“Dangerous Beauty” from Melissa Koslin ~ a review

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I LOVE Melissa Koslin’s books. And when I received the opportunity to review her latest novel from Revell Reads, I jumped at the opportunity. And, Dangerous Beauty was everything I hoped it would be!

A brief summary

Liliana, with tragedy behind her in her home country of Mexico, has been taken captive by human traffickers who are prepared to sell her to a high bidder. (Yes. Sell her.) When she manages to elude them for moments at a convenience store, an American citizen sees her plight and subdues her captors, calling the police. But since she is across the border and into the U.S. illegally (through no fault of her own), the police are prepared to remand her into custody.

Until her rescuer, Meric Toledan, offers to marry her.

What I saw as I read Dangerous Beauty

Strength. Courage. Faithfulness. And, yes, beauty.

When you see the gorgeous cover of this book, you know that there is a lovely woman at the heart of this story. In fact, she might even be a fairy tale princess. But when you look more closely, you see that she’s not wearing shoes. And that in the distance, there are city skyscrapers. So perhaps…not.

Actually, Liliana does indeed possess all the best qualities of the fanciful stories we might have read as children. She is brave. Loyal. She is a fighter. And while she’s terrified and in an awful situation that’s not of her own making, she is determined to learn, and to adjust.

Meric is almost surprised to find himself married (although he was the one doing the asking). But he too is determined. He’s going to make sure that Liliana can heal from her ordeal. That she can defend herself. He is honest and strong. Is it any surprise that the two begin to be drawn to each other?

Before them both are battles. Of both building their own individual strength, and of opening their wounded hearts. But beyond those are battles both treacherous and sinister: of the trafficking of women, to those who plan to use and abuse them.

And, my thoughts

Are you, like I am, noticing more fiction that has human trafficking, and the suffering caused by it, at its heart? I have said this before, and I still think it is true: I believe that God wants us to notice it, and to realize that there are precious ones made in His own image who are trapped and at the mercy of others, who are themselves not merciful.

Dangerous Beauty is a fantastic book. Its heroine, and its hero, drew me in and caused me to root for them–and to hope that somehow, they’d obtain their own love story. (And yes. There were a LOT of moments that made me worry that evil might win, and that they’d somehow lose that chance.) And if it’s not outright evil trying to separate them, it might be their own human brokenness.

I wholeheartedly recommend Dangerous Beauty to you. It reminds us that there IS beauty out there in the world, even if it’s trapped in evil. And that there is a Rescuer who inspires humans to rescue others. This might just be the best Melissa Koslin book yet (even if I am still quite partial to the four-legged character in her earlier book, Never Miss). You won’t regret reading it; I think you’ll fall in love with Liliana and Meric too!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. All opinions expressed here are my own honest ones.

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