Monday, March 31, 2014

Wanting What She Can't Have - Yvonne Lindsay (HD #2237 - Apr 2014)

Series: Master Vintners (Book 5)

Craving the Forbidden…

Billionaire Raoul Benoit lets Alexis Fabrini, his late wife's best friend, become his daughter's nanny for one reason only: the baby deserves love and attention. Raoul doesn't -- he has to pay for his sins, which means steering clear of Alexis no matter how much he wants her.

The least Alexis can do is help out with this child. But she can't let herself fall into bed with Raoul. She's lived with her unrequited feelings for a long time -- what's a little while longer? The problem is, the feelings are more than requited, and can no longer be denied….

This was a very emotional story.  Alexis has come to Raoul to offer her services as his daughter's nanny.  His wife had been her best friend and she had received a letter from her written before Bree's death, asking her to watch over Raoul and Ruby if anything happened to her.  It  took a year for the letter to catch up with her, but she's determined to fulfill her friend's request.  She doesn't expect Raoul's antagonism or the way he avoids any contact with his daughter.

There was so much emotional turmoil going on with both Alexis and Raoul.  Alexis and Bree had been best friends since kindergarten.  Alexis met Raoul after he and Bree were already engaged.  She was immediately attracted to him but refused to do anything to come between them.  It was hard to see them together and she became more and more envious, so in order to protect her heart she started pulling away from her friendship with Bree.  Eventually she broke ties completely, so the letter from Bree came as a surprise.  It was more of a shock when she discovered that Bree had died shortly after sending that letter.  Alexis's guilty feelings for not being there for her friend were intense, and added to the guilt she felt about her feelings for Raoul she was determined to fulfill her friend's wishes.  She was shocked to discover that Raoul had cut himself off from everyone, including his baby girl.  I really loved seeing the way that she orchestrated taking over Ruby's care, forcing Raoul to have them staying at his house.  She was heartsick over his withdrawal and determined to find a way to get past the walls he had built up.  She was also determined to do all this without giving him any idea of her own feelings.  Unfortunately, she discovered that the attraction was mutual, even if the feelings weren't.

Raoul has buried himself in his work, using it to avoid dealing with his wife's death and his daughter's care.  He feels completely responsible for Bree's death, as she died of an aneurysm during childbirth.  That he didn't know she had this health issue gives him no relief, as he felt she went through the pregnancy because she knew how much he wanted children.  Now he's afraid to love anyone else, including his daughter, for fear that he would lose them too.  Ruby had been very sick when she was first born and that only reinforced his fears.  Now he has to deal with Alexis wanting him to change the way he feels.  It doesn't help that he's attracted to her and that is causing cracks in the walls around his heart.  Admitting his attraction to her he insists that anything between them will be physical only, that there is no chance that he will ever get emotionally involved or married again.

You just know with a statement like that, that Raoul is setting himself up for a massive fall.  I loved seeing the way that Alexis managed to slowly get Raoul more involved in Ruby's care.  Some of the methods were blatant, others were very subtle, but all worked on him a little bit at a time.  She also worked hard at getting Raoul out of his isolation and back into interacting with other people.  She felt she owed it to Bree to help him as best she could.  What she didn't count on was having her feelings of attraction grow into a deep love for him.  When that love had unintended consequences that brought all his fears back to the surface, his reaction devastated Alexis.  The scenes where he pushed her away and her reaction to everything he said and did had me going through multiple tissues.  With all that unhappiness, seeing Raoul finally let go of his anger and fear and go after Alexis made for a wonderful HEA.

I loved seeing Tamsyn and Finn from The High Price of Secrets and their parts in helping Alexis.  I loved Alexis's father and his support and protectiveness, and what he said to Raoul at the end.  The only thing that might have improved the book would have been an epilogue.  I would like to know more about how he ended up handling everything that was happening to him.

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