Emily and Amber used to be best friends. Both grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and formed a tight bond taking them through years of care and love but also resentment. For years they go separate ways until Emily hears Amber’s voice message insinuating with their safe word that she is in trouble. Emily starts searching for her former best friend and finds strong indication that Amber’s ex boyfriend and richer-than-rich hotelier Reeve Sallis may have his fingers in her disappearance. Under the pretense of being a guest she visits one of Reeve’s resorts to get closer to the elusive man. As she gets to know him the realization dawns that she is in over her head.
“I can’t figure you out, Emily.” His words were tight yet even. “I don’t know if I like you or if I just want to fuck you.”
Emily’s and Reeve’s story is told from a single point of view. I prefer to have a glimpse in both the hero’s and heroine’s mind. This book, though, works because it is written in Emily’s voice only. It makes it extremely hard to love Reeve almost until the end. He is demanding, domineering, controlling, charismatic, magnetic. He keeps Emily at arm’s length, seemingly staying entirely detached from a deeper connection with her. He only gives her bits and pieces of him and for a time it’s enough for Emily. Until it isn’t anymore.
Emily is headstrong, pragmatic and astute. She loves Reeve’s intensity but her weakness is falling for strong men whose kink is right down her alley.
“No,” I told him. “You tell me what I want. That’s what I want.”
And this is where I had to detach myself for a bit from the book. I can’t relate to and identify myself with the heroine in some ways, it’s not my way to live my life, so many of her decisions are a bit hard to comprehend. Having said that, this doesn’t make her a weak heroine, just a different one. Emily is strong, she isn’t a pushover or doormat and she does what needs to be done and if she has a little kinky fun all the better.
“I was here because this was who I was—a strong, independent woman with distinct wants and needs that were only met when I submitted to a man.”
Remember when I said Reeve is hard to love? He is. He’s a grade A asshole and totally unapologetic about it. At the end of the first installment of the series I fell for him, though and I really didn’t think it would happen anymore.
Laurelin Paige has created a sensual story of two flawed characters who don’t apologize for who they are. They expect people to accept them the way they are and if they can’t, screw ’em.
The mystery was extremely well written and while you can guess at what’s happening the way it all comes together is well executed. The sexy times were off the charts hot.
There are some triggers though for the safety people (highlight o view) degradation, humiliation, some sadistic and masochistic behaviour and a total lack of condoms because the hero said so.
I realize that this story isn’t for everyone but if you are in the mood for dark, kinky and intense this is perfetto! One last thing – this book ends on a cliffhanger so make sure you have #2 ready 😉