by Jackie Ashenden
Series: Tate Brothers #1
Published on May 2, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Nothing about Sullivan "Van" Tate is what it seems. A Navy SEAL raised among the New York City elite, Van prefers heart-pounding action over a Wall Street corner office. But when his adoptive father dies and his business rivals move in to overtake his empire, Van must suit up to save the company and protect the one woman most forbidden to him...and the object of Van's most dangerous desires.
Chloe Tate is as ambitious as she is gorgeous. With a newfound independence, Chloe is no longer a prisoner on her father's ranch. But everything changes when losing her father may also mean losing her life. Even with her survival on the line, Chloe can't deny the burning attraction she feels the moment she locks eyes with Van, her rich, rough and ready, foster brother and the new head of her father's company. Tall, dark, and muscled, he's the one man who she has no business being with. But how can she resist a Navy Seal Warrior when he'll do anything to protect her?
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I spent FAR too long trying to get through this book.
Van’s a Navy SEAL who ends up getting his adopted father’s entire oil business to take over and his foster-sister in the mix. Chloe, the sister in question, is stuck in the middle of a battle for the company and back with her brother who she was crushing on as a teen. Already I was smelling disaster.
The book proceeded to repeat the fact that Van didn’t want to run the business, that he wanted to stay in the military, he can’t love anyone, and so on. And that Chloe has had feelings for Van for years and just wants to be loved and not be alone anymore.
Somehow the author managed to find enough ways to say the same thing over and over for 400+ pages. The problem with this is that the characters embodied these two themes and basically nothing else. Van is a possessive alpha male who, at the end, was actually pretty awful about it. The last sex scene of the book pissed me off SO MUCH because of how he acted toward Chloe. She became nothing more than a lust-driven woman seeking love from someone who made it clear he couldn’t give it to her.
They have a decently large age gap and were both not left in a good place thanks to their father who left one feeling abandoned and the other feeling the need to be perfect in every way. The combination made this book a bit hard to get through because the characters stood in the way of themselves.
Plus, I honestly just didn’t like Van. He’s the kind of guy who just takes what he wants regardless of the consequences flying through his head. It’s his way or no way, and he’s not above doing whatever necessary to get what he wants. The thing is, he has this “tragic backstory” but I never felt bad for him.
If anything, I pitied Chloe. Her father dies, she’s left with literally nothing, and her entire life is turned upside down. Add to the mix that a brother she hasn’t seen in almost a decade suddenly shows up and takes her away from her home and they end up in a dangerous situation left behind, again, by their father.
The whole thing is a mess.
And in the background there’s the business with the oil company and their father’s “nemesis” who wants to take over.
Honestly the romance was just sub-par at best for me and was all lust and protective alpha male crap. The story had potential but was overtaken by the aforementioned romance. All in all just not a good show. I thought about DNFing this book several times and considering how much I disliked the ending (despite expecting it), I really should have.
The only good thing that came from it is that you meet Van’s two brothers who look like they’ll be featured in future books, and from the small glimpses of their characters, I already like them more.