They are not a pair that should ever work, but undeniable attraction and devastating tragedies bring them together in the city by the bay where he fights to keep their relationship nothing more than an enjoyable way to meet his needs, and she battles to not lose herself in him. Spending time with Ari starts cracking the hard shell that Rafe has built around his heart, but he denies the affect she has on him until it’s too late to stop the inevitable conclusion that their relationship is headed for.
Rafe once believed in happily ever after, coming from a large Italian family. He’s got the Midas touch, since every endeavor he tries turns to gold. That all ends when his wife walks out the door and leaves him blindsided. His devastation quickly turns to steel when he decides no woman will fool him again. From that point on he treats relationships as nothing more than business transactions where both party’s come out mutually benefited.
Just when Ari has sunk to the lowest she’s ever been she finds an ad in the paper announcing a job that’s too good to be true. It turns out she’s right. She makes it through the intense rounds of interviews only to find out the job is for a mistress to the powerful Rafe Palazzo, owner of Palazzo Enterprises. Rafe gives her a day to think about whether she wants the position or not, and she’s sent on her way, only to find out her mother’s near-terminal position has taken a turn for the worse. Her mom’s only in the hospital because Ari messed up, and her mother’s the one who paid the price. Is Rafe her savior, or will he take her with him straight to the depths of hell?
It seemed to be a present day version of the historical romances I used to read. Damsel in dire straits and an arrogant, rich male lead who wants everything on his terms.
What I liked: The writing was excellent, as was the editing. The world building was somewhat believable and in progress, as it should be in a first of the series. I liked Ari's character very much. She did what she had to do while still keeping her spirit about her. The attraction between Ari and Rafe was hot and the tension enough to make you want to smack Rafe.
What I didn't like: Rafe, in this first novel was a jerk and the reason given for his jerkiness didn't sit with me. I guess, if you believed in the male "Italian" ego thing, it would work. Surrender ended on a cliff hanger and I would have been a lot more upset except the next in the series was available. (Remember, what I didn't like, might be exactly what someone else will!)
Overall, a good, solid book and it was enough to make me want to continue on with the next in the series, Submit.
The book is FREE on Amazon as of this posting. Here's the link.