Tag Archives: mystery

{Blog Tour} Blackwood

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Blackwood by Celia Aaron

Synopsis

I dig. It’s what I do. I’ll literally use a shovel to answer a question. Some answers, though, have been buried too deep for too long. But I’ll find those, too. And I know where to dig—the Blackwood Estate on the edge of the Mississippi Delta. Garrett Blackwood is the only thing standing between me and the truth. A broken man—one with desires that dance in the darkest part of my soul—he’s either my savior or my enemy. I’ll dig until I find all his secrets. Then I’ll run so he never finds mine. The only problem? He likes it when I run.

Author’s Note: This is a mystery/suspense romance with violence and explicit sex. Trigger warning.

Purchase Links

Amazon Global ~ Amazon AU

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Excerpt

“Why are your nails black sometimes?” I took a bite of the most disgusting chicken salad sandwich I’d ever tasted.

“Sheriff Crow comes to visit and all of a sudden you’re chatty?” Garrett leaned against my doorframe and watched as I struggled to eat the “mayo with a side of chicken” sandwich.

“I’ve always been chatty. Now it shows because the drugs have worn off and I’m not in agonizing pain.” I put the sandwich down and focused on the potato chips instead. “You’re the non-chatty one.”

He tossed my phone onto the bed. “Maybe that’s for a reason, Red.”

“What reason?” I picked it up and swiped across the screen. No service. Shit.

“I told you when you got here that I wanted you out.” He sighed. “That hasn’t changed.”

I dropped the phone with a grimace and picked at my sandwich. “Okay. And I told you that I can’t wait to leave, so we’re on the same page. Why would those facts keep you from telling me why your fingernails are covered in filth sometimes?”

“It’s not filth.” He shook his head. “While you’re lying around eating my delicious food all day without lifting a finger, I’m working.”

“On what?” In all the research I’d done, I never found Garrett to have any real source of income other than timber and oil royalties on the Blackwood property.

“Why do you care?” He crossed his arms over his chest, the rolled up sleeves of his shirt revealing some dark ink snaking across his skin.

“Why won’t you tell me?”

“Why does it matter?”

I crunched the salty chips. “It wouldn’t matter if you weren’t so stubborn about not wanting to tell me. Now I have to know.”

“You’re calling me stubborn?” He arched a dark eyebrow.

“I see your hearing is working fine.” I plucked out another chip.

His lip twitched, a smile trying to form but failing. “You don’t even know me.”

About the author

Celia Aaron is the self-publishing pseudonym of a published romance and erotica author. She loves to write stories with hot heroes and heroines that are twisty and often dark. Thanks for reading.

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{Release Blitz} The Curse Of The Blue Scarab

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Title: The Curse of the Blue Scarab
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: Historical Romance & Mystery Suspense
Release Date: December 9, 2016

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BLURB

Who or what is responsible for the gruesome deaths of members of the secret society known as the Order of Osiris?

Dr. Armiston, an irascible, confirmed bachelor who believes in medicine not mysticism, is certain the deaths are only tragic accidents.

The members of the Order of Osiris suspect something more sinister is at work. They profess to believe an ancient curse has been visited upon their society. Handsome and mysterious Captain Maxwell requests Armiston’s help.

Tarot cards? Egyptology? Spiritualism? Armiston has little patience with the superficial and silly pastimes of the rich, but he does love a good puzzle. Or could it be that he is more drawn to young Captain Maxwell than he wishes to admit?

Either way, Armiston must solve the secret of the cursed sarcophagus very soon, for Captain Maxwell is the next slated to die…

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EXCERPT

I found the place in a quiet back street some three minutes’ walk east from Piccadilly Circus. A gilded sign in the shape of a banyan leaf hung over first-floor windows.

The Banyan was not a club, but an eating-house, with rather a special clientele. It was run by a retired quartermaster, who somehow made his little pile in India. The man spoke Persian and Burmese and worked the house with Indian servants. He catered to Anglo-Indian tastes. It was the first place I was given a spoon for my curry.

