SERIES PLACEMENT: #1
AUTHOR: Janet Nissenson
AGE GROUP: Adult
RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2016
PAGES: Approx. 324
COPY PROVIDED BY: Purchased
MY GOODREADS REVIEW LINK
RATING: 4 Stars!
The long-awaited prequel to a love story for the ages.
She was the only woman he wanted…but the only one he couldn’t have
Ian Gregson had been born into wealth and power – one of the privileged heirs of the top luxury hotel chain in the world. To the outside world, he was seemingly the man who had everything – money, prestige, good looks, charisma – a man who could have any woman he desired. But the only woman he’d ever truly coveted was forbidden to him for far too many reasons to count – her youth, her employment within his company, and especially her commitment to another man.
Tessa Lockwood’s young life has been one of deprivation, misfortune, and heartbreaking loss. Working for the Gregson Hotel Group offers up a glimpse into a world she had never before imagined – one of affluence, sophistication, and splendor. And meeting the suave, elegant Ian Gregson for the very first time awakens feelings in her that she struggles to repress, never imagining that a man like him could find a nobody like her attractive.
Ian and Tessa fight their feelings for the other, knowing that a relationship between them can never exist. But when matters of the heart are involved, things are never quite that simple. How long will both of them be able to hold on before betraying their forbidden attraction to each other? Or will they be destined to remain forever apart?
Amazing read! More of a character journey than a romance, this book kept me reading through the night just to get to that delectable ending! I can’t wait to start book two!
Tessa’s story opens in this book when she’s sixteen. She’s young but grown in so many ways. She’s had to take care of herself for a long time, learning from a young age to care for not only herself but also for her bipolar mother who suffers long bouts of depression. They are financially unstable and she’s been shuffled around a lot, her mother packing up and running whenever life becomes too stressful or she gets a whim to be in a new place. Tessa’s life was heartbreaking. She had no friends, no one to confide in or lean on and when tragedy strikes, her simple life goes from challenging to bleak. She’s thrown into a world of loneliness like she’s never known, filled with chaos and uncertainty.
That is, until Peter comes into her life. Together, these two forge a friendship that helps them survive the most trying of times. They come through for one another and save each other, but Peter’s past doesn’t allow for him to connect emotionally or physically to Tessa. He tells her from the start, they can be friend.. even best friends, but nothing more could ever come from their relationship.
This book journeys on through the years of Tessa’s life. She graduated high school, gets a job, attends some college courses and is lucky enough to find a modicum of peace in an isolated life.
She dreams of a connection she doesn’t understand and a life without struggle, but with the help of Peter and a stalwart employer who takes a chance on her, she’s happy knowing that she’s secure for once in her entire life.
When they move to San Francisco, things start to change, but it’s a slow... very slow, progression towards something new. She meets her incredibly handsome boss, Ian Gregson, who instantly drives her mind and body into an unfamiliar desire. And unbeknownst to her, Ian feels the same way.
This one turn of events takes this story on a very quiet, almost torturous (in a good way) build to a sweet, pining romance with some very sensual dream sequences.
I know some readers were disappointed with how long it took for the hero and heroine to actually meet, or to have any kind of real interaction, but I for one, found this style of storytelling unique and involved. I liked that feel of anticipation and wonder and as impatient as I also was to see the sparks fly when they finally met, I loved savoring the way their lives orbited one another without having actually connected.
As for the writing, this author has a vivid way of telling a story and I was pulled willingly along for the journey. I will admit that in the beginning, I felt things were moving a bit slow and the paragraphs felt too wordy. It felt like the author was taking several paragraphs to make a single point and hammering home that point to readers intelligent enough to understand what was going on without all the information overload.
Most of the romance’s I read are centered around the romance, not around the lives of the characters and this is very much a character driven story. Once I came to terms with how the story was going to progress and how the author chose to tell the story, I was able to sit back and really enjoy the ride. And it was an amazing ride!
The Wrap Up:
I very much enjoyed this read. Tessa’s story was heartbreaking and affecting and just plain sad. The author writes her struggles with a lot of emotion and you can’t help but be drawn in by that, to find that connection with Tessa. She was a good, decent person but she also had some serious self esteem issues and no confidence at all. I can’t wait to see how romance and love and someone devoted to her will effect her in the next book. I look forward to watching her flourish under Ian’s caring and loving hand.
And speaking of Ian... Wow! He had so much patience. He knew what he wanted and wasn’t satisfied with anything that wouldn’t equal it. His longing for Tessa was profound and you could feel that desire pouring off the pages. And I admired him ten-fold for holding his desire and wants in check, honoring the fact Tessa was married. He wasn’t about to be a homewrecker and he wasn’t going to settle for less than all of her, which was just plain hot! I can’t wait to see how things play out in the next book now that he’s finally free to go after what he wants.
As for Peter, I hope he has a book of his own one day. He was such a great guy and I hope he finds the healing and peace he so richly deserves.
NOTE: Even though there are two male leads, there is NO cheating in this book. I loved the way the author played this one out. Very unique and refreshing!
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