I’ve silently watched her for a year, staying hidden in the shadows, biding my time.
She may know me as two different men, but hasn’t a clue what I’ve done.
She unknowingly became mine the minute my eyes touched her beauty.
But I’ve done things. Things she may not be able to forgive.
I know all her secrets, her habits, her preferred coffee, what she does in her spare time, her favorite lingerie brand, even that she sleeps naked.
At night, I watch her from her window. During the day, I watch her from my computer. She innocently bares her heart and body to me, and I soak up every single fucking second.
I’ve stayed away, but I’m tired of watching from afar. It’s time Poppy finds out just who I am and what I’m willing to do to take what’s mine. She may hate me when she finds out my what I’ve done, but she has no choice but to accept it. She will be my wife. She will mother my children. I will claim every part of her heart, body, and soul. Anything else is unacceptable.
Poppy Lexington has become my ultimate obsession, and I will become her uncontrollable addiction.
Unknown: Have you enjoyed the flowers I’ve sent you?
I freeze, except for my eyes, which pop open wide in shock. My breath gets caught in my throat when I realize this must be my mystery flower guy.
Holy hell! It’s him!
Why in the world is he texting me? After all this time, why contact me now? And what in the hell do I say to him? It’s become a routine. I’ve gotten used to getting the roses and not knowing who they are from. Question after question runs through my mind. Who is he? Why send me flowers? Why not introduce himself? Where did he first see me? How did he find out where I worked? And how in the hell did he get my number?
That’s my number one question, so I ask him.
Me: How did you get my number?
It only takes seconds for me to receive a reply, and I’m not sure how to take it.
Unknown: I have my ways. You didn’t answer my question.
He has his ways? What is that supposed to mean? My chest tightens with fear at his answer. I push back the fear and ask another question I’m dying to know.
Me: They’re beautiful, thank you. Who are you?
Unknown: You’ll find out soon enough.
Umm… say what? Another question avoided. My eyes narrow in suspicion.
Me: I’m not sure I like that answer. I have no idea who you are. What if I don’t want to know you once I find out?
I notice the time on my phone and pull the second thigh-high up my leg, keeping my eyes on the screen the entire time. This is really weird, him having my number. I’m sure it’s not too hard to get the information, but it’s the point that he went through the trouble to get it. I hate being left in the dark like this.
My phone dings again, and I quickly grab it.
Unknown: You’ll want to know me. Trust me.
Trust him? That’s laughable. How can he think I’ll trust him when I have no idea who he is?
Me: It’s hard to trust someone I don’t know.
I slip my feet in my heels as I wait for him to reply. It’s doesn’t take long.
Unknown: You’ll learn.
Unsure of how to respond to that, I walk back to the kitchen to get a travel mug of coffee ready. He seems so confident, and cocky. Maybe a little too much, since it’s coming from a total stranger. How can he be so sure?
I type out my original question again.
Me: Who are you?
I grip my phone in frustration. Now that he’s contacted me, the need to know who sends me roses every week is overwhelming. It’s no longer a curiosity—I need to know. I should be more afraid, but I’m not, and that gives me pause. Why am I not more fearful? He’s obviously hiding something, right? But what?
He sends another text before I get a chance to reply.
Unknown: Have a good day at work, Beautiful.
What? That’s it? He has flowers delivered to me every week for eight months, messages me out of the blue with cryptic messages, then wishes me a good day at work? Pissed off vibes has my gut clenching. How dare he contact me and leave me hanging.
Me: That’s it? That’s all I get out of you?
I flip the off switch on the coffee pot, grab my now full travel mug, my purse, and with phone still in hand, I leave my house, locking it up behind me.
I’m buckling my seatbelt when he replies.
Unknown: For now, yes.
Oh no, that doesn’t work for me. He needs to give me something. He can’t just expect me to accept his non-answers.
Me: How do you know me? How do you know where I work?
Unknown: I know a lot of things about you, Poppy.
Me: You’re not helping your case of me wanting to know you. It’s freaking me out that you know stuff about me, personal stuff, when I don’t even know your name. That’s not normal. It’s pretty stalkerish, don’t you think?
I notice the time on my phone again and see I have a few minutes before I need to leave, so I decide to wait for his reply.
Unknown: Just call me Mr. A for now. Have a safe trip to work.
Everyone judges a book by its cover – we can’t help it. And I admit, if I hadn’t read the synopsis first, I would not have picked this book up, because I really hate its cover. That being said, I am immensely glad things worked out the way they did, because this was a book I highly enjoyed immersing myself in. I haven’t read anything by Grayson before, but I will definitely be having a look at her back catalogue and one-clicking a few. This book was just so good.
I love watching her, knowing she’s oblivious to it. It turns me on more than anything, or anyone, has before.
It’s a slow burn. It’s one of those books you cannot race through, but instead have to take it slowly and chew over everything. The build up is fantastic, and there were occasions in the last 25% where my heart was furiously pumping and I actually found myself slightly scared. It’s rare when a book manages to do that, even if the final plot twist was a tad predictable (but this is forgivable when I was in no way expecting the suspense sub-plot when I first picked up this book).
One of the strongest aspects of this read was how detailed and complex the characters were – and not just Asher and Poppy. Instead, the entire supporting cast had histories and conflicts, and reading about these never once felt forced, but rather flowed wonderfully with the plot and characterisation of Asher as a family man.
He made me fall in love with a lie. He made me fall in love with him, knowing his sick obsession would be the end of me.
I was highly impressed with the heat of the sex scenes, too – particularly those before Sterling’s identity was revealed. Grayson managed to write scenes which could have been disastrously weird in a sizzlingly erotic way
, which definitely had an effect on me.
A genuinely suspenseful, sexy read, which really had me rooting for, and emotionally connected to, the two leads.