Didn’t You Promise, Amber Bardan
I had some issues with the start of book one, Didn’t I warn you, but once past them I was quickly drawn into the story, and like Angelina I fell in love with Haithem. Once the full story came out I understood so much more of his actions, though didn’t necessarily agree with all of them.
Book two is a bit like that, I understood his actions but like Angelina I felt he was not treating her as an equal, that his plans were still leaving her out too much. When there’s the outside pressures he already faces can a relationship work when he’s determined to still keep secrets, even while telling her he won’t any more?
Its a hot and steamy read, the big reveal at the end of book one about his invention doesn’t stop the dangers. He needs to get it public and widespread before those who hate the way it’ll hit their market and profits destroy him and it…and he knows they won’t stop at anything, and that means Angelina is in real danger still. She wants to be with him, support him, share his life, but he’s worried, terrified, for her safety – they try a kind of compromise for a while, but old habits die hard and Haithem recalls what happened with his family only too well. He won’t let that happen to Angelina even if it means losing her 😦
I so felt for her, and understood her frustration when he promised to talk to her, treat her as a partner and then still did things without telling her, his protective instincts just couldn’t switch off. She knows that’s a long time habit and not going to go quickly, but even while he’s promising her no more secrets he’s still keeping things from her. She understand why, I understand why and yet can a relationship continue when faced with that on top of all the other pressures?
I loved this book – but…there were times when I felt things were being stretched out a bit, padded to fill the pages 😦 and I really don’t like that. Some of the dangers were “sort of” explained, but more inferred and I wasn’t always clear just what threats Haithem was worried about, much of it seemed to be amorphous threats from unspecified sources…I’d really have liked a bit more definition so I could see exactly why he was worried, and that the moves he’s put in place – plans a,b,c and d would actually work.
Then towards the end Angelina seems to go off on a strange tangent, blaming him for things even while she understands why he did it. Part of it I felt for her, it was tough, she had gone through such a lot, but part of it just seemed like she wanted to punish him but wouldn’t be honest with herself about that, so came up with some strange “justifications” for her behaviour.
If you keep a guard dog you can’t expect it not to do its job, can’t expect it to sit happily while strangers pet it – in the same way Haithem was a strong, secretive man, his experiences had made him that way and that’s the man she loved, I could go along with the compromises she wanted, but sometimes what she wanted would not be possible given the person he was, that it was asking for him to change his nature much as the guard dog scene.
Stars: Four, another cracking read even if parts didn’t quite sit well with me.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher