by: Amber Bardan
Series: Bad for You
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: April 18, 2016
Source: Carina Press via NetGalley
Not everything dangerous is bad.
From the moment Angelina laid eyes on him, she fell into a fantasy. Mysterious, foreign, gorgeous, Haithem offered her what she needed most—a chance to feel again.
But Haithem is much more than he appears to be. He lives in a world of danger where everything comes at a price.
For Angelina, that price is her future.
He's made sure the life she's left behind is in tatters. Made her family believe she's dead. Still, he talks about protecting her, about keeping her safe, but she can't distinguish his truth from his lies. She can't separate her pleasure from his betrayal.
Haithem warned her. He told her he'd make her heart race, her body come alive and her most primal needs rush to the surface. His for the taking.
He didn't say she'd come to love the devil who's destroying her, even as he keeps her prisoner.
“I swear—you never existed. I never met you at all.”
His gaze flicked to my touch, and stuck there as though the touching of him was not something that was usually done. His expression shivered and whatever I thought I saw vanished. He rose to his feet. “I’m afraid a promise made under duress is no promise at all.”
“What do you mean, duress?” I leaped off the bed.
He strode for the door. Apparently, he thought our conversation was over. Pity—I wasn’t done. I followed him onto the deck.
Salty air swept hair across my face.
“It’s not as if you’ve threatened me, so I’m not under duress.”
He paused, pushed the notepad into his pocket and turned. “You think someone has to hold a gun to your head for you to be helpless?” His movements changed, went sharp yet somehow also slinky. He walked—not to me but around me. “I have all the power, all the say. And you—” he pointed his finger directly at me “—you, Angel, are a scared girl who wants to go home.”
His words whipped me like lashings from the wind. Painful, cutting lashes that made me want to cry. He stalked me, closing his circle just as surely as a shark. My veins spurted adrenaline, instinct compelling me to run.
But I didn’t run. That would break the dubious politeness he’d affected, and this small glimpse at what lay underneath was enough to shake the skin around me.
There was nowhere to run. He’d catch me, and—god help me—I might even enjoy it.
I might enjoy something so real and so raw as being caught, even if it hurt. No polite control. Nothing proper or respectable. Just real.
He walked and walked, round and around. My neck strained to keep up with him. I couldn’t drop my gaze, couldn’t let him out of my peripheral vision.
“You owe me nothing. I expect nothing from you. I trust no promises from you.” His voice softened, whispered around me from what felt like all directions. He stopped directly behind me, his hands coming down on my shoulders so I couldn’t turn. “But this doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It doesn’t have to be a trap or a prison.” He pulled me back against him, and suddenly his arms were around me and the beast was gone, replaced instead by a comforting protector.
My pulse jumped. How quickly he could change.
“This isn’t fair. For that, I owe you, and I always honor my debts.”
I’d slipped into hyperawareness—of the arm around my waist, the body at my back, the voice in my ear. I could almost see myself in his arms, standing like a waxwork, so still and glassy-eyed. Mesmerized.
“I saw your face when you told me you’re smothered so tightly you can’t breathe,” he whispered. “You could be free…” He brushed his cheek against my temple. “No one around. You could be yourself.”
He rocked me, so softly I almost missed the shift of my weight from one side to the other. I no longer knew if I was holding myself up.
“I can give you sunsets on the ocean. I can show you space so endless you’ll lose yourself.”
My hair caught on his bristles.
“Have you ever run down a deserted beach, Angel?” His hand moved on my belly. “Have you ever swum naked in salt water?” His voice penetrated my head, my blood, sinking down somewhere even deeper.
“Imagine three weeks where anything you ask will be indulged. All your demands met. Ask me for something—ask me for anything.”
My eyes closed.
“Do you need someone to hear you?” His word curled into my ear so gently, I felt the heat of his body in his breath. “I’ll listen to you talk for days.”
He touched my chest, pressed his palm flat against me.
“You can tell me what it is you keep buried in here. What you’re holding on to so tightly that you can’t let go. You can give it all to me, Angel. Just hand it all over to me…”
Air flooded my lungs, and I lunged out of his grasp. My heart beat so fast, I could imagine coronary damage taking place. I turned and faced him, backing out of reach.
Had I let him read me so thoroughly? Had I laid out my weakness so well that he could drive himself into my head and fuck me there?
Because that’s what he was doing—he was fucking my mind. I knew it. He knew it.
It was working.
It was working.
REVIEWGenerally, when I read a Romantic Suspense or Mystery, I have some idea where it may be going. There are clues that seem to give you a sense of what the big reveal may be. In this instance, I was truly surprised. Amber Bardan succeeded in providing genuine misdirection without even trying. By withholding certain trivial information about both the hero and the heroine, the reader is forced to use their own imagination and that makes Didn’t I Warn You hard to put down. The whole time that I was reading, I kept thinking that I was on to something but I wasn’t. Heck, I’m not totally sure what the last names of the main characters are. I think that it was mentioned once or was it.
Didn’t I Warn You centers around a chance and abrupt meeting between twenty-year-old Angelina of Australia and thirty-year-old Haithem who I think is Egyptian but it’s never really confirmed. Even as I write this, I’m still not totally sure about some of the details because they catch you by surprise. So let’s talk about what I am certain of. Angelina never lives on the wildside but decides to take a chance and try to get information on a handsome and sexy stranger after she nearly bombs an interview for a magazine. Both intrigued and suspicious of Angelina, Haithem invites Angelina to his yacht and they inadvertently end up taking a trip to ports unknown. By all accounts, Haithem kidnaps her or Angelina stows away on his yacht. You’ll have to read the book to decide for yourself. This question is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to real mystery regarding these two people. I wasn’t sure if Haithem was good or bad. Is Angelina a spy or just a lost girl. There were just so many questions. The good thing is that these questions appear to get answered in the end. This is the first book in the the Bad for You series so be prepared to have other questions that don’t get answered.
In short, Didn’t I Warn You is a case of things aren’t what they seem. In this instance, it works really well. So well that I can only say so much without spoiling it. Just know that as Angelina and Haithem get to know each other, their sexual encounters will surely have you breaking for a cold shower. And when they aren’t fulfilling their carnal needs, you will be very suspicious of everything else that happens.
**Received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest unbiased review.**
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After spending years imagining fictional adventures, Amber Bardan finally found a way to turn daydreaming into a productive habit. She now spends her time in a coffee-fueled adrenaline haze, writing romance with a thriller edge.
She lives with her husband and children in semi-rural Australia, where if she peers outside at the right moment she might just see a kangaroo bounce by.
Amber is an award winning writer, Amazon Bestselling Author, and member of Romance Writers of Australia, Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, and Writers Victoria.
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