Her heart-rate was raised, rapidly. And she knew exactly what had caused it. Rafael Sanguardo…
Celeste Philips’s night was meant to be about raising money for charity. Not trying to douse the flames of attraction between herself and self-made millionaire Rafael Sanguardo. A man who always gets what he wants.
Celeste knows she shouldn’t fall for Rafael’s practised charm, and yet the more her head tells her to walk away and protect her fragile heart…the more she craves his forbidden touch!
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Shocking and not for me
I normally expect a good deal of excitement from Ms James but this was unusually low key. It was as if the author was trying to be traditional as opposed to a gratuitous sexfest and fell between the two stools
I couldn't say I disliked the characters but they didn't ring true with me. Regular hints were made as to aspects of Celeste's past but rather than excite your interest it just became monotonous. She had set herself on a certain course but it felt as if she really wanted to be persuaded from it.
Rafael's behaviour was out of character with the person he was supposed to be.
When the "big secret" was revealed I found it shocking and disgusting - I don't accept Celeste's reasons were valid, but that's a whole issue in itself.
Worryingly M&B seems to be pushing the barriers out further and further and this was more than a step to far for me.
Too many exclamation marks!!
First off, let me say that I'm a fan of Julia James writing and characters - always have been - and hoped that this latest would be just as good as her previous offerings. Unfortunately, I've come to expect far more than this rather curious lightweight story, in many ways, despite the supposedly dramatic reveal at the end.
I did like both the central characters however they both carried scars from events in their past which were just not realistic to the modern people they were portrayed as - in the case of Rafael, dynamic international businessman. With Celeste, I just couldn't accept that the strength of the 17 year old who was forced to make some very difficult decisions, had all but disappeared in this apparently broken 24 year old.
My main bug bear was the amount of self-introspection with both characters. This can be a very effective tool in communicating ideas/moods, etc to the reader however, like seasoning, should be used judiciously. Practically every page had some and as for the amount of dramatic internal dialogue from both characters - sheesh! I lost count how many exclamation marks there were - editors where were your red pens?
So overall a bit of disappointment for me Ms James - won't stop me reading future works but please go back and re-read some of your earlier books to recreate believable characterisation and a story with natural ebb and flow of sexual tension for your next epistle - please?
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