A ruthless businesswoman and the playboy who dumped her long ago find themselves embroiled in a high stakes game of love, lies and revenge.
Life coach and best-selling author Victoria Price has it all: a successful career, fabulous friends, and a fantastic penthouse in Manhattan. What she doesn't have - and doesn't want - is a husband. Fifteen years ago her high school flame broke her heart so badly she swore she'd never love again. Now she makes millions teaching other women how to be just like her: a ruthless bitch.
Drop-dead sexy restauranteur and infamous playboy Parker Maxwell has only three rules for the women he dates: no questions about his past, no expectations for the future, and no spending the night. When he meets Victoria, however, he's willing to break his own rules if it means sating the explosive desire she arouses in him. What he doesn't know is that the alluring Victoria Price used to be the mousy Isabel Diaz, the girl he deflowered and dumped long ago.
Presented with a perfect opportunity for revenge, Victoria decides the game is on. But when her connection with Parker proves more than just skin deep, she has to make a choice: continue with her plan for payback, or risk her career, her reputation, and her heart by taking a second chance on love?
©2015 J.T. Geissinger, Inc. (P)2016 J.T. Geissinger, Inc.
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
This is a story of young love, betrayal and revenge. Isabel and Parker shared a teenage love that they thought would last forever. However, due to the machinations of adults and miscommunication they were separated for 15 years. During this times Isabel has become a different person. She has transformed herself from a plain Jane to a confident attractive B* everyone knows as Victoria Price. Victoria is everything Isabel was not. She is a very successful life coach and the Queen B. When she meets Parker again, he does not recognize her. She plots his demise. I enjoyed the story for the most part. I liked Victoria through most of the book. But when she found out the truth about Parker she ran. I didn't think that fit her behaviour. Bel ran, but Victoria would have stayed and faced her demons. The writing was good through most of the book. I didn't really care for the ending. It was just too easy. Everything was erased and all is well. I think the story of their sidekicks will be a good read. They were an interesting pair.
I have listened to the Bad Habit series and absolutely loved it. The storylines flowed and the characters were fun and gripping. In comparison the characters in this book feel a bit stereotypical. Come on the Italian chef with his silly Italian, really? I didn't laugh as much and the backwards and forwards between the main characters was ok but not spectacular. Shame. I'm eagerly awaiting the last Bad Habit book though.
Melissa Moran was good with the delivery of the story
I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again
This is definitely a 5 star romance but it's so so much more too.. because Ms Geissinger has written a compelling love story about a sweet and fragile young love between two soul mates. And the heartbreak, devastation and loss when that love is thoughtlessly torn apart, viciously betrayed and masterfully manipulated by people closest until,15 years later, it seems more like a Shakespearian tragedy.
Victoria had her heart ripped out in her previous life but she's risen from the ashes stronger, remodelled her face and reshaped herself into a very successful Women's Motivational Guru who inspires women to mould their own lives and futures - not knowing that hers was imminently going to come crashing down around her. Because she's about to meet Parker again - the person who ruined her and her family's lives, took her virginity, broke her heart and left her pregnant. Although there's an instant click on both sides when they accidentally meet Parker doesn't recognize her... so Victoria sets out her plan to seduce and then destroy his blackened heart. But get a shovel ready Victoria, because as they say when seeking revenge, prepare to dig two graves, Parker isn't the Devil you think he is and Victoria... you're going to need that shovel.
There were parts to this dual POV well narrated story that I absolutely hated and I just had to turn it off for a while because Victoria's revenge filled manipulative acts and words on an innocent and unsuspecting Parker didn't sit well with me. He was trying to penetrate her hard shell to get to her heart because he'd already lost his to a woman who'd lied to him over and over again, to a woman who was a mystery and to a woman who his heart somehow recognized... Victoria. But, as the bitter-sweet twisted truth was eventually uncovered and revealed Victoria's heart would break for a second time... and leave chaos and devastation in its wake. Yes, parts of this I hated however it was a well written romantic and addictive listen too and there were times I was tempted to do the unthinkable... to stop and listen to the Epilogue (I know I know) but I needed the assurance that love would eventually conquer all. However, I didn't and should've had more faith in this skilled Author's abilities because she didn't fail me - she gave me romance, passion, sex, twists, humor, heartbreak, some good secondary characters AND a much needed and anticipated HEA Epilogue.. so I'm good.
Worth a credit? YES, it was a modern day Romeo and Juliet - only Victoria and Parker got a second chance for a do-over... and a second chance to create a HEA.
