Nature of the Beast by Cheyne Curry

Caprice Gallagher is a fan of Hannah Brishen. In fact, she has a crush on the tall singer, but who hasn’t? Caprice would never dare approach Hannah at a concert, too much competition making the effort not worth the probably humiliating result.

It comes as a big surprise, then, when Hannah initiates a contact, and not just for a quicky backstage; in fact she seems relieved and a little incredulous at learning that Caprice is single. She begins to court her,
and the reader sighs in blissful expectation of a romance unfolding.

Why then did Cheyne put out an explicit warning about violence and intensity?

There’s this woman, Annie, Hannah’s Ex, who cautions Caprice, “Be Careful. She’ll hurt you.” Apparently she is in violation of a restraining order, but then she also seems frightened by Hannah…

It turns out that Hannah likes to be in control, to put it mildly. She also likes increasingly rough sex, and so the relationship goes on a downward spiral.

The story does, thankfully, not end in dispair, but it is not what I would call a comfortable read. Don’t misunderstand, it is excellently written, meeting the high standards I’ve come to expect from this authoress. But the subject matter may not be for everyone. As Cheyne herself says, “If it helps raise awareness, then I guess there was a reason my muse made me go to the dark side.”

You have been warned. Other than that, highly recommended reading.


  1. Seriously, this story is really bad.. the dialogue, the characters' dynamics.. I'd say only the idea was worth much. However, the realisation and the end result – not.

  2. @anon: I never review a story I don't like, so it's hardly surprising that we don't see eye to eye on this one… I especially liked how Cheyne allowed the perception of Hannah to develop, laying clues that can only be understood in hindsight. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but "only the idea was worth much"? There's quite a bit more to the story, even if it's perhaps sth you don't care for.

  3. That's the thing – it IS something I care about. And this is why I got so anxious and displeased with the end result. The story had so much potential the first chapter or two, the characters were quite believable and the interactions – entertaining.. And then all of a sudden that disappeared, and the story became just flat. And yes, of course, everybody has an opinion, that's just mine.

  4. @anon:

    > everybody has an opinion, that's just mine.

    Well, yes… but I'm becoming intrigued. Just at what point did the story turn 'flat' for you? I admit that this is a selfish question, because I would like to be aware of such a thing in my own writings. Always willing to learn, and I mean it. Might also help me write better reviews.

  5. I liked the story. It is a abuse in any relationship is a horrible thing, but Cheyne does a credible job in presenting a difficult subject. I am very glad for the trigger warning at the beginning as the abuse is uncomfortable to read. I am also biased as I live in the location about which she writes and found it enjoyable to try to figure out the different places to which she referred. I look forward to Cheyne's works and appreciate the effort that she put into this one.

  6. I'd like to know anonymous' reasons, too. I don't mind getting a bad review but it helps to know why.

    I can understand people not liking a story but it helps to know why, just like it helps to know why someone liked a story. How did the story become flat? What would have made it better? Is it that the Uber Gabrielle character didn't redeem the Uber Xena character in the end?

    It's easy to say you don't like something but give something more than a generic reason. That helps me write better and it also helps potential readers not just arbitrarily turn away from reading it and giving it a chance.


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