Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Review: What He Never Knew by Kandi Steiner

What He Never KnewI never learn my lesson. 

And I always want what I can’t have. 

When Sarah Henderson walks into my life, I tell myself she’s off limits. She’s my student, sixteen years younger than me, and my boss’s niece. It doesn’t matter that I see the same pain reflected in her eyes that I have in my own, or that the dead organ better known as my heart kicks to life when she’s around. 

I’ve been here before, and I know how this ends. 

It’s been two years since I fell for the last woman I knew I couldn’t have, the one with the ring on her finger that I chose to ignore. 

Two years of trying to overcome that heartache when Sarah slides into my life. 

Another woman I can’t have. Another woman I can’t stop myself from wanting. 

I never learn my lesson, but with a constant reminder of how that last forbidden love burned, I think I’ve finally learned this one. 

This time, I won’t chase what’s off limits. 

This time, I’m staying away. 

And I’ll keep telling myself that until I believe it.

4 Stars

Contemporary | New Adult | Romance

This should be absolutely no surprise – I mean truthfully, I have become an obsessed fan of Kandi Steiner solely because of this series, oh my lanta, this series crushed me in every humanly way possible with the first two books and I absolutely adored the author even more because of it! The angst, the feels, the connections I felt towards the characters? Oh my stars, it sent me in a tizzy to know there would be a continuous story plot to the man who didn’t win Charlie’s heart. 

Yep, it was Reese. I was downright in love with Reese, which whew, spoiler, if you haven’t read the What He Doesn’t Know or What He Always Knew, then you probably should stop right now. Right me-now! But hey, you are here anyways might as well keep this going…

Oh my poor Reese, my poor poor whittle man meat thing of broody saddened desires. My heart literally bleeds for him. Honestly. I seriously wanted to cry – yes, I do mean rip my heart out and hand it to him; even in the first duet I actually found myself rooting for him, lets be real we all knew it couldn’t nor wouldn’t have been him in Charlie’s heart, but whew, he was a force within the romantic dynamic who you cannot help but swoon over. He had this mannerism that just drew me towards his character, not just please take your pants off and describe your delicious cock to me kind of way, but he had this passion surrounding him, that broody damaged, conflicted kind of man that again, here drooling just for his personality. But obviously, he didn’t win his girl the first go – no by no means does this hurt me, I really loved the duet and honestly him being the end game guy wouldn’t have felt right but nonetheless I needed the closure for him. I also think what made his transition throughout What He never Knew was that he was stuck in this point of time, and it hurt me too to read kind of how Charlie still to this point really kept Reese at this arms length within her life, she at many points still had him in a knot. And I do mean even right at the start, he was pinning for her. Without giving away too much of course, but I can honestly say it was interesting to see how much she hindered his growth at many points of the novel, especially when there is a noticeable connection brewing between Reese and his student, Sarah. I honestly chuckled at one point at Charlie’s blatant audacity to give Reese this level of advice, trying to push him away from whatever it was with Sarah because it almost felt like both of them were holding on to something, not just Reese pinning away for his lost love, but Charlie still keeping that hole filled with his possibility.

So yeah, I absolutely loved Reese, his personal growth throughout, his character just evolved in such powerful ways. It was phenomenal to see where he transitioned from the first two books to now this, he somewhat appeared to actually grow up mentally too, instead of being incredibly selfish. His internal struggles were profoundly crushing. It was powerful, relatable while all this time he is still this moody, downright sexy as hell male lead character. Yep. Reese is a drool train wreck I cannot, will not get over.

As for Sarah, I really enjoyed her dynamic. I felt her personality really mellowed out Reese a good smidge. She was definitely his equal both intellectually (regardless of the age difference) and artistically. Though she had her moments of showing her age, she was sweet, caring and downright adorable. I was smitten with her character as much as Reese. She challenged everything about herself while confronting both her internal struggles with Reese. She grew, he grew.

Which brings me to the actual romance. Probably the best, and semi-irkness of the entire plot dynamic was the romance. Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely adore age gap relationships, authority figure connections and the student teacher relationship between Reese and Sarah was enticing to say the least. The push and pull between their attraction mixed with guilt or their personal enigmas. They were such a rotating romance that my heart was in a tizzy the entire time they were together. 

You’re not too old to dream, Reese – But if you’re happy, that’s all that matters.

Bottom line, enjoyed it, loved it, honestly could have been given more of these two. Age gap, check. Angsty chemistry, check. A little bit of drama with a smidge of romantic swoonage, check check. It was definitely a story that I needed and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I cannot get enough of this writing style, and as I buy more Kandi Steiner books I just know  I found the perfect binge romance.

 

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