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Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Rebound by Emilia Mancini


Still reeling from catching her husband in bed with his mistress, the last thing Casi Hanson is looking for is romance. When she meets brokenhearted Conner Bennett, she thinks she has found exactly what she needs.

Their mutual desire for a “no strings attached” sexual relationship offers the opportunity to explore fantasies and fetishes their spouses denied them and the freedom to walk away when they are done.
The only fantasy too taboo is falling in love.

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A spellbinding story of two people who meet by chance at a function just as both of their marriages have fallen apart. They start off by pretending to be there together to save face and to get through the evening, but one dance is all it takes for it to become more. They become lovers that night, and enter into a steamy, "no strings attached" affair, but is that all it will ever be? Do they even want it to ever be more, or will they be satisfied with their friends-with-benefits arrangement indefinitely?



Right from the start, the emotions in this one are raw, and very palpable. It's easy to envision Connor gritting his teeth as he bolsters himself with some liquid courage before heading into the charity dinner he's attending, and just as easy to grasp the quiet desperation with which Casi comes into that same bar wanting just a few moments to gather herself before doing the same. The attraction between them is there from the first moment they speak, and it only flames brighter as time goes on, and the author pulls you into their vortex of passion and makes you feel everything they do in every encounter that follows. When the heartbreak that they're both trying to hide from eventually won't be denied, you heart breaks right along with the, and for them. I could go on, but you get the idea.

This kind of intense emotion is exactly what I want in a story of this length. It's a given that there's only so much you can do plot-wise in a novella length work, so for it to really shine, there has to be a lot of emotion in it. The characters have to be relateable, to feel real, to make you care about what happens to them and care whether or not they end up together. In this story, Ms. Mancini really hits the nail on the head and delivers a gem of a story that makes you wish it would continue on just so you could spend more time with these wonderful characters, but at the same time leaves you feeling satisfied when it does come to an end. Nothing feels forced about the ending, nor does it seem rushed, as though the author was just trying to wrap it up quickly before going over the word count limit or something. Instead, the ending flows quite easily from what comes before it, with the timing and pacing fitting the rest perfectly.

I'd most certainly recommend this story to anyone who likes romance, particularly contemporary romance. There's enough steam here to please those who have to have plenty of sexy times in a story, and there's a bit of kink thrown in as well for those who like that. The story might be a bit on the sweet side for some, but for me it was just right - caring and sweet, but not to the point it became so cloying I felt like I'd get cavities from it. 4½ glowing stars to this one, rounded up to 5 because I think it deserves that benefit of the doubt.

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