Released: October 17, 2013
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Tricia Daniels
Reviewed by Sarah
On the flap: It’s been years since brilliant IT consultant Olivia James, fell for a man who had a deeply hidden compulsion to violence and control. Left healing physically and emotionally, she became a shadow of the confident woman she used to be. That is, until she meets Ethan O’Connell, a man who makes her burn with a powerful desire. Haunted by fear and insecurity, she desperately tries to resist him, doing all the right things to protect her heart, but she is betrayed by her desires and her attraction to confident men. With stubborn perseverance, he ignores her attempts to push him away, leaving her wanting, desiring his love, needing it to feel alive and whole.
Ethan O’Connell is extremely successful in his businesses, with a seriously sexy Irish accent and a lethal kind of flare and charm. More than any one man should ever possess. Ethan knew, from the very first moment that he saw her that she is meant to be his. Used to getting the things he wants, he is determined to have her and struggles to control his Irish temper, the reason for his own troubled past. Olivia James is the woman that makes him want more, the kind of girl that would make any man think about forever. Afraid that he can’t live without her and unwilling to lose her, he hides his secrets and ignores his dark desires and fantasies of control.
Convinced that she is “THE ONLY ONE” for him, Ethan refuses to walk away, vowing that he will never give up on her, even if it means he has to fight hard enough for both of them. Can he control his temper and his needs in order to keep her in his life? Can she heal her past wounds and let him in? Like no other woman in his life, Olivia challenges him with her strong will and sharp sense of humor, making him wonder if she could ever become a willing captive of his dominance. Ethan hopes with all his heart that she will become equally addicted to his love, and a sneaky suspicion that falling in love with Olivia James is about to bring on a shift in the balance of power in his world.
Olivia James is truly a complex character. To some she may come off a bit wishy-washy but given the backstory and her traits, could you blame her? Still plagued with insecurities after having literally survived a horrendous, abusive relationship, she spent the last several years trying to shore up her emotional walls and just exist. She’s still broken in a lot of ways but striving to improve and try to live as long as she maintains the control. It’s really all about baby steps with her.
Ethan O’Connell is a successful business man and charming Irish lothario. A man with a short fuse and control issues, Ethan faces tribulations of his own. He, like Liv, has to learn to adapt especially if he wants to keep her in his life.
This is the first installment of what looks to be a trilogy for Ethan and Olivia. It commences enigmatically with a prologue from a seemingly past life experience. Then the story moves to present day and the introduction of the two main characters as well as a large cast of secondary characters, all of which are integral to their relationship. There’s a lot of pushing, less pulling at the start but that transforms over time to be a more equalized concessions as they’re bond grows. For me, the middle of the book slowed down moderately. Having said that it’s also the meat and potatoes, where the details of the flourishing rapport become more clearly stated. At the start of chapter 18, I had about a three page freak out where I thought I had missed a chapter. In fact, I re-read those three pages multiple times. If I would have just gone to the fourth page, I would have save some time and heart flutters because it’s revealed there. The last third of the story captivates with lots of developments and then BAM, you’re hit with a cliffhanger and wanting the second book now.
While there are several steamy sex scenes which undoubtedly display the palpable chemistry, they are secondary to the burgeoning connection between Ethan and Liv. This is an emotional rollercoaster with substance and not just flair. This epic stands out from other romances, differentiated with the insinuated re-incarnated souls and a compelling story with a solid plot.
Rating: 4 Stars
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I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.