Kane’s Hell

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4.5~ My Sweet Hell~ Stars

In my opinion Elizabeth Finn is a Queen of unforgettable antsy stories and Kane’s Hell is no different. My emotions were all over the place. I loved than hated than loved again while the pieces of this story finally came together.

”How can one little thing destroy so much?”

Kane and Helene have been best friends since childhood. At the age of seventeen they’re brushing against the idea of something more. Their flirty behavior and easy banter has them both ready to explode but they never got their chance. One horrible night changes the course of their lives, leaving them both broken.

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Kane takes off leaving Helene behind to deal with her pain by herself and has absolutely no contact with her for eleven years. Suddenly he’s back in her life popping up everywhere and she’s not sure what to make of him.

One thing is very clear… they’ve handled their pain in very different ways. Helene jumped head first into her education. She continues to pursue just about every degree she’s capable of receiving. Kane however, jumped head first into every fight and whore he could find. His list of mistakes are longer than anyone would want to know.

descriptionNow Kane’s back and he’s enrolled in a college course that Helene (or his Hell as he liked to call her) teaches. Kane’s not pursuing a degree it’s clear he’s taking this class for one reason only…the teacher.

You slowly learn what happened to Kane and Helene and truly it’s heartbreaking and personally I found it slightly hard to read. The more you learn the more I understood how Kane could go from the nice sweet seventeen year old to the person he is today. That being said, I still almost hated him a few times, actually I did hate him at times. He’s emotionally hurt and when Helene doesn’t except him back with open arms he acts out in hurtful ways.

Since Helene’s focus has been her education, boyfriends and sex have taken a back seat. As much as her heart would like to explore something with Kane she wonders how she could ever compare to the lifestyle he’s lead for eleven years.

Moving forward means putting the past behind them but in order for that to happen, Helene needs answers, answers to questions that Kane’s not ready for.

”I needed you, and you left me. You left me in this place to deal with…everything on my own.

I need you to let me be angry with you. I need you to let me yell at you…forgive you.

Just tell me why? Why?”

“I can’t”

As the list of reasons Helene should walk away continue to pile up it’s their strong attraction and intense connection that she finds hard to ignore.

descriptionI think I was able to forgive Kane’s behavior and actions because everything he does is driven from his deep seeded pain. Helene is truly his sweet Hell and if given the chance Kane he’d do just about anything for her.

I’ve yet to read an Elizabeth Finn book that hasn’t stood out and the same is said about Kane’s Hell. This gut-wrenching story is without a doubt one that I’ll always remember!

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Beautiful Secret

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3.5 Stars

There’s something about Christina Lauren books that I’m addicted to. I know without ever reading the blurb that I’m going to add the book to my TBR list. The Beautiful Bastard series has been one of my favorites and a lot of fun to read but Beautiful Secret stands out in a completely different way because it has such a unique hero.

Niall Stella is Max Stella’s younger brother (Max is the hero in Beautiful Stranger). Niall is recently divorced from the one and only woman he’s had a relationship with. He met his ex-wife when he was barely a teenager and they married young. Now Niall is close to thirty and discovering that single life is lot harder than it looks.

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Ruby Miller is a twenty-three year old student working in London on an internship where she’s form a huge crush on Niall. Niall on the other hand doesn’t even know Ruby exists let alone the fact that they work at the same company until Ruby is chosen to take a month long trip with Niall to NYC.

Niall soon learns that Ruby’s outgoing personality and flirty nature are hard to resist. In a very short time, Niall opens up to Ruby more than he ever did in all the years he was with his ex-wife. Suddenly it’s not just Ruby that has a crush. Life is easy in NYC where it’s just the two of them but when they return to London they quickly discover that real everyday life is messy.

