Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: September 19th 2013
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Provided by author for review
Riviera Benson’s past has been nothing but horrific. It’s filled with secrets that she intends to keep tightly locked away...terrifying secrets that keep her awake at night...that prevent her from getting close to anyone...anyone that is, until her work as a muralist drives her into the arms of the hot and sexy Shan. Benjamin Shandon, owner of Shandon Homes, works like a thousand demons are chasing him...because perhaps they are. His business has boomed, ever since the forest fire swept through the canyon and destroyed hundreds of million dollar homes. He demands excellence in everything...from his employees to his women. He slows down for nothing, keeping a schedule that no sane person would want. But Riviera interrupts everything, twisting his guts inside out, and wedging her way into his heart, destroying a promise he made to himself. Will they let their pasts control their future, or will they decide to let go and allow their hearts to discover each other’s?
I fell like I'm about to go all Alladin on you guys because I'm going to quote the big tiger head cave thing in the movie. Tragically Flawed is a diamond in the rough! Behind all the intense drama and suspense lies a really great love story between two people who both have been affected by tragic circumstances.
Riviera has spent the past few years in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend I am not a fan of abuse whether it's in reality or book form. I hate to see characters suffer as badly as Riviera does until she finally decides to take action and get away. She packs up and moves to Colorado for a fresh start and a chance to follow her dream of painting. When she actually gets the opportunity to paint beautiful murals in some of COlorado's most expensive homes she comes across Benjamin Shandon, the owner of the construction company. He makes a bad first impression on Riviera when he loses his temper with her and with her abusive past she is all but set to write him off but the more time they spend together working on the houses the more a relationship starts to develop. I really enjoyed the romance that bloomed between Shan and Riviera over the course of this book. Because she was so damaged from her previous relationship Shan had to work harder to get her to fall for him. Shan was a little rough around the edges but he has his own issues that have wounded him also and kept him from getting close to anyone.
As these two grow closer and Riviera gets more confident in her painting she decides to strike out on her own instead of working for her miserable boss Marsha Sue. Shan helps her set up jobs with clients he's worked with and makes her his exclusive muralist ousting Marsha Sue from her spot. She doesn't take it too well and takes matters into her own hands causing both Shan and Riveira serious problems as Hargrove steps up the drama the deeper in you go. I was caught by surprise as this couple battled both their pasts and the repercussions that unresolved issues throws at them. I was nervous at a certain point in the book when riviera goes missing without a trace while Shan does everything he can to find her. I wasn't prepared for things to go from Zero to Sixty within a few pages but it was well worth the stomach upset to see how everything turned out. I loved that Shan brought out the big guns to find the woman he loves. His character, although gruff and ornery sometimes was actually a deep guy with a big heart and it totally showed the more you get to know him. I loved watching Riviera fall in love and finally find the strength to stand up for herself. I admire strong female characters and Riviera became one of those women for me by the time the book was over.
Tragically Flawed was way more than I expected and such a pleasant surprise. There were some really nice steamy moments between these two characters. I love a good sex scene and Hargrove throws in several between Shan and Riviera. I was really happy she was taken care of so thoroughly and not just sexually. The romance was a nice backdrop to the action and suspense and a much needed reprieve from the more intense moments in the story. Hargrove does a fantastic job of creating a believable set of characters with flawed circumstances who find each other against all odds. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put this book down until the end. I would recommend this to fans of romantic suspense thrillers and anyone who can handle nail biting, pulse pounding stories that take you to the brink and rescue you at the last second!
"I think you are the most perfect woman I've ever seen. One look from you and I'm fucking destroyed. Look at me Riviera. I don't think I can make it plainer. I know you don't trust me, but I'm being honest with you. When I look at you, I see an amazing woman." Beta/ARC 25%
Riviera's legs were hugging Shan's waist while her arms encircled his neck. "I want you Shan. I don't think I can wait. I've thought about this all day long."
"But I thought you were hungry Riviera," he teased.
Her blood raged in her veins, spurred on by the sound of his sexed up voice. His scent was like flames licking her skin and her core responded instantly. "I am. For you.. Inside of me. Right now."
"Only with you," She answered between kisses. Beta/ARC 60%
About The Author:
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodge ball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone, called her boss and quit her job. Grinning, she made another call to her hubs and told him of her new adventure (after making sure his heart was beating properly again). So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a YA/NA and Adult Romance writer. Her books include the following: Edge of Disaster, Shattered Edge and Kissing Fire (The Edge Series); The Guardians of Vesturon series (Survival, Resurrection, Determinant, reEmergent and Beginnings); Dark Waltz and Tragically Flawed. Other than being in love with writing about being in love, she loves chocolate, ice cream and coffee and is positive they should be added as part of the USDA food groups.