The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.
He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.
When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.
You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend–smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.
He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he’d done.
Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.
Only it turned out, the man I’d just told off wasn’t the right guy.
Oops. My mistake.
Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.
I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?
That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning.
Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant.
I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking.
Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West.
This was going to be interesting…
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★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse
There’s no stopping one of my all-time favourite authors, Vi Keeland. Her last release I adored, but this one kindled my every feeling, aroused my every emotion and the sheer fact that I couldn’t put it down, that I read it from beginning to end without coming up for air, speaks for itself. In fact, I took it step further; I reread it. And to say this has to be her best standalone novel yet would be putting it mildly. How could I possibly find fault with this novel when for me, the power of the story is as such that I’ll never forget it. Also, I had the strangest sensation. I felt as if I was being led on a leash to wherever the author deemed fit. Throughout the book, the pacing was relentless; the author’s words titillated with no let up, no pauses or breaks. Albeit what she had in store stopped me in my tracks, after much thought, I don’t think I wanted it to see what was coming. I couldn’t ever have imagined that such a climax in a story would leave me utterly gobsmacked, either. Something else; I wasn’t the only one who literally lost their bearings.
What caught my attention straightaway was the character development. It took me no time at all to get to know Rachel Martin who crosses paths with Caine West in the most peculiar of circumstances. She’s a tad clumsy, has problems being punctual which I found adorable, and a tendency to babble on making her character especially realistic. Although Caine has much more professional experience than her, both of them are on the same wavelength at work, yep…her turning out to be his assistant was a surprise and a half. But they are different in the respect that neither are looking for the same thing. Their age gap I found just right; however, as the story progressed, this detail would sow a seed of suspicion. Even though Rachel’s learnt to live with her past, the reader has to wait quite a while before discovering what happened. Caine’s is like a jigsaw puzzle, granted, not a really unhappy one. I didn’t dislike the young Caine but ooh boy, was he eaten up with guilt!
Trying to connect with Caine wasn’t a piece of cake, but this detail does make the contrast between the two interesting. There are many reasons why I love reading stories with a split narrative. Here, the author went to town by construing an unusual one. Caine’s story goes back in time, is told in separate chapters and in first person giving the reader the opportunity to understand why he is like he is in present day. Rachel’s story is also told in first person past, but takes up more of the book for reasons to be revealed and despite the writing structure, I felt as if I was there alongside them. I can honestly say that what the author’s done, has made for an extremely enjoyable read. At no point did it feel convoluted. I might have wanted them both to come clean with each other, but by holding back the truth was what gave the whole plot substance.
Caine is gorgeous, sometimes a tad grumpy and more than often, cocky. But there were moments when I couldn’t read for tears because this lovable guy’s sufferance became mine. Letting go of the past, forgiving oneself and learning to live in the present is exactly what this story is about and none of these issues are an easy feat to conquer. So, keep a box of tissues handy because if you’re like me, you’re going to be emptying the contents! On a softer note, one of the author’s fortes is sassy banter and she’s made sure her readers get plenty of it. Of course, the heroine always has a lot to say, so how could I have expected less! Ooh, nearly forgot to mention the intimate scenes! If I just said read the book and find out for yourselves or…psst, steaminess abounds!
Diving into this story without having an idea about anything has turned out to be an incredible experience. But I must say that after finishing the book, yep… happy dancing ‘cause the ending was more than I could have wished for, I did read the blurb. The author has clearly gone to great lengths not to let on, I too, hope I haven’t spoilt this read for you. This book is simply Ms Keeland’s most Beautiful Mistake. BRAVO!
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than 1.5 million books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in sixteen languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.