It started as a simple search for a landscape designer…
I wanted a beautiful backyard for my new home and my neighbors suggested I look into Ward Landscaping & Design.
The owner had no pictures of himself on his website, just a portfolio of nice outdoor sitting areas, pools, and vibrant gardens that I’d always dreamed of having.
Of course I hired him.
I expected to meet an average guy, but Mr. Marcel Ward is far from your average man. He’s handsome, and well-built, and his smile—though a rare trait—is truly infectious.
He’s every woman’s dream—a handsome, older man who doesn’t mind getting down and dirty to create something beautiful all because of his passion for it. Unfortunately, that lucky woman can’t be me.
Although Mr. Ward tests my limits, quickens my breath, and makes my heart skip a beat when he’s around, I’ve promised to devote myself to my husband.
So why am I falling for a man I know I can’t have?
Series: Ward Duet #1
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
“Would you leave him for me?
You know sometimes you meet someone and you just don’t like them. They haven’t done anything to you or you’ve had very little interaction with them to warrant your hatred towards them? Well 2 pages into this book and I already hated Kyle. By the end of the book I was ready to crawl into the pages and struggle his ass. Oh my Lord. What a dick! What an absolute penis.
Anyway, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to it…
WHAT A BOOK! I inhaled this baby-read it one sitting. There’s something quite appealing to me about forbidden love. When my morals are put into question and I find myself rooting for that love while my principles scream that it’s really fucked up that I am. I love these types of angsty relationships-battle lines drawn between the heart and the mind; the battle between embedded sense of self-preservation and soul-crushing love, lust and need. This book had me all the way fucked up. There was not a moment where I wasn’t rooting for Marcel and Gabby (Yes I know, like I said it’s fucked up but we’ve already established that Kyle is a dick). But fuck me, if I didn’t feel this tumultuous love affair. I was in there with them- could smell it, feel it, taste it. She really knocked it out of the park with this one.
“I’ve always felt like something way missing from my life. I’ve never been able to pinpoint it, but I swear, I’ve only discovered a small portion of the real Gabrielle Lewis.”
Gabrielle is a newlywed, recently moved from Fredericksburg, Virginia to the suburbs of Hilton Head Island with her new husband Kyle Moore. She has everything a newlywed could possibly want…on the surface anyway. She’s young, get to do what she loves for work without any money problems, a big house, and a multi-millionaire for a husband. But there is an unmistakable underlying sadness in Gabby that you can’t ignore. She’s lonely because her husband works away all week every week. The loneliness starts to eat at her. She keep herself busy with her art and is determined to make her house a home. Determined to love her husband. Until she invites trouble into her home- in the form of Marcel Ward.
“On my way out, I look through the rear-view mirror. She’s turning to go back inside, and of course I notice her ass before she shuts the door. There was a lot of things I notice about her… How care free she acted, but deep in her eyes, there was a lot of concern.”
Marcel never expected to find himself attracted to anyone, least of all his client’s wife, especially after the saga that blew his career up 8 years prior. Yet here he is. The minute he laid eyes on Gabby he knew he was in trouble. He’s suffered so much loss in his life and has sworn to a life of solitude and dedicated himself to self-preservation. He’s a man of principle, and knows he can’t touch what’s not his. But the more time he spends around this pixie 10 years his junior, there’s no denying the chemistry between them. And the more interactions he has with the asshole that is Kyle, the less guilty he feels about taking a bite off the forbidden fruit.
Kyle and Gabby try as they might to resist each other. Try to enforce the professional relationship that their heads tell them is what is appropriate, but their hearts are having none of it. This warring causes some friction between the pair that can only be fixed with Tacos and Jell-O tequila shots. The perfect blend of tequila, lust and curiosity kick starts heart-wrenching series of events.
“From now on you won’t be his”… “You’ll be mine”.
When the couple decide to spend some time together and see if they can get each other out of their systems, things do not go according to plan. They get way more than they bargained for, and the outcome is heart-breaking. Whoever said all that glitters is not gold, was talking about Gabby and Kyle’s relationship.
Throughout the book, you get the impression that something is amiss with Gabby’s marriage. Some things are inferred but I was not ready for that bomb at the end of the book. There is more to the circumstances of Gabby’s marriage to Kyle than she’s previously implied. I HOPE TO GOD that it’s addressed in the next book.
The attraction between Gabby and Marcel is instantaneous. I loved that the author gave adequate time to detailing the angst details of the slow-burn as well as the relationship thereafter. I loved the writing style. The events are well detailed so you’re engrossed in them. The main characters are well developed and so are the supporting characters. I loved the alternating narrative of the story between Gabby and Marcel’s perspective and thank goodness they were short too. It’s a fine line between giving too much detail that it becomes tedious and not writing enough that the reader is left wanting for more. The author really nailed it. There’s absolutely nothing more I could have wanted from this book. I’m well and truly satisfied. But there are some questions that I think/hope we will find the answers to in book 2.
This is an amazing book that touches on very sensitive topics. It’s a romantic blend of forbidden love, what seems like a marriage of convince and an arranged marriage all in one. Listen it’s a lot. It will evoke every emotion in you-anger, joy, betrayal, it will leave you morally corrupt but it’s well worth.
“You know you belong to me. “You burn for me…and you know it”