Title : Veiled Innocence
Author: Ella Frank
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 8 2014
Tick, tick, tock.
That’s all I have now.
A small room, a photograph, and time.
They want me to trust them and confess my sins.
They told me they wouldn't judge me—they lied.
I thought we could convince the world that this wasn't a crime.
We were wrong.
Time doesn't stand still.
The clock keeps ticking, the world is unconvinced, and now…
Now he is gone.
Tick, tick, tock.
This is very much a taboo, forbidden love story. I’m trying not to give too much of the plot away as I think it’s best read when you don’t know what to expect and I will confess that the whole teacher/student plotline is one that I normally stay away from but I gave this one a chance because it’s Ella Frank and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ever read by her before. I think it’s entirely possible that my blanket refusal to read this type of book has possibly caused me to miss out on some really good reads but this book, Veiled Innocence, has a really genuine and heartfelt love story at the centre of it, despite the fact that these two should never be together.
So, despite my misgivings about teacher/student romances I decided to go on in and just let the whole experience wash over me.
Addison is the star pupil at the school, a track superstar and sexiest and prettiest girl in her year. She tries very hard to be the best she can possibly be at everything she does and has a fairly unhealthy obsession with time and punctuality.
Tick, tick, tock!
She meets her new history teacher, Mr McKendrick, and is instantly attracted and sees him as a challenge. She is incredibly forward in the way that she pursues him. Given that she’s 18 years old, physically perfect and incredibly sexually aware, it’s no wonder that Mr McKendrick found it hard to resist her advances. He did try for the longest time but the incredible sexual attraction that they share ultimately proved to be too irresistible to him.
I squirmed during these scenes – they are beautifully handled and incredibly sensual, as you’d expect from Ella Frank but all the time my conscience was screaming NO! These are life-destroying, career-ending decisions that he’s making and, however intensely emotional they were, as a mother a part of me is still screaming that this is wrong! He’s actually a really decent guy but I could see only bad things in the future for these two and a prison sentence and being labelled as a sex offender for him. I just wanted them to wait..
Addison is an incredibly complex character. At first she comes across as brazen and brash and really quite unlikable – she’s dating the hottest sports jock in school, himself a bit of a fuckwit, and once she decides that she wants Mr McKendrick she sets about ruthlessly pursuing him. She really did seem nothing better than jailbait at first but, slowly, we get to peel back the layers and see the frightened and lost young woman deep inside Addison that’s not immediately apparent and learn why she is so time-aware and how tragedy has shaped her into the broken girl she is today.
Mr McKendrick really does fight his attraction to Addison for the longest time but she makes things so difficult for him and his attraction is growing so strong that, ultimately, he finds he can’t resist. He’s portrayed very well by Ella Frank – he doesn’t come across as sleazy or lecherous at all and his inner struggle and eventual capitulation are hard fought and it’s easy to feel some sympathy for him. I still wanted him to back off and tell her no – after all he’s the adult, she’s the damaged teen but they do start to develop a beautiful connection which manages to silence all of Addison’s demons while they are together.
The story is well told and compelling and Ella Frank does an amazing job of combining this really rather taboo love story and showing parallels with Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn and also Cupid and Psyche. I really enjoyed they way they were all seamlessly intertwined.
The ending – well, obviously I can’t give this away but you will all have to make up your own minds whether or not this satisfies you. They were definitely other ways this could have concluded and, like me, you’ll be asking yourself whether the final outcome is the right or most satisfying one.
I’m glad I read this – I think it really did push me out of my comfort zone and convince me to try a plot line that I’d been fairly prejudiced against in the past. It’s beautifully done, not at all sleazy and ultimately a very beautiful love story, however forbidden that love may be. I applaud Ella Frank for constantly trying to come up with something different and original every time and this, at least for me, definitely achieves that.
4 forbidden stars
About Ella Frank
I am first and foremost a proud Australian, but currently reside in Texas with my husband.
I love to read and write contemporary and erotic romances, but I also like to step outside of the box at times when it comes to telling a story that really speaks to me.
I absolutely adore dessert. I could skip the main meal and head straight to the dessert line every time…especially anything that is covered in caramel.
I am a GLEEK (yes I admit it… So? It makes me happy), on the other hand I love Dexter and he makes me happy too, so analyze that!
I love to sing really bad at the top of my lungs, and I often have conversations with myself.
Some of my favorite authors include; JR Ward, Tiffany Reisz, Nalini Singh, Lori Foster, Lauren Dane, SJ Frost and many more.
Last but certainly not least, I am the author of The Exquisite Series, Blind Obsession and most recently Try.