Author: Tessa Teevan
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: October 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Branson Wellington? The name, my name, is usually followed by f*cking prick or self-serving bastard, and I can't say I haven't earned those titles. It's true. I'm not the good guy. I'm not the boy next door. I'm definitely not your Prince f*cking Charming. Not even close.
And I never wanted to be. Until her. The day I pulled her from the wreckage was the day that my life changed.
Who would have thought that one little lie had the power to throw two lives so off course?
Love has never been in the cards for me, but now that she’s here, I have no idea how I’m ever going to let her go. Even if I don’t deserve her.
Because like I said, I’m a self-serving bastard and some things never change.
*While this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone novel.
I was bound to read Conflagration because I couldn’t see how in the world Tessa Teevan was going to write a situation in which Branson Wellington could possibly redeem himself. After reading about how this prick slept with then married his little brother’s girl (*see Incinerate from the Explosive series) and then was basically a total drunk when we read about him again in Combust – I was sure there was no way she could write his way out of this. Well Mrs. Teevan, I stand corrected!
For twelve years Branson’s life appears to be hollow, revolving around his one goal – to be CEO of Wellington Enterprise. It was this unfettered desire that lead him down a path that detached him from his family. That is, until her.
He didn’t even know if she was real or a product of some drunken delusion, but this beautiful stranger saw something in him and showed him something he didn’t think he deserved – compassion.
“If you don’t want anyone else to give up on you, you can’t give up on yourself.”
Ari, realizing she’s spent her entire life doing exactly what everyone has wanted and expected of her, has a moment of clarity…and not a moment too soon. Seeing where her future lies prompts her to get in the car and drive – leaving behind a fiance she doesn’t love and a family she no longer wants to please. She has no idea where she is headed or where she will call home, until him.
When an accident takes place and Ari is trapped inside the car, it’s Branson’s determination that saves her, putting his own life at risk. Upon waking in the hospital, Ari is desperate to see Branson and thank him. When her request is denied, a case of word vomit causes her to blurt out that the two are in fact engaged and she needs to see her fiance. This one little lie leads to another and another, but this time it’s Branson that continues the lie when his family shows up.
Thankfully the author even made mention of the movie, While You Were Sleeping, cuz you know I was thinking it! Sure I questioned the reality of a situation like this, but isn’t this the fun of reading fiction??
Ari and Branson’s relationship – both fake and real – was explosive. The sex was hot but not overly graphic or overdone. There was a definite raw passion about these two that came together so nicely.
Although Ari’s character didn’t grow as much as Branson, I still enjoyed her character. She had an inner strength that I see in all of Tessa’s heroines. (BTW, thank you for not making them self-absorbed little virgins turned sex kittens)
My only dislike about the book, aside from the lack of realism over the whole lying about being engaged to the entire family, was that the climax of the story came from an epic misunderstanding. I often find myself yelling at my kindle, “If you two would just TALK to each other, this whole damn thing could be resolved!” in situations like this. That aside, Tessa has quickly become one of my favorite authors than I run to one-click because I know she will deliver a good read!