According to Maxwell, men had been known to come home cursing India and all its ways—and yet turn up at the Banyan within a month. He said he went there principally to keep up his Indian vocabulary, but the fowl-curry, the chutney, and the fruit were all excellent and well worth the visit.

Though Maxwell was not a sophisticated raconteur like Maundeville, he was good company and sincerely charming. In fact, he was disconcertingly attentive. It was quite a heady thing to have his complete and unadulterated concentration. I could see no reason for it.

“How did you happen to become a physician?” he asked curiously as I finished a long, involved story that even I could see no point to.

“My father was a doctor,” I said. “One of those good old-fashioned country doctors who shepherded his flock in and out of this life for nearly the length of his own. He was greatly loved by everyone who knew him, and I thought that would be a wonderful thing. To be able to take away pain and suffering. And to be greatly loved.”

It was the truth, but it was more than I had meant to say.

“It is a wonderful thing to be able to take away pain and suffering,” Maxwell said after a moment.

“Yes. What I failed to understand was how difficult it would be when, no matter how hard you try, you can’t manage it. Or when your best effort fails to save a life. It’s a dreadful thing to have a child die in your arms.”

Maxwell’s somber expression no doubt matched my own. I said hastily, “Happily, most of my practice amounts to lancing boils and handing out headache powders.”

He laughed. “I doubt it.”

“Oh, it’s quite true. I’m not complaining. The grand career I imagined for myself would have been contrary to my own nature. I like a quiet, comfortable life.”

He stared at the ale in his glass. “You never married?”

“No, no,” I said too heartily. “No woman would have me. Congenital bachelor, I’m afraid.”

Maxwell’s eyes flicked up. He met my gaze and offered a faint, enigmatic smile.

It was not easy—in fact, it was impossible—to get him to speak of himself. Nor did he broach the subject that had inspired this tête-à-tête until at length we settled in a quiet corner of the smoking-room.

“Now,” he said with a sort of grim cheerfulness, “we’re fortified and steadied by an excellent dinner. We shall take a common-sense view of the matter before us.”

“The matter before us?”

“Your continuing involvement in this case.”

“I’m…not sure I follow.”

“It’s quite simple. To begin with we have poor Scrymgeour and D’Aurelle. Both died suddenly, and apparently alone. You knew neither of them, but you certified one death and countenanced the certifying of the other although I believe you thought both those deaths were suspicious.”

I stared at him, unable to believe my ears.

“I believe you feel you’re partly responsible—since you certified those deaths—for the fact that there has been no further inquiry. I think, too, that you joined the Society of Osiris because of those deaths, and that you have those certificates on your conscience.”

“What the devil are you talking about?” I exclaimed. “I certified what I believed to be true.”

“Would you sign them now?” he retorted. “I know you acted honestly at the time.”

“Of what exactly are you accusing me?” I asked very coldly, very quietly.

Maxwell met my stare without flinching. “It’s the truth, isn’t it? Your interest in this matter, your involvement—”

I said, “My involvement is simply one of academic interest. You and your friend have presented me with a mystery, and I mean to solve it. That is all.”

He nodded as though satisfied, though his expression remained uncharacteristically austere. I thought his eyes held an unnatural glitter, and I prepared myself for more unpleasantness. Even so, his next words were startling.

“In thinking over those two deaths, we must consider points of difference and of similarity. Both these poor fellows were bachelors, and both had independent means.”

“You believe their deaths are connected by something other than the Mummy?”

“I do. Perhaps you don’t know where their property went?”

“Well?”

“Miss Hennessey.”

I think I gaped at him. Not at the information itself, but the fact he had essentially accused the poor girl of murder.

I said as much, though I tried to keep my tone neutral. “Then you suspect Miss Hennessey of somehow engineering their deaths?”

It was Maxwell’s turn to look astonished. “Nora? Of course not. I bring up the matter only because you’re a bachelor too, though not so well provided as they were with this world’s goods. You’re an older man also.”

