense stalker tendencies. Alexei and Alina gave me Twist Me vibes. CJ Bloom solo narrates this story as Alina Molotova. She does a great job bringing Alina to life. CJ Bloom captures Alina’s fear, anxiety and slowing growing infatuation with Alexei, even though she denies it. I absolutely loved this story and I can’t wait to find out what happens next with their twisted dark romance.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Alina and Alexei

I usually love Anna Zaires' books so I expected this one to be much better than it was. Parts dragged on. Also, this book unfortunately has a cliffhanger. Had I realized this before starting, I may have waited. Alina's immaturity was evident and especially given her age. I also did not find her likeable. She was very annoying throughout most of the book. Alexei was very possessive so I wonder what happened to Alina's tutor Dan and Josh. Dan touched her face during one of his tutoring sessions and Josh was grinding on her while dancing with her at a prom. Alexei continued to be very possessive during the ten years he waited for Alina. He made sure his "betrothed" did not get busy with anyone else. At times, the book really dragged. There is one scene with Alina's parents that was really dark. C. J. Bloom did a great job with the narration.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected

Wasn't a fan of how it was written. The story was ok, but expected more especially the ending. The last chapters were kind of boring especially recapping from the first book. i liked the first book better.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • hayho
  • 10-02-22

Nailing biting stuff

I’ve been waiting ages for this book to come out. I finally get Alina and Alexei’s story. I now understand why Alina is the way she is. This is a wonderful book. The tension builds with every word, every chapter. By the end of the book I’m on the edge of my seat. My heart aches for Alina and everything that she goes through in this book. I can’t wait to read the next book to find out how Alexei is going to redeem himself.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-30-22

ok

if you read this before nikoli story I guess it gives you the run down but I wanted more straight away as I kinda knew what was happening. I preferred his story as I find Alina a tragic for a mafia girl but it was OK

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-29-22

Mostly enjoyed it

Great story and fantastic narration but the repeated mention of headaches was really tiresome. After the, what felt like, 50th headache description I nearly gave up. It felt like ‘padding’ and didn’t really add much to the story. If Alina didn’t get headaches this audio book would be two hours shorter!!