”I didn’t think men like you really existed”

Neither did I. Niall is definitely a unique hero. His respect for woman in general and how he views sex was a pleasant change. His only experience when it comes to how to handle a woman is what he learned from being with his ex-wife. That’s both good and bad. He’s divorced for a reason but he has a hard time breaking some of his old habits. He’s compassionate and overly sympathetic which in the beginning made me love him, but it also caused him to not use his head towards the end and left me with some mixed feelings toward his character.

I had mixed feelings on Ruby right from the start. She didn’t just have a crush on Niall, she was in full blown stalker mode. However, she grew on me and I was really happy to see how she stood up for herself at the end.

I’m not sure what’s next for this series, just that I’m sure I’ll read it!!

Wild Reckless

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4.5 Stars

This is my third Ginger Scott novel and there’s no doubt now that I’m a huge fan. Wild Reckless kept my attention and I couldn’t put this book down! I’ll even go as far as saying it made the top of my list for favorite YA/NA novels.

Kensi has to start her senior year of high school at a new school after her parents decided a move was best for their family. Being the new girl at almost eighteen is already hard but when Kensi learns she’s now neighbors with the wild and reckless Own Harper her life is about to get a whole lot harder.

Owen and his family have been the town’s outcast since Owen was just five years old and his father publically committed suicide. It doesn’t really matter what Owen is capable of, he living up to the reputation the town has of him.

Kensi is still angry about the situation she’s in, and while she can’t really take it out on her parents she’s not about to back down to her punk new neighbor. Everyone else might be afraid of Owen, but Kensi’s not and she’s not about to back down to him even if that means starting a war.

I’m starting a war with a guy who doesn’t lose-a guy who doesn’t play by the rules. A guy who scares me, and who knows where I sleep at night.

What Kensi never expected was how this war with Owen resulted in her learning her own families dirty little secret and the real reason for their move. In the blink of an eye, Kensi goes from pushing Owen’s buttons to needing him to take her away from her own problems.

As Kensi slowly starts getting to know Owen she’s discovers there’s a lot more to him then what everyone else sees. He might be wild, he might be reckless but in his soul he’s a really good person who would do just about anything for the people he cares for. Kensi has heard the warnings, she knows she might not survive loving Owen but it doesn’t change what she feels in her heart.

Loving Owen Harper is dangerous; yet I can’t help myself.

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Ginger Scott made me completely forget that I was reading a book about high school kids. The drama felt real and not childish in anyway. Both Owen and Kensi’s characters are well developed and hard not to love. I can honestly say that Wild Reckless is a book that I won’t forget about down the road.

Fisher’s Light

Fisher's Light

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4 Stars

This is not my first Tara Sivec book but it’s the first one I found so emotional and raw. Romance books are a dime a dozen. It’s the ones that move you and really stand out that are rare. Even more rare are books involving a couple already married. Books so often give readers an emotional ride to their HEA and then the story ends and we are left to believe that life was filled with flowers and rainbows. Which we all know that even when you marry the right person, possibly even your sole mate that life has it’s ups and downs, so reading Fisher and Lucy’s story was a refreshing change.

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Fisher meets Lucy just hours after signing his life over to the Marines but that doesn’t stop him from going for the only girl that’s ever made him want more. As the years go bye, Fisher and Lucy fall even more in love and they get married. During their time together, Fisher leaves on five tours over seas. Every time he returns home, he’s lost a piece of himself. Fisher being the strong alpha male that he is believes asking for help with his mental health is a sign of weakness.

When Fisher returns home for his fifth and final time, his mental state is so far gone that he wreaks his marriage. He single handily destroyed the only thing that truly mattered to him, but once he hits the lowest of low he gets the help he so desperately needs. Fisher still loves Lucy. Fisher knows in his heart he will never love another woman the way he loves Lucy so he sets out to make up for all the wrongs he caused.

I want this woman more than any drug or bottle of booze, and being without her is almost killing me.

