Series: Things to Do Before You Die, #3
Published by Entangled: Brazen on July 11th 2016
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I can’t marry you. You don’t love me.
Two sentences, that’s all Gabrielle Harper left Vito D’Ascensio when she vanished the night before their wedding. If he wants his bride back, he’s going to have to hunt her down and prove his love. But when he searches for Gabrielle, he finds Gabby instead; it seems his perfect bride is nothing but a fantasy.
After six months, Gabby presumes it’s over, an episode in her life she’s totally ashamed of. But now Vito is back. He’s the one man she can never have, but as desire explodes between them, she has a tough time remembering why they shouldn’t be together. Oh, right, her family hates him, and he’s done terrible things. Or has he? But it doesn’t matter. When he finds out the truth about who she really is…he’ll never want to see her again.
It took a sinking ship for three friends to reevaluate their lives and their questionably decision making and in Vito D’Ascensio’s case, it was simply to go after a woman – who’d left him – to prove his love. Unbeknownst to him, Gabrielle Harper had merely been playing a part in an elaborate ruse to get close to Vito to solve several family problems of her own.
Unfortunately, ‘His fantasy bride’ is yet another case of a pairing that I didn’t like at all mainly because of the female protagonist who demonstrated every trait I despise in a romantic heroine: lying, yet playing the victim, cowardly to the very end but self-aware enough to know better yet not do anything differently. It was difficult to accept how this particular ‘relationship’ was built on Vito’s earnest wooing and Gabby’s unconscionable conduct: the constant monologue of hers that ran along the lines of not deserving him simply got tired and hypocritical when she never seemed to go anything about it anyway. Her selfish, unthinking behaviour – somehow it’d never occurred to her that a man as Vito would have taken her actions as a betrayal of the highest order – was beyond galling, enough to make me skim through the book. I thought Vito truly deserved way better than a poorly conceived character like her and I found myself consistently wishing that he’d in fact moved past her after her first deception.
Which probably means, I’d completely lost it by then.
I’ve had better read, sad to say; if not for the hero whom I actually liked, I think I would have simply not finished the book at all.