Shattered (Inevitable Series) by Janet Nissenson
Overview by Amazon:
Angela Del Carlo has been living half a life, ever since he walked out on her, shattering her entire existence and leaving her to cope with picking up the fragments. Nothing seems to matter much anymore, and her life is a drab existence of work, run, repeat. She’s forgotten how to laugh, how to love, and even how to live. Most days she’s little more than a ghost.
Nick Manning’s life has been one lived without compromise, without rules, and without regrets. Except for his one weakness, his one regret – Angela. What he did to her still tugs at his conscience, still fills him with remorse, and continues to haunt his dreams. But he stays away, knowing that he can never be the man she needs or give her what she deserves.
But when fate intervenes and Angela’s and Nick’s paths cross again, she’s determined not to surrender her soul to the devil ever again, while he’s desperate to have his angel back in his arms – even if it means changing the rules to get it done.
I was shattered after reading this book. I fully admit that at the end tears streamed down my face. I actually didn’t know if they were tears of sadness, happiness or relief. This book (and the whole series) was really, really well done. I love that the author creates really complex characters. Things are not black and white with the story. The characters make poor choices, do things to anger or upset the reader and also do so many things right.
The story is broken up into three sections: the ghost, the devil and the angel. In the Ghost, we are introduced to Angela who is a shell of a person. Ridiculously thin, emotionally devoid and miserable. We learn that a broken relationship FOUR years earlier is responsible. That sucked me in, to be honest. I was skeptical of this plot point when I started reading. I mean, how on earth can someone grieve a relationship for that long? As I started reading about Angela, the only way I could relate to her misery was if I lost a child. Her grief and despair is that profound. That made me insatiably curious about this relationship that could turn her into a skeleton.
In the Devil, we get to know Nick and find out about this relationship. It would be flippant to characterize it as something similar to Crossfire or Fifty Shades. Nick wants Angela, but only on his very specific terms. He will only see her at his desires, dress her in clothes of his choice and have sex at her place. She can’t call him, go on dates or have any sort of emotional relationship with him. Part of me was like, really? I know that physical attraction and lust make people do really stupid things, but the author deftly weaves the plot so that it makes sense why Angela would agree to his rules. Angela has a messed up family life and she thrives on the rules that Nick gives her.
The sex is out of control in this book. Nick is a former NFL all star player and now a stockbroker at the same firm as Angela. He is described as extremely tall, brawny and golden brown. For some reason I just couldn’t stop myself from imagining his physique like the “Rock” Dwayne Johnson (who I happen to think is smoking). He is insatiable in bed and hung like a horse. They have outrageously great sex, which made me envious as the reader. While Nick was not available emotionally, he did spend time wining and dining Angela, shopping with her and taking her to occasional parties. Most of their time was spent in the bedroom.
Angela knows from the start that she is breaking his number one rule – she loves Nick. She loves his mind, his mad business acumen and his ferocious appetite in the bedroom. This is the longest relationship that Nick has ever had – eleven months and five days. But it ends when Angela lets it slip that she loves him. Hence the devastation and emotional withdrawal from life. Angela leaves her job to get away from seeing Nick. She drinks heavily and pretty much stops eating. I really liked how the author made Angela flawed like that. Janet Nissenson wasn’t afraid to show the ugly side of characters and yet still made the reader pull for them.
In the final section, The Angel, we get to see Nick grovel. He comes to work at her firm and is shocked by the shell of a woman he once knew. Spending time with Angela again he comes to realize his mistake. He never should have let her go. And this, dear readers, is where the fun and games get going! It is always so great to see a man have to work to get a woman, especially after he broke her heart in a million pieces. He tries commanding her to come back to him, wooing her, teasing her, challenging her and seduction. Angela is so much stronger than the woman he knew four years ago and she has no intention of capitulating to his demands and rules this time. She has worked so hard to exerocise the demons of her past and she won’t accept anything less than she is deserving of. I wanted to cheer when she lays it on the line for Nick.
The secondary characters in the book are fantastic. In the previous books in the Inevitable series, we have met Lauren, Julia, Nathan, Ian and Tessa. All are in this book so we get a glimpse of what is happening in their lives. Frankly, I can’t wait to read Lauren’s story because she is so compelling and down right scary. In fact, I loved this book and series so much, that I went and bought the first book and devoured it today. The books are quite long, but they need to be to explore the depth of plot and emotions present.
I can’t say enough good things about this series. I loved this book and the two before it! If you have a chance, check them out and add them to you to-be-read pile! You won’t regret spending time with this series.