“A battered butterfly, he’d build Kimberly up, nurture her strength and watch her return to flight. He repressed the visions dancing in the back of his mind; her naked body brandished red flags and spurred him to stampede. Bulls and butterflies did not mix.”
Jordan Fry’s obsession is born in “You Can’t Force Love” by Marie Drake, Book I in the Locked Hearts Series.
From different towns and social backgrounds, Jordan Fry and Kimberly Orvine experience life-altering abuse, lose a parent and land in the same foster home. Angry, and self-deprecating, fiery redheaded Kimberly is deadset on lousy behavior and suffering the consequences, punishing herself for former sins. Scared by his inner darkness, pyromaniac Jordan has vowed to change for the better. He focuses on Kimberly as the key to his success, but she intends to make him break his promises. Unaware of Jordan’s atrocious actions in the past, she’s dangerously close to unleashing the evil he struggles to contain during their epic battle of wills. Can they both survive?
'She lifted her head; those bright beads on her wicked, red dress winked at him in the moonlight, and he grabbed her throat. Stunned, Jordan fought to regain control and release her. Kimberly straightened her clothes and checked her hair and makeup in her mirror; he clenched his fists at her casual dismissal. “I shouldn’t have to try this hard; you want me, too,” she said.
Jordan slammed the steering wheel. “I want you so much it terrifies me; it’s a blinding force, like staring into the sun, and I fear what I’ll do to you if I don’t hold myself back. I don’t want to hurt you.”
She stared into the night. "It won't end any other way."'
"You Can't Force Love" by Marie Drake has earned four 5* Reviews from the highly esteemed Readers Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest with its entry into the 2019 event. It garnered a '5' rating for all aspects of the mini critique: Appearance, Plot, Development, Formatting, Marketability, and Overall Opinion.
"Marie Drake’s You Can't Force Love is a realistic novel with multi-layered characters. We encounter two sophisticated characters, drawn from two different worlds and thrust together in the same foster home. The only thing that Jordan Fry and Kimberly Orvine have in common is the fact that they have both lost a parent. While Kimberly is bent on self-destructive behaviors and determined to punish herself, Jordan thinks he can change his past and he believes that by focusing on Kimberly, he can trump his past and set out on a better path. He couldn't be more wrong because Kimberly only sees in him the provocation to plunge deeper into the darkness that pulls her. Can Jordan change her or will she end up unleashing the fire in him?
You Can't Force Love is a tale filled with powerful lessons on love, tolerance, and personal development. It is entertaining while asking serious questions on love and conviviality — can two people who are egocentric and diametrically opposed to each other find common ground and nurture a relationship? The author does a wonderful job with the characters, building them up with care and exploring the backgrounds that determine what they are today. From the beginning of the narrative, the reader sees that life is a huge challenge for Jordan but the way the author builds the conflict is impeccable. The world building is great with vivid elements of the setting, but what had me turning from page to page is the author’s exploration of the inner worlds of the characters — where the conflict begins. The dialogues are exciting and they move the story forward steadily. Marie Drake creates characters that readers will love and hate at the same time and a story that they won't put down even for a moment." ~ R. Dzemo