I laughed. He was rude and ridiculous, but I don’t suppose he realized that—or cared. “True on all counts, I’m afraid. Furthermore, I’m an observer, not a participant in this little misadventure of yours. So if your concern is for my safety, you may rest easy. I don’t believe either Miss Hennessey or the Mummy are after me.”

“I think you should retire from the case, all the same.”

I stared. He appeared to be quite serious.

“What’s brought about this change of heart?” I inquired. “You weren’t concerned for my safety five days ago.”

“Five days ago you weren’t taking tea with Miss Hennessey or having dinner with Maundeville. I—we—didn’t then appreciate the fact that there might be risk to you.” His throat jumped as he swallowed. He looked genuinely worried. “Enough people have died, Armiston. I wouldn’t like something to happen to you on our account.”

“You and Perceval have decided this between you?”

“Er…yes.” It was such an obvious lie, I almost laughed. I was too offended to find the situation humorous, however.

“I see.”

“It’s not that we’re unappreciative.”

“No. You’ve expressed your appreciation most originally.”

His brows drew together. “We should never have dragged you into this matter. That’s the truth.”

“Possibly not. But you did—I won’t say dragged me because I joined the expedition willingly enough—invite me, and there’s no going back now.”

“Of course there is.”

I shook my head. “I told you both before that I did not need your permission to continue my investigations. Such as they are.”

He leaned forward, saying with quiet intensity, “You must stop, Quentin.”

I was so surprised he knew my Christian name it took me a moment to collect my thoughts. “Shall I tell you what I think this is?”

“I’m telling you what it is!”

I shook my head. “I believe you’ve recently learned the cards are about to be drawn again. I believe you’re convinced that this time you’ll receive the Priestess. And I believe that you’re afraid that because of my…” I didn’t quite know how to phrase it without making matters more awkward than they were. I settled on, “…respect for you, I may act rashly and come to harm.”

Even in the muted light I could see he flushed and then paled. “I don’t think any such thing.”

“I hope not. I hope you don’t think I’m such a fool.”

“I don’t. Of course I don’t.” He looked stricken.

“However great my…respect for you, I’m not a man prone to rash or incautious action. I’m not the dashing hero of a romance novel. Frankly, you would be better suited to such a role than I.”

He opened his mouth, closed it, and swallowed. “I wasn’t suggesting—”

“Let’s consider the matter closed. You’ve said what you needed to say, and I’ve given you my answer.”

“Very well,” he said stiffly.

Shortly after, Maxwell and I parted. I think he couldn’t escape fast enough.

AUTHOR BIO

Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called “arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today.”

Her work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondadori, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Stranger on the Shore (Harper Collins Italia) was the first M/M title to be published in print. The Adrien English series was awarded the 2nd Annual All Time Favorite Male Male Couple by the Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/kZ79D

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Josh-Lanyon-Fan-Page-107401402656849

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoshLanyon

Blog: http://joshlanyon.blogspot.com/

 

{Review} Steel Bars

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Steel bars by Diana Naekrsz
Read October 2016
3 stars

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Synopsis

Yakaterinka Rukovsky, or Russia, as he called her, was perfect and a hundred times better in the net than Jake Holliday could ever hope to be. For the past two years, she had stolen the spotlight from him. But this year, his last year of college, he intended to steal it back from her so that he could have his chance at the NHL.

Getting her to quit college was Jake’s only hope. And he would have if it wasn’t for what happened the weekend before the season began. After what happened that night, Jake was left with two choices: either keep the truth to himself or confess everything, and ruin any chance he had at the NHL.

The more that Jake got to know Russia, the more he realized that he might have to sacrifice his own hopes and dreams of a better life for her. How could Jake keep the truth of what happened that night from her when he was falling in love with her?

Review

I was really enjoying this book until the end. The story sucked me in and I couldn’t get through it fast enough. But the ending just left me confused and angry. I want to know what happened between Jake and Russia from the end of the story to 5 years into the future. I mean why did she do what she did? Why give it all up after everything that she had been through? Why not hear Jake out? I thought their love was like no other and then she leaves without a word. WTF? Seriously.