Fisher’s Light is told in a dual POV alternating from three different times during their lives. Over the last few years of reading I’ve come to the conclusion that my brain doesn’t process alternating timelines well, because it’s something I don’t prefer, even when it works well with the story. With Fisher’s Light I was okay with the alternating timelines until the third timeline (when they first met in high school) was added. With that being said, I still fell in love with these two and I enjoyed reading a story that shows readers that life doesn’t end when you meet your sole mate, it’s truly just the beginning.

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Hard by Cheryl McIntyre

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3.5 Stars

Hard is definitely different from anything else I’ve read by Cheryl McIntyre. The hero is obsessed with capturing beauty, usually erotic images on film. For many years he worked as a photographer until recently. He hasn’t picked up his camera for some time until he sees her.

The prologue gives readers the horrible insight to Holland Howard’s past, and exactly why she’s so completely broken. The author gives a warning to the possible emotional trigger (view spoiler) which didn’t bother me only because I have no personal experience with this.

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Holland left her old life behind and is working in a pub thousands of miles from home. She’s physically going through the emotions of life, but she’s so completely broken on the inside and doesn’t really care what happens to her, which is why she agrees to leave with a customer not knowing him in anyway or where he plans to take her.

Jensen Payne has been watching this beautiful broken woman for ninety-two days. He loves easy, willing and submissive woman, but it’s something more with Holland. She’s a challenge, an enigma and his obsessive desire to photography her, to explore her body, and possibly figure out what’s caused her pain is to strong to ignore.

Most people throw away broken objects, discarding them like trash. As if they are somehow less important, less perfect, less beautiful. I frame them. Stare at them for hours. Enjoy their striking flawlessness.

The two start a very erotic relationship. They spend a lot of time exploring their basis physical needs with each other without crossing into the past. We know why Holland is broken and it’s clear that Jensen has things he doesn’t want to talk about, but they both hold on to their secrets like life vests.

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Due to Holland past and the secret Jensen is keeping neither of them want to take their relationship any further than it already is, but something inside both of them has changed and letting go doesn’t seem as easy as it did in the beginning.

Hard is fast paste story. The emotional side of the story is truly heartbreaking however the erotic side of the story over powers the emotional aspect. That could be good or bad depending on what you’re looking for in a book. Personally, if Hard had a little bit longer so we didn’t lose any of the steamy parts and had more depth in the real problems these two have to face I think this book could have been a five star read for me because I enjoyed it, but in the end I just wanted a little more closure.

An advance reading copy of Hard by Cheryl McIntyre was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

Declan + Coraline

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I enjoyed Declan and Coraline in Ruthless People so I was excited to read their story of how they met and fell in love.

From the moment Declan first sets his eyes on Coraline he knew she was different from any other woman he’s ever met. She makes him feel things he’s never felt before, she makes him feel like he’s just a guy falling for a girl, but Declan isn’t just a guy, he’s a Callahan and once Coraline understands what it means to be a Callahan, he’s afraid any relationship they have will be over.

”She takes away the nightmares. And for the first time in eighteen years I can dream again. She makes me smile a thousand times a day and laugh ten times as much.”

If you’ve read the Ruthless People series, then you already know that Declan and Coraline get married and what I love so much about their marriage is how it wasn’t perfect. Their love for each is almost perfect but they live life everyday just like everyone else fighting to keep their love alive.

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Fighting Silence (On the Ropes, #1)Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez
It’s LIVE: http://amzn.to/1DGRfRc
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4.5 Fighting Stars

Fighting Silence is my first time reading anything from Aly Martinez and I was with out a doubt impressed. This isn’t just the normal love story involving a sexy fighter. Fighting Silence is about over coming obstacles and the challenges life delivers. It’s a story of fantasy and reality and knowing the difference between them and willingness to fight for what you truly deserve.

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At thirteen years old, Til Page and Eliza Reynolds find themselves hiding out in an old abandoned apartment that’s not far from where they both live. The day they meet is the day Til learns that he’s slowly losing his hearing and one day will be completely def. Til crawled through the window of that old apartment looking for somewhere to be alone, a place to escape his problems, but instead he finds Eliza, and an unlikely friendship is born.

