Review: Didn't I Warn You by Amber Bardan (Bad for You #1)
Note: This ARC was provided by Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Didn't I Warn You is the first novel in the Bad for You romantic suspense series written by author Amber Bardan. I consider this more romantic suspense than I would captive romance because while it did have certain elements of the latter, the story felt more suspenseful than it did taboo, not that I'm complaining since I enjoy both sub-genres. This was the kind of story that builds anticipation, not just in terms of the developing relationship between the young and naive Angelina and the older, more worldly Haithem, but also in terms of what exactly is going on in the background. Is what's happening really about the two main characters being swept away by the nearness of the other and finding love along the way, or could there be something far more sinister occurring, one that, by the very end, may leave you reeling and dumbfounded.
Angelina is young and rather innocent, so there are moments in the story where her cluelessness frustrated me. But then, there were also times where I asked myself if she really was as clueless as she seemed or if she simply played the part because it continued to allow her to be in Haithem's presence and for her to fulfill all her dirty fantasies. Haithem, on the other hand, was an enigma. The man had secrets and he wasn't willing to share them until much, much later on. He knows what he's doing with Angelina, but then feelings are developed and whenever actual feelings are involved, even the best of plans can go awry. But Haithem is what I would consider a smart hunter because he does, indeed, know his prey well. Haithem isn't evil, but he is bad and is willing to do whatever it takes for him to get what ultimately wants.
The story was paced well, keeping me engaged from start to finish. There was a palpable connection between Haithem and Angelina, and that kind of a connection between two people is difficult to fake. It's the rest of the things that leave you wondering how much deceit is a part of what's happening in the story. It's too easy to accuse Haithem of manipulating the situation, but then you need to ask yourself what part Angelina played and if she allowed the manipulation to occur. She does, after all, come off as a very willing victim, even if we can partly blame it on her naivete. There are truths that come out near the end of the book and then we're left with a cliffhanger (argh!). The wait shouldn't be too long, since the sequel is due for release in June and is the conclusion to Angelina and Haithem's story. Didn't I Warn You gets 4.5 stars. ♥
Date Read: 22 April 2016
Learn more about Amber Bardan.