Owning Violet (The Fowler Sisters #1)
by Monica Murphy
I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.
Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.
One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.
I went into this book thinking it was going to be your typical new adult romance. You know the type... Boy plans to use girl, they fall in love, girl finds out and is heartbroken, there's a major grovel scene, and they live happily ever after. But with Owning Violet you get so much more than that. While Violet is only twenty-three, there's not really a single point in the story that reads like new adult, it's more contemporary with a dark side.
Ever since she was a little girl, Violet has been groomed to be prim and proper so that she can someday take over Fleur Cosmetics. She's the dutiful daughter that works hard and fell in love with a man that worked as hard as her so that they could run Fleur together. In the beginning Violet comes off as weak as we watch her sit by her man while he cheats and basically treats her like crap.
But as the story unfolds, Violet becomes so much more in my eyes. She survived a vicious attack when she was in college, fought off her attacker, and even testified and put him in jail... All without her father's support. Now if that isn't strong, then I don't know what is. She came out of it broken and a little lost, but who wouldn't?!
When Zachary accepts a position in London, and gets caught with his pants down all in the span of a few days, Violet finally decides she's had enough and calls it quits. This is where Ryder steps in as a shoulder to cry on, so to speak, and the story really takes off for me.
Ryder is upfront from the beginning (well, for the most part anyway) and lets his hatred for Zachary be known while telling Violet they should use each other to make Zachary jealous. Of course, what Violet doesn't know is that Ryder is actually teaming up with Pilar, his sometimes lover, to tear Zachary and Violet apart so that they can run Fleur Cosmetics instead.
Ryder is dark, mysterious, and sexy, and while many readers would probably hate him from the get-go, I actually loved him. I loved how he was honest with Violet, not sparing her feelings. He told her he wasn't a nice guy, told her he would wreck her, and in the end? Well,Violet wrecked him too.
He tried hard to break her, to push her away, but Violet secretly needed what only Ryder could give her. She needed the dark edge to make her feel, and Ryder needed her submission, which she gave up willingly. Their chemistry was off the charts, the sex scenes smoking hot, and the love that they started to feel for each other? Heartbreakingly beautiful!
When Violet finally learns that Ryder is using her for a lot more than he originally admitted I was so heartbroken for her. And the fact that Ryder just let her go without a fight? I was furious! There wasn't really a huge grovel scene, because that's not really Ryder's style. He didn't offer some big romantic gesture, instead he offered her his heart on his sleeve, which was so much better coming from the guy who thought himself incapable of love.
Again, the fact that Violet took Ryder back so easily might make some readers think she's weak. But is it really so wrong to give in to what you feel is right? Ryder owned her, and she knew it, she wanted it, so why fight it? And she owned Ryder in return, and that's all she ever really wanted.
I honestly cannot say enough about this book. Monica Murphy took a story line that I thought I've read time and again and turned it into something memorable. I loved Ryder and Violet and I will probably read Owning Violet ten more times until they're finally out of my system.
And thanks to the sneak peak of Stealing Rose in the back on the book I know I'll be waiting on pins and needles for the youngest Fowler sisters story. March cannot get here soon enough!
"I'm... just a man. A man who fucks up, who makes mistakes and sometimes doesn't think. I'm reckless. I'm arrogant. I've done things I'm not proud of. I grew up fast and didn't have a real childhood. I... don't know how to love." ~Ryder
"Wreck me, Ryder. Tear me apart and put me back together again in the way only you know how. Make me feel safe" ~Violet
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Owning Violet in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.