I didn’t realize until about half-way through this book that the thing was set in Greece. Seriously people! There’s nothing wrong with giving away the setting in the first few pages or so, and it can definitely lessen the confusion of your readers. The main characters kept mentioning about returning home to the island, and I was like, “But which one?? The world is full of them!!”
After “I do…” Ajax Kouros had a plan. Being jilted at the altar? Not part of it–especially when facing a thousand guests and one hundred reporters. His company’s future depends on marrying a Holt, and when his bride’s sister steps up to the altar, can he say no? Leah Holt grew up watching her beautiful socialite sister hang on Ajax’s arm. Now she has the chance to stand in the spotlight and save her family’s fortune. But saying “I do” is only the beginning, and Leah soon realizes that the man she married is far more complex and distracting than the boy of her childhood fantasies…
I’ll admit, the synopsis definitely drew me in. But after the first few pages I realized the entire predicament behind the plot could have been avoided very easily. You see, Leah’s father is a wealthy business owner who, for some reason, set it up long ago that the running of his company would pass to the husband of whichever daughter married first. When Leah’s sister abandons Ajax, the ideal male specimen to run the company, to run away with his sworn enemy, Leah steps up to the altar to ensure that her father’s business doesn’t fall into the hands of a tyrant. Gee, maybe if your father hadn’t been so intent on the business being run by a MAN, and had let one of his daughters with a vagina inherit the business we wouldn’t be in such a pickle, now would we? We also wouldn’t have a book, but still!
Characters with Some Issues
Goodness gracious, I thought I had confidence issues! Leah takes the idea of looking down on yourself to a whole new level of concerning. She’s always seen herself as second best to her sister, and now that Ajax has basically “settled” for the less beautiful of the Holt sisters, Leah’s self-image kind of takes a beating. But you know what?! I feel like even if you’re like me, and you usually find something to critique about your appearance, every once in a while you have that opportunity to get dressed up, where your hair looks just right, somehow you succeed in getting that smokey eye look, and when you finally look at the full package in the mirror you can’t help but admit to yourself, “Damn, I look good!” You can’t be down on yourself 24/7!
As for Ajax, he’s got his own set of problems. He had a rough childhood, and is constantly fearful that he’ll lose control and end up just like his criminal father. At first, there was a really interesting dynamic back and forth between Leah and Ajax, where she tries to convince him that he’s a good person, and he tries to help her see how desirable she is. After a while though, they were literally having the same conversation over and over again, and neither wanted to let up on their self-image issues. Towards the end I remember thinking, “How are they still arguing about this?!”
Ajax grew up in an environment where drugs and women were readily available at the drop of your panties, and one night he kind of blacked out to the point where he almost raped a girl. But then he snapped out of it, and ended up rescuing her from the life his father had brought her into. Hurray for Ajax. However, he’s always worried that if he gives into his passion for Leah, he’ll lose control all over again. So he insists on maintaining that control by forbidding Leah to touch him during sex.
At first I wanted to tell the guy to just lay off it and relax already, but then I thought about it for a minute. Basically, in order to ensure that she doesn’t touch him, he wants to tie her up so he can focus all of his attention on her alone, and pleasure her over and over again until she bursts from a pleasure overload. Yeah, I don’t really see a problem here. If the guy can also manage to do the dishes, I’d give him a go.
*An audio book was provided by Recorded Books for an honest review*
Series: Holt Sisters, book 1. I was really disappointed we didn’t learn more about Leah’s sister Rachel, and her motivation behind leaving Ajax at the altar. I mean, obviously they didn’t have an emotional connection, but I want to know why she chose his sworn enemy instead. Maybe more will be revealed in book 2.
Should you read it? It was okay. An interesting premise for sure, even if the reasoning behind it was kind of ridiculous. I do feel like the same argument was on repeat for a large portion of the novel.
Smut Level: She’s a virgin. He hasn’t had sex in 18 years. Things are bound to get freaky!
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Harlequin. 192 Pages.