Ian and Francesca, a couple I quickly fell in love with, started their story in the serial novels, Because You Are Mine. I thought they had a happy ending until they were once again feature in When I’m With You, Lucien and Elise’s story. Whereas I thought they were happy before, the second serial let me know that all was not well. I was thrilled when I found out they would have a full length novel as a followup to those serial releases.
Unfortunately, the unrest I found in When I’m With You followed over to this book. After a stunning opening scene Ian leaves Francesca to go make his life right. Whatever that means. Francesca is left alone for months and considers their engagement to be called off. When Lucien shows up at her door and tells her that Ian left all his business interest to her and the board needs a decision, fast, she is pulled back into the life of Ian. Making decisions for the company gives Francesca a new purpose but it also puts her back into the public eye and in the sights of someone who wants to hurt her. When Francesca is attacked Ian is drawn out of hiding but what they don’t know is that someone close to them is the mastermind behind all that has been happening. Now Ian and Francesca must find their way through their troubled relationship and whatever harm the person has in store for them.
I spent about 90% of the book wanting to kick Ian in the junk. One of the things that drew me so much in the serial was their absolute love, bordering on obsession, for each other. And now we are given a scenario where Ian finds it more important to be away from Francesca. Sadly, in these crazy billionaire novels, I guess I prefer my heroes to be more Gideon-esque and be willing to do just about anything to be with that woman they love.
It took me a long time to get the point of the book. In When I’m With You, Ian has a huge shock when he finds out about his biological father and what the man has done. I couldn’t wrap my head around him leaving Francesca to go “find” himself and the answers to his father. I finally figured out that Ms. Kery was trying to give us a billionaire that wanted to be normal and healthy for the woman he loves. I was so wrapped up in seeing him as the tortured man who wouldn’t give in to what Francesca wanted that I missed the point of the whole thing. It wasn’t until the last 15% of the book that I finally stopped and listened to what Ian was trying to tell Francesca, and me as it seemed. Instead of moving forward with just an acknowledgment of how screwed up he was, Ian wanted to move forward as a whole man. If you think about most of the books we have been given lately, this concept is kind of a rare one.
“If I can’t do this, I can’t feel right about being with you forever. I don’t want to taint you-”
“You would never do that!”
“Damn it, Francesca,” he shouted harshly. “This is my worry. This is my burden, and I’m trying to make it go away. I’m not doing to this to be stubborn, or because I’m going mad. I’m not doing this to because I want to alienate you! I’m doing this because I have to if I want to be with you. And that’s all…I want….in the world,” he grated succinctly out between white, clenched teeth.
Beth Kery books are pretty cracky, for me. I want to read them all and them wallow in the sheer sensuality of them. She can write a blow job scene like nobody’s business. It doesn’t matter what book it is, I can always count on rereading several of those scenes. What? Don’t judge. 🙂 If you read the serial version of Because You Are Mine then you will see more of the same type of sex life in this one. Good stuff.
There is a wonderful epilogue and I do love my epilogues. It seems that this will be the end of Ian and Francesca’s story. It makes me both happy and sad. They have a lovely ending but I could read some more of them. Yes, I could. Ian’s assistant, Lin, will have the next story set in this world. I am not sure how I feel about her after reading the excerpt from her book. It might take a bit to warm up to her.
Overall, this was a really good book. Even in the midst of my great frustration with Ian, I couldn’t put it down. Ian and Francesca are two extremely compelling and complex characters who will stick with me for a long time. As with most of Ms. Kery’s books this will likely get a reread soon. Final grade- B+
“Tell me I never have to go back, and I’ll believe you,” he said between a tight jaw.
“Never,” she whispered fiercely. “You walked through hell for ys, but now it’s over. We’re together. For always.” She lifted herself and then sunk him deep, squeezing him tight. “Believe it, Ian. We’re exactly where we belong.