The Brief Review:
Before I get into the details, I should briefly say that overall, I thought this book was pretty good. I’d actually give it a somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars on a romance novel scale. This book had a lot going for it - but it still, somehow, missed the mark. It was smoothly written, with true sounding dialogue, witty banter, fun, quirky stock characters, a steady plot progression, and it was read by a really good narrator. So, if you want the abbreviated version of my review, that’s it - it’s probably worth a credit, definitely worth getting on sale, but it’s not top-shelf, 5 star romance novel material. It held my interest, and for the most part, I enjoyed it, though it ultimately left me feeling unsatisfied and slightly put off. This book just tried to be too many things at once: heart-wrenching tragedy, irreverent and light, and cyber spy intrigue. In the end, it failed to be any of those because neither the plot structure nor the main characters were strong enough to carry it off. Too much of it just didn’t make sense or was over-the-top. There were just too many, “uh, what? really? why? come’on...” moments for me to give the book a higher rating. The biggest problem with the book, though, was that I never grew to like Victoria.
The Long Review which still doesn’t begin to cover it - and, by long, I'm not talking churros:
Victoria Price is the name adopted by Isabel, a very young woman who was jilted by her first love, Parker Maxwell. When Parker abruptly disappeared from her life and a string of tragedies befell her family, she set out to completely change her life by becoming someone new - someone harder, someone tougher, someone too strong to ever be hurt again. She did it, though, by becoming someone else. A man hurt her, so she becomes a self proclaimed, ball busting, man hating, ‘putting-myself-first’ bitch who has no room in her life for love. In so doing, she loses a lot of her humanity. It's a choice that I found hard to understand, like or respect.
Yes, Isabel was dealt some hard blows at a vulnerable time in her life. And yes, she needed to find a way to cope. But, there is an ocean of difference between becoming stronger as a person and improving one’s life and denying and abandoning one’s own true self and reinventing a whole new persona. It’s cowardly and dishonest. That dishonesty bled into every aspect of Victoria’s life and personality - and it made her a pretty unsympathetic character. She plots, she schemes, she lies, she manipulates. Nothing about her is real - she can’t even be honest with herself much less her best friend. She’s got an uber stealthy hacker as a personal assistant - one who created a whole new biography for her (why such drastic measures? we never know) and one who is an accomplice in Victoria’s attempt to ruin Parker in a subversive and illegal manner. On the one hand Victoria believes she is empowering women by helping them be stronger, but on the other she is willing to be completely underhanded to ruin a man who, from all indications, is a perfectly nice, law-abiding citizen?
Her entire relationship with Parker is obviously one huge deception. Victoria says it best herself when she tells her seminar, “Sometimes you have to play the role of a fool to fool the fool who thinks he’s fooling you.” Aside from the gross stereotyping, underlying paranoia and bigotry involved in that statement, I don’t think Victoria ever really understood that by seeing men as fools and then playing the fool to fool them, it is she who becomes the fool. She’s a bitch, but even worse - she’s a fake one.
She tells women that the source of their power is within themselves, but she also encourages women to manipulate and lie to the men in their lives in order to get the men to do what women want them to do. Rather than celebrating how truly wonderful women are, empowering women with the knowledge that we are strong enough to be nurturing and loving, and still speak our minds and stand our ground, she encourages women to behave like selfish, game-playing children.
One of her seminar attendees asks her what to do when her husband neglects to fix a broken shelf. What advice does Victoria give her? Does she tell her to get a hammer and fix the shelf herself? Does she advise her to tell her husband she really isn’t willing to wait any longer, and that she’s going to hire someone to fix it? No. THAT would be dealing honestly with the problem. THAT would be empowering. Instead, she recommends a pathetic, underhand solution that is so beneath real women - flirt up some other cute guy and get him to do it - it’ll make your man jealous and manipulate him in to doing what you want. Really? Ever see that Sandra Dee movie where she uses a dog manual to try to train her husband? THAT’s the kind of advice and the level of intelligence involved here. And the irony of the whole situation is that Victoria is the dog, collared to her bitterness, her past and her ideas of revenge. Apparently she’s a blind dog, too, because she has neither the brains or the heart to see things clearly.
