Surrender by Melody Anne
Raffaello (Rafe) Palazzo takes what he wants with no regrets. Arianna (Ari) Lynn Harlow has led a charmed life until tragedy strikes her family. He’s looking for a no-emotions attached mistress, she’s looking for redemption.
They are not a pair that should ever work, but undeniable attraction and devastating tragedies bring them together in the city by the bay where he fights to keep their relationship nothing more than an enjoyable way to meet his needs, and she battles to not lose herself in him. Spending time with Ari starts cracking the hard shell that Rafe has built around his heart, but he denies the affect she has on him until it’s too late to stop the inevitable conclusion that their relationship is headed for.
Rafe once believed in happily ever after, coming from a large Italian family. He’s got the Midas touch, since every endeavor he tries turns to gold. That all ends when his wife walks out the door and leaves him blindsided. His devastation quickly turns to steel when he decides no woman will fool him again. From that point on he treats relationships as nothing more than business transactions where both party’s come out mutually benefited.
Just when Ari has sunk to the lowest she’s ever been she finds an ad in the paper announcing a job that’s too good to be true. It turns out she’s right. She makes it through the intense rounds of interviews only to find out the job is for a mistress to the powerful Rafe Palazzo, owner of Palazzo Enterprises. Rafe gives her a day to think about whether she wants the position or not, and she’s sent on her way, only to find out her mother’s near-terminal position has taken a turn for the worse. Her mom’s only in the hospital because Ari messed up, and her mother’s the one who paid the price. Is Rafe her savior, or will he take her with him straight to the depths of hell?
I understand why some people don't like Surrender. I get it. Rafe is controlling, but in a way that I like reading. Would I want him in my real life? No. Do I like reading a story like this? Yes.
Rafe has it all, until he walks in on his wife with his best friend. He then doesn't trust women and won't give his heart away again. He brings women in and has them sign a contract to be his mistress. They do what he wants when he wants. Very controlling.
Ari is very inexperienced, but she has a mother in the hospital with lots of bills to pay. She sees an ad in the paper for a job that is too good to be true, and it is. She meets with Rafe, but once she knows what the contract is that she would have to sign she cannot go through with it.
Rafe is used to women wanting to be with him. He is not used to people saying no to him so at first Ari is a challenge for him. He is convinced he can sway her to work for him. They do have a physical relationship at times, which Ari does enjoy but she can't stand him otherwise. Of course Rafe does start to care for Ari, but he is too hurt by his ex-wife to really consider that. He wants no strings, and he does help Ari with her mom without her knowing.
This keeps going on, them meeting at different times and Rafe taking Ari back to his place and using her for his own gain. The end leaves it a little up in the air. Ari is given an ultimatum and it doesn't really say exactly what she does. It hints at it, but it is not 100%. I can't wait to read the next book, even though this is not really an amazing read. I enjoyed it like I said, but I wouldn't want Rafe in my life. I don't think the author made him a completely abusive jerk, just very controlling. I don't know. Sometimes I like reading these, sometimes I don't when the author doesn't write the characters in a way I like. I wouldn't want this in real life, but I like it in my fantasy life...