by Emma Scott
How long would you wait for love?
Max Kaufman was kicked out of his home as a teen and his life has been an uphill battle ever since. From addiction and living on the streets, to recovery and putting himself through nursing school, he’s spent the last ten years rebuilding his shattered sense of self. Now he’s taken a job as a private caretaker to Edward Marsh III, the president and CEO of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Max soon learns Marsh’s multi-billion-dollar empire is a gold and diamond-encrusted web of secrets and lies.
The longer Max works and lives with the Marsh family, the tighter the secrets tangle around him. And his heart—that he’s worked so hard to protect—falls straight into the hands of the distant, cold, and beautiful son of a dynasty…
Silas Marsh is set to inherit the family fortune, but his father is determined his heir be the “perfect” son. Before Silas can take over the company and end its shady business practices, he must prove himself worthy…and deny his true nature.
Silas must choose: stand up to his father by being true to himself and his undeniable feelings for Max. Or pretend to be someone he is not in order to inherit everything. Even if it means sacrificing a chance at happiness and real love.
I thought I knew what to expect from this book after reading the blurb, but I was wrong–in the best kind of way.
The main characters were well-drawn and likable. Max was brilliant from the start, with his empathy and integrity that were well-drawn without being preachy. I took a while longer to warm to Silas, but once the reasons for his behavior were exposed, I found myself rooting for him. Both were strong characters with compelling, distinct voices.
The secondary characters were fleshed out nicely, not stealing the main characters’ thunder but not being just window dressing, either. Eddie in particular was a shining light, with his Dickensian fixation and his adoration for hearing the piano being played (and for Silas). The secondary antagonist was a bit of a Snidely Whiplash, but the characterization fit well into the story and provided a good impetus for the climax.
The build-up of the relationship between Max and Silas was believable and well-paced, as Silas dealt with his issues. It was actually a little intense at times; I had to stop midway to take a break and recover from the tension because I was getting as twisted up as Max and Silas.
I found the epilogue to be a bit pat, and ended up skimming it toward the end; the bow was just a little too neat. (Then again, I don’t like epilogues that are the cherries on top anyway; I’m one of those people who hated the next generation Harry Potter epilogue, so take it with a grain of salt.) It didn’t ruin the story, but I would’ve been happy finishing with the last chapter.
There were a few errors scattered here and there, and a little bit of repetition, but nothing egregious enough to be more than a blip.
Overall, I really liked this book, despite my few quibbles with it. I suspect this won’t be the last time I read it.
tl;dr Compelling characters and a well-paced story made this one of the best books I’ve read this year.