Still, there is the hope that she will redeem herself. We know her pain is based on some giant misunderstanding (this is a romance novel, after all,) and we know that the novel will be about the unravelling of this misunderstanding and the growth and enlightenment of the characters (and their love) in the process. In the end though, the misunderstandings are too numerous and transparent for belief, and the growth and enlightenment of the main character never really happens, the love between Parker and Victoria is very one-sided and doesn’t seems to matter much to Victoria - she can take or leave it. She never really redeems herself, and that left me feeling hollow. It may be the only romance novel I’ve read where no one says, “I Love You.” There’s probably a good reason for that. (oh, and where I’m from, Churros may be long, but they are skinny - the mental of picture comparing Parker’s d&*k to a churro is just not good)
SPOILERS AHEAD - stuff that didn’t make sense:
Parker was kind, loving and supportive of Isabel for over TWO years.
Parker’s father was abusive and a total ass. Isabel sees his father threaten and abuse him.
Parker disappears. All she receives is a letter.
Hmmm......Give Parker the benefit of the doubt? He’s been kind since you’ve known him.
Oh God,no. Parker was just lying to her for all those years. Parker was diablo.
Become strong and keep daughter and love her with all your heart?
No. Too hard. Father is embarrassed. Heart is broken.
Give daughter up. Change whole Identity. Bury heart. Become queen B.
Teach women to be like you. But you are full of shit and alone.
But no one will hurt you. No one will melt your frozen heart.
Run into Parker in restaurant.
Parker is polite, and Parker is drawn to you.
You are an adult with an adult’s perspective. But all you can think is RUIN HIM.
Parker is successful. Parker is generous. Parker has created two charities.
What? Parker has been famous for 10 years? You haven’t know what he’s
been doing in life? Haven’t researched him? Haven’t wondered about him?
Haven’t seen his picture in the paper? WHAT?????
Learn that Parker was in Europe after he left Texas.
Hmmm.....Still sure, though, that he got letters about the pregnancy.
Parker just ignored them. Parker is Diablo. RUIN Parker.
But Parker is loving. Parker is persistent. Parker is nice.
No. Parker only seems nice.-Twist each and every thing he says or does to see it in some nefarious light.
Parker opens up to you and shares some true, deep secrets.
Realize Parker was never responsible for all your past pain.
Pretend to commit suicide at Parker’s house, because they never suspect the boyfriend.
Run away and bleach your hair. Take an office job. Get a cat.
Why? Oh never mind. That’s a plot point that you don’t need to worry about.
The storyline is quite predictable with no real surprises but it does hold you in suspense long enough to stay interested to watch it unfold. Seems like a lot of build up with lots of emotions that just seem to dissolve in the end. Decent book to fill the time, but nothing worth reading again.
Loved the story. Surprised at the twists that kept me guessing. Loved the main and supporting characters. Comical parts in the middle of drama.
I liked the story although a bit of a stretch on some of the details, but that is Romance isn't it always .... I like the story and loved the fact that she was the "rich bitch" and didn't NEED to be saved for money like many of the other Romance story lines. Loved her quirky assistant and her "hello kitty" obsession.
the last 3 chapters were intriguing.
Nothing is as it seems
You do have to pay attention to WHO is talking in each chapter but after that its was a very enjoyable book.
This was a well rounded love story,chuckful of drama,lies,sex and scandal.Young love was taken by the lies and deception,ruining 15 years of possible happiness among other peoples lives.In a chance meeting,the young loves reunite once again,one looking for revenge,the other looking only for a chance to feel love and happiness again.Going down a twisted mile of mayhem,romance and alot of awesome and fun characters.They find themselves making more sacrifices to regain some of that love and happiness that was taken from and trying to right some of the wrongs that were done over 15 years ago.I loved this story...It was funny,fabulous and heart breaking.But am glad to say,it also has a haapy ending...enjoy:)
"I LOVED THIS STORY:)"
Totally I love the whole twist it the story and can't wait for the next book...
The love Parker has for Bella
I wish and a guy was reading Parker's version of events someone like Deacon Lee or Jason Carpenter or Zachary Webber - think that would have made the story stand out even though Melissa does a good job
It made me laugh and cry in turn
I really enjoyed this book, it was so funny at times with the banter between the characters. It was also heart-breaking at times when Victoria/Isabel was thinking about her past and also when Parker opened up to her about why he left Isabel 15 years before and it made her realise how wrong she'd been. Honestly I both laughed and cried reading this book! I love how it ended though and I'd love if Tabby and Connor got a book. Even though this one is a standalone book I feel that there's a story for Tabby and Connor in the making at the end of this one!
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