A delightful read full of surprises!
Series: book 1: A Virgin, A Billionaire and a Marriage
Characters: Matteo Benenati and Riley Tremaine
Setting: Italy & Greece
Mature Themes: violence, sexual abuse, attempted murder & sex
Recommendation: This is an adult book with adult themes, not suitable for the soft of heart or young adults. If you're looking for a quick romance, some dark themes, and far away places, then you may want to give it a read, it is short, so not much to loose. Even at 2 stars, I enjoyed it, I was just disappointing.
Riley was a refreshing leading woman. For most of the story she sticks to what she believes, fights for those she loves, and stands up to the woman who bullies her, tries to kill her, and attempts to have her arrested. Even though this love story happens quickly, Riley is responsive to her lover's feelings and genuinely seems to care what he thinks and how he feels, even if it means putting her life in danger. On the other hand, everything I have said about Riley, multiply it by three for Matteo (middle of the book onward). Matteo falls hard and fast, and for a billionaire playboy, being the gentleman he was obviously took will power. A third character in the story, Matteo's step-sister Emilia, is a fantastic character as well. Her passion for getting what she wants and the insane lengths to which she'd go for them was enjoyable to read, and countered the sugary sweet lovey scenes that book-ended her own. My favorite character had to be Matteo's driver, he was witty, sweet, and genuine. Sadly, he had very few lines and only a few scenes.
While the characters were written well, I can still only give this a two star rating. It was upsettingly short, more like a novella in length than a full novel, and no where did it indicate that. I don't have a problem with novellas, but that's something I'd like to know up front, not after opening the file on my ereader.
Also, Matteo and Emilia were written in a way that made them both seem interested in a stronger BDSM lifestyle. But with no follow through to those types of desires, the hints left me feeling like I was mislead. The story functioned just fine without the BDSM relationships, so it wasn't detracting from the story, it more felt out of place than anything.