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I was naïve to think my marriage to Luka Catano might work.
I was infatuated with him from afar…
Until I met him.
He loved the challenge of his next conquest, anyone would do…
A wife was never something he wanted.
Torturous was not a strong enough word to describe how I felt when I was in a room with Luka. Besides hating nearly every word that came out of his mouth, I also drowned with lust every time I looked at him.
At times I thought he might feel the same.
But nothing prepared me for what his family would make me become.
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Because I’m not new to Willow Aster’s storytelling, I prepared myself for the angst and the journey that my emotions would take as everything unfolded in her newest release DOWNFALL, but regardless of that preparation, my feelings were still all over the place, and like Aster’s heroine, Princess Eden Safrin, I felt confused, disbelieving, and so damn angry about the position she was put in to help her country and her family’s reign, and those negative emotions never dissipated because the way that Luka Catano, her husband, treated her, both before and after they were married, was reprehensible and I never trusted a word out of his mouth, which made it extremely difficult to see past his words and actions, despite the fact that it was clear that Eden and Luka shared undeniable chemistry…too bad most of the time that doesn’t translate into love, especially with a man whose life is dictated by his father’s rule and his family’s best interest.
I’ll be honest…I thought that Eden was a little too innocent…a little too naive; a girl with no backbone simply because she was never given the opportunity to gain one, kept away from society and from her peers, but while I would have liked to see her not runaway and hide so much, the fact that she stood up for herself, attempted to guard her heart from Luka, pulled back when understood some painful truths made me respect her and hurt for her due to the no-win situation she seemed to be in for much of the story.
I didn’t like Luka Catano for a good majority of the story. He seemed like an overprivileged manwhore who found nothing wrong with his callous words and actions or the pain he caused his fiancee/wife. I struggled to find any redeeming qualities in him, which made it difficult to feel like he was what was best for Eden. I do believe that the reason by disdain for Luca overpowered another emotions is because readers saw everything through Eden’s eyes and because her pain and heartache resonated from the pages, I didn’t want anything to do with the person responsible for her mistreatment.
In some ways, it was almost too easy for me to get lost in the angst because of the amount present in the text, and because of the way the story unfolded, it was difficult to see beneath the antics and truly understand who these characters are at their core, especially Luka. There are very few scenes throughout the story line where he doesn’t say or do things that do not paint him in a good light, so buying into a lasting connection between Eden and Luka, when so much of their time together was anything but harmonious made it a bit unbelievable.
I know my review does not paint DOWNFALL in a very positive light, but I will say that the writing was spectacular; the contemporary royal world that Willow Aster crafted is a deceptively beautiful environment – one of secrets and lies, heartache and loss – one that has a menagerie of heroes and villains, of helpers and deceivers, and attempting to figure out who is whom definitely made me invested in the story, even though I struggled with the would be hero and heroine’s relationship.
3.5 Poison Apples
“You’ve outdone yourself,” he says. “Which Eden do I have tonight? Will you bite or will you purr?”
“I could ask you the same thing.”
He holds his hands out. “What do you think? Am I suitable to be by your side?”
“You clean up okay.”
He smirks and steps closer to me, pulling me flush against him. “Keep playing the cool act. I know it shouldn’t, but it gets me so hard.” He presses into me to prove his point.
“Have you been drinking already?” I frown.
“This is me stone-cold sober.”
“So there’s nothing to excuse your behavior.”
His hands go lower and when he still feels my skin, he frowns. His hands go lower still until they find material, which happens to be hugging my backside. He thrusts into me again and leans his forehead against mine.
“You don’t want to excuse my behavior. You like me best this way. Hot and salivating over you. Admit it.”
I shake my head. “You need to take a step back.”
He exhales a shuddering breath and drops his hands, stepping back. “We’re going to be late. Let’s go.”
I shiver from the loss of his hands and the chill in his voice. I can’t win with him.
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Willow Aster is a USA Today Bestselling author and host of Living in the Pages podcast. She lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband, kids, and rescue dog.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/willowasterauthor/
Listen to her Living in the Pages podcast:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2SJE7bI