32-year old Sebastian Vanwell, was a very successful yacht broker, who always loved the design and architecture of a luxurious boat. His only addiction was being on the water. He loved it, he thrived on it, and he needed it in his life. After a very stable, loving child hood with only a few bumps, Sebastian married the love of his life. The one person that he knew would always be there. Julia was his rock, and he loved her more than life itself. Sebastian kept his addiction to the water under control, wanting to keep his time with his wife and son his number one obsession, that was until he saw her. This new addiction haunted him, the one compulsion that he couldn't control no matter how hard he tried.
Ysabelle Telle hit him hard, knocking the wind from his lungs. Coming from worlds apart, beautiful, dark complexion Ysabelle Telle didn't have the rich, protected background that Sebastian Vanwell had. Ysabelle lived a life of hell, in poverty, growing up with a drug addict mother that never cared, and horrific living conditions. Ysabelle lived for one person and one person only; herself. She was pure perfection, her beauty along with a flawless body had men lined up, driveling over her insuring her success as a VIP.
There are too many words that describe the effects when two diverse worlds like theirs collide. They both have too much to lose to get caught in the forceful pull, which could destroy them both.
I wanted to stay away from this book because if there is something I hate, it's cheaters. I can't even put into words how I do not like them. But I have to admit that the writing pulled me in right from the word go. There were editing stuff I was dying to correct but what the heck, I just wanted to get on with the reading. (Finished this in one night. Yay!)
Told in Sebastian and Ysabelle's POVs in a parallel timeline, this book kept surprising me in so many ways, most of which was the fact that I kept reading (refer to the first sentence in this review). But M Robinson laid out a good foundation for both characters that I kept me turning page after page. To say I was attached was an understatement. There was no way I wasn't going to not finish the book and not what happened to them.
First thing to have is to keep an open mind. Prostitution (no matter how high-end it is) and infidelity are not the easiest things to deal with. And yet, somehow, this book gave an emotional spin to those two things that I almost forgot what I had in my hands. It somehow made the story be more realistic because reality isn't always romantic, roses, and hearts. It can be dirty and messy. Most of the time, in fact.
The story of Sebastian and Ysabelle made me look at things in a new light. About prostitution, about cheating, about finding love in the most unexpected places and times, about trying to get rid of that love because we are somehow expected by society to act in another way.
I might not have rooted for Sebastian and Ysabelle at the start. I was rooting for Sebastian to keep it together (or in his pants, more likely) because I really wanted for him to be able to stay with his family and to not cheat, damn it. ***SPOILER*** I was a bit disappointed when it was his wife who ended their marriage because it somehow provided an easy out for him. But then, there it was.
This was a looong read. It was like reading two different books in one go but MR kept me on it with a good narrative and great character development. It was also fast-paced and honest. It was riveting and emotional. And at the back of my mind, I was still doubting a happy ending. I might have been glad to let myself give this book a chance but I am also here with a sad face wondering, as book one of a series, what the succeeding book (or books) is going to be about. That happy ending may still be out of reach.
Finale verdict: 9/10