Saturday 31 May 2014

Never Underestimate a Caffarelli by Melanie Milburne - Book Review

From the Blurb:

Has this Caffarelli finally met his match? Millionaire playboy Raoul Caffarelli has always lived life in the fast lane. But when an accident confines him to a wheelchair--and to the care of a woman whose beauty taunts him--he's consumed with rage and frustration.
Used to difficult patients, physical therapist Lily Archer won't be cowed by Raoul's arrogance or distracted by his Adonis-like physique. Carrying her own scars from the past, Lily has vowed never to relinquish her power to a man again.
Both underestimate the power of the shared passion between them. Their physical scars may heal, but some wounds run much deeper...

The Review:

Lily Archer is a world-renowned physical therapist who makes it a rule not to take on male clients. That is, until Rafe Caffarelli makes her an offer she can’t refuse: a year’s salary in exchange for four weeks with his brother, Raoul Caffarelli. Raoul is a notorious playboy who has lost the use of his legs following an horrendous water-skiing accident. The thought of spending four long weeks all alone with Raoul at his chateĆ¢u in Normandy fills Lily with dread, yet she is compelled to take the job.

Working with Raoul Caffarelli is difficult in more ways than one. First of all, Lily is a rape victim, who feels anxious in the company of men. Secondly, Raoul doesn’t want her there. He is skeptical about her use of complementary therapies, and he doesn’t appreciate being told what to do.

While her past trauma has left her somewhat fragile, Lily Archer is a headstrong woman who won’t take no for an answer. She doesn’t accept the neurosurgeons’ claims that Raoul will never walk again, and she won’t let Raoul believe it either. She is fairly outspoken, which helps to drive the sexual chemistry between her and Raoul, who finds her direct manner at once challenging and beguiling. Their verbal sparring is my favorite part of the book, and this is something that Melanie Milburne does particularly well.

Raoul is brusque in his manner, and downright rude at times, but you can sympathize with him as a character because of the frustration he feels at having lost his mobility. He is a typical alpha hero in that he is strong, muscular and athletic. His physicality has always played a key role in his sense of identity, which is why he finds the injury so emasculating. Raoul’s pride and his stubbornness are a little bit sexy, and the fact that he’s rough around the edges only makes it that much more satisfying when Lily manages to tame him.

I have read a number of Melanie Milburne’s novels now, and I’m a big fan! This novel is both sexy and deeply sensual, and it felt good to know that Lily and Raoul were able to heal each other. If I had one criticism, it would be that Lily’s back story was a little too dark for my liking. For example, she has scars all over her arms and legs due to self-harm in the wake of her rape. Despite this one point, this is a compelling contemporary romance and I really enjoyed it!

Never Underestimate a Caffarelli by Melanie Milburne is a contemporary romance published by Harlequin on October 1 2013, and available from Amazon and Book Depository.