Both Eliza and Til come from worthless parents. Eliza’s plan has always been to leave for college and escape her past the second she can, but Til has two younger brothers and leaving them will come at a cost. After five years of friendship saying good-bye to their apartment and growing up is harder than either of them thought possible. They might only admit to being friends, but they both know it’s more than that, and it has been for a long time, maybe even from day one. On what was supposed to be his last night with Eliza, Til gives in to his every desire. He might not be the last man she ever loves, but he was the first and he wants her to always keep the memory of him in her heart.

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Til works multiple jobs to keep his brother’s safe and feed because it’s clear no one else worries about them. He didn’t even graduate high school so college isn’t even a thought for him. The path his life is taking is very different from the one waiting for Eliza, and while she still lives in the same town he can’t and won’t hold her back from the future she deserves. But when live becomes too much she’s the only person he wants to turn to.

I knew what she wanted, because it was the exact same thing I’d have killed to have with her. But there are a few things in life that trump the fear of losing your sole mate. I wouldn’t allow the desire to consume her to be one of them.

It’s been months since Eliza has seen Til and she was only starting to put her heart back together when he shows up at her door. Eliza has never understood why Til believes she’s better than him, but if he’s once again offering his friendship then she’s willing to accept that because having even just a little bit of Til is better than having nothing at all.

At the end of their senior year of high school, Til found a boxing gym called On The Ropes and he didn’t know it at the time, but this place changes his whole life. The owner see’s the strength in Til, the hard worker, the provider, the real man that’s hiding inside the boy and he helps Til fight some of the toughest battles he’ll ever face, including believing in himself.

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Til has struggled with the difference between fantasy and reality from the day he met Eliza. In his fantasy they will always be together, she’ll always be his and only his, but in his reality he’ll never be good enough. Not for the beautiful woman with a heart of gold, not for the woman that loves him and loves his brothers, not for the only person he’s ever called a friend. He needs her in his life. He can’t live without her and he won’t risk what they have on a relationship that could ruin everything between them. But the real reality is they’re growing up, and one day, possibly very soon Eliza will have a man in her life, a man that’s going to stick around and whether Til likes it or not, their relationship is going to change and watching her love someone else is going to shatter his fantasy and leave him with a reality he won’t be able to live with.

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Picturing a life that doesn’t include Eliza is one Til can’t live with. He’s been fighting this whole life just to survive, but now he’s actually fighting to live. He’s fighting for his career, for his brother’s future, for a life with Eliza and now for the only thing he’s never had any control over…the silence that’s been waiting for him.

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Typically I don’t care for stories when the two main characters spend time apart, especially when they have other relationships while they aren’t together, but the author does an a beautiful job of keeping the focus on Eliza and Til. Their other relationships are mentioned but never with any real detail.

What made me really love this book was Til and Eliza. For me it’s rare to like both the hero and heroine but in Fighting Silence I absolutely loved both of them. Til is amazing character who was truly lacking a good role model. He was never taught to believe in his self worth but he could clearly see it in others and was truly willing to sacrifice his own happiness for the three people he loved. The only family Eliza has is Til and his two brothers. She loves all three of them and would put herself in harms way in order to protect them and even knowing that, she still stands up for herself and demands more from Til. She doesn’t want to lose them, but her heart isn’t willing to except Til as only a friend. She needs more.

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There’s so much more to Fighting Silence then just Til and Eliza’s relationship. Both of Til’s brother’s have huge rolls in the story (and I’m guessing they might be the hero’s in the next two books?) and there’s so much more with Til’s time at On the Ropes. And then of course there’s Til dealing with his hear lost.

