I’m strong—or at least, I want to be. I try to be. Oh, how I’ve tried.
But life screwed me over. When I was at my weakest and lowest, desperate and alone, he found me.
Robert changed everything. He gave me everything.
He was every woman’s dream—rich, powerful, and charming. He made me forget the fact that he’s twenty-four years my senior.
He made me feel alive, and for the first time in my life, I was content.
Until I met Cooper—his son.
And Robert? He began to change.
I’m despicable. I know I am. I’m ashamed of what I want.
Things are never what they seem.
Greed. Lust. Lies. Murder.
Why do I do this to myself? Every time I see a book with an enticing and catchy blurb I hurry and buy it (regardless if there are any reviews) and almost always end up extremely disappointed. For me, the best part of the book was the synopsis, and whenever I was bored or frustrated or shocked (in a bad way) I reminded myself of the awesome blurb and what it promised and hoped the book would turn around. Nope. So while the premise was an intriguing one to start with, it was poorly executed and add a ditzy heroine in the mix along with events that you’d have to completely suspend reality in order to believe, this book totally missed the mark for me.
The story started out well: it’s obvious that even though the heroine Claire is extremely naïve, she is kindhearted and after getting kicked out of her foster home on her birthday, she’s practically homeless. Temporarily staying at her boss’s gym, she bumps into the much older and charismatic Robert and apparently both are attracted to one another (which I didn’t see – they were always so formal and stale around each other) so they pursue a relationship even though early on there were signs that Robert was unstable, controlling, and borderline psychotic.
This is where my problems with the book really began. I can understand the author portraying Robert as a sugar daddy to display his financial edge over the heroine but I absolutely HATE it when his wealthy status is used to justify why he was able to pull off some of his actions when in reality, none of it could be possible. Unless I decided to read paranormal or fantasy, I really do expect some semblance of realism present in my books or I’ll start nitpicking.
So with no job (because Robert got her boss to hire someone else) and no actual home, Claire is completely dependent on Robert. For the first time in their relationship, she starts to see Robert for who he might be and recognizes that she’s trapped.
Enter this book’s one saving grace – Cooper. A twenty-year old bad boy who clearly harbors resentment against his father, Cooper at first takes in Claire as a gold-digging bimbo but as time passes, he sees that she’s a genuine person. Though he acts like an asshole and lashes out, he has Claire’s best interests at heart and tries to warn her that Robert is not what he says he is, all of which she ignores even though internally she acknowledges there is some truth to what Cooper is saying.
From the blurb it’s implied that cheating may occur and even though there are the occasional forbidden kisses and touches, Claire does not jump back and forth between sleeping with Robert and Cooper (thank god!). But here is the part that really pisses me off: it is SO SO SO obvious she has a deeper connection with Cooper than she has with Robert. Their chemistry is so palpable and though both won’t admit it out loud, they care for each other. With Claire vocally saying she’s not with Robert just for the money, I honestly didn’t see a reason why she was with him then. Never in the book did she say she loved him and though both men have their faults, at least Cooper wants her safe and well and happy. Robert is only with her for appearances’ sake.
In hindsight, I should’ve known that this book would end dramatically and in a cliffhanger that practically begs the reader to pick up the second book. But you know what? If done well, I honestly don’t mind the cliffy if it feels like a vital part of the book. Instead, the message I got from this ending is that no matter how much you’ve come to care for a person who truly cares for you back, you STILL go with the guy who’s proven to be psychotic and worse just so you can drape yourself in wealth. The ending completely negates any of Claire’s statements that she’s not with Robert just for his money. It’s like feminism never happened. If you can tolerate an EXTREMELY dumb and vain character like Claire and want to enjoy 15% of the book and have the other 85% be extremely frustrating/boring/infuriating, this is the book for you. Otherwise, I highly recommend staying far away from this one.