Book Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (DNF @ 20%)
After Cara is abruptly fired, she is sequestered by a man in a limo: none other than Julian Aristo Starr, a world-renowned singer, with a dual personality. Without much of a choice, she is forced into a date night with him, and after a few glasses of wine, she wakes up with flitting memories of a one-night stand. Worries explode in her head: did they use protection? Will he be back? And why can’t she stop thinking about him?
In a story that starts off with undertones of manipulation, I thought I was entering tale about a woman escaping a power-crazed melomaniac. Cara is both entranced and repulsed by Julian, but she keeps going back to him. At the same time, Julian – who is capturing Cara’s heart – is obsessive and manipulative, leaving a bitter taste in the reader’s mouth.
Rather than being played up as the villain, Julian is built up as a love interest for Cara. By 20% of the way through, the constant back-and-forth of their relationship, marked by Cara’s pregnancy, left me feeling odd. I knew by that point that the book wouldn’t be for me and decided to mark it as a DNF with no rating out of fairness to myself and the author.
I ultimately skipped to the last chapter to see if it would end as I expected. Unfortunately, it did not throw any surprises at me there. Granted, perhaps the weaving of the story makes the ending work: perhaps Julian reforms, or he’s not as bad as we are led to believe. But by the time Julian was stalking Cara with a private investigator, I had to close the book.
Romance, as a genre, is hit-or-miss for me. It’s not my favorite, so I’m already pickier over what I read. The stories about a manipulative-man-turned-good often do not impress me. Sometimes they can be done right, and some people might love these types of stories, but they’re not for me.
Yet, don’t let my inability to finish this book sway you. Leandra Simones is a good writer, and if she made me hate Julian in 20% of the book, I am sure she can instigate many emotions within you. Perhaps you’ll fall in love with Julian; maybe you’ll connect with Cara.
All-in-all, it wasn’t for me though.
What’s it about?
Cara, while feeling stuck in her job, is abruptly and unfairly fired. She is seething in her office and in the midst of destroying company property when she hears a wolf whistle. She discovers it’s the company’s owner, the highly affluent and infamous musician, Julian Aristo Starr. Cara is aware of his alleged dual personalities as Aristo, the consummate perfectionist, performer and manipulator and Julian, the reclusive creative genius behind the man. Unfortunately, it’s Aristo. She is unimpressed.
Running out of time to clear the premises, Cara bolts out the building, only to encounter Julian, a totally different person than Aristo. Now, she’s intrigued. Julian convinces her to have dinner with him.
The following morning she wakes from an outrageous nightmare, that just might be true, given the men’s purple underwear on her mantel………