THE VAN BIRCH INCIDENT #1

THE VAN BIRCH INCIDENT                   MARLA HOLD

Van Birch: Pop Star. A-list starlet. Off-limits.

Clay Noble has spent the better part of a decade avoiding his taboo obsession: His stepsister Van. In love with her since the first time, he’d heard her sing, even shipping himself off to the army couldn’t stop thoughts of her. Now that he’s lost everything in a tornado, he’s forced to move back in with the only family he has left, Van and her dad. Sleeping down the hall from her is forcing every unwanted impulse back to the surface.


Clay Noble: Gorgeous. Infuriating. Untouchable.

Everything Van touches turns to gold with a side of outrageous. When she accuses her manager of sexual assault, the public thinks it's just another one of her publicity stunts and the backlash is brutal. Wounded, she dashes home to a tornado-devastated Wellville, Kansas to heal and help rebuild, even though the constant stream of social media doubts and threats won't let her rest. But there’s another reason for her sleepless nights and fevered dreams. Clay is back, hotter than ever, and his lingering glances and stolen moments have her convinced the feelings she’s fought for so long may not be one-sided after all.

******
The Van Birch Incident marries forbidden romance, bordering on taboo with a little danger and a guaranteed happily ever after while exploring how social media and real-life collide in a post #metoo world where the internet never sleeps.

MY REVIEW:

This is the first book of Marla’s I’ve read and I really enjoyed it.  The characters are full-bodied and engaging.

We have the story of Van Birch a music artist. From a young age, she always knew that she wanted to be a singer.  So, when she needed a manager, she hired Bishop.  A man who is ten years older than herself.  A sexy California surfer who takes no BS from anyone and he will make her, a star.  He and Phoenix her publicist have done just that.

Until the day he snapped and then it took her climbing out of her bathroom window and Phoenix taking her to safety.  Flying home was not only a buffer for her it was necessary.  An F5 tornado in Kansas had ripped through her hometown she needed to get there to be with her dad in more ways than one.  The tornados seemed safer to her than Bishop.

Her dad was alright.  Her fake boyfriend for publicity, Bryant was alright. The man she wished was her boyfriend since the age of fourteen and she’s twenty-four now, Clay, (he technically was her stepbrother for three years before he joins the army.) He is not holding up so well. He lost his home, his truck, and his and her fake boyfriend’s (Bryant was also her best friend since forever) but their construction business together. She was there the next morning.

She and Phoenix arrive and right away start working hands-on.  She gets Fe on getting a fundraiser started forming Celebrities for Relief. Now, nightfall and she must sit with the quiet, and Clay is staying with them.  She needs to talk and she needs him.

She would have talked to his mother but she passed two years ago from a car accident.  For once he was warm and gentle to her. Not gruff he knew she had healing to do not only physically but mentally too.  He told her how sorry he was this happened to her.  He let her cry as he held her.  She slept in his arms.

This started their healing process as two old friends.  They didn’t admit it to each other but at least they did to themselves, that they had been jealous of each other’s partners. Because they wished it were them. They had always been in love with each other.

This author grabs your attention right away with sassy Van but soon you see her reduced to half of herself.  Rollercoaster for healing and true love.  You get to see Clay struggle to help the love of his life, to recover from the tornado, and from truths he discovers.

I give this: 4 stars.  WARNING: PSA if you have triggers, this does go through SEXUAL ABUSE AND STALKING. Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

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