tl;dr: some spice but a smidge too skeezy
Consent is sexy.
It’s really not possible for non-consensual acts in a romance novel to ever be okay, at least in my eyes. In modern romance novels, the rapist doesn’t get the girl. (As he shouldn’t.) While rape isn’t particularly the problem between the hero and heroine in this book, the lines blurs where informed and enthusiastic consent can be given. And that part of it turned me completely off of this story and I just can’t redeem it.
The description of the book was entirely misleading. I assumed that the reason that Abigail withdrew her application from the administrative assistant position was due to the sexsomnia, but instead the plot is completely focused on how Abigail just thinks that Jayden is a huge jerk. Which, he is. He only becomes less of a jerk when he is jealous of her being within 50 feet of any other man and decides he has to commit to her in order to chill out his caveman self.
The entire book, Jayden treats Abigail like property. In his eyes, she’s only a hot piece that he wants to sexually harass in the office, despite her repeated insistence that she doesn’t want to mix business and pleasure. He ignores her because she acts aroused around him. She continually tells him no, but because she kisses him back, he decides that she actually means yes. Then, the worst part: he uses his money and connections in order to be her anonymous partner in a sleep study. He pretends that he doesn’t know anything about her condition, and then he tries to justify his shitty behavior when he’s found out.
Abigail is rightly devastated, since after some trauma three years before, she has a difficult time trusting men, and he continually ignores her “no” and violates her trust in severely abominable ways. But because he apologizes (and it’s one of those abuser-esque ‘If I didn’t love you so much I wouldn’t have had to lie to you’ non-apologies) and drops the L word on her, she forgives him. Oh and also her sister Alice pushes her into forgiving him because she thinks she’d be dumb to give up on a rich, hot man just because of a “mistake”.
Ya’ll. That was more than a mistake. That was a blatant violation of her person, and I just couldn’t get behind the two of them being together. Jayden never feels like he shouldn’t have treated her like chattel. He mostly feels bad that he got caught.
The writing itself was okay, but since it’s a translation from the original German, I’m not sure how to correctly evaluate it. It was mostly fine, but there was a lot of phrasing with exclamation points, enough so that it was distracting. I don’t know how much of it was translated directly or how much was adjusted for the English language. The many, many exclamation points isn’t something we usually see in contemporary romance.
I had high hopes for this book because it sounded interesting, but the rapey qualities of the hero turned me off. I don’t know if I’ll read anything else by this author.
This book appears to not be available in libraries. Keep an eye here for updates, and you can also read for free using Kindle Unlimited.
If you happen to like heroes that get rapey, you can check out Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.