★★★★ 4.5 stars!
Whew, what a roller coaster ride…
Let me start off by saying that VIP was not an easy story to read and it's not an easy one to review either. I had a lot of conflicting emotions while reading it but in the end it ended exactly the way I was hoping for. So, all in all it left me with a happy, content feeling even though some parts of the story frustrated me a little. Still, once I started reading it I wanted to keep on going until I knew exactly how it would end, and that's always the sign of a really good book.
I won't go too far into the storyline, because that would spoil your reading experience. I will tell you though, that there is cheating in this book and there isn't one but two "sort off" love triangles. For some readers that might be a deal breaker, but to me, the way the story was written, it seemed to make sense that things happened the way they did (if that even makes sense? lol). My only complaint is that when I reached the 50% mark I felt like I had already read an entire book, the one about their pasts. Then from the moment they meet, it felt like an entirely new story started which made it hard for me to really get into the first half and feel happy about what was going on, when I knew everything would change once Sebastian and Ysabelle met. Still, even though the first half might have been a bit too long and slow going, I really ended up enjoying this book as a whole.
Ysabelle Telle has had a terrible childhood. With a mother who never wanted her and who made that fact abundantly clear multiple times and no one to lean on but herself, she's had to grow up fast. She moved away from home at the age of sixteen and started building up a life in Miami. Then, a few years later she meets Madam. A confident overpowering woman who offers her job working as a VIP/escort. For years, she feels good about her job and the attention and buckets full of money she gets from it. But then she meets Sebastian Vanwell and everything about her life starts to change. She falls for him even though she knows she shouldn't, he's a married man after all, but deep down she can't deny the feelings she has for him. (view spoiler)[It isn't easy at all for her, being the "mistress" and I felt really bad for her for the way Sebastian treated her at times. But at the same time I admired her strength and her ability to stand back up even after the way her heart was broken. She's a strong independent heroine who doesn't need a man in her life to take care of her which made her a very refreshing character. (hide spoiler)]
"You make me question everything I'm supposed to believe in."
Sebastian Vanwell is a happily married man and father of a five year old son. His childhood is one full of love and happy, carefree memories but there were some tragic moments during his teenage years as well. Ever since he was little, his best friend has been Julia, who he lovingly calls Babygirl (a nickname I didn't particularly like to be honest, especially for a thirty year old woman). He's loved her his entire life and eventually he ends up marrying her and they spent their marriage life happily in love until he meets Ysabelle…
"I knew in my heart that it didn't matter, I was destined to meet Ysabelle. We were meant to cross paths. For whatever fucked up reason she came into my life, I couldn't let her go."
At first I really liked Sebastion, but after a while I constantly went from loving him to hating him for how he was treating both his wife and Ysabelle. (view spoiler)[He should have made a decision much earlier on without leading both of them on. What frustrated me the most was how he went from saying that no one could make him feel as good like his Babygirl did and that he wouldn't want to be anywhere in the world but by her side and then minutes later he says Ysabelle is his soulmate and that she's made for him. And in the end it was Julia who finally made the sane decision of ending their marriage, thank God! Sebastian's indecisiveness really annoyed me at times and I'm not sure I fully forgave him for what he did by the end of the story. (hide spoiler)] In my eyes, that didn't really make him a likable character. I mean, I understand feeling conflicted and being faced with emotions you never thought you would feel but the way he handled things made pretty much everyone end up hurt and some of those hurt emotions could have been easily avoided if he would have just manned up and made a decision about his life.
"I wanted the fairy tale and the happy ending. I wanted to be rescued. It was a downfall of emotions when I finally admitted it to myself. I just didn't know what I was going to do about it."
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this unique, sexy and highly emotional story about love, loss and the way life can take an unexpected turn when you least expect it. It was a well written book with an easy flowing writing style but I did feel like it could have been a bit shorter, especially the first half, so that there would have been more focus on Ysabelle and Sebastian's time together instead of on their past. Still, VIP is a very refreshing tale about love, not romance, but it is about finding true love. There was no cliffhanger at the end, but the epilogue did make me very curious to find out where their story is heading next!
**Copy kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**