The premise of this book annoyed me so much I almost quit it, assuming it was a rich guy / sexy time fantasy with no story. But this isn’t true, and it’s not a bad yarn. This is the tale of Angelina and Haithem. They are strangers who spot each other in a Melbourne café and have one of those Oh Baby moments where they do bad things to each other with their eyes.
She goes off to a job interview and who should be in the lift as it’s descending, but Haithem. They kiss passionately, and then she bolts, having got a handle on herself. So far so good. Then I had issue-city for a couple of chapters. Angelina hails a cab and secretly tracks Haithem to his super yacht. She then chickens out of trying to see him, goes home and goes to a party with her friend.
After leaving the party alone, she sees Haithem’s guy waiting outside in a car. And to hell with it, she goes back with him to said yacht. Um, what? Haithem’s waiting, and he’s one mysterious guy. He propositions her – a couple of weeks in his company on the yacht where he’ll show her the time of her life, BUT she has to sign a confidentiality agreement as he has Big Secret Business. She declines and he offers to pay her for her time. Um, double what?
Angelina rightly strops off, but a gust of wind catches her as she descends the yacht stairs and she falls over the side, fortunately into a lifeboat. Several hours later, she wakes and they are at sea. Haithem and his security crew don’t believe her tale and think she’s a spy. Because of the Big Secret Business.
He won’t take her back to land, so she’s basically now been kidnapped. And yet, despite realizing this, Angelina still focuses on the magnetic attraction between them. See, I got to this stage and when she was still all ‘he’s so sexy’ I wanted to throw my e-reader at her. She had a concussion, but come on!
I persisted with reading as actually I did want to know what the deal was with Mr Tall, Dark and Mysterious. Plus, as slightly annoying as Angelina was, she has her own secrets, and I wanted to know them, too.
Annoying enforced-proximity set up aside, I started to enjoy this. For being almost entirely set on a yacht, the pace was good and though Stockholm syndrome is a real thing, I wanted them to fall for each other. Somehow, and I’m not entirely sure how, I became invested in their relationship. Maybe because she forgave him for treating her like a ho and maybe more so, because I wanted them to come clean about their secrets and have the other support them.
Overall, a few clichés (diamonds, overblown demonstrations of wealth, spy kit) plus a bit of a struggle to accept the premise, I actually liked this book. And here’s the thing – I will read the sequel.
BIG OLD SPOILER – So the Big Secret Business is this incredible bit of technology that will change the world. Haithem just needs a few months to mass-produce it and he’ll be safe from all the people trying to kill him. I have a major problem with the idea of production control of this item. Open Source has to be the way to go – anything else is unthinkable. If Haithem doesn’t make the design freely available for market production in the next book then I’m going to be really disappointed.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Didn’t I Warn You
by Amber Bardan
Release Date: April 18, 2016
Publisher: Carina Press