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Stronger (Inevitable Book 6) Kindle Edition
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Dante Sabattini was thirty three and a successful and affluent business owner in San Francisco. He was just coming off of a break up that blindsided him. He felt she was “the one” and he had no interest in moving on. He did, however, decide to date again but vowed to not give his heart away.
Cara Bregante was twenty two and a struggling student. She worked full time while going to night school so her time was not her own. She had been disappointed by all of the men in her life so she didn’t trust easily. Having fun with Dante was easy as they both were remaining guarded and not looking for a relationship or anything long term.
Nissenson created a storyline as expected that developed the relationship and kept each one guarded, although their feelings were secretly growing, even if Dante wasn’t aware of it. Nissenson did include a slight twist or two, so as not to be completely predictable.
It was told primarily in a dual POV; however, there were several other pertinent POV’s interspersed throughout as appropriate. And interestingly enough, Dante’s POV remained mostly silent during a large part of the storyline, so we were given a little mystery during that time period. With that said, I really didn’t like Dante much. He had potential but since he chose to “hide” Cara, I wasn’t a fan through their development stage. He was too standoffish for me and a total douche. And then when his ex entered the picture again, I hated both of them. I’m used to alpha’s and he definitely had none of those appealing qualities. He did overcome as the story progressed, but there wasn’t near enough groveling for me. It was a fairly solid 3 Star but went up a Star during the last several chapters of the book.
Although I read Stronger as a standalone, I would have preferred having Nick and Angela’s back story (Shattered, book three) since they were so prominent in this storyline. However, it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
All in all, it was an intriguing and entertaining story. It was my first book by the author but it won’t be my last. I intend to back up to the beginning and complete the series. Additionally, I would love a spin off book that highlights Mirai. The stage has been set and she would be the perfect heroine!
I’m going to admit here that Stronger wasn’t my favorite out of the series. That is 100% due to personal preference than having anything to do with the writing. I’m all about the Hero and love a good Cinderella type story but I personally struggle when the Hero is in love with another woman while he’s with the heroine.
Dante has been dating Katie for a year now and he’s at the point where he is ready to propose. Unfortunately, Katie has had a break in her acting career and has been offered a roll on a sitcom. Looking forward to her upcoming celebrity status, she dumps Dante to move to LA and enjoy the spotlight.
Dante is heartbroken. He can’t believe Katie was so callous and dropped him without looking back when he was willing to do anything to keep them together. A couple months after she leaves he starts seeing pictures of her and a different guy in each photo, living it up in LA. He realizes he needs to move on.
This is where Cara comes in. Cara works for his best friend, Nick who also handles his investments. When Dante stops in to see him, he notices it’s Cara’s birthday. Cara admits she isn’t doing anything to celebrate and Dante isn’t having it and offers to take her out to dinner.
Dante just wants to do something nice for Cara and has no plans to start anything with her. She’s too young for him and doesn’t see her as a women...until she shows up for the date and she’s stunning. Seeing Cara all dressed up has really transformed her appearance. Dante is immediately attracted, but still has no plans of leading her on. When she kisses him at the end of there date he doesn’t see why he can’t enjoy a friends with benefits relationship with Cara.
What I thought would follow was a Cinderella type romance. Extremely rich man meets very poor, but sweet woman. He showers her with love, affection and beautiful gifts. (Insert record scratch) This is what really happens... Dante tells Cara that he would like to continue seeing her but he doesn’t want a relationship. It would be purely for benefits and they would see each other only once or twice a week. No commitment and oh yeah, let’s keep this on the down-low cause Nick won’t approve of us.
I’ll give Dante this much, he would have showered Cara with gifts, but Cara has enough self worth to not take gifts from a man who only wants to see her for the “benefits”. He hides their relationship, only sees her twice a week but completely on his terms. She never meets his friends or family and doesn’t even get to know where he lives and then pretty much dumps her when his ex comes crawling back.
Man, I really struggled with that. What’s kind of worse is Dante isn’t really a jerk. He sounds like one and the evidence sure is overwhelming but really his only fault is being in love with a manipulative woman and not being able to see past her to what he could have with Cara. Obviously, he comes to his senses eventually, but man, by that point I really wanted better for Cara.
Cara is the only reason I even enjoyed this book. She has had so many tragic things happen to her and so many people who treated her badly that I wanted her to get Prince Charming so badly! Why would Cara accept this from Dante? She’s had a huge crush on hm since she first met him and has decided she will accept his terms just so she can spend time with him. She likes him so much she was willing to accept his crumbs.
The ending soothes the ache I have for Cara and she finally gets her Prince Charming but he doesn’t really deserve her. Dante finally steps up and treats her like the princess she deserves to be treated and he knows he has a lot to make up for and he’s all in.
This is a warped version of a Cinderella story but I know there are a lot readers who like the real life version and will enjoy this book. ARC provided by NetGalley.