Beautiful Monsters

Romance - Contemporary
415 Pages
Reviewed on 08/07/2014
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Cynthia Ogren is a lifelong reader, writer, and self-described word nerd. Originally from Illinois, she has lived all over the United States and has traveled extensively. She attended the University of Texas at San Antonio, majoring in psychology and English literature. Her work resumé includes stints as a model, a retail department manager, and an assistant to a gynecological oncologist.
Her hobbies include: maniacal reading, coffee swilling, Facebooking, gabbing on the phone, creating wild fantasies in her head while on the treadmill, weight-lifting, travel, getting lost in films and pop culture, and the quiet subversion of the system. She also enjoys intriguing conversation, art, dogs, meditation, bohemianism, ghosts, and popcorn.
She's not above exceeding the speed limit or wild flirtations--and would not necessarily refuse offers that involve exotic travel and dirty martinis.
Ms Ogren lives and works at her writer's loft near Lexington, KY, which she shares with her miniature schnauzer, R-Dog. She's a member of RWA and Passionate Ink. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and her website (

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite

Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren takes us into the famous land of Tinsel Town, La La Land, Movie Capital of the World, Hollyweird, Gomorrah, Land of Broken Dreams, hell ... also known as Hollywood. Once there, we meet the beautiful and talented Riley Rindaldi, envied by many for her life and her wealth. Sadly, her life is lonely and missing the one thing that everyone wants: love. Then the heartthrob of Hollywood, Keller Cross, swaggers onto the set of Beautiful Monsters and Riley finds herself unable to control herself. She and Keller come together in passion and right onto the stage of Hollywood fame and jealousy.

This book is wild and intense and brings a whole new level to the erotic romance game. Cynthia Ogren has created something that is well layered, intense, and hot and it will make you fall in love with the genre in a whole new way. I always wondered what it would be like to try to fall in love in Hollywood and, while this is fiction, it certainly gives us a look into what might befall a couple, from the attitudes to the egos and so much more. I have to say I enjoy Riley as a character; she is not perfect though she may seem to be on the outside. In truth, she is flawed like the rest of us and just trying to find someone who truly loves all of her. If you want to read what I feel is a new form of erotic romance, this is the book for you; it does not disappoint.

Kayti Nika Raet

In Beautiful Monsters, an erotic romance by Cynthia Ogren, Riley Rinaldi is a Hollywood make-up artist who feels that she's cursed in love even though she seems to attract the obsessive attention of every male she meets. So when Keller, an actor in Hollywood's latest vampire flick, shows some interest, Riley is initially very standoffish even though there is an undeniable attraction between them. They are both very passionate people and when their romance begins it's white-hot, almost burning out of control as they constantly fight and make up. There is also the specter of Keller's soon to be ex-wife that is driving a wedge in his and Riley's torrid, BDSM-filled romance. She doesn't love Keller but she loves his money and is willing to do anything to keep it all to herself. A wild ride of a novel, Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is filled with surprising twists and turns for an unlikely couple crazy in love.

Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is a quick read and, while it is a romance, it's definitely no chick-lit with a navel-gazing heroine obsessing over shoes. Keller is quite the bad guy and the romance between them is very hot and volatile, so much so that I often found myself wondering if the two of them would survive until the end. Filled with an interesting cast of secondary characters, Beautiful Monsters is a very dark romance and might be the perfect choice for an adventurous reader looking for something a little extra in their romance novels.

Faridah Nassozi

Riley's love life had always been disastrous, to say the least. All her past relationships had ended up in one disaster after another and so she had sworn off relationships. While working as an executive makeup artist on the set of a movie, she found her relationship history repeating itself when she had a one-night stand with the star of the movie. The next day, she was the sole topic of gossip on the set, and as if that was not bad enough, her ex decided to join in the circus. But then she found herself working on the most handsome and charming man God has ever created, Keller - another star in the movie. It was clear from the start that Keller was interested in her and, much as she was interested, she told him that she did not date. But the chemistry between the two was so intense that they could not deny it so they decided to give it a try. But Keller had a soon to be ex-wife who did not want to let him go and a very dark secret that would scare even the most understanding of women. Riley's emotional issues also did not help matters much.

Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is a sad, dark and twisted but beautiful love story that touched the very bottom of my heart. What was most amazing is the way Cynthia Ogren brought out the emotions of the story in such a way that made me feel all the struggles of the characters, their desires, pains and the beautiful moments too. This enabled me to connect with them and understand their actions, whether right or wrong. I have never seen two people so wrong for each other and yet at the same time so right for each other, but the way Cynthia wrote the book made me see clearly why this was so. At times, I found myself rooting for them to make it and at other times fighting the need to scream at them to make up their minds already. And at some points I needed a tissue to wipe away the tears caused by the pain their love was bringing them. Beautiful Monsters is one hell of an emotional story and worthy of every single minute spent reading it.

Mamta Madhavan

Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren revolves around makeup artist Riley Rinaldi. Riley Rinaldi is envied by many. She has it all - wealth, beauty and sex appeal. But underneath her shining personality is a lonely woman whom many don't know. Her life is devoid of love and she feels very lonely. At this juncture, heartthrob Keller Cross comes to the set of Beautiful Monsters and Riley is attracted to him in a big way. What follows is an awakening of her dormant feelings and their wild passion and intense love spill onto the set of the movie. The passion of these two characters dominates the theme, along with the scenes where they fight their own demons while trying to create a future.

The author has portrayed Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross beautifully with all their flaws and shortcomings. The reader will definitely fall in love with these two broken people. The grandeur and fake world of Hollywood has been captured well here through the plot. The glamour, intrigue, wild passion, the flawed characters and the movie set give the much required pace to the story. Readers are swept away as they are pulled into a world of jealousy, love, hatred and greed.

The story is wonderfully executed, making it a compelling and satisfying read. There is a bit of humor that is laced throughout, which adds to the lighter moments in this otherwise intense plot. The setting in Hollywood and the steamy and erotic scenes make it a page turner.

Jack Magnus

Beautiful Monsters is a contemporary romance written by Cynthia Ogren. Riley Rinaldi is a makeup artist working in Hollywood. When we first meet her, she's trying to sneak out of a lead actor's trailer on the set. Stephen had a lovely accent and played a very sexy vampire, but Riley realized after the fact that she was attracted to the character he played, not the star. Riley's had a hard time romantically. She chooses the wrong lovers and is still smarting over the last unhappy relationship which ended when an irate wife she hadn't known about burst in on the scene. Ignoring the looks and good-natured ribbing from her friends and co-workers, Riley finds herself attracted once again to another, older actor named Keller Cross, who is quite irresistible and has assured her that his marriage is definitely over, but it's so very hard for Riley to learn to trust someone again.

Cynthia Ogren's contemporary romance, Beautiful Monsters, is a well-written and enjoyable story. While it does contain some scenes that could be considered steamy and mildly erotic, they are tastefully written, and I did not find them at all offensive. Riley and Keller are marvelous characters, both of whom are flawed and very human, even if they are both physically beautiful. They each have issues that work to make them fully defined in the reader's eyes, and their struggles with trust and acceptance keep up the dramatic suspense. There's also a wonderful supporting cast of characters in Keller's and Riley's friends, especially Bebe and Riley's adopted mom, Carmen, the housekeeper. Beautiful Monsters is quite a good read. I found myself reluctant to put it down until I had finished the last page. It's highly recommended.

Matthew Peters

If you’re like me and haven’t read contemporary romance, take everything you think you know about the genre and set it to one side. Now, pick up a copy of Cynthia Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters and let the wild ride begin.

It would be easy to focus on the excellent pacing, the well-drawn characters, and the intriguing plot of this book, all of which I’m sure will fully satisfy devotees of romance erotica. But I’d like to focus on other aspects of Beautiful Monsters, those that appealed to me and led me to read compulsively this wonderfully executed and beautifully told story.

Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross are likable, yet extraordinarily flawed characters. Their journey into and out of love has all the to-hell-and-back-again qualities associated with a glamorous Hollywood production. Oh wait…it IS a Hollywood production. But the fact that the setting is Tinseltown should not lead one to think the characters are shallow and two-dimensional, because all of Ogren’s characters come with fully rounded personalities, idiosyncrasies, and yes, lots of baggage.

