Wow! Simon & Vanessa’s Story Of Years-Long Rivals-Turned-Lovers Is Deep & Raw....
Commenté aux États-Unis le 19 mars 2022
These Two Powerful Figures Thrive On Control, But In One Another, They Find The Safety To Let Their Guards Down. Their Story Tackles Some Serious Issues – Abuse, Guilt, Grief, & Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms. The Series Keeps Getting Better. Don’t Forget To Download The Free Bonus Epilogue Via The Link At The Back Of The Book!
ABOUT THE PIERCE FAMILY:
This is the third book about the Pierce siblings, and the series keeps getting better. The first book, Broken Beast, is Adam and Danielle’s Beauty and the Beast-inspired billionaire romance. Liam and Briar’s banter-filled fake engagement story follows in book two. Here Simon and Vanessa give in to their attraction to one another after years of rivalry.
The Pierces may live like royalty, but their fortunes haven’t insulated them from the heartbreak associated with grief. They have been beset by a series of losses, and it never gets easier. This series shows the family as they grieve and stumble upon the inspiration to find happiness once again. They grow from their pain, and although changed, they find strength and beauty in moving on with life.
Simon, thirty-two, and Adam, twenty-nine, are the serious-minded brothers. Liam, twenty-seven, is fun-loving and incorrigible much like Sebastian had been. Adam and Bash had been close despite their opposite personalities. Simon and Liam, however, always seem to be at odds. They all work at Pierce Industries, a tech company, in NYC. One of their specialties is cyber security.
A few years ago, the brothers learned that they had a younger half-sister. Opal had lost her own mother and learned that she had four brothers – and a large inheritance that would one day be hers – when she turned sixteen. She moved in with Simon and became the Park Avenue Princess almost overnight. Having just graduated from high school and turned eighteen, she wants desperately to be all grown up, but Simon’s overprotective leanings have her rather frustrated. Personality-wise, Opal is bold and obnoxious, much like Liam, and like Bash had been as well.
The Pierce mansion, with its fairy tale aura, sits about three hours outside of NYC, far removed from society. The Pierce brothers were raised there in a life of privilege, but their wealth did nothing to insulate them from pain. Simon, Adam, Liam, and Sebastian didn’t have their mother around growing up, and they later lost their father as well. That was fifteen years ago. Patricia, who runs the house, did her best to manage the boys growing up and has a deep affection for them still. She is the closest they have to a mother figure. After their father’s death, Preston Charles, a family friend, had become a father figure. Since the loss of Sebastian a year ago, however, nothing has been the same.
IN THIS BOOK:
As the story opens, it is August in NYC. Two months have passed since Preston’s son, Harrison – Liam’s close friend – married mean girl Lee.
Simon Pierce, thirty-two, is a control freak with a reputation for being bossy, cold, and demanding. Routine is his friend and he doesn’t shirk responsibility. His life revolves around work and his family, with little time for anything else. He once envisioned getting married and becoming a father, but that idea somehow got lost along the way. He isn’t known to be warm and fuzzy. He is aloof and doesn’t feel emotions like most people do. He doesn’t date. Instead, he has monogamous arrangements to fulfill his needs. He never gives false impressions about what those relationships mean to him, but it doesn’t stop the women from complaining once things end.
Simon was small when his mother died, and his father died about fifteen years ago. As the oldest sibling, he took over responsibility for his family even though he was just a teen himself. He didn’t always appreciate the help that Preston Charles offered because he relishes control. He has served as protector of the family for years now. When their half-sister Opal entered their lives three years ago, it was Simon who served as a surrogate father to her. He never anticipated that she would bring so much change into his life, but she has him wrapped around her finger. Still, he feels his failure with Bash keenly, and a year after his death, Simon is still trying to find a path forward. Bash deserves justice, but holding Cole Fitzgerald accountable remains an elusive goal.
