Carina Painter lives a life she created in between the pages of her bestselling novel. At least, that’s what she outwardly portrays. A heart-rending childhood followed by an abusive engagement leaves her broken in all ways possible. A chance encounter provides the fork in the road she so desperately desires.
Navy SEAL Smith Eppington is fighting the war of his lifetime. One that isn’t fought with weapons and highly sought intelligence. It’s a battle to remember his past. The accident that scarred seventy five percent of his body, and stole the life of his best friend also seized parts and pieces of his memory. When an author asks to interview him for a fiction novel, he’s ready to pour his heart out no matter the cost.
The friendship that blossoms between Smith and Carina is something extraordinary. It’s a living, breathing love story about finding yourself, change that is out of your control, grasping what you can, and letting go of everything else.
In a twist of kismet, remembering could destroy everything, but fiction may be what saves the day. A friendship built on new truths and a relationship torn apart by old lies collide in a poignant novel by International Bestselling Author, Rachel Robinson.
This is a very hard review for me to write. I have no idea how to express how I feel, when I’m not sure what it is I am feeling about this book. Chapter One was real and raw and devastating and so many other things, then I started chapter two and Ms. Robinson lost me. After experiencing the heavy trauma of Carina’s childhood, the incongruity of the perfection of Megan’s manicured hands was off putting. I understood that it was a juxtaposition of the pasts of the main characters but it seemed an amateurish attempt to me. That theme seemed to carry throughout the book.
At the heart of it, Black and White Flowers had the potential to be an incredibly powerful book about love and healing, about how people can rise from the situations thrust upon them and become more than they ever expected. It just never reached that lofty pinnacle. In, what I am sure, was an effort to make this SEAL story stand out from the sea of other special forces romances, everything, including the kitchen sink, was thrown into this novel. It was too much. This book was a rosebush that never reached its full potential because it was never pruned back. Still beautiful in its conception but it pales in comparison to those that were cared for with an expert hand.
I am well aware that my review seems heavy handed and incredibly critical and it is. Despite that, I did like the overarching story of Carina and Smith. They were a very lovely couple and most readers will absolutely love every second of their story, it was sweet, saccharinely so at some points, angsty, and overall incredibly redemptive. There were moments that were romantic perfection, some of which were very moving.
Overall, I am happy I read this book, I would have always wondered if I hadn’t. I don’t regret reading it either, it was a different type of story than I typically read; though I didn’t know that before I started it. While I wasn’t wholly impressed with the writing, it often felt forced, I wasn’t put off by it enough to the point I wouldn’t read the author again. If she writes another book I find compelling I would pick it up and give her another chance.
Shrugging, he pulls me into his warm, shirtless body and yanks the quilt back up to our necks, his hands now wandering over my body. “Sleep is the very last thing on my mind right now.” His gaze burns into mine and his hands find the hem of my nightshirt. His lips twitch. “You wear so little to bed. I can’t help myself,” he says. With a featherlight touch his fingertips stroke the side of my thigh up to the string of my panties. He hooks a finger in and drags his finger underneath it, teasing himself. Teasing me, too. “It took all of my self-control to go to sleep with this much of your bare skin in touching proximity.”
I blush. Big time. Everything below my waist cries out for attention in one wild rush of excitement. It’s been too long. But it’s more than that now because everything before this has been lukewarm. “What did you do at work last night?” I ask before all important thoughts flee my mind in favor of his touch—something that scrambles my brain cells. “Why did it take so long?”
His face changes. His hand stops on my hipbone and he grabs it, his fingers encompassing the whole side of my body. Breathing in and out makes his hand move with me. It’s warm. It’s demanding. “It’s nothing for you to worry about,” Smith replies.
I shake my head. “When people say stuff like that typically there is almost always something to worry about, but you don’t want to worry the person. Do you see how counterintuitive that is? Now I’m worried because you told me not to worry.”
He sighs and then pulls the covers over his head and disappears under the blankets. In a fast maneuver that tickles and makes me pull away in mock protest, he makes his way between my legs. With the edge of the quilt in my hand I lift it to see his smiling face between my knees. “You’re trying to distract me,” I say. Pressing my lips into a firm line, I try to hold a serious face. “Smith Eppington. You better tell me what I want to know.”
Smith takes the sides of my panties and pulls them down and off my body with one fierce tug. It’s playful, but so damn hot at the same. Some noise exits my mouth and it makes him smile, his good side wider than his bad. I shake my head. “Is it working?” he asks, then kisses the inside of my right thigh. “Are you distracted?” His warm breath on my skin clenches my core. He drags his lips up and down, inching his way higher.
I adjust my legs and try to calm my breaths. “I don’t see how I can’t be distracted with my underwear on the floor and your head between my legs. I don’t forget,” I say. Tapping the side of my head, I finish, “I’m like an elephant.”
He licks the inside of my left thigh and runs his hands under my nightshirt up and down the sides of my rib cage. I shiver. Tipping my head back, I close my eyes.
“An elephant isn’t what I want to think about right now,” Smith growls. “I’d ask you how you like this, but I honestly don’t care. I’m starving for you. You’re wet. I smell you.” With his lips pressing against my skin, and the disappearance of my panties, he’s turned into a lust crazed man. A man I’ve wanted to meet since I first laid eyes on him.
Rachel grew up in a small, quiet town full of loud talkers. Her words were always only loud on paper. She has been writing stories and creating characters for as long as she can remember. After living on the west coast for many years she recently moved to Virginia Beach, VA.
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