Nightmare Beauty

A Nightmare in Elmridge, Book 1

Young Adult - Paranormal
322 Pages
Reviewed on 02/29/2024
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Author Biography

Ileen Martin is a lifelong Miami native with Cuban roots; a public middle school language arts teacher of more than 18 years who was published five times in the Idea Education Fund teacher magazine; and new Indie author of the YA series A Nightmare in Elmridge. Her two books, Nightmare Beauty (2019) and Nightmare Hunt (2022), are available in paperback, e-book, and audiobook on Amazon, and through other major distributors like Apple Books, Barnes&Noble, Rakuten Kobo, and Smashwords in e-book format. Both books republished in 2024 with new special edition covers. The third book, Nightmare Kiss, is next in line to be published. Ileen enjoys designing POD products and blogging about life’s teaching moments at

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Nightmare Beauty is a work of fiction in the paranormal adventure, fantasy, and action subgenres, and is the opening novel of the Nightmare in Elmridge series. The work is intended for young adult readers but can also be enjoyed by adults. Penned by author Ileen Martin, the plot follows sixteen-year-old Belle Montague as she grapples with her haunting family history and a recent tragedy that leaves blood on her hands. Forced to leave everything behind, Belle moves in with her mysterious aunt in Elmridge, an elite city where she encounters a new set of challenges. From navigating a glitzy high school dominated by the Princess Posse to uncovering secrets about her past with the help of her fantasy-guy-come-true, Liam Rawlins, Belle must unravel the mysteries before it's too late. As she delves deeper into her supernatural family history, Belle finds herself entangled in a web of danger, romance, and dark secrets that threaten to consume her.

Author Ileen Martin has crafted a charming and enjoyable YA novel that perfectly balances elements of mystery, romance, and the supernatural to create a compelling narrative that hooks readers from the very first page. Belle's journey of self-discovery and resilience in the face of adversity is both relatable and empowering, making her a protagonist that readers will root for until the end. I loved the close narration and her dialogue and attitude, shaped by the events around her as she grows and learns to cope with the new surprises in store. The intricate plot, filled with twists and turns, keeps readers guessing with well-laid clues and some really satisfying reveals later on. The vividly depicted setting of Elmridge goes beyond the cinematic to realize a fully multisensory immersion into the story world. Overall, Nightmare Beauty is a must-read for fans of young adult fiction who enjoy a mix of suspense, romance, and paranormal intrigue, and I can’t wait to see what the series has in store next.