Complex. Well written... creeps up on you but so addictive. Truly one of her best yet and I always enjoy Winter Renshaw’s writing and one click everything she writes so that’s a big call.
Astaire is set up on a blind date she is caught in the rain so is late & is waiting for him at a bar. Bennett just happens to be at the same bar, he fits the description of her blind date so Astaire tries to get his attention and he is not in the mood to be interrupted... Bennett is very cold & cruel.
Astaire is warm, kind, optimistic, grieving the loss of her fiancé, and brought herself up from nothing. Tragedy and hardship has followed her for her entire life. Nevertheless, she always looks for the positive in people and situations, so despite her reservations she finds the good in everyone and everything.
While Bennett is the complete opposite - cruel, arrogant, heartless - but he doesn't care. He assumed ownership of the Schoenbach Corporation when his father died five years ago.
Together they make absolutely no sense, but a chance encounter causes their lives to intersect, entwine, and become so entangled there’s no going back.
‘He rolls his eyes, feigning annoyance. “Of course you just have to go sprinkling your sunshine sprinkles all over this.” “You know, I was wrong about you.” “How so? Exactly?” There’s beauty beneath his cruel façade. I see it. I feel it. Even if he refuses to believe me. It’s chained beneath an impenetrable, ice-cold ego. “Turns out you have a heart after all.”’
Bennett and Astaire’s beautiful and angsty journey is about two very lonely souls finding solace in one another despite their very different personalities. The push and pull is both sweet and fascinating...
“Are we back to this?” I ask. “The apathetic, condescending one-liners?” “Of course not.” “Are you sure?” I turn to him. “Because I need to know if I’m dealing with Jekyll or Hyde right now.” “Stop.” “Seriously, Bennett. I’ve never met anyone this hot and cold in all of my life, and I’ve met some reallllly special individuals …” He pinches the bridge of his nose. “I just … I don’t want you getting hurt.”
Once again Winter Renshaw has written another wonderful escape with a complex plot, characters that are real and of course the banter between Bennett and Astaire is fabulous! The POV alternates between Bennett and Astaire rather wonderfully so you get to know both characters well. I rate this book five stars.
A beautiful story of love, loss, learning and passion. So happy to have come across this novel and was not able to put it down (except to sleep in the early hours of the morning). Astair and Bennet are so beautiful and you can feel the chemistry between them the start of their journey. Would love to read more about these beautiful characters and their ongoing journey together.
After being fortunate enough to receive an ARC of this book, I was so excited to delve in and see where this story would take me. Right from the get go, I wanted to dislike Bennett. No matter how bad your circumstances, there is no excuses for taking it out on a stranger. Astair has had a tough up bringing, but still sees that there is more to Bennett even after the way he treated her the first time they met.
Bennett had built up a wall and was not really living, just more existing. He really started to second guess his life choices after a number of coincidental run ins with Astair. She saw more beneath the surface with Bennett and did not want to judge his nasty and cruel behaviour without getting to know him better. She is the bright spark he needed without ever realising. A new development and twist of fate also changes his life and gives him the second chance he didn't think he wanted or needed.
This was a very heartfelt emotional story. There was a lot of family drama and at the core, a beautiful look at two opposites attracting and getting a second chance at life to do things better, love better and just be better. I received an ARC and this is my honest review.
Astaire was waiting for her blind date to turn up when there was a mishap with makeup and she went to the ladies. When she comes back she waits for him to turn up....and waits....and waits. All she has of him is a description - tall dark and handsome. Sitting at the bar she sees him walk in. Trying to catch his attention he immediately puts her down. She tries to explain that she is waiting for her date. She follows him and sees that he has gone to the funeral directors. Touched by his plight and thinking that the rudeness was due to grief she reaches out to him and writes him an email. The email she receives back is just as rude as the meeting in person. Bennett is cold, cruel, pessimistic, engages in countless casual affairs, and has the kind of life many would envy. However noone knows the real Bennett. Astaire knows walls better than anyone. Even after all she has lost, growing up in foster care, she still believes in love and kindness. She is an elementary teacher and her favourite student is named Honor. Like Astaire she is in foster care. They work their way through misunderstandings and miscommunication and they gain strength from each other. As their lives intertwine Bennett begins to change..... I loved this story! The characters are well developed. The plot is intricate and includes many subplots that add intrigue, humour, mystery, angst, drama and finding love. Recommended!!
The Cruelest Stranger was a mystery right from the synopsis. I was intrigued from the first word. This story had avast range of highs and lows. It took not time to feel the irresistible pull of solving the mysteries of these characters. Our leading man was a tough nut to crack, but oh so deliciously satisfying once you got his measure. HE exhibited many traits that would drive me insane in reality, but in the book world, it was decadent. He was cold and ruthless and totally unapologetic. Our leading lady was possessed with a caring and nurturing nature, and he pushed all her buttons relentlessly. Together they were a powerhouse of emotions and spunk. I experienced tingles, breathlessness and frustration. Oh so many feels. Oh such a wonderful story. 5 stars.
This story hooked me in from the start. Some authors just have a way that weaves magic & keeps you on your toes. Coming from a dysfunctional family Bennett never stood a chance. It's his unconventional meeting with Astaire that leads to a trail of emails & more. While he was a Grade A jerk she only saw his redeeming qualities, being that sweet school teacher. There's so much that's predictable but in a nice way. Add in a cute kid & it makes you see a future that will inspire you. Every so often a book comes along that gives you that feel good vibe & this did it for me!
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. 4.5*
This is Winter Renshaw at her absolute best. She is the mistress of writing a tangled web of a tale, and she has absolutely excelled herself with The Cruelest Stranger. Bennett comes across so cold, and I really loved Astaire’s tenacity in breaking down his walls. She was hands down my favorite character in this book. She is pure at heart which turns out what Bennett needed in his life after what his life had been like up until he met her. I don’t have to go overboard in how well this book is written. If you have read even just one book by Winter you will totally understand what I mean. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book via Hidden Gems
An enemies-to-lovers story that will grip you from the very beginning. It’s easy to want to dislike Bennett with his alpha, dominate and down right rude behaviour, but as the story progresses, you can’t help but love that at his true core, he has a heart of gold.
Astaire is a loveable character from the beginning, I mean how could you not love a kindergarten teacher with a background and story like hers.
When they come together, through the intricate and tangled web binding them together, they create a new and beautiful story, that’s solely theirs to tell.
Winter Renshaw has written a fast moving story that has great depth and and development within the story line. It definitely kept me engaged as a reader throughout wanting to learn more about each character and their own stories. One of my favourite Renshaw books to date. It has twists, turns, and angst without the frustration I can often feel as a reader. Highly recommend.
I was so into this book I managed to read it in less than a day. It was really enjoyable, easy to read, well written and enjoyed both POVs of the hero and heroine. I also appreciate that the author doesn't seem to drag things out for the sake of drama. Everything felt right. I highly recommend this book!
This was quite a good, steamy read with good characters. I enjoyed the male much more than the girl but they still worked well together. I'd def. read more by this author. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.