L. J. Shen must be a greatly talented writer. A reader can love a character and hate a character, but how can they change your opinion in a few hours of intense reading?
Emilia is the woman I love in the story. She is artistic, loves to paint, will do anything for family, and works her behind off. Originally from California, she relocated to New York City under the threat that her parents would be fired from their job and kicked out of their apartment if she didn't evacuate what she knew as her only home.
The hateful character has an appropriate name, Vicious. That's what he is, and it appears impossible to make this rotten, evil person into a likeable part of anyone's life. He's the one who made the threat along with teasing and acting mean to Emilia when she was a kid.
Vicious and his childhood friends build a billion dollar business and it happens that he sees Emilia at her cocktail waitress job and lures her to temporarily work for his business. She accepts under obligations to her sisters health. Why else would she endure his horrible nature again?
The ironic thing is, they both fight their growing attachment to the other. What could be right with Vicious making his evil layers peel off one by one? What sob story can he have that will actually explain his couple of decades of torment to a woman? How can Emilia, whom I constantly root for, let Vicious back into her life? It's not his money or connections.
This romance is a page-flipper, and I dare you to put it down as L. J. Shen untangles a messy relationship!