Series: Billionaire Fairy Tales #4
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: November 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
An intensely sexy Billionaire Fairy Tales standalone novel by Jackie Ashenden that is billionaire romance meets Little Red Riding Hood with a happily ever after.
Wicked. Ruthless. Obsessed.
Sent away from his family as a boy because he couldn’t be controlled, Rafe DeSantis’s new guardian turned him into a monster. One who wants only two things out of life: To get revenge on the father who destroyed his life. And to possess the woman who was kept from him. Ella Hart has been his obsession for years, and now that he’s her guardian he’s finally in position to black mail her into his bed. And once he has her there? He’s going to eat her up.
Innocent. Alone. Hunted.
Ella has been living with her grandmother since the death of her parents when she was a child. She’s learned to pour her grief and pain into dance, and it’s become her escape. Her passion. Now she’s set her sights on a prestigious dance school in Paris. But there’s one problem. Ella was so young when her parents died, her money was left in the hands of the DeSantis family…and it’s now controlled by Rafe. A man she’s always found compelling and terrifying at the same time. Rafe offers her an ultimatum: Give herself to him, body and soul, and she’ll get the money she needs.
Ella isn’t in a position to refuse, though she tries to resist the sexy billionaire. It feels good, until her heart becomes involved. Does the big bad billionaire want to capture her heart? Or does he only want to own her body?
I quit the previous book in this series by the second chapter because I wasn’t getting into the story and almost did the same with this one, and I had mixed feelings after finishing it. One of the things I enjoy about Ms. Ashenden’s writing is the risks she takes with her characters, but this was almost a little too much for me and I was uneasy about where this story would take me. After thinking over this book for a few days, I have to say again that my opinion of the author’s writing only gets better.
Yes, I’m still a bit conflicted by the subject matter, but I’m amazed at how her characters made me rethink every initial impression of them and look beyond to see how they were shaped by their pasts. I’m certainly not going to be raving about this story, but about the author’s writing skills.
Rafe was cold, mean, calculating, ruthless and very unlikable from the very first page but as the story progresses and more of his past is revealed, it’s impossible not to feel sympathy for the little boy who was such a handful that he was ignored by his parents and instead of getting him the help he clearly needed, was banished to stay with his grandfather who was even worse. The damage that was done to him is so obvious and it’s quite creepy the way he rationalizes all of it.
His fixation on Ella was disquieting considering their age difference and the lengths he went to become her guardian, but also understandable as she was the only good thing he could remember in his life and the only thing that seems to have kept him grounded. Ella, for all of her nervous habits and anxiety, had some steel in her and just needed the right person to push her to find it. Even though she recognized the predator in him, he also excited and energized her.
Having made it to the end, I can sum it up as an emotional and dramatic romance, with characters who are heartbreakingly damaged and fighting for their happiness and their own normal. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series now that I know what to expect. If you are a fan of dark and twisty romances, this book is one you’ll enjoy.