This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
From New York Times bestselling author Ruth Cardello comes another burning Corisi romance about family crises, dark secrets, and unforeseen love.
Riley doesn’t want her mom to know that she’s been seeing her newly discovered family, the Corisi clan. Riley’s biological father made her mother’s life hell, and even though he’s dead, her fear of anyone who shares his last name lives on.
After attending two funerals, Gavin’s father has decided Gavin needs a wife and children to be happy. Rather than inheriting his family’s company, Gavin now must earn his way back into his father’s good graces by producing a fiancée.
Everything with Riley would have gone easier if he had just lied to her about his meeting with her brother Dominic. The truth would have hurt her, and that was the last thing he wanted.
He never wanted a relationship, but when he is forced to choose between business or a future with her, he realizes he’ll choose her every time.
There’s always a better way, but nothing is achieved by the person who waits for the perfect solution.
He Said Never was such a delicious read and I think I enjoyed this one way more than even the first and I had so much fun with that one as well. I was really intrigued by this one because we get the twin sister who is the heroine, she and her brother are the long-lost siblings of the infamous Dominic Corisi. I have really loved seeing Ruth Cardello write these extensions of some of my favorite books from this author. I do recommend reading these books in order though, I mean you don’t have to, but there is more of a back story that will help you understand why he acts and treats his family the way that he does. In this book, we get some more family dynamics but we also get such a sweet billionaire romance that was beautiful and endearing in every way. The hero is just everything that I want and more. I loved the whole take where it starts as a fling but very quickly it becomes so much more for him and seeing such a “only business and no pleasure” type of personality fall head over heels was a sight to see.
Our story begins with a misunderstanding in a coffee shop. Our heroine, Riley, has been stood up for the third time and she doesn’t understand it. She thought she had a connection and she isn’t mildly attractive so she wonders what could be so wrong with her and she takes her frustrations out on a handsome stranger who is just trying to get a cup of coffee, but there is an instant attraction and she never realized that they would live in the same building as each other or that how different they are from each other is actually what attracts them together. Our hero, Gavin, is struggling to keep their family business afloat. His father has lost his friends, and his mother was never in the picture but his father is changing and practically forced him out on leave because he believes his son “needs a wife” and he doesn’t want him back until he gets some hobbies and is open to being married. Gavin has never sought marriage and doesn’t understand the appeal. He knows what a bad marriage can do and has never personally seen a solid marriage. But then he and Riley hatch a plan together that will suit both of them. Riley needs someone to come with her to tell her mother the bad news that she has been building a relationship with Dominic and its something her mother practically forbade her to do. But she hates lying to her mother who has been the victim for years. And Gabe needs Riley to pose as his girlfriend, as he knows his father would approve of her as his wife. But neither Gabe nor Riley expected a fierce love match to form, and as Gabe starts to fall hard for Riley, he will have to decide what truly matters in life.
What I Loved
I had so much fun with this book from the romantic elements all the way to the family bonds that we see being built. I just had so much fun with everything that builds within the story. I really felt for Riley and I was so happy to get her story especially after the first book. I loved how she is more open to Dominic and isn’t afraid of him or against him like her twin is or her mother is. She understands why her mother is fearful, as she has lived in fear all of her life. But I truly loved the way that Riley is so open and loving with everyone she is around and it really adds a certain charm that just made her so much more desirable and a fun character to get behind. Then we have Gabe, who is so driven and passionate about his work that he has forgotten how to actually live his life. And this is where he starts to learn when he meets Riley. Who shows him what truly matters in life and we see such a personal journey that our hero goes on, and also in discovering the power of having someone to love and to come home to, someone to build a life with. We also have a side plot of a romance that I was so ready for. I absolutely adored seeing a love match made between Riley’s mother and Gabe’s father as neither of them have known romantic love or affection that was solid and true. And also for a fun note for those that have read Dominic’s book *sigh* he never stops being an alpha haha It was actually so funny seeing him learn that he needs to let loose of the control he likes to have. I understand why he has that control, and if you understand what he dealt with under his father you get why he acts the way he does. But you see how much he has changed and that people that love him are constructive in their criticism of how behavior should happen in a healthy way.
What I Struggled With
There wasn’t too much I struggled with, the pacing was a bit strange in the beginning of it, but once Riley and Gabe got together, I was on board all the way!!
He Said Never is a brilliant romance that brings together a charming family, two opposites that end up being the epitome of the “Yin-Yang” theory, and a truly heart felt romance that I could get behind and cheer these characters on from beginning to end!
Title: He Said Never
Author: Ruth Cardello
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Length: 269 Pages
Storytelling Quality: 4.5
Story Itself: 4
Character Development: 5
World Building 4
Feels + The Romantic Heart 4.5
Cover Art 4.5
Overall Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
The Lost Corisis
He Said Always-Pub 2021 #1 in the Series
He Said Never-Pub 2021 #2 in the Series
He Said Together-Pub 2022 (Coming Out February 22) #3 in the Series
About The Author
Ruth Cardello hit the NYTs and USA Today for the first time back in 2012. Millions of sales are evidence that her books are akin to potato chips, addictive from the first one. She has created a multi-series billionaire world with a combination of escapism and realism that has gained her a faithful following of readers.
Ruth Cardello was born the youngest of 11 children in a small city in northern Rhode Island. She spent her young adult years moving as far away as she could from her large extended family. She lived in Boston, Paris, Orlando, New York–then came full circle and moved back to New England. She now happily lives one town over from the one she was born in. For her, family trumped the warmer weather and international scene.
She was an educator for 20 years, the last 11 as a kindergarten teacher. When her school district began cutting jobs, Ruth turned a serious eye toward her second love- writing and has never been happier. When she’s not writing, you can find her chasing her children around her small farm or connecting with her readers online.