Audio narration by Jessica Almasy & Jeremy York
Foster Cruise has just served five years in prison for his (unintentional) involvement in a Ponzi scheme. It was a highly publicized case and he is reviled all over the East Coast. He is determined to now make a positive difference in the world and has relocated to California to get a fresh start.
Addison James’ grandfather was one of Foster’s victims. He lost his home after being swindled out of his life savings. A heart attack followed. Now he is in his 80s and is living in poverty. Addison is determined to get retribution from the man she believes ruined her life. She follows Foster to California and manipulates him into believing she is only interested in him for himself; not for his money, not for his notoriety. She doesn’t tell him who she really is until it is too late. Now the tables have turned and they have to determine whether their feelings for each other are worth fighting for after a serious betrayal of trust.
I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this one. I liked the hero once the story got rolling but found him too arrogant and a bit immature at the beginning. He started off sounding like he was going to be a very strong character, but I found him to be a bit spineless, albeit lovable, at the end. The heroine was just terrible start to finish. Selfish, manipulative, high-maintenance…and that’s not even counting the big whopper of a lie she hides throughout the story. This is a couple that I truly DIDN’T want to end up together at the end, and that’s rare because I read these romance novels simply for the hopeful endings.
Another factor that is reflected in my low rating is the audio narration. I didn’t mind the male narrator, but the female narrator was…not good. She had a high-pitched, almost whiny voice. There were a couple moments where I actually laughed out loud because she added way too much dramatic flair to her performance. I’m not talking about during arguments or love scenes where that might be expected. It was reminiscent of how early readers are taught to use expression when reading aloud and do so at inappropriate times. I got the impression that the narrator wasn’t paying attention to what she was reading.
None of this reflects on the premise of the story or even the overall quality of the writing. I don’t like bashing the book overall because I may have enjoyed it more if I had read it rather than listened to it. It did affect my impression of the story in a negative way, however unfair that may be to the author.