Book publisher heroine is torn between 2 men. She sees her ex-boyfriend (BF) who she broke up with a year ago at her brother’s wedding. He now seems considerate & sensitive to her needs & wants to reconcile with her. She also meets businessman Hero at the wedding and is instantly attracted to him.
The attention her ex-BF showers her gets her tangled up with him, despite her initial refusals.\
But Hero wines & dines her in luxury.
Captivating her in a way her ex-BF has not.
Things become more complicated when she finds that her ex-BF, Hero, & her brother used to be close friends in college. But a BDSM scandal with a recently-murdered woman they were involved with rocked their friendship.
She’s not sure if Hero is the villain he is portrayed by her ex-BF or the rescuer. What happens when the truth is discovered?
It was an effort to get through this book. Technically, the overall writing was relatively sound. What I didn't like was the author's style of summarizing what was said or done by heroine earlier in the chapter. It was strange at first. Then became irritating with its frequent repetition throughout the book. I also found author's portrayal of a mid-20s American heroine living in London for the last 2 years awkward at best. Heroine’s language was inconsistent. She talked more formally & more British most of the time. But then she’ll break into American English with phrasings I’ve never heard use here in the US. Now I'm no expert on American New England dialects but the author used American phrases I've never heard before. For example, heroine repeatedly used the phrase “gaming me”, which was used instead of the more American standards “toying with me” or “playing me”. There were a lot of repeated references to Dunkin’ Donuts & her calling her brother “bro” and he calling her “sis” as if that proved their American identity. The flow from British English to American phrases by these two American characters was cringe-worthy. The worst was when her Cambridge-educated brother with "his Dunkin' Donuts grin" told her "I done good!".
This book shouldn't be labelled an "erotic romantic suspense". Erotic was right but it was neither romantic nor suspenseful.
--------------SPOILERS: Don’t read below if you don’t want to know the book’s details-----
Neither heroine or Hero were ever in love with each other, in my opinion. They were definitely sexually attracted to each other &, at the most, had a strange fascination for each other. But I never believed they were in love with each other throughout the whole book. Heroine easily had sex with her ex-BF (who she hadn’t seen with since she dumped him 1 year ago) within an hour or 2 of meeting & being instantly attracted to Hero at their siblings’ wedding. She had more of an emotional connection with her ex than with Hero. But she wanted to fixate on Hero & completely move on from her ex. She put quite a bit of stock on Hero just because he flew her to another country & wined & dined her in a posh setting. I didn't think they connected all that much from their conversations so I was really surprised when they had sex at that date. I had to go back & re-read the previous pages to see if I missed something. I didn't. They went from having dinner with some light conversation to the bedroom. I didn't feel Hero & heroine's emotional connection. And their sexual connection was on a sexual level only. It didn’t help that we don’t get to really know Hero. He was a billionaire businessman & playboy who was secretive in his dealings. I didn’t believe that he felt anything strong and lasting for heroine. He said words that belie strong feelings for her but his action & overall emotional tone of the book failed to convince me.
The suspense part wasn’t all that mysterious or intriguing. It was only a side issue to the story of heroine’s confusion between Hero & her ex. I've read contemporary romance books that has a lot more action-suspense or intrigue in it than this one and they weren't labeled "romantic suspense". The college scandal with BDSM elements sounded salacious but ended up being anti-climactic. The sexual intrigue was explained away tamely & that was it for the suspense part. Just plain “erotic” is a more fitting label for this book.
I’d put this book towards the bottom of your reading pile.