Then they meet in the future and bamn, end of story again. I feel like this story is unresolved for me. After been drawn in I want to know if they can even resolve their issues. There is something that she mentions when she sees Jake after 5 years and now I’m left wondering what happened in those years.

NB: I have now discovered that there will be a second part this story. Hopefully some of my questions will now be answered

{Review} Bad Boy Werewolf (Bad Boys Of BDSM)

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Bad Boy Werewolf By Leigh Foxlee
Bad Boys Of BDSM
Read August 2016
2 stars

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Synopsis

A year and a half ago, the lead singer of garage rock band No Mercy mysteriously disappeared, and his girlfriend and band mate, Merry, never thought she’d see him again. She moved on and hooked up with the band’s lead guitarist. Then one day he stumbles back into her life and literally falls at her feet!

Noah Wilder returns with dark secrets and a curse—he’s become a werewolf. Merry is plunged into a world of monsters and deception and becomes caught in a love triangle. Can she help Noah break the grip the Dark Moon pack has on him, and will she be forced to choose between her new love and her high school sweetheart?

Review

I’m a little at odds with this story. Was it enjoyable? Yes but it wasn’t anything memorable thou. I felt like the story was finishing up; and it could have and then the author decides it add a two weeks later section. Nothing wrong with that, but when reading it just felt like an add on not a continuation of the story.

The little mystery in the story is what keep me reading til the end, but overall I’m left wanting more.

{Review} Forbidden Fix (Executive Toy #6)

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Forbidden Fix by Cleo
Executive Toy #6
Read August 2015
5 stars

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Synopsis

Lindsay has made a terrible mistake.

Her billionaire bosses are ensnaring her grandfather in an elaborate scheme, but Lindsay knows it’s too late. By confronting her grandfather, she accidentally revealed the one thing he can use to control her: her sister.

She loves her bosses and her new life with them, but she won’t abandon her sister again.

Romeo, Slade, and Hawthorne are powerful men, and they convince her to trust them just a little longer. They won’t let anything happen to her.

Then, everything shatters again.

Series Reading Order

#1 Executive Toy ~ my review
#2 Professional Sin ~ my review
#3 Dangerously Big ~ my review
#4 Trickiest Job ~ my review
#5 Dirtiest Lie ~ my review
#6 Forbidden Fix

Hawthorne wipes away my tears with his fingers. “We care for you, Lindsay. All of us. You need to understand that. Let us give you the happy ending you deserve.” He smiles. “Because you’re our happy ending, too. We need you as much as you need us. Maybe even more.”

Review

I can’t believe that this is the last book in the series. I so want more. But what a way to end it. I think I was was on the edge of my seat most of the time just waiting for something bad to happen. You can just sense that the worst is going to happen. And then when it did happen and I started the next chapter, I was like ‘nooooooo’. I think I cried a little. I’m too emotionally invested in this series I think. In a good way that is.

Lindsay’s relationship with Slade, Romeo and Hawthorne takes a very real turn in this book. It was very interesting to read. Everybody has really grown on me and I think Hawthorne may just be way favourite. He may have been a bit of a dick at the start of the series, but he really does put 110% in when he wants to.

Loved the ending; it was really well done by the author.

{Review} Dirtiest Lie (Executive Toy #5)

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Dirtiest Lie by Cleo Peitsche
Executive Toy #5
Read August 2015
4 stars

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Synopsis

Lindsay needs to trust someone other than herself, and that means confiding her darkest secret to her billionaire bosses.

The secret that turned her into a desperate runaway seven years ago.

The secret that will destroy her innocent sister’s life.

With her cruel grandfather now aware of Lindsay’s location, time is running out. He’s coming for her, and each of her options can only lead to disaster.

Trusting Romeo, Slade, and Hawthorne will save her.

It will destroy her, too.

Series Reading Order

#1 Executive Toy ~ my review
#2 Professional Sin ~ my review
#3 Dangerously Big ~ my review
#4 Trickiest Job ~ my review
#5 Dirtiest Lie
#6 Forbidden Fix

To shamelessly desire something is to expose oneself to the possibility of denial and heartbreak.

