Marist comes from money. Not MONEY MONEY like her neighbors and father’s co-workers… but she’s definitely in the 5%. At least that’s what she thought.
Turns out her parents have been living on borrowed dimes and the kindness of strangers… particularly her father’s boss, McAllister. But that generosity is about to end. In order to save the family’s home and fortune, her sister must marry Royce, McAllister’s oldest son. One teensy problem… her sister isn’t the trophy wife… She’s pregnant. And that won’t do. So Marist steps into her sister’s shoes. And learns that there’s a whole lot more to Royce and his family. And it even includes a secret initiation.
This book was running at a solid five star for most of the time reading this until I reached the cliffhanger ending. The writing was solid. The pacing spot on. There were women supporting women. The book passed both the Pizza Night test and the Bechdel test. I liked it. I hated the ending.
It’s a cliffhanger. Like knock you in your gut and leave you screaming WHAT THE FUCK!!! Because that’s what happened. At first I was shocked, then I was pissed. Because nowhere in the blurb or anywhere did it state that this story was incomplete.
You know, I get it. You want to hook readers. But warn them. Let them make an informed choice. Some people will read it anyway… I know I have… IF I KNOW WHAT I AM GETTING INTO!!!
That being said for the most part I liked this book. I liked Marist and Royce as characters. I didn’t doubt their attraction. And I liked Royce’s honesty toward Marist… at least until the end happened. McAllister is a very good villain. Like he’s the kind of villain you love to hate.
I even liked the dubious consent which for those people who need the warnings this book has a crap ton of dubious consent. The consent was never so dubious that it stepped over the line. And for much of the story the agency was always put back into the heroine’s hands. And there were a lot of check-ins, more in this book than in several BDSM books that I have read. The heroine always had a choice, it wasn’t always a good choice. But she did have choices and she did have agency.
I just really wish the author had given the READERS a choice. She didn’t. If the story had ended on a happy for now as opposed to an out and out cliffhanger, then I would have recommended the book and gone on to buy the next book in the series. As it stands now I only see this as a cash grab. And for the gut punch and the author’s lack of consent toward her readers I can only give this… Three Stars
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