Vengeful in Love by Nadia Lee
Series: Billionaires in Love #1
Published by Four Isles Press on December 20, 2013
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Revenge is sweet...
Self-made billionaire Alex Damon wants his pound of flesh from the people who ripped his family apart. When he discovers his enemies' daughter is working at his company -- and most likely spying for them -- he decides to start his revenge by seducing her.
Natalie Hall is stunned at the personal interest from the CEO of her company. Vulnerable, with an already bruised heart, she wants to avoid any involvement -- but she can't deny the desire he arouses in her.
...but love is sweeter...
What should've been a straightforward eye-for-an-eye starts to unravel as Natalie's unflinching loyalty and kindness begin to thaw Alex's cold intent. But caring for her is unthinkable...since he plans to use everything in his power to ruin her family and everyone else she holds dear.
Note: Previously published as Carnal Secrets. This edition contains an expanded and revised ending
Gaaah! Vengeful in Love hit my major pet peeve in Romance: it has a deception based plotline. I HATE deception plotlines and Vengeful in Love has it in spades. *rolls eyes* The deception in this book starts at the very beginning when the hero decides to hide his association with the heroine’s god-family in order to utilize her for vengeance.
The heroine, Natalie, is the Asian adopted daughter of a Caucasian US Senator – she doesn’t know her nationality. She is beautiful, intelligent and kind but she was treated like crap by her adoptive mother and sister her entire life. Although she knows she is adopted, she has no clue why her mother and sister treat her the way they do – which seems to be delight in hurting her. She is kept out of the family “business” – politics – and is embarrassed to admit how little her family wants her around. Due to this dynamic, Natalie has a regular job as an employee for someone else.
Alex, the hero, has sworn vengeance on Natalie’s godmother since he blames her for his father’s suicide and the destruction of the family business. After discovering that the heroine works for him, Alex decides to use Natalie to get his vengeance. How this was to happen, I am not sure (the vengeance, that is). Alex is concerned that Natalie may be a spy for her godmother’s company as well.
Alex starts wooing Natalie immediately as part of his vengeance while leaving his BFF in charge of the business (who also suspects Natalie of spying). As Alex spends time with Natalie, he feels conflicted about the person he knows verses the vengeance he wants. Alex also has an inkling that Natalie isn’t as involved with her family as he originally thought. Regardless, he still goes forward with his plans while Natalie’s godmother and god-brother try to talk her into spying for them (she refuses).
Later, after Alex has managed to get Natalie to fall in love with him, Natalie’s world is completely destroyed by Alex. Alex fires Natalie after accusing her of spying for her god-family, he breaks her heart and he scornfully informs her of the devastating truth of her adoption. It’s at this point that I hit the “I’m DONE” mark. Just about everybody has treated Natalie like shit at this point in the story. Her god-family was trying to guilt trip her into committing corporate espionage, her mother and sister treated her like crap, her lover (Alex) broke her heart and destroyed what was left of her family life, she was fired from her job and her only friend is a workaholic located in Hong Kong. Natalie was cut loose, set adrift and left to flounder alone – while being completely innocent of everything. It was just a little too much! Somehow Natalie was the perfect person – and innocent in every way – while the people surrounding her attack her with absolutely no provocation. It was just all a little too much for me.
Alex waits two weeks before he tries to contact Natalie after he ripped out her heart and stomped on it. It takes Alex two weeks because he did not believe Natalie and he had nothing to say to her at first – he was full of self-righteous anger. Later, Alex discovers and confronts the actual spy. THEN Alex realizes how horrible of a person he is. Suddenly, after learning the truth, he was so sorry. *gag me* He needed to beg forgiveness (which he barely does) and make her give him another chance. And since this is a romance, of course she does and they live happily ever after. And I didn’t buy it. At all. I’m sure the very next time someone does something that could possibly be blamed on Natalie, she will find herself alone again. Gah.
Everyone either apologizes to Natalie or in some way realize that they treated her poorly…but it’s all a knee-jerk reaction to her trying to finally flush the entire shitty group out of her life. Ugh. The person I hated #3 (or was it 5?? after her mother, her sister, her god-brother and the hero) was her god-mother. She acted so…nonchalant regarding her actions both towards the hero’s family and towards Natalie. WTF? Seriously? Are there any good people in this flipping book besides the heroine? Ugh.
Vengeful in Love is a great title for this book and it spoke 100% as to what happens. I only wish I’d paid more attention to the blurb – I would have skipped this one. I didn’t buy Alex’s love or apology and so I don’t consent to the HEA.
Note: If you want to read a book with real groveling, read Unlocked by Courtney Milan.