Review

Yes! The secrets just keep on coming. And they don’t disappoint at all. It this installment we finally get to discover the big secret that Lindsay has been keeping to herself, the trump card so to speak. So didn’t think it was that, but it makes sense why she was keeping it to herself. Now that her bosses know there willing to do anything to protect her. These gentlemen are really starting to grow on me.

Lindsay is finally back at work and going through each of her lessons with her bosses. I will never look at a wooden ruler the same after reading this.

We also learn more about Slade, Romeo and Hawthorne’s past relationship and how each of them are dealing with the loss in their own ways. I’m really feeling for them. They went through something that was really hard but have managed to pull through to the other side together. How? I will never know.

But that ending! It really threw me and now I must find out what happens next.

{Review} Trickiest Job (Executive Toy #4)

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Trickiest Job by Cleo Peitsche
Executive Toy #4
Read August 2015
4 stars

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Synopsis

Lindsay has never been so alone in her life.

After a private investigator exposes her, she’s on the run once more. Her bottomless bag of tricks is empty, and she’s filling it to the brim with regrets and mistakes.

As danger builds, Lindsay can’t stop thinking about her dominant bosses. Maybe Romeo, Hawthorne, and Slade could save her.

Maybe… if they could find her.

Series Reading Order

#1 Executive Toy ~ my review
#2 Professional Sin ~ my review
#3 Dangerously Big ~ my review
#4 Trickiest Job
#5 Dirtiest Lie
#6 Forbidden Fix

Being submissive doesn’t mean being a doormat. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy in bed or that you have low self-esteem

Review

Just when I thought I had it all figured out with Lindsay’s past, the author goes and throws more secrets and mysteries into the plot. I can’t take it anymore, yet I keep coming back for more. It is just that good.

Lindsay has finally returned to her home town, yet it doesn’t feel like home to her because she left ‘home’ behind in the form of her three sexy bosses. However she thinks that they were only using her because they haven’t tried to find her and make contact with her. One mistake on Lindsay’s part soon leads to Slade, Romeo and Hawthorne turning up to her hotel room and demanding answers. Ya finally we get some more of the truth. It seems I’ve been waiting forever for this. But it was worth the wait.

So glad that the guys demanded Lindsay except their help, but in doing so she has to earn their trust. This is going to be one of the hardest things she has even had to do in her life so far.

The secrets that each of the bosses reveal at the end to gain her trust. Didn’t see that coming at all.

And let’s not forget the sex. Still as hot as ever.

However I still want to know what she’s keeping deep down for everyone and what the 3 gentlemen have on her grandfather. Everyone still seems to have one last card up their sleeve that they don’t want to play just yet. So annoying.

{Review} Dangerously Big (Executive Toy #3)

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Dangerously Big by Cleo Peitsche
Executive Toy #3
Read August 2015
4 Stars

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Synopsis

Working for Romeo, Hawthorne, and Slade is a challenge, but the dominant men give Lindsay exactly what she needs. Even though Hawthorne continues to drive her insane, she’s happy with her new life.

But when a stranger with a gun steps out of the shadows, Lindsay realizes that happy is dangerous.

Happy will get her killed.

A woman with Lindsay’s past doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for a knight on a white horse. She’ll have to settle for an arrogant, condescending billionaire… one whose goal has always been to get rid of her.

Desperate women don’t get easy choices.

Series Reading Order

#1 Executive Toy ~ my review
#2 Professional Sin ~ my review
#3 Dangerously Big
#4 Trickiest Job
#5 Dirtiest Lie
#6 Forbidden Fix

The truth is that I was falling for them. For Slade, yeah. That was obvious even to me. And for Romeo. How could I not? Even Hawthorne was growing on me. Under different circumstances, if we hadn’t gotten off to such an awful start…

Review

Now this is what I’m talking about. The mystery and suspense is really starting to add up and I’m getting hooked with every book of this series that I read. It’s an addiction.

