The Flaw in Raffaele’s Revenge by Annie West
Raffaele Petri wants revenge and he has waited a long time to get it. He has managed to amass a fortune and he will use it to break the man he believes led to his sister’s death.
Raffaele is a loner. He has his business and is friendly with his staff but he is still the boss. He has done some things in his past he regrets from time to time, but it gets him in a position where he can have his revenge. His favour is coveted by businesses and women, and he accepts this reality. When he sees the man who played a part in his sister’s death, he puts his plan into action. Enter Lily Nolan.
Raffaele has bullied Lily into accepting a position in his team. He threatened her with no more work from his company, or in fact any company by using his influence. He needs someone who is top of their field to research information, and Lily is the best. But Lily doesn’t want to go to New York. She wants to stay in her perfect world in Australia. She manages to negotiate quadruple the salary for the job. And finds herself in his guest room in the penthouse. Raffaele has many questions about the unattainable Lilly, not least is how she managed to get the scar on her face.
One night, in the dark of night, there are some confessions between Raffaele and Lily. Raffaele finds he is becoming attracted to Lily, and Lily to him, although neither will acknowledge their mutual attraction. Lily doesn’t believe she is attractive with her scar, and her experiences have confirmed it. This has almost turned her into a recluse. Raffaele is the first person to challenge her on how she hides herself from everyone.
This is a Beauty and the Beast story. In this case with is a role reversal. Raffaele is the one with model looks, and Lily is the one with the scar. How Lily gets her scar is a story of jealousy from when she was younger. Lily calls herself the collateral damage, but her best friend died in the incident. So it is understandable that Lily is hesitant to have her scaring visible to all. Raffaele is able to make her see that nobody cares about her scar, and that he thinks she is special. Raffaele in helping Lily to heal, is also able to heal. He bears the internal scar of his sister’s death. It is a comment from Lily that really changes how he thinks.
I enjoy Ms West’s books, but this one goes into the special range. There is a tenderness between Lily and Raffaele as they come to understand each other’s background and how they have both been able to rise above their beginnings to make something of themselves. I like that they also make a dynamic pairing.
Reviewed by Heather
A review copy of this book was provided by the author. ARRA members who leave a comment on the blog by 14 September 2016 will go into the draw to win the book.
Spring is in the air—the perfect time for a new love!
Kate and the Escape Team
Here’s what we have coming up in September …
Releasing 5 January
Blue Steal by Marnie St Clair. A witty, sexy and suspenseful story about a stolen necklace, a doomed hotel, and two people determined to get their hands on the jewels—at any cost.
Releasing 15 January
This Love by Lea Darragh. An emotional, vulnerable, heart-warming, surprising romance: forgiveness can be hard—even when it’s the only way to save your life.
Releasing 25 January
Red Dust Dancer by Eva Scott. A brand new rural romance from the best-selling author of Red Dust Dreaming. Everyone deserves a second chance—and another dance.
Now available as box sets
Intriguing Men by Ainslie Paton (releasing 5 September). Three sexy and intriguing men discover love can be a great healer, if they can only brave the risk…
The Complete Treasured Series by Kendall Talbot (releasing 15 September). Dive into this adrenaline-fuelled new series with sexy characters, exotic locations and action-packed adventure by award-winning author Kendall Talbot!
Forever Evermore Bundle by Scarlett Dawn (releasing 25 September). From Scarlett Dawn comes the stunning, sexy, sensual, surprising, spell-binding King Trilogy; the first and best-selling Forever Evermore trilogy now in one volume.
Today is the official release of Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas (book 4, Ransom Canyon) (paperback, hardback and ebook, HQN). Here’s the blurb:
Return to peaceful Crossroads, Texas, where community comes first and love thrives in the unlikeliest places…
Yancy Grey is slowly putting his life back together after serving time for petty theft. As he rebuilds an old house, he finally has a sense of stability, but he can’t stop thinking of himself as just an ex-con. Until one night, he finds a mysterious dark-haired beauty hiding in his loft. But who is she, and what secret is she protecting?
The art gallery Parker Lacey manages is her life—she has no time for friends, and certainly not lovers. But when her star artist begs Parker for help, she finds herself in a pickup truck, headed for the sleepy town of Crossroads. A truck driven by a strong, silent cowboy…
Gabe Snow has been a drifter since he left Crossroads at seventeen after a violent incident. When he accepts a job in his hometown, he’ll have to decide whether he can put the worst night of his life behind him and build a future in the community that raised him.
