By: Siobhan Davis
Published: January 9, 2017
Source: Netgalley ARC from publisher
(Goodreads / Amazon)
Two fractured hearts and a forbidden love they can’t deny.MY REVIEW:
You shouldn’t want what you can’t have…
Faye Donovan has lost everything. After her parent’s tragic death, she’s whisked away from her home in Ireland when an unknown uncle surfaces as her new guardian.
Dropped smack-dab into the All-American dream, Faye should feel grateful. Except living with her wealthy uncle, his fashion-empire-owning wife, and their seven screwed-up sons is quickly turning into a nightmare—especially when certain inappropriate feelings arise.
Kyler Kennedy makes her head hurt and her heart race, but he’s her cousin.
He’s off limits.
And he’s not exactly welcoming—Kyler is arrogant, moody, and downright cruel at times—but Faye sees behind the mask he wears, recognizing a kindred spirit.
Kyler has sworn off girls, yet Faye gets under his skin. The more he pushes her away, the more he’s drawn to her, but acting on those feelings risks a crap-ton of prejudice, and any whiff of scandal could damage the precious Kennedy brand.
Concealing their feelings seems like the only choice.
But when everyone has something to hide, a secret is a very dangerous thing.
So here's what drew me to request this title - forbidden romance, a girl from Ireland, similarities to one of my favorite series from last year, The Royals by Erin Watt, young adult angst, and 7 hot sons. Not all necessarily in that order. Having read Siobhan's work in the past I felt sure I would enjoy this, especially since contemporary romance is so easy for me to get swept up in. I didn't discover until after being approved for the title that this story dealt with forbidden romance between first cousins. So there's your warning there. I figured...hmm...this is stretching my comfort reading zone by a lot, but I'll give it a shot and try to keep my preconceived feelings (perhaps due to geographical location) pushed aside. After all, great works in literature by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, and others, often wrote their love stories about cousins. I realize in history this idea was widely accepted and not at all scandalous. I also realize that not all countries have the same laws and stigma surrounding relationships with first cousins, or distant cousins. After a quick google search in the US, cousin marriage laws vary state by state and way more than I realized (including the one in which I live) it's legal. Huh...who knew?! Still, perhaps because I grew up close to a lot of my first cousins, I find the idea repulsive. It may not be illegal where I live, but it's still socially unacceptable and very taboo. I suspect that's the case in a lot of places. So I had to take a serious step back to get into this story. Since the MC's didn't know the other existed for the first 18 years of their life - one growing up in Ireland and the other in the States, I was able to be more open to the idea.
I appreciated the author's note at the beginning about some of the verbiage being odd because Faye is from Ireland and as such will speak differently than the teens in the States do. A helpful glossary of commonly used words or terms is listed in the back.
To the story itself. Yep I was sucked in! Even with all the similarities to The Royals (such as a wealthy family with a lot of seriously good looking sons (Kaden, Keven, Kyler, Kalvin, Keanu, Kent and Keaton), an unknown guardian showing up out of nowhere with legal custody to the girl, mean girls at an incredibly elite private high school, the sons who won't accept the girl right away and are downright hateful, secrets among each member of the family members, among many others...), I was still able to enjoy the atmosphere and the story line.
Obviously the main plot is that Faye and one of the brothers, Kyler, form an attraction to one another but fight it due to the familial relationship. There's a giant cliffhanger at the end that, if I'm being honest, I was like "woah - stop right there! This is an issue that I'm not sure I can overlook or overcome." But because I can't look away....I HAVE to know what other secrets have yet to be discovered and what's going to happen next. There are issues with several of the brothers that I have to know more about. Secrets abound and my curiosity is too peaked to not return for book two.
All the money in the world is no substitute for parental love.
"...honesty is the cornerstone of trust. You can't have one without the other. If you're not being honest, then the trust is gone too."
Genuine friendships are hard to come by and even harder to hold on to. Real friendship is the sort that lasts a lifetime. The type that can overcome disagreements and differences as if they never happened. And the real test of friendship? True friendship arises from the ashes of separation stronger and more powerful than before.
Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 3.5 stars