This story took all the cliches of dark twisted romances and chucked them together with a few of it's own spins. It was long but short at the same time, because even though it is over 300 pages, the timeline was not used well. It felt more like a manuscript of ideas as oppose to a complete novel.
We didn't get to see the courting or beginning of this marriage, which is fine. I have no problem meeting them four years into the financial based marriage but then we weren't given enough time or scenes to understand and appreciate her concerns or motivations. I was therefore unable to completely side with her, because she was a gold digger so she could have eased up some, as she gave neither the readers or Dominic reasons to trust in her like she wanted. No one accidentally becomes a gold digger; She was one and circumstances allowed her to change her perception of life, as did his.
Problem is, we didn't get to share in that catalyst, that changed both these characters from a gold digging trophy wife and a cold, ruthless, demeaning husband. He's never hidden is penchant for the darker side of life but what's her excuse?
They are fierce as a couple and their arguments are heated to the point where you wanna tear off your own clothes. There sexual tension is palpable and when he isn't putting her on display like a show pony they do have some passion filled, dirty, sexy sex without whips and chains. They know how to make even you the reader feel sexy. I also liked that neither had tunnel vision and I was actually anticipating a no pressure three some at one point :)
Individually, I find that we never got to know Dominic as much as Eden because she was open from the beginning and her POV dominated the majority of this story, as almost every one got the opportunity to voice their side of this story. It was told more as a narrative and at times switched to first person narration. There was no one course so we got all angles, from the sex-addict best friend to the resentful stepbrother.
Dominic makes a good monster and can sit at the top with the rest who knows how to command a room and have the facial expressions of Stu Ungar. He had the usual unbecoming childhood, spur on by neglectful parents. The usual Francette Phal MO. I might not know him inside out like other book husbands I have read but I liked his character, especially when he gets to scheming and calculating. He is driven and he plans everything. The man doesn't lose, he concedes as necessary.
Eden was a good strong character. A little too judgmental, especially with her past decisions, but she knows how to hold her own. Jenna is an oxymoron of sorts because while she is conniving and not the most trustworthy of best friends, she can be extremely loyal. This seems to be gearing up to be a series and while I had expected Jenna's book next, I hope we get inside her head soon.
The sneak preview of the next book in the series has me a little iffy if the one female we are introduced to will be taking the lead. I normally like crazy but she scares me a little o.O
There was more explanation than conversation and I liked the conversation because what little we had flowed and it was never frivolous or done to hold space. It was interesting, engaging and brought us to a point. I just hoped for more.
In the early stages of this novel, we sliced out a whole chunk of a year that wasn't very in depth for the reader. This story leaves you with a lot of deleted scenes, questions and missing pieces that are privy to Eden and Dominic only. Not much changed within that year, it's like time stood still. I'm still not even sure how Liam almost died or died and came back, whatever happened!
It was good to see them interact as a family and to see Dominic as he wooed Eden. As the novel progressed, I missed his cold indifference that defined him in the beginning of this novel and I appreciate that the minor characters issues were displayed and just as engaging as Dominic and Eden's story. Especially Cassie and Bruce, however short their spotlight was.
Even though it came off as cliche it had it's engaging moments. I liked the characters and think their story line had bouts of originality but needed a better delivery and use of time frame. We spent all this time watching a husband win the wife he never really had and I left feeling unsatisfied and thinking that the end was anti climatic. I could have asked for a more secure and fulfilling ending, unless their story isn't over. With Francette Phal, you never know.