Not a bad start for a new series. I had some moments of not wanting to put up with so much family drama but overall it was a nice stretch and a fitting ending.
Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Delaney Hart has come a long way from her wild youth, dating tattooed bikers at her father’s bar, The Bad Seed. But when his death pulls her back to Wildwood, California, she must stay to renovate the dive he left her. And also face the lies and secrets that sent her running ten years before.
When Wildwood’s chief building inspector, Ethan Hayes, shows up on the property, Delaney doesn’t recognize him. The last thing he wants to do is save the bar where his cousin died in a brawl. But the good boy from her past is all too willing to remind her of the bad girl she used to be. And one night of passion leaves them both in a compromising position.
The last place Ethan should be is in Delaney’s bed. Guilt, family pressure, and plans for a brewpub of his own make shutting down The Bad Seed his top priority…until his feelings for Delaney interfere. Because her future depends on the success of the bar’s renovation and his dreams are rooted in its failure, their forbidden romance may be destined for heartbreak.
Wild child Delaney Hart is back in her hometown of Wildwood, California after the death of her father leaves her with a rundown bar that is in desperate need of repair. In the meantime, building inspector Ethan Hayes doesn’t want anything to resurrect the bar where his cousin died in a fight but he can’t help his attraction to Delaney. His dreams depend on Delaney failing to rebuild her dad’s bar but Ethan’s growing feelings for Delaney put him in a difficult position. Add in a healthy dose of guilt from both of them and family pressure and it’s a recipe for disaster. Or romance.
Both Ethan and Delaney were tortured characters. The same event that took place years before affected them in different ways and shaped them as well.
I liked them both but with Ethan I felt at times he was too easily manipulated and controlled by his emotions. He spent about 90% of Forbidden Fling bending over backward for his manipulative, cruel father that I don’t know if I got to see him as a leading man. I did like that he was the one being abused; it was an excellent role reversal than the usual and gave the romance a different spin that what I’m used to. He had everyone in his family controlling and guilt tripping him to an early grave and I just wish that there had been more growth in terms of Ethan breaking free earlier in the story and finding his footing as the sole person in charge of his life.
Delaney on the other hand carried so much guilt that wasn’t even hers to carry. She was definitely a wild child back in her day, complete with rebellion and bad choices but she acted as if she was the one to actually kill Ethan’s cousin when she wasn’t. Her rebellion carried consequences of course and she had to learn the hard way but it did make her a better person years later. Sure, there was still some bit of wild recklessness in her but she had it mostly under control and could channel it where it needed to go. I liked her; she was a survivor but not perfect. She had her moments where I got frustrated with her but her biggest selling point was that she wasn’t a quitter and she didn’t back down from bullies. And the men in Ethan’s family were downright abusive so go Delaney!
There are a ton of secondary characters in this book and it wasn’t always easy to keep them straight. That’s where the highlighting feature of my e-reader came in handy. Ethan has siblings, Delaney has siblings and friends, Ethan has awful family members, except for his grandfather whom I fell a bit in love with myself. Nothing makes me like a character more than when that character doesn’t let “family” blind them to the truth or corrupt them like the rest of Ethan’s family obviously has. Man they were a piece of work.
Skye Jordan didn’t waste any time bringing feelings of loss, guilt, and anger into the mix. Heck I hadn’t gone further than five pages before I got a good idea where Ethan’s emotions stood. Ethan and Delaney’s emotional baggage could be a bit overwhelming for a romance yet I can say that it made their ending sweeter. The one thing that I could say is that there wasn’t really any sense of closure or coming to terms over the death of Ethan’s cousin which is what started the whole mess in the first place. That death hung over every aspect of this book, even the happy moments and yet it wasn’t really dealt with by any of them. Again it was just an “Aha” moment and that was it. Kind of like the story didn’t exactly end, just stopped at a certain point.
Final Verdict: Not a bad start to a new series. Forbidden Fling was a little heavy on the family drama and I felt like the story just stopped without winding down to a more thought out conclusion but the overall story was interesting and I considered it time well spent.
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