Rafe Palazzo takes what he wants with no regrets. Arianna (Ari) Lynn Harlow has led a charmed life until tragedy strikes her family. He’s looking for a no-emotions attached mistress, she’s looking for redemption.
They are not a pair that should ever work, but undeniable attraction and devastating tragedies bring them together in the city by the bay where he fights to keep their relationship nothing more than an enjoyable way to meet his needs, and she battles to not lose herself in him. Spending time with Ari starts cracking the hard shell that Rafe has built around his heart, but he denies the affect she has on him until it’s too late to stop the inevitable conclusion that their relationship is headed for.
Rafe once believed in happily ever after, coming from a large Italian family. He’s got the Midas touch, since every endeavor he tries turns to gold. That all ends when his wife walks out the door and leaves him blindsided. His devastation quickly turns to steel when he decides no woman will fool him again. From that point on he treats relationships as nothing more than business transactions where both party’s come out mutually benefited.
Just when Ari has sunk to the lowest she’s ever been she finds an ad in the paper announcing a job that’s too good to be true. It turns out she’s right. She makes it through the intense rounds of interviews only to find out the job is for a mistress to the powerful Rafe Palazzo, owner of Palazzo Enterprises. Rafe gives her a day to think about whether she wants the position or not, and she’s sent on her way, only to find out her mother’s near-terminal position has taken a turn for the worse. Her mom’s only in the hospital because Ari messed up, and her mother’s the one who paid the price. Is Rafe her savior, or will he take her with him straight to the depths of hell?
Rafe is a sadistic bastard who only cares about himself and uses sexual torture to keep Ari in line. He was a total turn-off. Blackmail, kidnapping, sexual torment...the female character needed to call his bluff and walk away. So disappointing at the ending; the author leaves you hanging so you'll buy her next book in the series. This type of guy is un-redeemable. This type of female disgusts me.
First book I ever deleted off my Kindle. If you're looking for a love story it's not this book!! From the sample of the book I thought this would be about a man having trouble trusting his heart to another woman after finding his wife in bed with one of his best friends. The author in the beginning shows a sweet loving side of Rafe until he's betrayed. Jump three years later. Okay.....along comes Ari who doesn't jump at being his sex slave like his other mistresses have in the past and you see the nasty, controlling Rafe. Rafe now treats women as only objects to own, use, then toss out with the garbage. His delight is seeing how long it takes to rob them of their self respect and break them into submission. When that's accomplished he has no use for them any longer. Then in the middle of the book you see a loving Rafe with his family and how he takes care of Ari when she's in the hospital. So you're thinking okay the lower middle class gal will teach him to love and respect woman again......WRONG. ++++++SPOILER ALERT++++++++
Ari told him no so many different times. He said he never forced a woman to have sex......well excuse me but AFTER SHE SAYS NO YET AGAIN HE ties her up, ripping her clothes off, forcing her to perform oral sex on you as her punishment for not obeying you IS FORCE! After that scene and he still thinks she should just get down on her kneess and beg him to let her be his mistress is unbelievable. I knew the business trip trick was going to be bad, but I didn't know how bad. I was starting to guess that he owned her mom's home and business back when Ari was in the hospital, but then I thought he's use it to show a loving side of him to win her heart. NEVER did I imagine he'd use it to get her to submit, saying SHE would be the selfish one if she said no to him again. Then to order her to the bedroom.....strip and prepare to start her submission lessons was disgusting. The author had him do a complete 180 from the middle of the book WHY?????? I will NEVER buy another one of her books again. She seemed to pride herself in putting in a loving family in her stories, BIG DEAL when you make the hero a complete monster.Read more ›
This is different kind of series for Melody Anne and I loved it! Rafe is cynical and used to getting what he wants. He's decided that after having his heart broken by an unfaithful wife that he has no use for love. So he treats all his relationships with women as a business transaction. Arianna desperately needs a job to help pay for her mother's medical needs, which she blames herself for. So she applies for job that she finds too good to be true. She finds out during the interview that Rafe is looking for a well-paid mistress who has to be at his beck and call whenever and wherever he needs her.
Even though Ari is in desperate need she tells Rafe she will not be his paid mistress. Rafe continues to pursue her and she can't resist him so matter how hard she tries. Rafe doesn't want to admit it but he's beginning to have feelings for Ari just as she also developing feelings for him.
Ari learns that Rafe has been manipulating situations all along in order to get what he wants. He's decided that he's giving Ari long enough to surrender to his offer. He now lays down an ultimatum where she has to decide to give in to him or lose. Who wins and who loses? Starting 2nd book "Submit" so I can find out? Melody Anne never disappoints with her books!!!
First of all I have been a really, really big fan of Melody Anne for a few years now. I have read every single book she's ever written, and I have loved them all. This one; not so much though. And believe me....it's not easy for me to admit that.
While I always like my H/H's to be brave & strong willed, there has to be some kind of boundary line drawn somewhere along the line. To me; Rafe goes way beyond those boundries, and here's why....
