Echo (Bleeding Hearts#1) by A. Zavarelli

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Echo is the first book I read by Ashleigh Zavarelli and won’t be my last ! It was definitely a page-turner, a dark and sexy tale of vengeance.

Brighton is from the wrong side of the tracks and grew up in a dysfunctional family, with a alcoholic mother and a brother in prison. She is a sweet and naive young woman, lacking self-confidence due to her unfavourable life circumstances.
With the help of a new friend, she is hired by the company of billionaire Ryland Bennett. But things are not what they seem. The successful businessman has a hidden agenda and, for years, he has been planning a terrible revenge against Brighton’s family.

Ryland is a dark and dominant character, ready to stop at nothing to achieve his ultimate goal. I must admit that I found some of his actions somewhat disturbing.
He blackmails Brighton into a BDSM relationship. But despite his apparent coldness and detachment, he falls for her. He is conflicted and we get to discover glimpses of his true personality, a tender, caring and protective man, deeply hurt by the loss of his family. Alas, in the end, he doesn’t want to stop his revenge scheme, even if it might cost him everything.

Overall, Echo is a story with good potential, but I felt that the plot could have been streamlined. It was told in Brighton’s POV, Ryland remaining more of a mystery.
I will read the next book in the series, hoping to get a better understanding of this character and of course a HEA for this couple.

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