Review: The Man I Can't Have by Shanora Willams (Ward #1)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Candi Kane PR.

It's been a number of years since I read my first Shanora Williams-penned book, so when the opportunity to re-acquaint myself with her writing came along, I took it and gladly so. The Man I Can't Have is the first novel in the Ward duet, and it's the story of a married woman and the landscape designer she has an affair with. Okay, that's an over-simplified summary of the book, but it does give you the basic gist of what it is about. When twenty-five-year-old artist Gabrielle Lewis accepts the proposal of thirty-three-year-old investment banker Kyle Moore, her world is full of love and hope. They move to Summerville, South Carolina, with Kyle needing to fly often to New York in order to be at the helm of the family-owned business. When Gabby decides that their new home needs a beautiful backyard, she gets in touch with thirty-five-year-old Marcellus Ward, owner of Ward Landscaping & Design, who has come highly recommended. What follows is a strong connection between Marcel and Gabby, but with Gabby being married to Kyle and Marcel haunted by his past, how can any future be possible for these two?

Let's get this out of the way, shall we? Yes, there is cheating in this book, so if you have an aversion to it, this may not be the book for you. Cheating isn't a hard limit for me, although I admittedly raise an eyebrow at the sort of cheating that involves nothing more than baser desires--you know, cheating simply based on sex and attraction. Maybe I need the cheating to be justified, and I'm sure that there are people who will say that any form of cheating is unjustifiable, but this is fiction, not real life. In Gabby's case, it was clear that the more time she spent with Marcel, the more her attraction for him grew. Was Kyle a great husband? Not really, what with his constant travel, and as the story moves forward, it's obvious that there's more to him than meets the eye and not in a good way. However, that doesn't come to the forefront until after the relationship between Gabby and Marcel is consummated, so I don't think it's entirely fair to lay any amount of blame on Kyle's feet, not that Gabby outright did that but it was kinda-sorta implied. The chemistry between Gabby and Marcel was palpable, and with that cliffhanger ending, I'm eager to see what happens next to all the main players. Four stars for The Man I Can't Have. ♥

Date Read: 10 May 2019

Learn more about Shanora Williams.

Purchase The Man I Can't Have on Amazon.

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