Lindsay’s past has finally started to catch up with her, now that she is enjoying life and working for her new bosses. Life seems to be finally going good and then something happens one night late at the office and suddenly she wants to run again. However she seems to be in two minds about. Lindsay really wants to tell her bosses about her past because they could help her, but doesn’t want to trouble them. I really wish she would tell them, because then I would know her secret too.

And let’s not forgot the hot bosses. Each one of them is slowly starting to grow on me and each for different reasons. While together they all have some VERY HOT office sex, the more time Lindsay spends with Slade, Romeo and Hawthorne individually, the more their character personal traits are revealed. Hawthorne is really starting to come through and want he does in this book is a real eye-opener.

So glad I have the next book ready to go.

{Review} Professional Sin (Executive Toy #2)

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Professional Sin by Cleo Peitsche
Executive Toy #2
Read August 2015
3 Stars

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Synopsis

The skills that keep Lindsay alive are turning into liabilities. She needs to keep covering her tracks, which leads to lying to her bosses in order to hide her true identity.

Hawthorne, Romeo and Slade are powerful men who have zero tolerance for what they perceive as disrespect. They spell it out clearly: no more lies. As much as Lindsay wants to walk away, she knows the three men give her something no one else can.

When someone from her previous life recognizes her, her bosses demand to know who she really is and what she’s running from.
Is a half-truth a truth? Or is it just another lie?

Series Reading Order

#1 Executive Toy ~ my review
#2 Professional Sin
#3 Dangerously Big
#4 Trickiest Job
#5 Dirtiest Lie
#6 Forbidden Fix

Review

The mystery of Cleo’s past is really starting to get very interesting. A little more of it was revealed in this story but still not enough to really understand what drives her. I’m intrigued to find out more.

Hawthorne, Romeo and Slade are really starting to show more of their characterful traits. While they appeared to act as one single minded group in the first book, they are slowly starting to show individual traits. I’m liking this even more. I would like to know more about their past too. This seems like a very interesting story.

The ending was so cute and so unexpected from Hawthorne. I like surprises.

{Review} Executive Toy (Executive Toy #1)

executive toy

Executive Toy by Cleo Peitsche
Executive Toy #1
Read August 2015
3 Stars

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Synopsis

To stay alive, Lindsay has always relied on her looks and her wits. It’s not always enough, and underneath her carefully polished exterior is a desperate woman who will do anything to survive.

When she’s called to account for her misuse of the company credit card, she hopes to flirt her way out of trouble. Instead she finds herself faced with a gorgeous stranger who is immune to her manipulation, and she’s shocked by the punishment he deals out.
No one in the office can tell her who the stranger is, and when she encounters him again weeks later, things take another unexpected turn… times three. Three handsome, rich businessmen. In their arms, she almost feels safe.

But she knows the truth: safe is an illusion, and staying alive is all that matters.

This BDSM romance contains explicit sexual content and graphic language that may be objectionable to some readers. Includes sexual dominance and submission, spanking, multiple partner, menage, and many other delights. For adults only.

Series Reading Order

#1 Executive Toy
#2 Professional Sin
#3 Dangerously Big
#4 Trickiest Job
#5 Dirtiest Lie
#6 Forbidden Fix

He turns around to stare at the bookcase behind him, and I see proof that he’s got excellent thrusting potential. His ass is drool-worthy. Firm.

Review

I have never read anything by thing author before, yet I have downloaded a few free books of hers so I thought I would give one of them a try.

While at the start I was a little unsure about this story and where it would end up going (it’s 6 books long, so there has to be some plot right?), it did start to pick up towards the middle of the book. From there I just couldn’t put it down.

Yes some of the sex scenes are a little confronting but knowing this was an erotic office romance going into this I was expecting something. But what I got was something a little different and for that I’m unsure if it was helping the story line or not.

The men are all strong ‘manly’ business men and know what they want and go after it. While are main character Lindsay comes across as strong but shes’ hiding a secret of some sort. And I would like to find out what it is. So I guess I’ll be reading the rest of the books to find out this hidden mystery.