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Never Underestimate a Caffarelli (Harlequin Presents Series #3180)

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    When you have the world in the palm of your hand, you don't thin

    When you have the world in the palm of your hand, you don't think much about anything that could go wrong. Excitement, adventure, unlimited female companionship, and endless partying made the women envious if they weren't the current flavor and the men wanting to emulate the latest adventure. Such was the life of Raoul Caffarelli until a jet ski accident left him with a broken arm and spinal injury, and to add insult to injury, his fiance had broken their engagement. Now he spends his days in a wheelchair growing more angry and frustrated with each passing day. Fearing his life is completely over, he has become a recluse in his chateau and drinks himself into oblivion every night, alternately ignoring and berating his therapist and staff unmercifully. Even his brother's desire to have him stand up at his upcoming wedding is no incentive to at least try. As far as he was concerned his life was over. No more excitement and adventure ready to be done. No more beautiful women wanting to be in his bed. No more riding his beloved horses. The Caffarelli mantra of ...Goal...Focus...Win... seems to have been banished from his mind.

    When money is desperately needed, a person will do almost anything to get it. Sometimes even breaking your own rules and doing your best to overcome your most terrifying fear. This was the situation that Lily Archer found herself in. Her mother needed money and the clinic needed the exposure for their holistic approach to healing. Only the promise of money up front in order to help her mother could have possibly changed her mind about coming to this dark, drafty and cold chateau to help a man she had never even met. Difficult patients were her specialty, but only of the female variety. For more reasons than just one, men were taboo and she would not to be cowed or owned by a single one of them, but so the American saying went “if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”. Or so they say. Above all else she would stick to her own mantra: pride...safety....security. And she intend to use all three.

    With such insurmountable odds against them, future successes looked very slim, but with adversity comes respect. Both Raoul and Lily had it in spades. And simmering in the background was the growing desire between them that she wanted to ignore and he wanted to explore. Once Raoul began to set the goal of seduction, he finally found a stride to use his mantra again: Goal...Focus...Win.

    The background story was superbly written to show why Lily had such a hangup about men. I wanted to cheer that Raoul was able to find the buttons he needed to push to bring her out of her shell. Lily found buttons of her own to push to make him desire to get better for himself and his brothers. Only was there any room in their lives for each other? Could they have the happily ever after? Or would her pride and his ruthlessness always keep them apart?

    Excellent book! Smooth writing of well developed characters interwoven into a well rounded and thought out plot. The descriptions of the scenery and the chateau made you feel you were there. Enjoyed this book tremendously. From the first page to the last, the story was completely engaging.

    I would recommend to all romance readers.

    I received an autographed copy from the author for an honest review.

    5/5 stars Could they work through their scars, both visible and invisible?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    The best

    True love with highs and lows

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  • Posted October 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Just as Rafe was about to start his life with the indomitable Po

    Just as Rafe was about to start his life with the indomitable Poppy Silverton, he learns that his brother - Raoul, the family risk-taker - has been gravely injured in a speedboat accident. The fact that their parents were killed in a similar way made the pain even greater. However, he wasn't prepared to see his brother, usually lauded as the friendliest and most carefree of the trio - wallowing and lashing out. Rafe knew Raoul wouldn't recover if he continued on this destructive path, so he decided to do something about it.

    Lily Archer's employer probably didn't want to guilt her into taking such a difficult case. After helping a young woman in a high-profile case, working with a Caffarelli might just put them on the map in terms of cutting-edge healing techniques. Lily's reluctance was compounded by the fact that she stipulated she never wanted to work with male clients. But Lily was in a bad financial situation and being able to get the astounding amount delivered up-front made the decision for her.

    Rafe had no right to spring this woman on Raoul the way he had. After unleashing a string of multi-lingual obscenities at his brother he was almost glad that the woman was close enough to hear. Even if the news that she was brought here without his knowledge was unwelcome. He had absolutely no faith in someone who would most likely use hocus-pocus and get him to send her away - with a nice bulging purse she didn't have to return.

    Raoul wasn't prepared for the woman who had been summoned to help him. He didn't want her around him, but surprisingly, she seemed determined to stay and finish the job for which she'd been hired. Lily even managed to bite back despite her shrinking violet aura. Raoul was incredibly confused by his own reaction to the woman. Wanting to give in to her ministrations one minute, verbally attacking her the next, all while being incredibly attracted to her for no good reason.

    Lily had very good rationales for not wanting to work with men. First of all, men like Raoul absolutely never wanted to trust a woman when they were in a vulnerable position, and one couldn't be more vulnerable than in a wheelchair. Secondly, this man was also stinging after a woman dumped him because of his accident. And lastly, for much more personal reasons, Lily just didn't like to be around men full-stop.

    Raoul couldn't believe his bad luck when his world conspired against him this way. He felt utterly emasculated, but with only a month until Rafe's wedding, he truly did want to make an effort to get better. He'd never not been by his brothers' sides, and this time would be no different. Now if only he could get his body to cooperate. Both in healing and denying his growing feelings towards Lily.

    Ms. Milburne's books are what HQ presents are all about. Exotic locales, alpha males, women with fire, and a bit of angst thrown in for good measure. In this case, the locale was confined - it gave me the ability to empathize with the Hero & Heroine, and get the vibes of the trauma that both of them carry. There's no getting around the fact that Raoul is a jerk. But he admits how ashamed he is of himself quite early on, and has even more motivation to heal - all while helping Lily in return.

    I would've loved another chapter so their reconciliation could've been longer, but I'm hoping we'll see glimpses of their future in the next book, which takes on the third Caffarelli brother, Remy. I enjoyed the hints we got in that regard, it sounds like she's setting up a great wrap-up to the series.

    Highly recommended - and not just this part of the trio. Read all three. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Loved it

    This was a wonderful story. Very realistic ending. Loved both characters .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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