Title: Virtually Impossible
Author: Lauren Stewart
Genre: Adult Romance
Status: Book 2 of Once and Forever but can be read as standalone
Fairy tales aren’t real…but love is.
Sara has a kick-ass life—loyal friends, a house in San Francisco, and an amazing job as a virtual assistant. It’s perfect…except that Sara doesn’t actually exist. She’s just a borrowed name that Andi Clark hides behind. Using a fake identity lets Andi stay safely shielded behind the screen of her computer and concealed from the real world. With her history, pretending to be someone she’s not is the only way Andi can make up for the mistakes of her past. Not exactly ideal, but hey, no one’s life is perfect.
Hayden Bennett’s life is pretty damn perfect. He’s married to a beautiful woman, lives in a luxury apartment, and is prepped to take over the multi-million dollar company his father built. Perfect…except that his wife is madly in love with someone else, his career is meaningless, and he’s forgotten how to live, let alone be happy. But when Hayden hires a new virtual assistant named Sara, her sharp wit and intelligence leaves him wanting something more. Something real. Something incredible.
Two people need to wake up to understand how perfect they are…for each other. If they can’t, any chance either of them have of finding a happily ever after will be virtually impossible.
This highly-anticipated sequel to DARKER WATER is Hayden and Andi’s story, and this is how their fairytale begins:
Once upon a time there was a woman who made the mistake of trusting the wrong man. And that mistake led to another. And another and another, each more damaging than the last. But the woman was as ignorant of her mistakes as she was of the damage they caused. Until she was punished for them.
Around the same time, but in a totally separate part of the city, lived a noble man and his beautiful wife. Though their castle was the envy of all, its empty halls echoed of loneliness and regret. For the man had lived his entire life asleep, and both of them remained silent of who they truly were and what they truly wanted.
And then one day, the woman entered the man’s life and forced him to awaken…
I really liked Darker Water, the first book, and I was very excited to read this one. I did like it, but it paled in comparison to the first one.
Andi is a virtual assistant working under her friend’s name as she’s not supposed to be near computers. But, she doesn’t have any other skills to earn from so she her promise to the law every day.
Hayden is a successful businessman working his way up the ladder in his late father’s company. He seems unable to keep an assistant, and therefore tries a virtual assistant.
Andi and Hayden immediately have a connection. It’s seen in their replies to each other via text. Even though both of them try to resist the bond between them, what with him being married and her boss, they keep getting closer.
The book follows them in double POVs, each with their own lives and growth, and also the relationship between them.
I really liked Andi! She’s a computer whiz who had to sign to the law saying she won’t go near a computer for a period of years due to a stupid decision when she was 18. She’s fiercely protective of her friends, hardly comes out of her house and is simply living day-by-day.
Hayden is a typical workaholic who starts to have an emotional affair with Andi without meaning to. I warmed up to him really quick in the beginning, but later I wasn’t that into his character. Out of the two, Andi was the one who thought more about keeping boundaries while Hayden was bent on breaking them, which seemed insensitive.
The side characters stole the show for me. Combined, I liked them better than the Andi and Hayden. All of them were really supportive, some with their own issues which were shown a little, and they were all really good friends.
I especially loved the friendship between Hayden and his wife when they came to realizations and everything was in the open.
I don’t usually go for romances centred on affair or boss-employee relationships, and this book exactly showed why.
Even though the romance between Andi and Hayden was really cute, for about half the story there was repetitive denial. Andi saying they should keep to professional boundaries, Hayden intentionally trying to break them because he wants to get to know her, and Andi being unable to resist his charms.
It was okay. I liked it. There was also diversity which I highly approved. The boss/employee relationship and the affair element made a negative mark for me, but that’s a personal preference.