Author: Shiloh Walker
Date of publication: 19 July 2016
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My rating: 2.5 stars
As one of the Barnes brothers, Sebastien has always felt blessed. Not only does he have an amazing family, but he’s become a Hollywood golden boy who has everything he’s ever wanted—with one exception. He’s had a thing for Marin since he was a kid, but when he finally summons the courage to ask her out, she turns him down. Marin is ready to settle down, she wants commitment and stability, and Sebastien is still too much of a playboy, caught up in the wild life of the spotlight.
Still reeling from the rejection, Sebastien’s luck runs out later that night when he saves a girl from an assault. The shining knight role fits him just fine, but his armor—and his perfect life—become tarnished when the near-deadly attack lands him in the hospital. Physically scarred, he gives up acting and retreats from everybody.
If anyone can pull Sebastien back from the abyss, it’s Marin. But first she has to convince him that beauty is not only skin deep...
I've been enjoying this series a lot and was excited to meet the next Barnes brother - Sebastian, the movie star. The story started very promising. He was rejected by the woman he'd been in love with since he was a child. The conflict seemed strong and yet possible the overcome, she was older and wanted stability and loyal partner, while he had the reputation of wild boy, too busy partying and enjoying the good life to settle down. And then tragedy struck and it changed things for everyone.
So far so good - I liked both and Marin, felt close to them and could relate to their struggles, fears and hope. I found the way Seb's (failed) recovery was presented very touching and real. The way his family were all there for him, yet he couldn't bring himself to rely on them and take their help, it was a powerful moment in the story which made me feel very emotional. On the other hand we had Marin who stood invariably by him and the author really made me see how they could help and be good for each other. It seemed rather dramatic, yet real and heart-breaking.
Warning: There are some plot spoilers in the review. I couldn't avoid them. If you don't want to see them, feel free to skip next paragraph.
Just when I though this story was going great and it could be the best in the series so far for me, it took a sudden turn that left me annoyed and displeased. A drunk sex scene made me feel uncomfortable and left me with doubts about dubcon. The resulting pregnancy and secret baby plot are my least favourite plot devices and felt forced and ill-fitting to the story. It all felt unrealistic and improbable, with a forced HEA that was far too sweet for my taste.
A story which started great and held so much promised ended up a rather disappointing read. I still want to read the final book (Travis' story) and hopefully it will bring back my good feelings about this series.