Serendipity

Serendipity (Inevitable Series) by Janet Nissenson

serendipity

Overview by Amazon:

Was meeting again an unfortunate twist of fate? Or was it just serendipity?

Julia McKinnon was convinced she’d found the one – the man of her dreams, the most seductive, experienced lover she’d ever known – and the night they’d spent together in New York was the stuff erotic fantasies were spun from. But with the dawn of a new day came only heartache and betrayal, and her dreams were snuffed out like so much fairy dust.
Nathan Atwood felt like the lowest sort of life form after seducing the incredibly beautiful girl he met in New York, only to break her tender heart with the confession that he was already involved with someone else. Leaving Julia was the hardest thing he’d ever done, and the memory of their passionate night together haunted his dreams for months afterwards.
Now fate has brought them together again, and they are forced to work alongside each other. Will Julia be able to put aside the feelings she still has for her handsome boss and forge a new life for herself in San Francisco? And how long will Nathan be able to resist the gorgeous woman he’s never really stopped thinking about or wanting?

So I recently read two books in the Inevitable Series, Splendor and Shattered.  I realized there was another book in the series and just had to read it.  In fact, I have read it like three times.  This book has fascinated me and yet left me conflicted.

The reviews of this book on Goodreads are all over the map.  Some are scathing.  Like horrendous – didn’t finish, hated the male lead character and so on.  On the other end of the spectrum, five star ratings and gushing volumes of praise.

I have to say that there is definitely something about this book that has caused me to ignore my to-be-read list and re-read it over a few days.  As I am driving, I am questioning what has held me so captive about this book.  It has elements in the plot line that should totally turn me off.

Nathan cheats on his new fiancee with Julia.  He meets her randomly in New York and just has to have her.  She feels like his soul mate, but in the morning, he admits his infidelity and leaves her broken hearted. I am not a fan of cheating in my romance novels.  In fact, I pretty much refuse to read books that feature this.  But, I am questioning what made me stick with this book!?  Maybe it’s because you know that Julia is the one he is supposed to be with, or the amazing soul shattering sex they have.  I’m finding it elusive to name the element that didn’t make me put the book down.

His fiancee Cameron is a raging bitch and totally wrong for him.  I usually really dislike when an author lays the blame on a woman in the book and makes her a bitch.  It’s a literally devise that I find disrespectful of women.  However, in this book, there had to be a villain and Cameron creates really fantastic conflict and drama.  She is the instrument of change in the book and I think it was because it was so effectively developed, that it just worked in this case.

Nathan is a chicken.  He is also really sexy and has a very dirty mouth.  But nonetheless, he is frustrating because he wants to be the good guy who doesn’t break off an engagement.  Even though he wants Julia, he pretty much stalks her and continues to lust after her.  The relationship with Cameron was not working in everyone’s eyes, but Nathan’s.  He just couldn’t admit that he didn’t want the same things as Cameron.

I think the things that I loved about this book outweighed the criticisms others had.  I loved Julia.  She was a wonderful character.  One reviewer commented that she was just too perfect.  I didn’t see that in her.  Julia may be drop dead gorgeous, successful and extremely well dressed, but she had also had her share of heartbreak, challenges and she definitely had to work hard for her success.  I found her to be a stable and relatable character.

The sex in this book is so off the charts.  Another reviewer complained about how much sex was in the book.  Seriously??  It’s along the lines of Crossfire or Fifty in the quantity, but the quality was great!  Nathan has a very dirty mouth and I really liked how the two of them couldn’t keep their hands off each other.  Aren’t most relationships like that in the beginning?  I enjoyed hearing about Julia’s lingerie fetish and I think I picked up a trick or two for my own personal life.

The emotional story in this book is what really sucked me in.  It was fate that kept drawing Nathan and Julia together.  The longing, the passion, the despair made it so much sweeter when they were together.  I CARED about these characters.  I LIKED spending my time with them.  I ENJOYED seeing them work their way back to each other.  I think that is my conundrum.   I should resist the elements of the plot that are not appealing (like the cheating), but it made the story so realistic.  This is real life.  People make shitty decisions and have to live with the consequences.  Nathan made many mistakes.  In real life, would he be written off forever?  It takes a brave author to have the courage to create characters with intrinsic flaws that some people will find irredeemable.

I’m just a sucker for the happily ever after, however I get it.  There is a follow up novella (although it’s quite long for a short story) that follows the couple into the future.  It was also great.  I loved catching up with them and I can’t wait for Julia’s twin sister Lauren’s story.  Janet Nissenson is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.  I like the authenticity of her work and the inner dialogue her books provoke in me.  Check out her stuff if you are looking for a great contemporary series.

Here is the Amazon

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