Where did you get the book: E-arc from publisher
Publisher: Berkley Intermix
Release date: Out Now (full complete book will be released September 1st)
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WHEN I’M WITH YOU AND BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE
A young woman’s quiet life is upended when she meets the man of her forbidden dreams in the startling new novel from New York Times bestselling author Beth Kery. The Affair begins…
Innocent yet unconventional hospice nurse Emma Shore has secured a new position at The Breakers, the sprawling mansion of enigmatic and dangerously handsome racecar billionaire Michael Montand. Hired as caretaker for Montand’s stepmother, Emma expects few complications. But one night, lost in the mansion’s maze of corridors, she comes upon a woman and a man she can’t identify engaged in a raw, naked interlude of sexual subjugation. Silently, from the shadows, Emma watches—shocked, appalled, and unnervingly aroused.
But Emma wonders… if this mysterious stranger is not Montand, then who is it? And what other surprises are in store for her? Night after sleepless night, she’s considering the possibilities. And for the first time in her life, she’s not going to run away from them.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
I am not a patient reader for serials and prefer to wait for the entire story to be complete but I am a huge fan of Beth Kery and her books because she writes engaging erotic romances. THE AFFAIR is the latest serial which will be released later this year in an omnibus edition. But you can read the eight part installments now, although, I waited to read the entire serial in one go and THE AFFAIR was definitely one of the most enjoyable serials that I’ve read.
THE AFFAIR begins with Emma who is a nurse caring for the dying step-mother of Formula One billionaire, Michael Montand. I was immersed immediately in this almost dark gothic overtone when Emma accidentally witnesses a heated but intense sexual interlude with a couple from the shadows. I really liked how the setting and tone had this dark but sexual atmosphere, especially in contrast with the brooding billionaire hero and an amiable and sensitive heroine. It really sets up the tone of the book and the characters and their romance.
There is also a subplot which had a messy aftermath with Emma’s boyfriend and her sister, which ends up with the breakup of her relationship with him and fallout with her sister. This becomes a catalyst to open herself to the attraction that she shares with Michael and the start of their affair.
I give Part 1 a B-
Week Two starts off with a zing! And I really liked the first full-on love scene between Michael and Emma which adds to the tension. I also found that their relationship was beginning to develop in an interesting way that I did not expect because there was a bit of a role reversal with their relationship dynamic. I also like how Michael is drawn towards Emma who is the one who is a bit reluctant about their relationship.
Emma also has a bit of a shock when she discovers the identity of mystery man in the sexual interlude she secretly intruded on, and it adds to her doubts about their relationship when she realises it’s Michael. Although I didn’t really feel this plot twist worked but I enjoyed how their romance took another step forward.
I give Part 2 a B+
Michael and Emma’s relationship deepens; they both discuss and confirm the terms of their temporary affair which is agreed upon to span a few weeks, although hints of stronger feelings between the two of them shows that this may not be the case. I really enjoyed this installment because the heat factor cranks up to match 10 and the BDSM elements which was briefly illustrated in the first part of this serial, when Emma spies on Michael and an old flame, is out on full force. And this time it’s Emma who receives the attention of intense sexuality of Michael Montard.
Another aspect of the story that I really adored is that Michael had a sense of humour when he started to opening up to Emma. He also goes under the nick name of Vanni, which I did find confusing because he went under several names. But I think this showed a softer and more personal side of the stoic and elusive billionaire and in addition when he set out terms of their relationship especially their sexual side. Vanni, offers Emma choices and control and this was one of the best examples that Beth Kery uses with this trope.
I give Part 3 a B
Themes of Forgiveness and Betrayal run throughout this serial. With Emma’s ex-boyfriend and her sister’s betrayal–and Michael’s past relationship with his step-mother–it becomes a source of tension and conflict within the romance as well as the main plot. However, I did personally think Emma was too forgiving with the aftermath of her sister’s betrayal of sleeping with her ex-boyfriend and they should had faced a harder time. Even though their relationship had become stale and they were going through the motions, they both betrayed her trust and being up-front and honest about their feelings would have avoided a lot of heartache and resentment. Beth Kery’s consistent characterisation of Emma made it work. She is really likable and sweet because it was her innate nature to be forgiving and open and this is a large reason which I think Vanni is drawn to her.
I also really like how Kery incorporated these themes, into the story and how the characters tackle it, while I did think Emma was too forgiving, I did think it was close to her character. It also really showed to me why Vanni would be intrigued by Emma, and even though there is dark undercurrent of tragedy and death that surrounded him I like the balance of light and love that she offered to him.
I give Part 4 a B+