Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing 8/30/21
Length: 173 pages
Series: North Security #4.5
Francisco Castille, the exiled Duke of Linares, knows his duty. Even in modern times, the line must continue. So he’ll marry and produce an heir.
Yes, a wife will fit into his well-ordered life.
Instead he ends up with the brilliant pianist Isabella. Strong. Spirited. And highly disobedient. She rebels against every custom and every rule, threatening his careful balance.
Francisco never backs away from a challenge.
Isabella never bows down to anyone.
This scorching hot battle of wills may leave both of them broken.
I know that I should know a bit more about Isabella, especially since I read the entire series that leads up to this story, but I guess there has been a bit of time since we first met Samantha Brooks and saw her interaction with the hotelier / pianist. Regardless, we have a lovely novella here that peeks into what makes Isa tick, and then what transformed her world because she’s far too selfless.
This story takes us to a point in time where her family is in need of saving, and as the fixer, the one who finds solutions, she’s put at the helm to do so. Her family owns a successful portfolio of boutique hotels that while profitable as they are, the acquisitions themselves end up putting the family further and further into debt. As the one who runs the numbers, Isabella is always trying to get her father and brother to make better choices, but of course men don’t want to hear the sense that a ‘smaller’ woman talks.
Isa gave up the life she had as a society party girl to graduate at the top of her class in Harvard and then managed to save the business. When she can’t save them with the help of banks to loan money, the one thing she can do is entertain a meeting with Francisco Castille, a man who is financially liquid enough to dig them out of a hole.
The meeting doesn’t go as planned, and part of the deal that he makes to help the hotel is for Isa to marry him. While she fights it at first, she always puts her family first and we watch what happens with this naive and inexperienced woman is owned and controlled by a man who’s quite the dominant.
The life she lives now is not one that she ever expected and we watch as she comes to terms with what she’s become. While Francisco gives her freedoms that she wanted, she’s away from her family, she’s in an environment that she’s not confident in, and she’s with a man who’s tastes are beyond her imagination.
Suffice it to say, only an author like Skye Warren could pack quite to much excitement into a novella of this length, but we get to see how this story plays out for all those that could be involved. There’s a rollercoaster of emotions and events, all ending in a way that some may have expected and others were unsure of. So…not it means I have to find something else to read….so that’s where i’m heading. Enjoy!