Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/WriterRating: 4 out of 5 ControllersReview Source: Audiobook PurchaseReviewer: MeAs I sit here and write this review, I am feeling very apprehensive. I am a HUGE Showalter fan, and you can usually catch me tooting her horn on a daily basis, however, after reading Beauty Awakened, I feel somewhat disappointed. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a beautiful love story and epically written as only Showalter can, however for those fans who are accustomed to her over-the-stop sexiness I feel this novel is lacking it. Was it a shock? Absolutely. Does that make Beauty Awakened any less awesome? In my opinion, no. It just makes this novel….different. The story centers around Nicola and Koldo, two very, very, very, different people. Nicola is about as frail as fail can get and she is probably one of my least favorite of Showalter’s heroines (SN: if you want to see a strong heroine, check out Anya from The Darkest Kiss). Nicola and her sister, both have serious health conditions, which cause them to lead very limited lives. You can’t help but feel sympathy for the pair and at times you may even want to shake them a little and force them to wake up! However, over the course of the story, we are able to see growth within Nicola. And this growth is very specific, it’s spiritual. Basically, the entire story consists of strengthening oneself in faith. This in my personal opinion forced the novel to move away from sexual tension and epic descriptions to, vague encounters and dodgy language. It made the reader focus more on the overall story than the Will-They or Won’t-They. I can honestly say, I wasn’t attracted or attached to Koldo in the least (which is a first!). The moment I meet Showalter’s alpha males, I am usually head-over-heels drooling nonstop for them. But I didn’t get butterflies. And I didn’t get any sort of, omg-he’s-freaking-awesome brewing inside of me. Instead, I felt like I was reading the story of someone I would consider my brother or a good friend. But – yes there is a but – Koldo is a strong character. Broken, but strong. He’s a fighter, a survivor, and very gentle underneath it all. He’s someone you want in your corner when all heck is about to break loose. Overall, Beauty Awakened was as I said…extremely different. I haven’t read any reviews (but I am as soon as I post this) so I don’t know how others will perceive it. The general story is sweet, maybe too sweet – although Koldo sure is put through hell from time to time. I loved the first novel, Wicked Nights, which was less about faith, and more about soul mates finding steamy hot passionate love. Will I continue the series? You bet! Nothing, will stop me from reading Showalter, and with the next installment of The Lords of The Underworld coming up, I am hoping and reverently praying I will get the smexy Showalter I am use to, or even better, a mix between the new and the old one. I recommend Beauty Awakened to those of you looking for a dark romance, with sweet undertones, and don’t mind a lack of descriptions in your love scenes.