**ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review - thank you!**
I have had a hard time wrapping my mind around this one. I loved the writing. I loved the premise of this book - a woman who was wronged in her past getting her revenge. I adored parts of the books. Others annoyed the heck out of me.
But let me say right away, this wasn't a bad read by all means.
Our heroine is Victoria, a 30+ successful woman who got where she is because she has been holding on to a grudge, which she has been nursing for more than 15 years because her first love broke not only her heard but her family. She left her home town, changed her name and appearance to become a life coach. Her career is based on being a Bitch with a capital B and she has heaps and heaps of money.
"I'm not that unsophisticated country girl anymore, that girl who loved with all her heart and soul. That girl is dead. There's only one girl left, the one made of ice and vengeance."
Parker is a successful restaurant-owner. He is a womanizer of the "wham-bam-thank you ma'am" kind. He doesn't do relationships and he doesn't answer questions about his past. However, while he is all that he isn't an asshole. Parker was scarred too - he is said boy who broke Victoria's heart.
The story starts when Victoria meets Parker again. She doesn't reveal who she is and Parker doesn't recognize her. She uses this fact and starts weaving a net of lies in order to get her vengeance - Parker destroyed not only her but also her family and everything is just to get there. While getting to know each other Victoria realizes that it's not as easy to keep Parker at arms length as she thought. Parker also senses a deep connection which he can't explain.
“I want to know all the dark places in you,” he whispers vehemently, his arms like a vise. “I want to be the one who has the key that unlocks all your bolted doors and chases away all the monsters you keep hidden behind them. I want to be the light inside your darkness. I want to be your rock and your safety net, the soft place you can fall.”
Parker falls for Victoria, he is fascinated by her contradicting personality.
"I want you so fucking badly I'll do almost anything to have you, and I think you want me the same way. But I won't beg. I won't be lied to. And I won't be led around by my balls. I only want it if it's real. Yes or no." My breath is ragged. I feel as if I'm standing over rocks far below. "Parker-" "Yes or no."
Victoria keeps reminding herself of the heartbreak she endured. She doesn't want to see anything else in Parker. They have one hell of a chemistry and the sexy times in this story were scorching and panty-soaking hot.
"We'll pretend you didn't say it. Please ignore the churro in my pants, because he is not quite as good at pretending as we are."
As mentioned, I loved the writing - it is witty, sarcastic and utterly captivating. I ADORED Parker. Why only a 3-star-rating you ask? The story started to deteriorate around the 50% mark when Victoria kept holding on to her bitterness and couldn't let go of her vengeance even though it became obvious that Parker was a good guy.
I hit an even lower low when everything was out there, the truth on the table for Victoria to see and all she does is...(highlight to see spoiler)
a) still think the worst of Parker and b) run
She showed a selfish streak even in her defeat and that made me angry. The author didn't redeem her for me. She was still the selfish bitter bitch she'd been from the start.
Please don't let my opinion keep you from reading this book. It was still a great story and had the most beautiful parts in it. I will read other books by J.T. Geissinger, she's an extremely talented writer if she can let go of the OTT drama.