What is less obvious is that the setting and the Hollywood production around which all of the action centers, the vampiric “Beautiful Monsters,” serves as a metaphor for Lala Land itself, and for the people which populate its palatial houses and its slapdash sets, its raunchy clubs and seedy tattoo parlors. Beautiful on the outside, monstrous on the inside, the town’s inhabitants are consumed by jealousy, love, anger and greed.

But what Ogren unfolds against the reprehensible backdrop is a lyrical tale of love addiction, one that is intoxicating and breathtaking. The story grabs the reader in a passionate embrace and will not let go until the story is spent. The reader emerges fully satisfied, caring about the main characters, and eager to be swept away in another story from the mind and heart of this truly wonderful new storyteller.

Maxine McCoy

Beautiful Monsters is an irreverent romp into the entitlement, complexities, and heartaches of the Hollywood elite. Riley Rinaldi, makeup artist for the stars, collides heart-on with sexual deviant movie star Keller Cross. Cynthia Ogren brings to life these two beautiful, yet broken, people, letting you crawl into their souls to experience their joys and heartaches first hand. The story is well-written, well-plotted, and emotionally satisfying, with light humor scattered amongst the darkness. I wholeheartedly recommend Riley's and Keller's story. When you turn the last page, you may look at love and forgiveness in a whole different way.

Neal Davies

I found Beautiful Monsters to be an intriguing read and my only complaint is that I have to wait for its sequel. Riley and Keller are standout and believable characters who meet in an exceptional town under exceptional circumstances, so this relationship had no hope of being anything but explosive from the outset. Riley has everything she needs in life except true love but finally feels she has found it in actor Keller Cross. The question that probably doesn't need answering but keeps presenting itself at you through out their torrid affair is; is it love or lust she has discovered? What ever it is Cynthia Ogren has brought the characters alive with some very clever writing and if you can read this book without feeling the emotion and passion that jumps out at you from these very life like characters, then I suggest you check your own pulse

Lisa Smith

What a great book. The ride that Riley and Kellar took me on was a wild one. The Hollywood life style, wild and fast. Can't wait to read more of Cynthia Ogren books.

Lisa (Amazon)

I was skeptical at first about this book, 'cause I don't normally read romance books. But I must say this one has definitely changed my mind. It was brilliantly written and you definitely got an up close and personal attachment to the characters. It's definitely one you won't want to put down it keeps you going till the end. I absolutely loved it hoping for a sequel .

Mina J.

I decided to read BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS because I was intrigued by the title. I expected it to be a somewhat predictable story about the rich and famous, but I was in for more than a few surprises! I found myself very drawn to the main characters, Riley and Keller, both of whom struggle with their own inner demons - yet yearn for love and redemption. It is a sensitively written, complex and sensual love story that delves into the human characteristics that have the ability to unite us, or to destroy us. It certainly begs the question: Must we be fully accepting of those whom we love? If you haven't read BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS, do it! You won't be disappointed.


Not your mama's romance novel!
It has been a few years since I've read anything in the romance/erotica genre. After a while, it seemed that each story followed a predictable pattern. Not so with this gem. Beautiful Monsters is truly unique - sweet but with just the right edginess to make it an excellent read. Authentic, three-dimensional characters set among Hollywood glitterati will have readers panting for a sequel!!

Amazon Customer

What a fun book to read! I don't normally read erotic books and this book surprised me as I enjoyed the book very much (and learned a few things along the way!). Could not put this book down as the author has a way of ending a chapter in that way that you just have to turn the page to find out what is going to happen next in the lives of these two very complex and interesting characters! Certainly hope Ms. Ogren is working in a sequel as I am very anxious to find out what happens to Riley and Keller in the next phase of their lives and it will not be the cut and dried "living in a house with children and a white picket fence"! This books also shows that money and beauty does not buy happiness although most of us in the general population would certainly like to give that life a try!

