The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.
He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.
When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.
You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend–smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.
He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he’d done.
Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.
Only it turned out, the man I’d just told off wasn’t the right guy.
Oops. My mistake.
Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.
I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?
That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning.
Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant.
I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking.
Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West.
This was going to be interesting…
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Boy does Vi Keeland take readers on one hell of an angsty, heart wrenching journey in her latest release Beautiful Mistake! Rachel and Caine’s story is a bit different from Keeland’s usually story lines, which adds to its intrigue because once the pieces of the hero and heroine’s pasts start to make sense, fitting together in unimaginable ways, it moves beyond a forbidden love story and takes readers on a life altering journey – one where fighting against feelings seems futile because Rachel and Caine’s connection began a lot earlier than they ever would have thought.
The physical attraction between Rachel and Caine is instantaneous, even when Rachel mistakenly tells Caine off, and as they walk around one another, attempting to ignore their sexual desires, the game they’re playing gets more complicated because as stronger feelings develop, Caine’s need for Rachel and his conscience are at war with one another and the potential to mess things up on a number of levels becomes the issue for Caine, shattering Rachel in the process.
I have to admit that, at times, both characters frustrated and annoyed me. I don’t handle angst all that well, especially the kind where it’s obvious what the hero and heroine feel for one another but refuse to acknowledge due to extenuating circumstances. Rachel and Caine play a dangerous game with one another – one that could blow up in their faces, destroying much more than just their feelings for each other and those kinds of games drive me nuts because they seem so childish and unnecessary. It’s clear what the risks are if Rachel and Caine were to act not their feelings, but what remains a mystery for much of the story is why Caine believes he’ll only use and hurt Rachel if they were to try and be together because even though most of Caine’s perspective is from when he was younger, how what he does then connects to who he is now is deliberately unclear and until that connection is made, the mystery of who Caine is and why he views himself the way he does doesn’t make sense, especially when it’s clear he wants and needs Rachel in his life.
Beautiful Mistake is NOT a typical student/teacher forbidden romance because even though the story has several attributes of the trope (the angst that seems to constantly surround Rachel and Caine’s interactions as well as Caine’s hot/cold demeanor when it comes to his feelings for Rachel versus his need to remain professional and not make another bad decision), there’s a depth to the story line that is sometimes lacking in other stories of this kind and the way that Vi Keeland brings Rachel and Caine’s lives full circle, perhaps even atoning for past sins and regrets, allows readers to understand that even when something seems inappropriate or beyond reproach, it’s actually exactly what’s needed to move forward in life, in love, in living.
4.5 Poison Apples
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than 1.5 million books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in sixteen languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.