I don’t know..I just don’t know….this is a very difficult and confusing review to write as I really don’t know how I feel about Neil…This book reads like an action packed movie. It’s non-stop action with plenty of swearing and hotter than average sex scenes. I really did feel like I was inside a movie!
Viking-sized, ex-Jægerkorpset Neil Christensen a.k.a Viking is THE most alpha hero I’ve ever read about. He only speaks for around 20% of the book with Ariella/Ariel doing most of the
swearingtalking! Viking meets Ariel through her employer Andre, as she works for him as his receptionist. They become entangled in a plot of stolen guns, motorbike gangs, exes and in the midst of it all is Conner, Ariel’s and her ex Jason’s two-year-old son.
I don’t know if I want to rage on Neil or like him and I don’t know how much I wanted to dislike Ariel for her choices concerning Jason. Jason is an ABSOLUTE F*&$. He not only puts Ariel in a very dangerous motorbike gang related situation, he involves Conner too and put the child’s life at risk. I felt like Ariel was too in love Jason to think clearly about her actions and hence the situation that placed Conner and her in danger. But this character flaw is what I also like about her as she feels very human. Sybil captures Ariels’s emotions honestly. I cannot imagine how despairing and difficult being a broke, single parent is and I highly commend any single parent. No one wants to be in love with their ex especially a lying, cheating d*$^ like Jason who is also the father of her child. But, sometimes you can’t help it. Everyone wants that fairytale where your first love is your only love and Ariel desperately wants that but she is also smart enough to know what was best for Conner and herself. I also liked how Ariel could stand her own against Neil and doesn’t take any bullshit from him. She was sassy and smart mouthed and stood her ground at times against his alphaness.
Neil only “speaks” in short words and commands and is EXTREMELY bossy but he does have a kind heart and a soft spot for kids. He treats Ariella quite cave man like at times but that’s part of his character and sex appeal as an alpha. Neil is also portrayed to be an honest character but towards the end, there is something major he hides from Ariella and his pedestal crumbles. I really hated him for this as he tried to classify his lie as not a lie on a technicality. It jaded his character for me and I think many readers will be torn regarding it. This secret is explained later on and reasoning is given which also portrays a depth to his character. I didn’t feel like I knew Neil better at the end of the book but he does demonstrate depth. You just have to read between the lines and his actions speak louder than words.
The age gap bugged me. He’s 36, she’s 21. She’s broke and a single mum. He looks at her. She goes gaga! Of course a 21-year-old in her situation is going to have stars in her eyes over a rich, older man! Neil being rich felt convenient. He also treated her like a horny teenager and Ariel also allowed her body to rule her thoughts. A lot of things were manipulated by sex. It was sort of like reading 50 Shades but with better writing and no BDSM. I wonder how Neil would handle a woman who is older and equally worldly.
I think this book will divide readers. It really depends on what you like and don’t like. This is not a conventional, straightforward contemporary romance. If you like your men OTT alpha, your books action packed, steamy and snarky this is for you! If your inner feminist is going to rear her head by reading a whole heap of male, muscular, grunty, alpha bossiness you may want to stay clear! But make no mistake, whatever side you choose, the story is good, it’s very well written with characters that will make you think outside the box and that’s enough reason to read it. I’ll just sit on my little white picket fence and analyse which side I’m eventually going to fall on.
*Thank-you Sybil Bartel & Netgalley for the ARC.