I picked this up because I wanted something quick to read while my son was down for a nap. I didn’t realize at the time that it was the start of a serialized series. I kept reading and glancing at the page numbers on my Kindle, thinking “How is this going to resolve itself? I’m almost to the end!” When I got to the last page, I realized I would have to buy two more books to find out what happens next. Oops!
A year ago, Anya’s mother died and her boyfriend, Leo, left her. Since then, she’s struggled to stay one step ahead of her scheming father in order to keep her younger sister in school and away from his illegal activities. When her father forges her signature on some financial papers, implicating her in his schemes, she feels trapped. Leo, her ex-lover, takes advantage of the situation in order to blackmail Anya into marrying him. Anya, feeling that she has no choice and fearing what will happen to her sister, agrees to marry Leo – but on her own terms. I liked that Anya didn’t just roll over and give in to Leo or her father. I think she saw her situation for what it was and sought to get the most she could out of it by demanding a few things for herself – mainly protection for her sister, and a way to keep her father from further ruining the business and the family name.
The beginning of the story is quite a bit stronger than the rest of it. There is more action and reaction, more things going on that further the story. But once Anya leaves her father’s house and goes to Leo’s, things get a bit bogged down. There are quite a few pages dedicated to meeting her personal assistant and a lot of (in my opinion) useless chatter and noise about clothes, schedules, makeup, charity balls, and such. I understand what the author was trying to do (acquaint Anya and me, the reader, with all the changes that Anya is going to face as Leo’s wife), but I feel it wasn’t executed very well. I found myself bored because it really slowed down the momentum of the story – and for a read that is only 34 pages long, that’s a critical error. Just as things begin to heat up again (wink-wink), the story ends.
Not much is said about Anya and Leo’s past relationship, but it seems they did have a very good and satisfying sex life before he left her, one that dominance and submission weren’t a part of. I’m not sure if that was because it never came up or if Leo was hiding that part of himself from Anya. But having it come up only as a part of their new relationship – one based on manipulation, blackmail, and lies – makes it seem as if Leo is using it as a form of punishment for Anya’s perceived wrong-doing.