This book had me teary eyed in the first twenty minutes of reading it. It deals with sexual and physical abuse in a very realistic way. The author’s description of the abusive events that take place are very vivid and raw and made my heart break for the victim, Riviera Bleu Benson.
When Riviera meets Benjamin Shandon for the first time she is frightened by him. He is a very successful owner of a construction company who is extremely demanding of his employees. He expects perfection and nothing less. They meet after he is woken up by her loud music while he is trying to sleep at one of his houses that she was hired to paint. He was yelling at her and was completely rude to her. Not a good behavior to have with someone who has been assaulted more times that she can count… but of course, he didn’t know that. Their next meeting didn’t go much better when one of his construction workers screws up on the job and he ends up taking his frustrations out on her. His behavior towards her and her reaction to him made my insides ache for her. She was so scared and just automatically went into a victim’s pose. He does eventually redeem himself and I did end up liking “Shan” (his nickname) as a character. He is an over-worked guy who has some issues of his own.
They end up having an interest in each other and an undeniable chemistry. He apologizes repeatedly to her for his horrendous behavior and he ends up treating her like the special person she is. Their relationship develops, but with the hurdles of dealing with a horrific past. She naturally has a hard time trusting people and gets scared away when she starts having deep seeded feelings for him. Add in a conniving interior decorator, a steroid addicted ex-boyfriend and a former black-ops special agent (although he’d deny it!) and throw some action and suspense and you have a really good novel. The love story is well done. It is about their need to let go of their pasts and their guilt in order to free themselves to love each other.
It was a well written novel that kept my interest throughout.