People probably thought I never went there with her because of her cerebral palsy, but f*ck them. She knew she was the most important person in my world, and I wasn’t about to risk hurting our relationship just to make my c*ck happy.
Until the moment she begged me to take her virginity.
Now it’s all about to hit the fan, because how the hell do you resist the one person forbidden to you when she says please?
This is another book I picked up on the recommendation of the Aestas book blog, which I love.
Like usual for all new adult books, I was a little skeptical. The blurb kind of makes Brandt sound like a sex addict or something. But I was intrigued as to how the author would handle a romance with a disabled heroine. How did she do, you ask? She effin’ nailed it, that’s how she did.
So many friends-to-lovers stories have a ring of dishonesty to them. Usually, the hero wakes up one day and miraculously, inexplicably, notices that his female friend is hot and totally bang-able. What follows is generally a ridiculous stream of “no, I can’t bang her, she’s my friend” inner monologues that make me want to hurl. That wasn’t the case with Brandt and Sarah’s story. This was the story of two people who needed each other, who were truly the best of friends, and fell in love in a totally believable, natural way.
Sarah was an AWESOME heroine. She was smart and emotionally strong, and never once let her disability hold her back. Never once did she fall into “woe is me” whiny territory (which she totally could have), or pull the old “I’m not good enough for him, he deserves someone better, so I’m going to leave him for his own good” martyr crap. I loved her wit and sass and tenacious spirit.
Brandt...oh, Brandt. He was an absolutely perfect hero. He had a tragic childhood that deeply impacted his adult actions, but he rose above his past and never let it turn him into a woman-hating douchecanoe like it so easily could’ve (like I’ve seen happen to many, many other new adult romance novel heroes). I loved how hard he fell for Sarah, and how he never treated her like she was disabled (other than being a little overprotective, which in all honesty, was kind of hot). He didn’t see her as a woman with CP, he just saw her as the woman of his dreams. It was beautiful, even to a grumpy old curmudgeon like me.
Secondary characters were well-written and interesting, and even though there were a lot of them (this is book 8 in the series, after all), I never felt like they overshadowed Brandt and Sarah.
So why not 5 stars? Why only 4.5? I wanted Brandt’s mother to suffer for what she’d done. I mean really suffer. Like I wanted Ramsey Bolton to suffer on Game of Thrones. I hated that she got away with what she’d done, and showed absolutely no remorse. I’m giving the author the benefit of the doubt on this one (since it’s a series, I’m assuming the hateful and horrible Daisy will get her comeuppance in a future installment), but it still cost her ½ a star.
Note to all my fellow grumpy curmudgeons out there: don’t let the new adult category title on this one fool you. This is a great story for readers of all ages. I highly recommend it, and will probably go back and read the rest of the series (they’re all stand-alones, which is awesome).
Word to wise, though: trigger warning for rape and incest. It’s handled about as delicately as it could be, but it’s still disturbing.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Crushes it! No rehab needed. This one is clean and sober.
Other reading suggestions
Definitely check out the rest of the Forbidden Men series by Linda Kage. They’re all fairly awesome.
Note: Review original posted on Knockin’ Books.
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