Aria is treated poorly by her stepmother and stepsister, forced to live in horrible conditions and banned from going to school, though she loves to learn. Zane lives a life vastly different than Aria; he is a powerful business man who has the respect and fear of those around him. He is devoted to his siblings and mother, ensuring that they are well cared for after his father’s death. Zane’s father was murdered by a woman claiming self-defense, though this has not stopped Zane from pursuing his revenge against the woman. When Zane and Aria meet in the mall, their electrifying connection is undeniable.
Zane learns that his father was actually defending the woman from two male attackers, making him wonder why she lied. The woman is Aria’s stepmother; seeking answers, Zane kidnaps Aria, thinking that he can use her against her mother. When Zane discovers that Aria cannot help him, he does not give up his quest for revenge or the beautiful young woman under his roof. Zane’s desire for Aria’s body and soul becomes an obsession, something that is not immediately shared by the young woman. Will Zane and Aria fall in love? Or will Zane quench his desires and leave Aria behind?
This work has a lot of grammar and spelling issues that distract the reader from the story. It is difficult to get through one sentence without finding problems that slow the pace of the novel and keep the reader from engaging with the book. The formatting of the novel could also be improved, as it is sometimes difficult to know who is talking or whether or not a character is speaking or thinking. Overall, this work would greatly benefit from the help of a dedicated editor.
I appreciated the way the novel brought Zane and Aria together. After their first chance-encounter, they do not randomly bump into each other a few times. Though it seems like a coincidence that her step-mother was the one that witnessed the death of his father, this actually brings some good outside drama into their relationship. They met by chance, but they are stuck together because of forces outside of their control (at least outside of Aria’s control). This combination of fate and circumstance makes their meeting far more realistic.
Zane is definitely the stereotypical romance bad-boy that desires a woman who he has never met. He is a powerful businessman, someone who likes control and authority over others. To get answers, he’s willing to kidnap a woman he has only met once, instead of hiring a private investigator or asking the girl some questions in a calm way. When Zane wants someone, nothing stands in his way. However, his cliché personality makes him fairly boring and predictable. Yes he is a bad boy, but I have to assume that Aria’s love will soften and redeem him, so why focus on his bad behavior.
Zane proves himself to be possessive and very, very jealous, even before he and Aria begin a relationship. He has met her once and he is blind with fury when he sees her in the company of another man. Again, he has met her once for a total of twenty seconds. He has no right to be so possessive, not matter how he feels with her. This jealousy only gets worse as their relationship progresses, making him an unlikable character.
One point in Zane’s favor is his devotion to his family. He loves his siblings, especially his younger sisters. He takes care of his mother and runs the family company after his father’s death. He wants to prove his father’s innocence and spoil his young sisters with love and jewelry. While he may be intense and violent and hurtful with Aria, his devotion to his family is supposed to soften his actions and cruel behavior.
I disliked the fact that Aria is a bit of a shrinking violet who needs Zane to save her from her life. She lives with her abusive stepmother and stepsister, living off of their crumbs even though her father left her his fortune. I wish she had left her family, especially since she owes them absolutely nothing. She has been beaten down by life to the extreme, making her timid and weak. Even once she has the love of Zane, she considers herself too cheap and pathetic for him to truly love. I wanted Aria to take up more room in her own life, asserting herself amongst her family and her potential love interest.
Overall, this is an adequate romance novel that struggles with its grammar, spelling, and formatting. Aria is the classic shy and beautiful protagonist, while Zane fits the profile of the dark and brooding billionaire.