I can honestly say I thought this story was beautiful and I’m very glad I read it, and I will without a doubt go back and check out more of Aly Martinez’s stories and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

*ARC kindly provided by TRSOR in exchange for an honest review*

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By Any Other Name

By Any Other Name (Forbidden, #1)

 

4.5 Amazing Stars

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In my opinion, J.M. Darhower is a genius with writing forbidden mafia romances. Sempre is one of my all time favorite books so I was extremely pleased that not only did she deliver another amazing story, but one that was completely different from her original masterpiece.


**Spoiler Free Review**

By Any Other Name is a story of two families and a rivalry that turned deadly almost sixteen years earlier. The Galante and the Barsanti’s are the two strongest mafia families in NYC and once upon a time were friends, but one night changed everything.

We didn’t always go head-to-head. We used to exist peacefully.

The Galante and Barsanti children have grown up with this waging war between the two families and it’s been instilled in them to never trust, never get close and never let your guard down.

Genevieve “Genna” Galante may look sweet and innocent but she’s a pro at causing trouble. From trespassing, vandalism to even stealing a car and she has caused her father and brother to become dictated to protecting her.

Matteo “Matty” Barsanti is the first born of the Barsanti family but his life has been very much removed from the family and it’s been years since he’s been in NYC on a regular basis. Which is why, when Matty and Genna meet each other, they were unaware they were engaging with the enemy.

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When Matty and Genna get stuck in an elevator they feel an unexplainable connection between them. One that neither of them is willing to question and one they’re not ready to let go of. A few drinks later, and Genna is screaming Matty’s name in a way he’ll never forget. This one night appears to be the start of something beautiful, something real, until suddenly if they were just By Any Other Name they could be together.

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Genna knows she should be disgusted with herself for her night with Matty, but when she thinks about him she’s consumed by something else, something undeniable and suddenly families and names don’t seem as important as they once did.

Blood has already been spilled between these two families and their relationship will only ensure that more will. Being together won’t keep them safe, but going back to the life they had before meeting each other just doesn’t seem like a possibility.

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This story was one of those that I tried to read a little slower because as much as I wanted to know how things would turn out, I also didn’t want it to end. By Any Other Name is definitely a modern day Romeo and Juilet story and Matty and Genna did have some insta feelings towards each other, but their relationship grows at a reasonable paste.

I loved Matty. He’s six years older than Genna and quickly becomes her protector. He might be the next in line to take over the Barsanti family, but his blood runs different the other Barsanti men and doesn’t let his DNA define who he is as a person. Matty only had one night with Genna where last names didn’t matter, but he wasn’t ready to walk away from the only person his heart has ever felt a connection with. Being with Genna, loving Genna might be the hardest battle he’s ever going to face and it shows just how strong his character truly is.

By Any Other Name is the first book in the Forbidden Series. Some questions are left unanswered, hearts are broken and what will happen next is still a mystery BUT it ends in almost the perfect spot for the next book to pick up. The ending isn’t much of a cliffhanger and more of a HFN and I can’t wait to read what will happen next.

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*ARC kindly provided by J.M. Darhower in exchange for an honest review*

Prick

Prick

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3.75 Stars

So I have to admit, I’m kind of over the whole step-brother romance novels. It seems like every day there’s a new release involving stepsiblings and while I like a good forbidden romance I’m also looking for books that stand out and are original. The only reason I decided to pull the trigger on Prick was because a lot of my Goodread’s friends had either just read it or was currently reading it and at only 99 cents so I thought what the hell it’s worth a shot. So…I’m happy to report that while I’m still over the whole stepbrother scenario I did really enjoy Prick and the storyline was different from the other stepsiblings books I’ve read!!!

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Caulter Sterling is a true man whore. He’s a douchebag, an asshole, and a real PRICK. For the last few years while he’s been sleeping his way through his private high school, he’s wanted to bag the girl deemed untouchable…Katherine Harrison. And right before graduation he gets his wish because Katherine text him wanting to meet up. She practically gift wrapped herself and handed him a night he can’t seem to forget.

