Giada: A Guilty Love
translated by Sally Ibba
332 pages, Oct 2018
Adult fiction, Romance BDSM
The cover is attractive and appropriate to the story. The hand appears to be of a man, however, it does not reveal the age of the man and that is misleading since our primary character refers to the age of his skin quite often in the story. It could be either Simon’s or Vincent’s hand in the picture. The woman does not appear to be just 18 years old, even in profile. It is just a woman with long hair. Now that I have read the book, the pose on the cover reminds me of things I didn’t like in the book, so I’m not terribly fond of the cover. This book was way too graphic for me, I think. I will start out saying that I was probably not the best reader for this book. It cuts too close to my taboos for comfort and enjoyment.
The story is well-written and has twists that I certainly did not foresee. It starts out on a hot day with two older teen girls watching a very attractive guy work in the heat until he took his shirt off to wipe his sweat. That all seemed so natural. Young women watching older guys with great bodies work in the sun? Yes, that seemed natural to me. I still watch construction workers and road crews on a hot day. Those strong, well-honed bodies are attractive and fun to look at. What comes after that was what threw me and it kept getting worse for me.
The young man is someone the two young women know slightly, so they approach him. He is a drug dealer and they buy some pot off him. He makes the shyer one actually smoke a joint with him to prove that she smokes. She never has before and she chokes on it, but he gives them the pot. He starts pursuing her and his buddy, Tim, pursues her friend Zoe. Oh, I didn’t say, but our heroine is Giada. The young pot dealer is Simon. Tim and Simon are a few years older than the girls and Simon is doing some community service. The girls are finishing their last year of school.
Giada’s folks are looking at a change of career and they will be away every weekend training for it for about two months. Giada will be staying at home alone. She’s very excited about this and foresees lots of fun ahead. Vincent, a neighbor and longtime family friend, has been given a set of keys to the house so that he can keep an eye on her or help if she needs anything while the parents are away.
Vincent lets Giada know of his disapproval of Simon and checks up on her frequently. Their smart, snarky repartee causes a tension to arise between them and soon it becomes too much. Giada thinks she can say anything and get away with it, but she discovers that even Vincent has a limit. When she calls from the shower that she’s in it with her boyfriend, Vincent has reached his limit and snaps. Neither one is ready for what happens after that, but they will both have to live with it. Giada is just eighteen and has no experience with boys, nevermind with men. Vincent is 43 and is not only not a boy, but is not a gentle man. He likes things his way and will use whatever methods he chooses to control this rebellious young woman, even cruel pain she is not prepared for. She’s scared and she’s fascinated by the dark life she’s shown. This secret life she and Vincent keep from her parents and all her friends.
As secrets have a tendency to become known, so too does this one. Parents like to surprise their children and Giada’s parents came home early one weekend to surprise Giada. They certainly surprised her. After all the recriminations and yelling were over, Giada’s friends come back into the picture with some “truths” for her that just about break her heart all over again. But once she finds out the actual truth, she’s happy to fight for what she wants.
The pace and tension throughout the book kept me reading even when all I wanted to do was put it down and not read anymore. I kept waiting for this man to give her more than pain and sex, to give her some real emotional feeling, some love. You could tell he really felt very deeply for her. But who was this other young woman who looked so much like her? Was he taking her for a ride after all? The scene when she stood outside his studio in the rainstorm was so hard to read. She really suffered physically then. But it was her final battle.
Then the author wrote the ending as if it was all happy and everything was okay and normal. It was like I was supposed to forget all this awful stuff and be happy now. It was almost as if it was from another book. But I couldn’t forget the pain and torture. It had been awful.
This was why I had to give this book a four-star rating. The writing was very good, but the subject matter was beyond me. Perhaps, readers who enjoy more of the edgier, more psychological romances, and more erotic, darker romances would enjoy this more and be able to give it a higher rating. As I said at the beginning, I may not have been the right reader for this book.
I can’t recommend it for that reason.