Cityscape Affair Series: A Forbidden Love Romance (The Complete Box Set) <— 2020 UPDATE!!! The author says:
My first ever series, Cityscape Affair, got a makeover—inside & out! I’m so excited to present the 2020 box set edition (with a *brand new bonus epilogue*)
I’m going to review the entire trilogy in one, since each book is more like a “part” and the three parts together create the entire story. A very BIG book. You can purchase it as three separate installments (Come Undone, Come Alive, andfinally, Come Together), or you can purchase it as a “bundle” —> The Cityscape Series.
And… I’m going to warn y’all right now, this story is not for everybody. I know there is a large group in our readership that specifically avoid this kind of relationship turmoil, emotional indecision, and betrayal. And for good reason.
Maryse: I just read an entire trilogy this weekend! I haven’t power-indulged like that in awhile. It was good, too! It had a sorta… “Bared to You” meets “Arsen” feel to it. Just so you get an idea. I’m reviewing it as we speak. It was The “Cityscape” series.
Danielle: Just finished the Temptation series it sounds very similar x
Komal: LOVED this series! Best one for me thus far this year
Sandy: I really liked it too.
Maryse’s Book Blog: It got so intense!!! My favorite book is #2… I couldn’t put it down.
Lisa: So glad to see this!! I LOVE this series and book #2 was my fav of the series also.
Kayla: AWESOME SERIES!!! I LOVE THIS SERIES BY Jessica Hawkins I have read it several times!!!
Jamie: This has been by far the series that I’ve been comparing all other reads to…. I have MAD love for Jessica Hawkins and her Cityscape Series, it’s great to see so many others who enjoy it as well.
Karen: Oh ya that was an awesome trilogy !!!!
Nadia: As open as I am to many books the cheating spouse thing just doesn’t do it for me.
Vicki: IDK. Kinda with Nadia.
Yep… I completely understand your apprehension. I (despite often being riveted in the actual read due to it’s intensity and many of the all-consuming scenes) found myself struggling to get through it. Or… maybe saying “get through it” isn’t quite right. More like… I chastised myself repeatedly for reading it so ardently. It’s absolutely (and often) distressing, even in it’s fervency. And I’ll tell you right now. I wondered how I could review this positively, considering the distressing subject matter. I wondered how I could tell you that I enjoyed such a read. After all, in another similar-style read (Arsen), I LOVED it, but I didn’t worry about telling you I loved it (considering the “circumstances”), because, if you ask me, I was on the right team. 😉
In this one… well. There are no real “teams” per se (no real “bad guys” here). Just an undeniable connection, taking place amidst unfortunate circumstances. Isn’t that how “it” seems to so often be described?
So what’s it about?
Olivia is “happily” married to Bill, although, once we (the readers) are integrated into her life a little deeper, we see the “happy” is mostly on the surface. All is well… enough. Olivia is married to a successful lawyer, and she herself is an editor for a popular Chicago magazine. They appear to be well suited to each other. They get along. Have great friends. Are fairly social. A good match. At least, on the “outside”.
However, things that she considers “normal” and has gotten used to over the three years of her marriage, is actually (unbeknownst to her) what is wearing away at her. While her husband is considerate, semi-sweet and attentive, we realize that when it comes to intimacy… well. It’s fairly nonexistent. But mostly, she believes these issues to be her own. And maybe they are.
“Does that mean you think I’m cold?”
“Sometimes, yeah,” he said thoughtfully, touching his chin.
“Oh.” It wasn’t an entirely unfair assessment, but it was nonetheless painful to hear out loud. I didn’t mean to be cold.
After all, it takes two to tango, and while her husband may not seem to want to dig in deep… well… with anything when it comes to her (and them), I can’t help but wonder if her own walls were keeping him out from the start.
Bill had found comfort in the fact that it wasn’t just him.
Yep you guessed it. She has a few childhood traumas that keep many (even him… er… all of them) at arms length.
But one evening, at a social event that they are attending, she accidentally locks eyes with a handsome stranger. Her world shifts in that very moment.
They can’t tear away from each other, until “reality” forces them back into their own lives. But reality, life and professional circumstances eventually forces each of them back into each other’s lives. Regularly.
“Olivia,” he said softly. “I’m desperate to know you.”
And this is where it gets “hairy” from here on out.
That familiar current layered between us in an instant. There was much unspoken, but I felt bound to him in an inexplicable, supernatural way.
Resistance, insistence, and forbiddance are the name of the game the rest of the way. But it’s not just… a “fling”. Because the elusive, wealthy, debonaire playboy “David Dylan” opens up her world, her emotions, her wants… her needs… to a whole new level. And it’s causing all of them a world of hurt.
I’m going to end the “what’s it about” here, since each part of the story explores each part of this… “connection”. The slow burning buildup, the tumultuous relationship(s), and the fallout. Or is it the “build up”?
I’ll let you find out. 😉
So if you’re game for the story, no matter where it takes you, no matter your own personal (noble and social) expectations, then… this might be for you. It’s hard, it hurts, and it’s crazy. I especially freaked out during book #2 (and you know me… if it makes me feel, I’m in!)
Let’s call us… “fictional reality readers” (whether sweet reality, or uncomfortable… maybe even downright reprehensible reality). After all, we’ve thrilled in some shocking dark reads, haven’t we? But no… this isn’t a “dark read”. But what it is, is every committed couple’s nightmare. But it could also be a soul-deep salve… depending on how you look at it. Depending on who’s reading this. I won’t say another word.
4 stars for the series as a whole <—- (4 stars for book #1, 4.5 stars for book #2, and 3.75 stars for book #3 <— actually, it’s really good, too, and I’m so happy that it exists (it was SO needed), however I just found it a bit too long, and her “outbursts” or introspection… a bit tedious. So that took it down a notch, for me).
That said, the writing is fantastic, the emotional detail, involved, and the connections are so well explored, that we get to LIVE this story (the good, the bad and the ugly). Thoroughly. Intensely. Honestly.
P.S. Thank you to the author for sending me these review copies!