Riviera Benson’s past has been nothing but horrific. It’s filled with secrets that she intends to keep tightly locked away...terrifying secrets that keep her awake at night...that prevent her from getting close to anyone...anyone that is, until her work as a muralist drives her into the arms of the hot and sexy Shan.
Benjamin Shandon, owner of Shandon Homes, works like a thousand demons are chasing him...because perhaps they are. His business has boomed, ever since the forest fire swept through the canyon and destroyed hundreds of million dollar homes. He demands excellence in everything...from his employees to his women. He slows down for nothing, keeping a schedule that no sane person would want. But Riviera interrupts everything, twisting his guts inside out, and wedging her way into his heart, destroying a promise he made to himself.
Will they let their pasts control their future, or will they decide to let go and allow their hearts to discover each other’s?
This book contains mature content and is not intended for younger readers.
As this is an adult book, please understand this is an 'adult' review.
OK, guys. I need to warn you straight off, I really enjoyed the book. However, I also really thought the main hero is an asshat... you know, those swoony douchebag heroes? (And I mean this in the BEST possible kind of way.) Isn't it NICE sometimes to have the characters not be perfect - have them make bad choices, gets angry for the wrong reasons, misinterpret another person's emotional state, just be more, well - REAL. On one hand, books - especially romance, it just comes with the territory. Either you'll have these perfect guys with rock-hard abs, they can dance perfectly, and can use their mouths for more than just talking; or it'll go the other way and it's all doom and gloom, alpha caveman, or hero so tortured they can only find solace in sex. Yeah, yeah, I'm oversimplifying and stereotyping but my point (I swear there is one, bear with me)... Shan has the abs, he avoids monogamy or even dating someone more than once (it seems), he's a perfectionist on the job, did I mention- he's fuckin' loaded, and he even has a a specific haunting tragic event in his past. But- the best part- and don't even try to question the oddity of this being the best part, Shan is a fucking douche. By his own admission:
"But then I saw you and I was so attracted to you that I think I developed a severe case of assitis just to make myself think I wasn't affected by you."
Somehow... that damn ass won me over. And the opening scene, hell yes, the opening scene. Now that opening scene makes you try to fall for him immediately, but I really think that subsequent asshat behavior just made him so real. He's NOT perfect, and that makes him all the more irresistible.
And Riviera- great name, and even greater explanation behind the name- she wasn't JUST some sappy female stuck in an abusive relationship. She had her tender moments, her vulnerable moments, her strong moments, her bad decision moments. She wasn't static and stuck in a rut, she was constantly changing and growing and blossoming with Shan.
Here I am going on and on about the characters, but I really think that's such a strength in this book. It does show (some) abusive relationship, and it does NOT sugar-coat it. There is darkness in this book, but it is well balanced by the light and warm-fuzzies (or even hotter) moments.
Something else that is common (for me) in A.M. Hargrove's books: there are almost always side characters I 'fall for' (or at the very least am VERY interested in) as much as the main characters. Shan may have started some juices flowing... but I would NOT be opposed to a little more Wolf. *Raises eyebrows* Oh, yeah.
Alright- nutshell time. There is sex. Many different kinds (nothing that makes you think 'I-can't-believe-they-went-there') and there is, like I said, darkness. Violence. Abuse. Blood. If you can put on your big girl panties and still like a swoony romance, and a reason to fall for a douchecanoe (Shan is quite a lovable douchcanoe, it's a term of endearment for him) than I'd recommend "taking the plunge" (and in this case pun IS intended.)
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/19qMpVb
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodge ball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone, called her boss and quit her job. Grinning, she made another call to her hubs and told him of her new adventure (after making sure his heart was beating properly again).
So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a YA/NA and Adult Romance writer. Her books include the following: Edge of Disaster, Shattered Edge and Kissing Fire (The Edge Series); The Guardians of Vesturon series (Survival, Resurrection, Determinant, reEmergent and Beginnings); Dark Waltz and Tragically Flawed.
Other than being in love with writing about being in love, she loves chocolate, ice cream and coffee and is positive they should be added as part of the USDA food groups.
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BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
Top Ten Lines that Brought a Smile to My Face
and a Laugh in My Heart,
(but not in the way you'd expect):
10. "Shit, she had a rack on her and an ass to match that would melt the fuck out of the polar ice cap. Talk about global warming."
9. "Who the fuck did that kind of stuff? Pervs you read about, that's who."
8. "Yeah, right. That would make a great impression... just like his volcanic dick had."
7. "Are you always an asshole?" "No, I'm usually a lot worse."
6. "'Dick,' she blurted out. 'Dick, dick, dick! There! Do you feel better?"
5. "I'd walked into that room, my ass would've been naked faster than the speed of freakin' sound."
4. "He was beginning to wedge himself into all kinds of places, and she needed to figure out how to handle it."
3. "Gee, I'm sorry you were molested when you were twelve" was so inadequate."
2. "The man's junk will be twitching. Mark my words."
1. "You actually saw him Yankeeing the doodle?"
(Starts humming Yankee Doodle Dandy...)