This is book one in a series. Look for book 2 “Submit” to learn more of Rafe and Ari's continued romance. As with all Melody Anne's book it is an excellent read that will draw you in and hold you captive till the very end.
Raffaello "Rafe" Palazzo, wealthy influential business tycoon was shattered. At 28 he was divorced from a wife he had given everything he had. She took his heart and soul and she threw it all back in his face by sleeping with his partner in their marital bed. Never again would someone have the chance to touch his heart. Woman had only one use and one use only. From that day forward he would hire a mistress to be kept on call for whatever amount of time he wanted then released from her contract. After all why not treat sex as a business deal, that way no one can be hurt by messy emotions. That is a decision that works for him for three years, until the day he meets Ari.
Arianna "Ari" Harlow, a 22 year old young woman is in need of a job. Her mother has been injured in a car accident and she feels responsible. Her mom lies in a long term coma. Ari left school just shy of graduation, has sold everything including her childhood home and her mother's business to pay the medical bills. But now with the money nearly gone she has become desperate to find employment. She has filled out papers for employment with Palazzo Corporation. After passing 16 different interviews she is finally being interviewed by owner/CEO of the company. Surely this is a good sign. If she gets the job she can keep her mother in the facility where she is receiving such good care. Still waiting to find out what the position is she is reminded of the privacy statement she signed before entering Rafe's office. When she states she understands that she will go to jail for breaching the contract Rafe tells her the position he wants her for. It is Mistress....to him.
Rafe hands her the final contracts and materials outlining the duties of her position as his mistress. He sees that she is about to turn him down flat and leave. Still stunned Ari rises and leaves and heads to her tiny apartment. Once there she begins to read over the papers. Can she do it? Can she sell her soul and her body to help her mother? Her mother would be appalled, but guilt has Ari worried what will happen to her mother if she doesn't keep receiving the excellent care where she is at. Finally she burns the papers. Then Clover Care calls and tells her how her mother has been taken by ambulance to the hospital and that Ari needs to go to meet it. Arriving she finds her mother has woken up. Overjoyed she embraces her mother and tells her how much she has missed her. Her bubble of joy is busted when the doctor comes in to tell her that they have found cancer in her mother's uterus and she needs immediate surgery. On top of that her mother's health insurance benefits are depleted. When Rafe calls Ari to ask if she has made a decision Ari tells him she accepts.
So begins the mating dance of two people so drawn to each other, but with different needs. Rafe has locked away his heart and emotions. Ari wears hers on her sleeve. Follow along as Rafe and Ari learn to accept one another. Rafe is who is unwilling to bend yet finds himself making numerous concessions. Ari who feels she has sold herself to the devil to save her mother finds she is drawn physically to the devil himself. Will winning the battle of wills cost the winner the spoils of the war?
Raffaello (Rafe) Palazzo takes what he wants with no regrets. Arianna (Ari) Lynn Harlow has led a charmed life until tragedy strikes her family. He’s looking for a no-emotions attached mistress, she’s looking for redemption.
They are not a pair that should ever work, but undeniable attraction and devastating tragedies bring them together in the city by the bay where he fights to keep their relationship nothing more than an enjoyable way to meet his needs, and she battles to not lose herself in him. Spending time with Ari starts cracking the hard shell that Rafe has built around his heart, but he denies the affect she has on him until it’s too late to stop the inevitable conclusion that their relationship is headed for.
Rafe once believed in happily ever after, coming from a large Italian family. He’s got the Midas touch, since every endeavor he tries turns to gold. That all ends when his wife walks out the door and leaves him blindsided. His devastation quickly turns to steel when he decides no woman will fool him again. From that point on he treats relationships as nothing more than business transactions where both party’s come out mutually benefited.
Just when Ari has sunk to the lowest she’s ever been she finds an ad in the paper announcing a job that’s too good to be true. It turns out she’s right. She makes it through the intense rounds of interviews only to find out the job is for a mistress to the powerful Rafe Palazzo, owner of Palazzo Enterprises. Rafe gives her a day to think about whether she wants the position or not, and she’s sent on her way, only to find out her mother’s near-terminal position has taken a turn for the worse. Her mom’s only in the hospital because Ari messed up, and her mother’s the one who paid the price. Is Rafe her savior, or will he take her with him straight to the depths of hell?