By Lan LLP
What would you do if fate gave you a clean slate?
CEO James Maxwell Reid is a confident, self-made asshole who enjoys the fruits of his labor and accomplishments. Max is surrounded by loyal friends and has plenty of gorgeous, willing women at his disposal. At the peak of his success, he is certain life couldn’t get any better. That all comes crashing down when his mother, the only woman he loves and trusts, falls ill to a terminal disease. Everything he thought he knew changes after that.
“Money doesn’t define you, your heart does,” his mother stressed. She fears he has become the very person he hates, his estranged father. Desperate to save her son’s soul, she persuades Max to make her an unbreakable promise. “Give from your heart, not your wallet.” What choice does he have but to accept his mother’s dying wish?
Emilia Vitalia Young comes from a loving and charitable family. The Youngs believe happiness comes when you put other’s needs first. Engaged to a handsome, successful corporate attorney and manager of a popular Italian restaurant in Chicago, Emilia believes life couldn’t be more perfect. That all comes crashing down when her father, mother, and little sister die in a tragic earthquake while volunteering in Nepal.
Emilia is left with an incurable broken heart, her family’s restaurant, and a large inheritance that she wants nothing to do with. Being the sole survivor, she takes it upon herself to keep her family’s aspiration alive. She will love and care for as many orphans as she can with the $5 million they willed her.
Max’s promise and Emilia’s hope steer them unexpectedly to the same orphanage in Vietnam, where they meet for the second time. The chemistry between them is undeniable, but Emilia errs on the side of caution, fearing another heartbreak would destroy her completely. Unbeknownst to Emilia, Max is the man who rear-ended her four months ago after he paid his mother a disheartening visit. Emilia’s sympathy and kind words move him. He can’t get her out of his head. Without a name, because he let her slip away, Max fantasizes about Emilia and is shocked when they meet again. Fate gives Max a clean slate. What will he do with it when he discovers Emilia is already in love with someone else?sert
Max and Emilia make you believe in good and that everyone can have a Clean Slate and start again. Upon finishing it felt like my soul had been nurtured and fed by these two characters – a wonderful romantic story of two people and a beautiful future together.
Best first kiss I have read in a very long time – my god Max can kiss a girl and their sexual scenes were written beautifully with so much passion and heat – I was not disappointed.
Loved watching Max returning from Vietnam, answering all our questions and then over a few weeks engraining himself into repairing Emilia’s shattered heart. It was just fantastic, gave me butterflies and allows you to believe in fairytales and true romantic gestures.
This takes a surprising twist of danger with both Emilia and Max and their past partners and gives a great suspense element.
Emilia’s family were a great bunch of characters who provided humour to the story along with the emotional support for her. It was interesting to see the incredible differences in the lives of Max and Emilia and how they grew up and evolved as adults.
I loved this story and we also get to see Carson & Lilli again from Lan’s The Forever Trilogy.
Quote: “Uncomfortably, muffin top stuffed” – Emilia describing after Max has fed her!
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