Bash had seemed foolish when he fell hard for Celine, a married older woman, and Simon had doubts about that relationship. Bash was a romantic; he embraced love easily. He wanted that for Simon, too. He had insisted Simon had it within himself if only he allowed himself the chance. And the years of hungry looks Simon gave Vanessa, Bash observed, gave away that hidden potential. Bash had called him a coward. Simon had given in and promised to give it a try with Vanessa – just one night – but he expects those pent-up frustrations to be sated afterward. Simon is a man of his word. As the anniversary of Bash’s death arrives, he summons all his courage to fulfill that promise.
Vanessa Moyer, almost thirty-two, likes to be in control. She is strong and independent, and a competitive instinct drives her success. She runs her own nonprofit. Her organization helps victims of domestic abuse, a topic near and dear to her. Memories of her biological father’s abuse of her mother still have a powerful hold on her. Her mother had eventually gotten away and remarried a wonderful man, and Vanessa considers herself fortunate to have been adopted and raised by him. She has lived a life of privilege, although she has always felt like a bit of an outsider. As a black woman, her white father is routinely referenced by otherwise well-meaning strangers as her adopted father, reinforcing her sensitivity and reminding her of where she came from.
Those insecurities, combined with an inability to trust men as a result of witnessing her mother’s abuse, led to some issues in high school. She dealt with them, but relationships remain a problem. Unfortunately, there are a lot of men that cower from successful women. Still, she has dated, had some convenient arrangements, and had even been engaged to an admittedly wonderful man at one time. But her mind is perhaps her worst enemy, working to scare her away from lasting happiness with a man. She sees potential violence in the face of even the most gentle men. Things got bad again when her mom had cancer, and although her mother is now in remission, Vanessa recognizes that she needs to address her problem to avoid spiraling.
Simon Pierce has infuriated Vanessa since their freshman year of high school. Their intense competition might have helped make them better students, but it was a disappointment that he never kissed her despite all those steamy looks. As the CEO of Pierce Industries, he attends many galas and social events, and they generally see one another a few times each month. They have been family friends as well, and with the recent marriage of Harrison Charles to her sister Lee, those ties are stronger than ever. Regardless, there is no reason for the status quo to change after so many years of lost opportunities, so when Simon propositions her for a no-strings night of passion, it catches her completely off guard.
Simon and Vanessa begin with one night, but it soon leads to more. They both have some issues to address if there is any hope of their attraction transforming into a healthy relationship, but those years of untapped feelings buy them some time. The past resurfaces unexpectedly, linking them yet dividing them, too. They have a few ups and downs, but they eventually find a happy for now ending.
Don’t forget to download the extended epilogue via the link at the back of the book!
Opal’s story with Max follows in book two, Tempting Teacher.
Wow! Simon and Vanessa’s story tackles some serious issues – abuse, guilt, grief, and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Simon struggles with the guilt of his failure as the head of his family. He did not recognize the danger Bash was in, and Adam paid the price as well. He survived but was permanently disfigured. The investigation that followed the accident consumed him, and the lack of justice continues to plague him. His guilt and search for answers have done his a real disservice, unfortunately. He has selflessly attended to others while neglecting his own needs. And though he might be ready for love, he must still process his grief.
In her youth, Vanessa bore witness to her mother’s abuse by a father she loved. As an adult, the scars persist. She copes by constructing a carefully controlled life, but in a way, that control helps her to avoid facing her fears. Her problems are deep-seated. While both she and Simon have fears to face, Vanessa’s is more urgent. Simon might fear opening up to love, but Vanessa fears her physical safety. Simon’s three years of functioning as Opal’s surrogate father have accidentally prepared him for a relationship with Vanessa. Opal is a handful, and he opened up to her, patiently guiding her along the way.
Simon and Vanessa’s story of years-long rivals-turned-lovers is deep and raw. These two powerful figures thrive on control, but in one another, they find the safety to let their guards down. Their rivalry has inspired them to be better, to work harder, and it feels like a natural progression to take that to the next level. Their story is about family. It is about grief, guilt, and the arduous process of learning to trust again. The story is well-written. The plot is fairly simple. The characters are carefully crafted. They are three-dimensional and real. The story is told in first person. The POV alternates between Simon and Vanessa. I rate this book 4.5 stars.
I received an advance copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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