Ten days later, Katherine’s (aka Kate) father drops a bombshell. He’s not only dating a woman but they’re about to get married, and it’s none other than Caulter’s mother. Kate picked Caulter to punch her v-card because she’s the Senator’s Harrison’s daughter. Boys either feared her father’s power or only wanted her so they could get close to him. Choosing Caulter was easy. He’s a whore, a one and done, someone that after graduation she’ll never have to see again. Only now thanks to her dad’s secret relationship she’s going to live with him for the whole summer break.

He’s off limits. And not just because he’s my new stepbrother—I mean, we’re not even related, sure, but I can’t even fathom the scandal that would involve—but because it’s Caulter. He’s the crudest, filthiest, sluttiest guy I’ve ever met in my life. I have absolutely no business wanting him.

The story is told by both POV’s which I was extremely thankful for. Caulter is such a prick that if I didn’t know what he was really thinking I’m not sure I would have liked him. He gets off on pushing Kate’s buttons and is trying to get her to come out of the shell that she and her father have built up around her because it’s clear that Kate is not living the life she would choose for herself.

The ending felt a little rushed but over all this was a fun easy book that I really enjoyed.

Hero

HeroHero by Samantha Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Next to On Dublin Street, Hero is probably my favorite Samantha Young novel. I have a weakness for redeemabledouchebag hero’s and Caine Carraway definitely fits the fold for moody arrogant hero’s.

Alexa Holland grew up thinking her father was her own personal hero, who unfortunately had to work a lot when in reality he had another family. Alexa doesn’t discover this until years later when her father’s poor choices have permanently affected the lives of three families.

Alexa is now in her late twenties and working for a famous photographer in Boston when her latest job lands her in front of the one and only Caine Carraway.

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Caine Carraway is a sexy self-made millionaire and after one look at Alexa he knows who he would like to spend his evening with… that is until she mentions her father’s name, because now he wants absolutely nothing to do with her and refuses to work with her boss, which in turn gets Alexa fired.

Alexa is nothing like her father, but for some strange reason, she wants to help Caine and seek her own redemption for her father’s actions, so Alexa seeks out Caine once again. Only this time when she walks away from him, she’s agreed to work for him as his PA.

Alexa needed a job and Caine stepped up and gave her one, but it’s clear what his motives were…which is make her life a living hell. If Caine says jump, he expects Alexa to say how high and if she doesn’t like it, she can leave and never return. But as time goes bye, working together starts to spark a whole new level of tension between Alexa and Caine and it’s not long before they act on their desire for each other.

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After some explosive sex, Caine tries his hardest to put back up every wall he’s built regarding Alexa, but slowly they start to come back down again. Sex between them almost becomes an addiction, and for Alexa she knows she’s starting to fall in love. Alexa has never been enough for people who have claimed to love her in the past, and she’s starting to discover it’s the same with Caine.

I did not need to be saved by a man who couldn’t even save himself.

Caine was determined to make Alexa hate him, but he never meant for her to fall for him because he isn’t capable of forever. He explain the rules from the very beginning of their affair, but when Alexa decides her heart has had enough, Caine is left to wonder if his heart can handle more.

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For every amazing moment with Caine, he dishes out a few crappy ones as well. He was truly determined to keep their relationship strictly physical but his actions always spoke differently. He was jealous and possessive of Alexa but due his own past, a past Alexa knows nothing of, he feels he’ll never be good enough for her.

While Caine tries to keep his emotions out of their relationship, the two are in a (view spoiler) relationship for most of the book. And slowly they become friends. The entire book is told by Alexa’s POV and there were many times I would have loved to know what Caine ws thinking. His words and actions hardly ever matched and what and why he was keeping a secret started to annoy me because it became clear that no matter how much he was feeling for Alexa he wanted to go to his grave with it.

Still, this was a great book and I truly enjoyed reading it, and might even read again one day!

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