Still Beating is a dark and emotional romance yet still hopeful

Still Beating. Image courtesy Bloom Books
Still Beating. Image courtesy Bloom Books /

Everyone has a level of darkness they can endure in a romance book. Still Beating by Jennifer Hartmann takes it to an entirely new level, though.

If you watched any romance Booktube videos in 2022 or after, you will have seen Still Beating mentioned many times. This book seemed to blow up everywhere and it eventually led to Jennifer Hartmann’s books being picked up by Bloom Books.

In addition to re-releasing Still Beating, Bloom also picked up Lotus, June First, and The Stars Are On Our Side if you’re looking to read more. While I was understandably nervous to start this book, I ended up being surprised by how easy it was to read and quickly I came to love these characters.

If you’re hesitant about picking up Still Beating by Jennifer Hartmann, then I’m here to hopefully convince you as to why it’s worth picking up.

Still Beating is a romance that will break you and put you back together.

As I said, this book was everywhere if you follow any bookish content creators who read romance. That’s why I was so excited yet nervous to pick this one up as it’s been talked about a lot so the hype is real.

Even so, Still Beating ended up being one of the darkest yet most hopeful romance books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. If you don’t know the concept, the story follows Cora who needs a ride after a night out and she calls her sister’s fiance, Dean to pick her up. Once he does, the two start to leave before a police car stops them and everything goes black.

We come to find out that the police car wasn’t real and they were kidnapped by a man who not only repeatedly assaults them including raping Cora but forces them to have sex and essentially fall in love with each other before killing them. Since this is a romance though, I’m sure you can guess what happens as they end up getting out and they can’t seem to break the connection.

From there, we essentially follow Cora and Dean as they try to fight this unexpected tether they have to each other. Despite the tough topics and subject matter, I will say that Still Beating is one of the most hopeful stories I’ve ever read in my life. Seeing how much these two overcame both together and separately was inspiring.

I will say that I had two qualms with this book which were that I felt as though the sister was villainized a little too much. Yes, I can understand why she’d be upset but she felt almost like a supervillain at times. The other issue I had was that the pacing was a bit off towards the middle but other than that, this was a solid romance book.

If you can handle the topics and those dark moments, then Still Beating is worth picking up on release day. Plus I just adore the new cover Bloom Books shared.

Still Beating by Jennifer Hartmann is out now wherever books are sold. 

Will you be picking up a copy of Still Beating? Let us know in the comments.

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