• Beautiful and Terrible Things

  • By: Riley Hart
  • Narrated by: Michael Fell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Categories: Romance
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

We were six years old when I fell in love with Gage Beaumont.

We were 17 when he realized he felt the same.

His dad was the town troublemaker, and I was the son of a cop. We couldn't have been more different, yet we were best friends, had each other's backs, and kept each other's secrets. "What you are, I am," we always said.

Then one night irrevocably changed our lives forever.

It's 10 years before I see Gage again, and instantly I can tell he's not the same boy I fell in love with. We're both haunted and hardened by the memory of that night - of everything we did and saw.

Yet as much as we've changed, the connection between us lingers. Our history is so devastatingly complicated that it's difficult to allow ourselves happiness. With every touch, every laugh, every moment we take back, the more signs I see of the old Gage resurfacing. Little by little, I'm becoming the Joey he remembers, too.

But it's never that easy. If we truly want to heal, we have to find strength not only in each other, but in ourselves. Life is filled with beautiful and terrible things, and this time, we'll do whatever it takes to hold on to the good, and to each other.

Warning: While this is a story about friendship, found family, and two men epically in love, it also deals with difficult themes: childhood physical and verbal abuse, some violence, depression, and anxiety.

©2020 Riley Hart (P)2021 Riley Hart

What listeners say about Beautiful and Terrible Things

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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful written

This is a amazing book, be ready to cry a lot. There is a HEA.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

Honestly Riley Hart is a genius and I love all her books. You really feel the love and the heartache in all her book. This one was no different. I really enjoy the story and all the characters.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 03-01-21

Devastatingly beautiful with a happy ending

Some books have little impact on me. I listen, I enjoy, I write a review. Some books touch me. I listen, I think about, I write a longer review. Some books devastate me. I listen, I meditate, I go to therapy, I write an angst-filled review. This book landed somewhere in the middle. I listened, it broke me, it put me back together, and I’m writing this review. We’ll see how long it turns out.

Now, I love Riley Hart. Some of her books are just plain fun. Some make me think. Some have lasting impacts. This was one of those books. Now, please don’t let me scare you off. This is an amazing book. I think everyone should read it, but there are trigger warnings for a reason.

This wasn’t always an easy book to listen to, but sometimes I need to sit in the discomfort. Many gay kids and teenagers have it rough. Joey definitely was on the brutal end of the spectrum. The abuse he endured was heartbreaking. And so was the neglect Gage endured. We rarely have perfect parents, but we keep hoping the cycle of abuse will stop. Gage and Joey do come to realize how their childhoods impacted them. And how one horrific night changed everything.

I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll keep this review short. There was definitely angst in the book, and the dark moment was definitely dark. But Gage and his Jojo did come out the other side. Their love for each other saw them through some difficult times, and having the knowledge of the other at least brought some solace, even when they couldn’t be together. And I have to say they had amazing friends and mentors who impacted their lives.

As for the narrator, I really enjoy Michael Fell’s work. He worked perfectly for this book because he does children and teenage voices really well and his female voices also work. I don’t know how the partnership between Ms. Hart and Mr. Fell came about, but it was magic.

Listen to the book. Sit in the discomfort. Rejoice in the beautiful ending. You will be a changed person for it. For me, I believe, a better person.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-21-21

** spoiler alert **

Audiobook narrated by Michael Fell-5 STARS!-he was absolutely amazing!


I had very high expectations, too high.

I loved Gage and Joey and I love their friends Mouse and Romeo, but the book itself not so much.

This was very predictable. A story that we've seen many times before but I would like it if it was written in some other way, let me explain..

The book has 4 parts:

part 1:
I alredy know from the blurb that something is going to happen so while I did like that we get insights in their childhood I hated that I kept waiting for other shoe to drop until 30% of the book.
And when we come close to that event it becomes obvious what and how its going to happen.

part 2:
It showes aftermath of that event and I had a few questions here.
I know that in USA killing a cop is very frown upon but how exactly do you prove it was self defense if bruises and chocking doesn't count? Yes, he killed a cop but the cop was OFF DUTY beating and chocking his son (Gage and Joey had to have bruises at least) if that isn't self defense in court, what is?
And I couldn't wait to finish it because MC's are apart and I wait again for something that I know it's going to happen (for them to meet again).

part 3:
Present time. Finally!!! They reconnect and now I'm happy, I liked that part, very much.

part 4:
It's about their struggle to forgive themselves and each other. I liked that part too. It shows that moving on is not like in a fairytale it demands hard work. And they get HEA that they deserve for so long!

Like I said I woud LOVE this story if it was written any other way, but because of all the reasons above mentioned I can't give it more than 3 stars and those stars are mainly for Gage and Joey and the way it was narrated.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-22-21

Another great one

Riley Hart has done it again. this was fantastic. I cried, I smiled loved it