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Inappropriate (Bristol Island #2), by Elizabeth Finn

Inappropriate______________________________________________

A New Standalone Bristol Island Tale.

Cohen is a man apart on Bristol Island—an outcast loved by all but separated by his position within the community. Dylan is the newest resident in town, but she arrives with a dark secret and a desire to keep it buried.

But when burning attraction is thrown into the mix, his job and her secrets are quickly forgotten—that is until one impetuous decision renders a relationship off-limits, unethical, and utterly inappropriate.

Living next door to one another on the island’s isolated peninsula guarantees their paths will cross time and time again. With fate tempting Cohen to ignore his conscience and, for the first time in his life, gamble with the rules, will he risk everything for Dylan?

And what happens when Dylan’s past suddenly catches up to her? Will she find the strength to bare her soul to him? Or will she let her secrets take them both down?

Sometimes the inappropriate relationship is the most appropriate of them all.

______________________________________________

“It was quite simple really. Men were supposed to be men, and women were supposed to be women. And, frankly, everything else was supposed to be irrelevant.”

 I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I get a little tingly before reading a book. Not the sexy tingly you get before starting a sexy book. It’s a tingle that has more to do with its author and the kind of books she writes.

“The woman he couldn’t ethically fuck, he wanted to fuck six ways to Sunday without a single socially acceptable barrier between them.”

Well, every time I’m about to start a book by Elizabeth Finn, I get tingly. This woman is truly gifted. She writes the kind of books that treat of controversial subjects, stories that suck you in, make you feel warm inside, then proceeds to tear you apart to the point you don’t know if you’ll be able to keep on reading, and eventually patch you up with a HEA.

“She seemed to have a thing for unrequited love or maybe it was just the forbidden, because he knew her writing style enough at this point to know unrequited would not remain unrequited for long. Her stories always involved heavy and hot amounts of requiting.”

Inappropriate was this kind of book for me. I downloaded the book because of the blurb and its author. I knew this book was going to be sort of tough to read. I always get a little apprehensive before reading her books. And to be honest, this book in particular felt a little bittersweet to me. Not because of how it ends, because I was pretty much happy with the ending and the resolution of conflict with this book, but because of how a particular character reacted.

“People shared their hurts and anger with a person who meant something to them. And when they stopped, it meant they’d lost a reason to.”

The characters are one of the reasons why I enjoy Elizabeth’s writing so much. They aren’t the perfect characters. They are flawed, and they can be wrong, and they can even be ugly in the way they react but that’s what makes then so true and human. That’s something I like about her books and her writing and her characters. But in the case of Inappropriate, Cohen’s attitude and actions toward Dylan REALLY bothered me. I’m not going to quote anything major from the book because even now it seriously pisses me off and because it’s impossible for me to do so and still keep this review spoiler free, but here is a taste of Cohen’s venom. Just keep in mind that he says this to the woman he loves:

“The sight of you made me vomit once already today. I’d really like to avoid that happening again.”

It was to the point where I though he was practically being abusive with her, at least that how it felt. Some of the stuff he has to …digest because of Dylan’s past were hard to swallow since he has a romantic interest in her and that it was obviously upsetting but he would say stuff to her so hurtful and mean and he would do so intentionally. And I couldn’t understand how he could be so intentionally mean to her and pretend to do that because he was in love with her. How could someone want to hurt the person they love the way he does? With words so hateful? Especially when Dylan has been through so much abuse (verbal abuse). He never even tried to put himself in her shoes. Other characters had to to it for him.

“Our past only has the power we give it, and I think you’re giving yours too much.”

That was the dark spot of the book for me because Cohen and Dylan’s relationship could be so good and all of a sudden he would ruin everything by jumping to conclusion and judge her without letting her talk and explain.

“She stood in front of the door, staring at the mat at her feet and waiting for what wasn’t going to happen. Forgiveness, understanding empathy, all those things she’d been stupid enough to hope for.”

He was so quick to judge her, and point out her wrongs and punish her if he though she was wrong. Every time he felt like he was going to get hurt, he would hurt her first. And I just don’t see how redeemable that could be. I’m usually the first to be forgiving and see why someone would do something, even if it’s wrong, but in Cohen’s case, I just couldn’t and that just made him ugly to me as a person. Especially when Dylan was such a sweet girl and had already been through so much hurt.

“Life wasn’t easy, nor was it supposed to be, and she seemed to understand that.”

Now, Dylan was a great character. She was sweet and strong even though she was still scarred from her past. But again, how she reacted to Cohen’s excessive reactions to her, how she kept forgiving him without ever calling him on his bullshit attitude toward her had me raging at my Kindle. It enraged me to see her just taking him back (without him really apologizing for his words and actions or groveling) every time without ever pointing out his wrongs.

“To err is human; to forgive is divine.”

I’m all for forgiveness, but here, the situation bordered on doormat territory.

“You deserve to be happy, Des (…) You need to remember that, because you might have to fight for it. And if you don’t see your worth, how the hell can you make anyone else see it?”

But beside this very black point in the book, I really liked it. The whole island universe and atmosphere, the people on the island and side characters (except for one though). And let’s just say that Elizabeth Finn’s sex scenes have the same punch as they usually have. Damn, there were some hot moments during this winter. And I really liked the matter she treated with Dylan’s situation and past and how she was perceived  and sometimes judged too. It was a great subject to ponder upon and she treated it really well.

“You are the best mistake I could have ever made (…) I… regret… nothing.”

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