Jodi dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:
I believe in love, the kind that lasts a lifetime. My grandfather met my grandmother at a barn raising. She was fifteen and he was seventeen. They wrote letters back and forth for a year, then the next spring he drove a buckboard back to her place and married her that day. They were married 64 years and their children say they never saw them argue. It may not always work out that way in real life, but I like to think it should in fiction. When a reader picks up one of my books I want them to feel like they’ve walked into a town and lived there for a while. And when they turn the last page and close the book, I want them to smile and know they’ll be welcome back for another visit in the next story. So, saddle up and ride with me through Sunrise Crossing.
Today is the official release of The Songbird’s Call by Rachael Herron (book 2, The Songbirds of Darling Bay) (trade paperback and ebook, Penguin Random House). Here’s the blurb:
The story of the three Darling sisters continues in this sparkling romantic comedy of love, courage and finding your own voice.
Once Adele, Molly and Lana were the Darling Songbirds, a world-famous country band. Now they are just three sisters who barely speak. But that is about to change. Because their uncle has bequeathed them his business, the Golden Spike – a struggling bar, a rundown cafe and a near derelict hotel in Darling Bay.
With Adele settled as proprietor of the bar, middle sister Molly arrives in town, and is immediately drawn to the neglected little café where she worked as a teenager. Could she – dare she – bring it back to life.
As lead singer, Molly had always been the ‘voice’ of the band. Yet, caught between controlling big sis Adele and demanding baby sister Lana, she never felt she was being heard. If she’s going to reopen the café, she’ll do it on her own terms. She won’t be bossed around again.
So the last person she should fall for is the handsome Sheriff Colin McMurty – the man whose job it is to tell people exactly what to do …
Rachael dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:
Writers usually try to stay far away from the autobiographical in their work (too many of their friends and family will see themselves in the books, and that’s without putting them in) but I have to admit, this trilogy about three country-singing sisters might have a little to do with the fact that I have two sisters and we were raised singing and playing guitar. That said, we’ve never inherited a saloon, cafe or hotel (more’s the pity), and we don’t live in a fantastic and colourful beach town, although we were raised in one. But my sisters are the most important people in the world to me, and while this isn’t our story, this book is an homage to sisterly love. And always, to finding romantic love with the hero that inspires our heroine to write the best song of her life.
Judging a book by its cover
After writing for many years, last year I had my first romance novel accepted for publication as an ebook, Snowy River Man. It’s about a young woman who, after a traumatic time, starts to have dreams of lost boys. This gift leads her to reconnect with a young station owner from Adaminaby in Snowy River Shire, a man whose son goes missing after a country rodeo and with whom she once had a fling.
Snowy River Man has done well, so well it was re-released this month in a print anthology of ‘3-in-1 Australian Bestsellers’ called Country Secrets. I’m guessing part of the book’s success is due to the popularity of rural romance, but I’m also tempted to think it has something to do with the wonderful looking hero on the cover.
My second romance, By Her Side, was published in December last year by Escape. It’s about a girl who comes back to Sydney after living overseas, only to be involved in a mysterious hit-and-run accident, which injures her wealthy grandfather. She also discovers her half-brother is missing—along with funds from the family company. To solve the mystery, she teams up with an off-duty undercover detective who is coerced by her grandfather into acting as her bodyguard. Together they have a high-stakes adventure, and find love and romance along the way.
When I first saw the cover of By Her Side I was thrilled. The guy on the bike with the tattoos was as handsome as I’d imagined Vince Maroney, my Italian–Australian hero from the wrong side of the tracks. Unlike with the cover of Snowy River Man, however, reader reactions have been mixed. After enjoying Snowy River Man, one reviewer on Goodreads wrote that she picked up By Her Side despite the ‘horrible’ cover. The irony was that she enjoyed By Her Side even more than the first book and gave it a higher rating. What if the cover had put her off altogether?
So maybe you can help me. Do you judge a book by its cover—even ebooks? If the cover doesn’t attract you, do you still look at the summary or opening page to see if the story might interest you? Judging by the covers of Snowy River Man and By Her Side, which would you be more likely to pick up and read, and why?
To celebrate the publication of Snowy River Man in print, I’m giving away two copies of the Country Secrets anthology—or, if you’ve already read it and would prefer an ebook copy of By Her Side, just let me know. You can find details as to how to enter on my blog or on Goodreads. Entries close 31 August.
Good luck and happy reading!
Lizzy Chandler is the pen-name of Elizabeth Lhuede who founded the Australian Woman Writers Challenge and started off as an academic, researching Australian poetry for her PhD. She is currently helping her 93-year-old aunt write her memoirs, researching family history via TROVE and reading historical sagas, while waiting to hear back from Escape about her third novel, tentatively titled Sandpiper Beach.