Book Review: Veiled Innocence by Ella Frank

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Tick, tick, tock.

Time.

That’s all I have now.

A small room, a photograph, and time.

They want me to trust them and confess my sins.

They told me they wouldn't judge me—they lied.

I thought we could convince the world that this wasn't a crime.

We were wrong.

Time doesn't stand still.

The clock keeps ticking, the world is unconvinced, and now…

Now he is gone. 
 
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5 STARS
Veiled Innocence is about a stunning, provocative romance, beautifully written by mastermind Ella Frank. It brings together Addison Lancaster, an 18-year-old high school track star, and Mr. McKendrick, her new history teacher. Yes, I'm withholding his first name on purpose. ;) And, yes yes yes, this is a student-teacher romance! You see, I have a weakness for this kind of book-love. I crave that rush that comes with wanting something you're not supposed to have. But you can't just throw an older man and a young girl together and call it sexy. No, no...There's just too thin of a line between arousing and disturbing. So, the story needs to be told in a way that makes the reader forget the black-and-white and convinces them to get lost in the gray area. Author Ella Frank does just that. She lures you into Addison's love...or is it madness?...for Mr. McKendrick.
Yes, there were moments of madness, but what is love without some madness?
It wasn't wrong. No--it was just misunderstood.
Oh, did your eyebrows perk up at the mention of "madness"? Or how about when you first read the book's synopsis? Mine did. It was that ominous tone set by the book's first few pages that drew me in immediately! That eerie feeling weighed on me from beginning to end. I knew that something happened. Something went wrong...But the truth wouldn't be revealed until the very end.

In this incredibly layered novel, Addison's present-day accounts are woven in with flashbacks of the past, told from alternating points of view--Addison's and Mr. McKendrick's. It was a psychological twist that made this story so riveting. (Because where she is and who she's talking to in the present-day accounts...oh, that matters.) The sense of mystery and chilling suspense were always hovering, and about halfway through, that sense went into overdrive! My eyes were fixated on each page, my stomach in knots.

Towards the end, the switching between past and present became more rapid and abrupt, as the timelines crept closer and closer to their meeting point. My mind was repeatedly guessing, then convincing itself to calm down...then guessing all over again. Really, I just tried to make the most ridiculous predictions in order to prepare myself for any heartbreak to come! Because this book was made-me-talk-to-myself good.

Addison Lancaster was not your typical high school girl. She approached her teacher brazenly, attempted to seduce him, but there was a dark and tragic past behind the bold and beautiful Addison. And you know what else I wondered? I questioned whether this girl was truly stable. Was she crazy? Dangerous? How far would she go? There was a heartrending, damaged side to herself that Addison kept hidden from everyone else, and Mr. McKendrick seemed to be the only one who could bring clarity to her chaos.
"I'm going to have you," she promised... 
My lips hovered over hers. "You are going to ruin me."
That was when she did the unexpected.
She placed her palm over my heart and tapped--One, two, three. One, two, three.--before whispering, "You're going to save me." 
Mr. McKendrick is only in town to care for his dying father, a stay that was meant to last only a few months. He did his best to thwart Addison's advances, said what an adult was supposed to...but there was desire and temptation laced into his denials. 
Addison was a dangerous distraction to a man whose life was in chaos. She was the promise of youth, of being fearless...of being alive.
There was a brief period when his resistance and struggle for control left me, the reader, in the best torture. The anticipation before taking the first plunge! But when they did finally cross the line? Remember what I said about his first name? Well, that was a crucial piece to one of their first encounters, one of the many breathless Wow moments. ;)

Addison was persistent. She constantly toyed with and baited this man, who was much older than her. I actually needed a minute to recover when the age gap dawned on me...But I couldn't help myself. I still wanted more. When lust eventually consumed them both...It was raw. It was intense. Many. Breathless. Wow. Moments.
Breathing became difficult as he brought a hand to my chest and placed it over my heart. He held my full attention as he began to lightly tap--One, two, three. One, two, three.
"I need to feel alive again...I need everything."
I replied, "Then take what you need."
Then, there was only the waiting left. Waiting for the gavel to fall. Waiting for the judgment and the consequences of their actions. Waiting for the whole picture to be revealed. Until the very last page, the author kept my adrenaline pumping. Reading the last few chapters felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder, like I was the guilty one.

Just when I thought I had everything figured out, though, the author had a couple more tricks up her sleeve...The rubik's cube painstakingly clicking into alignment...I loved every heart-stopping second as it all winded down to the finish!

*sigh* This was a heady type of love that couldn't be defined by good or evil, right or wrong. It was a story about two people seeing if they were each other's savior or monster, remedy or poison, love or obsession. I never wanted to put it down! Five stunning stars!

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PURCHASE


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AUTHOR LINKS



I am first and foremost a proud Australian, but currently reside in Texas with my husband.

I love to read and write contemporary and erotic romances, but I also like to step outside of the box at times when it comes to telling a story that really speaks to me.

I absolutely adore dessert. I could skip the main meal and head straight to the dessert line every time…especially anything that is covered in caramel.

I am a GLEEK (yes I admit it… So? It makes me happy), on the other hand I love Dexter and he makes me happy too, so analyze that!

I love to sing really bad at the top of my lungs, and I often have conversations with myself.

Some of my favorite authors include; JR Ward, Tiffany Reisz, Nalini Singh, Lori Foster, Lauren Dane, SJ Frost and many more. - See more at: http://www.ellafrank.com/about.html#sthash.a1T3Q0Ej.dpuf
 
I am first and foremost a proud Australian, but currently reside in Texas with my husband.

I love to read and write contemporary and erotic romances, but I also like to step outside of the box at times when it comes to telling a story that really speaks to me.

I absolutely adore dessert. I could skip the main meal and head straight to the dessert line every time…especially anything that is covered in caramel.

I am a GLEEK (yes I admit it… So? It makes me happy), on the other hand I love Dexter and he makes me happy too, so analyze that!

I love to sing really bad at the top of my lungs, and I often have conversations with myself.

Some of my favorite authors include; JR Ward, Tiffany Reisz, Nalini Singh, Lori Foster, Lauren Dane, SJ Frost and many more. - See more at: http://www.ellafrank.com/about.html#sthash.a1T3Q0Ej.dpuf