Author: Francette Phal
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 17 2014
Accidental Gold digger.
Circumstance forced Eden Mercer to sell herself to Dominic Armstrong for half a million dollars and in return she is to play the dutiful wife in public and submit to him completely behind closed doors.
Dominic is Ruthless, manipulative and sadistic but Eden is determined not to break under his cruelty. But how does one persevere when in the clutches of a Monster?
Monster is a new standalone novel from Francette Phal. It’s not dark erotica which I think I thought it would be, it’s much more of a sexy contemporary romance featuring Dominic and Eden.
We begin, as the blurb describes, with Eden caught in a loveless marriage with the ruthless and imperious Dominic. She grew up in poverty, made money as a stripper to pay her way through college and got romantically involved with Dominic’s younger half-brother and, as they are wealthy, Dominic stepped in to prevent them from marrying but he wants her for himself so he offers her a lucrative contract to pay off her debts – arm-candy by day, whore in the bedroom. She agrees on the condition that he marry her and that’s where we begin, several years into their marriage.
The blurb states accidental gold-digger but I think it was more like opportunistic gold-digger. In the opening chapters, neither Dominic and Eden do much to endear themselves to the reader. Dominic is cold, callous and manipulative – he frequently debases and degrades her in front of his friends. It’s very hard to see any redeeming features in this cold-hearted bastard at all. I was also distinctly lacking in sympathy for Eden – she’d made her avaricious bed and, however sadistic Dominic was, I kind of felt like she ought to just lie in it and quit moaning. She agreed to this for money and there’s a part of me that felt that she really deserved what she was getting.
BUT, Eden makes a discovery that sends her running, searching for a better and more meaningful life but Dominic isn’t about to let her go that easily and searches for her with the weight of his wealth and influence at his disposal and it’s not long before he finds her and coerces her into another contract.
I did really enjoy this – the novel took a whole different direction to the one that I’d anticipated after reading the blurb and this is very much a story of emotional growth and of love and forgiveness. The first few chapters depict Dominic as a cold, sadistic and ruthless control freak with very little endearing features, if any at all. It’s not until much later in the novel that we learn about his heart-breaking past and the incidents that caused this man to hate women and build an impenetrable emotional fortress around himself. It’s going to take something very special to thaw out that cold, black heart and Eden, unwittingly, has provided him with just what it takes to unlock his emotions and finally allow this man to love.
Eden, for her part, is very misguided. I really can’t understand what possessed her to sign that contract in the first place and she really did find herself living in hell during her marriage to Dominic but there is a really sweet girl hidden beneath the woman Dominic has forced her to be and she really did try to change her life for the better for the noblest of reasons. I really admired her attempts to make something of her life and how hard she tried to go it alone until, of course, Dominic manages to once more knock her off course.
This is a great second chance love story that simmers with an unrelenting chemistry between the two main protagonists – it’s very sexy, ultimately very romantic and a fantastic story of emotional growth. It’s very compelling and it’s quite the emotional roller-coaster that takes the reader from fairly awful scenes of degradation right through to real happiness with plenty of angst along the way.
This is my first book by Francette Phal – it definitely won’t be my last.
4 second-chance stars
This playlist hasn’t been created by the author. They’re just songs that came into my head as I was reading the book – enjoy!
Francette is kindly giving away two signed paperbacks of Monster and two $10 Amazon Giftcards. For your chance to win, just enter the Rafflecopter below and Good Luck
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Francette lives in Massachusetts with her amazingly supportive husband of ten years and her darling two year old son. Reading amazing books has led her to writing and she’s dabbled in fan-fiction before self-publishing her own works. She’s constantly thinking up new stories to write and does her best work when music is playing in the background. Romance is where she’s most comfortable but she hopes to one day venture in mystery novels. She has a weakness for coffee ice cream, tropical fruits and a good glass of wine.