She invented him! At least she thought she had!
Kit Forrester lived a life of lies - so what was one more? When her first vacation ever sank like the Titanic - she couldn't tell her friends THAT! So she did what she always did: She lied. And told everyone about her fabulous five-day cruise. Her days of fun in the sun and moonlit nights with the man of her dreams - Rafe Morgan, tall, handsome, incredibly sexy and successful. And well, now they were engaged! There was just one six-foot-two, 230-pound problem - Rafe Morgan did exist, and he wanted answers.
Retired Navy SEAL and Texas business tycoon Rafe Morgan was sure he was being set up by his suddenly acquired fiancee. He had spent 20 years in the navy and was trained to handle anything - until he came up against one volatile New York redhead with wicked curves and the world's hardest ass! And then he saw her sex lair and was more than willing to be Caught in a Trap. And to set one of his own!
Content warning: This book is intended for mature adult readers (18+) who are not offended by profanity and explicit sex scenes. While this is a romantic comedy, some readers may find some subject matter difficult to read - unfortunately such events are true. Spoiler alert: Please be advised that no comic books, superheroes, duct tape, handcuffs, ropes, or chocolate milk were harmed during the writing of this novel.
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AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall: 5 Narration 4 Story 5
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration 4 Story 5
It’s a difficult balance to address real world issues and manage to add in the humor and joy from everyday moments, even when life isn’t particularly joyful. Chase’s dialogue is among some of the best I have read or heard: you feel as if you are there listening to the conversations as they happen, with her characters growing and developing with each word they utter.
Kit has lived a difficult life, but she has worked diligently to rise above the abuse of her early years and make friends and a life for herself. Kit is an interesting conundrum: pointedly honest in her view of the dangers in life, and less than aware of her own strength, intelligence and beauty, she’s never been wholly honest about her own past, using silence and dissembling in an effort to keep herself safe. She’s intriguing, as you want to know more about her, and can’t quite believe that she created a cruise ship love affair rather than talk about her own less than wonderful vacation.
The only problem is that Kit’s ‘pretend’ man is very much alive. And Real. And curious about this mystery woman that has claimed him as a fiancé.
When circumstances bring them face to face, Rafe is intrigued by the woman who claimed to be his fiancé, and decides to play along with the pretext she has created. Early interactions with the two of them, and their encounters with friends and family give listeners a need to know more about them both, and just where the pretend relationship will move to more.
Both Rafe and Kit have some serious backstories that they are dealing with in their own ways. I’m not always a fan of the ‘two broken people come together and heal’, but in this case, the potent and deep-rooted sense of protectiveness that Rafe displays for those he cares for, even when he is attempting to exercise his own demons away provided a sense of solidity and surety that Kit had been missing for her life. The slow reveal of backstories and private wounds added layers of depth and meaning to both character’s personalities and the insecurities they do their best to hide present the aftereffects of abuse in ways that may surprise many, but are never easily resolved.
Narration is provided by Janice B. Moss, and she presents a lovely voice picture of the characters. Her solid narrative voice is punctuated with small (with one exception) adjustments of pitch, tone and accent to delineate the characters. The exception? A “villain’ of sorts with a deeply exaggerated southern drawl, laden with nasal-overtones, volume substituting for content and an underlying disdain that hits on every nerve, making my skin crawl. Contrasted to the other character voices, the emotional subtext between the interactions between Rafe and Kit and the solid delivery of the words on the page, the story flew by.
There is plenty to love and learn from in this story: Chase uses humor to set scenes and moments, while allowing quiet moments to add gravitas to revelations and internal quandaries of her characters. Descriptions of setting and fashions bring readers a visual sense of setting and the ‘priorities’ of the characters, using these elements to add to characters in subtle ways that we all notice, but few realize. Deftly mixing serious, lighter and sensual moments keeps the reader needing to know what will happen next, as the story unfolded steadily. Another clever story from Elaine Raco Chase that is much more than one would ordinarily expect from a Rom Com, and will keep readers coming back for more.
I received an AudioBook Copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.