Ruth Renwick

Being a retired teacher, I'm a bit of a prude but was laughing out loud reading erotic but hilarious passages. I was pleased with not an over abundance of characters and soon had not only Riley and Keller (Killer?) but the supporting cast clarified easily with apt descriptions, in an amusing introductory plot.In the beginning, embarrassed,successful, Riley, the lead character, a makeup artist in the movie set Beautiful Monsters, with her emotional baggage and her lust for Keller, the Hollywood star,is deeply confounded by this lust for this man who turns out to have a ton of his own psychological baggage, much of it stemming from his bisexual proclivities and strong drive. Their characters are gradually revealed through their sexual magnetism. Other characters provide interesting direction and support to the story as well in this tale of Hollywood with Beautiful People being Monsters underneath while the metaphorical vampire movie they are making involves Keller and Riley's dance being centre stage as it is behind the scenes. Layers upon layers of metaphor and innuendo leave the reader expecting the evil steamy side of this story to prevail. I was fanning my face when Riley as Dominatrix does her dirty on him,This old lady skimmed those pages and shut out the light early that night. Curiosity kept me turning the pages, however, as this book is a well honed piece of literature with some really unique twists in the plot around this ambivalent relationship..She doesn't really want to do the dance but he does and can be very convincing. The vampire metaphor runs throughout leaving one feel drained at times when their love is completely sapped out, seemingly. Not only in the vampire art form but in their lives they dance a tragic dance of love. I was surprised as the pace quickened at a climatic turning point of brilliant writing. This changed everything and the dance around evil and good behaviours and actions left me wondering right up to the last chapter with a real connection to these two characters, now, what would become of them. A very satisfying ending. I hope Cynthia Ogren has started her second book!

Avid Reader

Hollywood like you've never seen it before!

I received this book for an honest review and liked it so much that I had to purchase an official copy. Before reading a word, I checked out reviews and noticed this book was being put into different genres. I wondered why, so I read the book and now have an answer. This book truly does have something for readers of every genre, over the age of 18.

With that being said, this book is predominantly a Romance. It is full of drama, intrigue, plot twists, and steamy scenes. It also has something unexpected, vampires. Okay, they may not play a major role or in the way you've come to expect, but they are there.

The main characters, Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross would probably get my vote for favorite literary couple. Although they are among the Hollywood elite, they are nothing at all like the way most of us envision the Hollywood community. They are flawed and don't go out of their way to hide that fact. For that reason, I found them highly likable and became involved in their story.

The writing flowed beautifully. There wasn't one incident where I thought the story lagged or went too fast. The editing and formatting was spot on as well.

In case you couldn't tell already, I loved this book. I am now anxiously awaiting the next book by Cynthia Ogren, which I hear is a sequel to Beautiful Monsters. I can't wait!

Amazon Customer

Simply amazing book! I couldn't stop turning the pages. I don't normally read romance books, but this one is by far one of the best I've ever read. I would compare it to 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.

Madiha (Goodreads)

"Beautiful Monsters" was an awesome read. The story was perfect. Very well-written. It was quite different from the stories we generally read. Its not your common Erotica. It was too good to keep you gripped right from the first page till the end in your urge to know what happens next.

Riley Rinaldi is very beautiful but she thinks that's the only thing that makes men attracted towards her. She is a make-up artist. One day she crosses paths with an actor Keller Cross. They fall for each other but their relationship can't go smoothly because Keller is already married.
Riley and Keller both have their secrets, both have their past to face. Will they be able to forgo their past and unite? Will their relationship work?

You need to read this book to find what happens in this amazingly sewn story!
(I received a free copy by the author in exchange of an honest review)

Pamela (Goodreads)

A must read!!! Riley Rinaldi believes she is cursed. Her beautiful looks makes her feel has if that is the only reason why men want her. Until she meets actor Keller Cross. She and Keller become as one but their relationship is very difficult because Keller is still married. Riley and Keller both have a past, but can they both overcome their and move forward? Does Kellers wife Claudia get Keller back and does she keep Keller and Riley apart for good? You'll just have to read it.

Judge Jurey

Beautiful Monsters was a pleasant read and refreshingly original. The anticipation of wanting to skip forward to the last chapter for the ending was intense and quite hard to resist. I am looking forward to Cythia's next endeavor.