Men like Rafe always seem to make my skin crawl. And here is the reason why... My own Daughter was mixed up in a controlling relationship, very simular to this one. She had gotten herself mixed up with a man who basically broke her, until she was a mere shell of the smart,vibrant, and outgoing woman she once was. It took 8 long years to get her out of that situation. But... even after 5 long years and lots of professional therapy sessions, my daughter is still not back to normal, at least mentally. She never suffered any physically abused, but she sure was mentally abused. She was only allowed to go where he took her, As a prized trophy kind of thing. But after they came back home, she was once again hidden away in a home with not contact outside those walls. She wasn't allowed to have any interaction with her family or friends, what-so-ever. He even went so far as to dress her, told her how to walk, how to talk, and how to act when she was out in public with him. If he even thought for one moment that she'd broken any of his stupid rules, things that were important to her were taken away from her, until she could prove her loyalty towards him once again.
I realize that many readers like this kind of thing, but it makes me wonder how much they'd like it.... if someone had done something like this to one of their own loved ones in a real life situation.
I know mentally that this is only a book of fiction, but it just hits too close to home for me. I forced myself to finish this book, only because I was hoping the author would find a way to fix this whole situation. Which she has done many times in the past. Then I found myself so disappointed that that didn't happen.
I'm not a prude by any means, I love romantic/suspense type novels. Heck I read Kathleen brooks whole Bluegrass series and there was lots of macho men and violent situations in those books.
Okay, to get back on track again...these are the type of things that really turned me off.... Just remember, these are only my opinions.......
1- When you're paying someone big money for full filling only one job description... to be your mistress, I strongly believe that that's the same as thing as being hired as a high priced prostitute. I'm not totally sure, but I think that's illegal in most states.
2- When you continually chase after someone day and night, that could be considered as being a stalker. Also illegal in most states.
3- When you hold someone against their will,( such as the night he tied her to his bed or when he made sure the boat stayed out all night) that is called kidnapping. Also illegal in all states.
4- When you threaten to take away everything a person has unless they sign your agreement, that is considered blackmail. Also illegal.
5- He takes her home from the hospital and all but attacks her, when she hasn't even recovered from an almost fatal gun shot wound. WTH?? I have to ask you....what kind of selfish bastard would treat any woman like that?
I'm sorry, but I despised everything about Rafe. I don't care that some woman hurt him in the past! My advice...try putting on your big boy pants & get over it already, Rafe. The thing that really got me the most, is that his little sister was the same age as Ari. I have to wonder if he would he like it, if some bastard came along & treated her the way he's treating Ari? I also wonder how he'd feel if the roles were reversed and it'd been his mother fighting for her life, and him down on his luck. Would he really appreciate someone treating him that way? I think not!!!
And Ari? I started to lose all respect for this woman, after the, first time she gave in and slept with him. And then I lost all sympathy for her after she slept with him the second time. I get the fact that she was worried about what would happen to her mother if she couldn't find a way to pay the bills, I do. (By the way, there's this thing called Social Security/Disability Medical Benefits for people like her mother) But whatever; poor or not...there's something called having pride in yourself. Would her actions make her mother proud, if she knew the whole truth? I think that if her mother knew the all the facts, her mother would rather start her new life with nothing, rather than to have her daughter mixed up with someone like Rafe.
I did like that she chose to walk away at the end. But.... I have no doubt in the next book, that she'll be right back at it with Rafe again.
That's another thing.....I really, really hate books with endings,( or should I say lack of) like this. In fact; I have even crossed quite a few author's off my list for doing this kind of thing. To me; it's like they're trying to trick you into reading the next book to see what happens.
I will read Melody Anne's other works, but as far as this series goes....I am done! I will NOT buy the next book in this series, especially when there's no real ending.. And as much as I've always loved Melody Anne, if she continues on this same path, I'll have to walk away for good. Sorry, but that's just how I feel and you have no idea how sad that makes me..
The thing is; Melody Anne is too good of a writer to start pulling something like this. I have always loved all her other books in the past, and I really, really hope she returns to writing those kind of great books again. Books like the Tycoon Series, the Billionaire Series with the Anderson families (my favorite so far), or The Dark Angel Series. Those are the kind of books that made her a great author from the start, so why this drastic change? I know some author's like a change of pace now and then, but to go from books about sweet small town lovable people to this? Really?
Would I recommend this book? I'm sorry to have to say this, but no! And that hurts me more than you'll ever know, because that's the first time I've ever had to say that about one of Melody Anne's books.Read more ›
NYT and USA Today Best Selling Author Melody Anne has written the popular series, Billionaire Bachelors, Surrender, and Baby for the Billionaire. She also has a Young Adult Series; Midnight Fire, Midnight Moon and Midnight Storm - Rise of the Dark Angel.
As an aspiring author, she wrote for years, then published in 2011. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in business, she loves to write about strong, powerful, businessmen and the corporate world.
When Melody isn't writing, she cultivates strong bonds with her family and relatives and enjoys time spent with them as well as her friends, and beloved pets. A country girl at heart, she loves the small town and strong community she lives in and is involved in many community projects.
See Melody's Website at: www.melodyanne.com. She makes it a point to respond to all her fans. You can also join her on facebook at: www.facebook.com/melodyanneauthor, or at twitter: @authmelodyanne.
She looks forward to hearing from you and thanks you for your continued interest in her stories.