Author: Alison Aimes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 11, 2016
After a childhood spent on the streets, ruthless billionaire Nik Valenti has had his share of dealing with crooks. He thought that was behind him. Until the woman he’s been casually dating turns out to be the biggest con artist of them all. Now, with pride, money, and his company’s survival at stake, he won’t rest until she’s experienced his own brand of justice.
Sara Turner knows she’s no angel, but a few deliberate omissions…well, compared to the rest of her family, that’s choir girl behavior. But now the one man whose heart she’d hoped to steal is accusing her of embezzling from his company. Worse, he wants answers. And he’s come up with a foolproof way to ensure he gets them. One Sara must accept if she doesn’t want to end up in jail.
Nik might be trying to save his company, but he has a tough time ignoring the way Sara makes him burn. The passion between them is all-consuming, and each time he peels away a layer, he discovers there’s more to her than first meets the eye, but he can’t give in to his need. Nik will put everything on the line to find the truth…except his heart.
“There’s no going back.” He seized the contract and shoved it in that damn folder so fast she was sure the ink would smear. “You belong to me now.”
“My time,” she corrected, “my time belongs to you.”
“That’s what I said.”
She was pretty sure that wasn’t what he’d said at all.
She stepped back from the desk. From him. From the possessive, hungry look that had no business being on his face. No business making her blood pound, either.
The need to believe her was so great he was choking on it.
And that actually scared him shitless.
Because wanting to believe her wasn’t part of his plan. Caring about who she liked wasn’t supposed to matter to the pace of his heart. He wasn’t supposed to be wondering if he should admit he hadn’t noticed any other women when they were dating, either. Not supposed to be feeling the dark, pulsing urge to corral her against the wall and touch every inch of her until she admitted she was still crazy into him.
It took several heartbeats to wrestle down those impulses and push a practical response from his throat.
“This isn’t some silly game of tag.” She wrapped her arms round her chest like a shield.
“Just as well.” He tried for a low, teasing rumble. “With you, I prefer more adult games.”
Her eyes widened. “Like a good mind-fuck? That seems to be your specialty.”
“Leave out the mind part and you’d be right.”
Her cover-up was over her head and fluttering to the ground before her next breath, leaving her in nothing but her tiny bikini. She shivered, the heat of his body so close to her own sending chills down her spine.
“You are so beautiful. And that ass…it drives me crazy.” His lips skimmed the side of her neck while his hands followed the curves of her waist. Treasuring her. Worshiping her. “The things I’m going to do to you.”
Her head dropped back, need coursing through her.
No matter what happened tomorrow, she would never regret this moment.
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I like reading stories where people turn their lives around, or come out of a bad situation and make something better for themselves. In that regard, this was a nice story. And for a change, the hero and heroine of the story had already been involved and broken up by the time we start reading it. That was unexpected but rather a nice change, since it gave new perspective to their romance.
Nic Valenti, rich businessman that he is, is domineering and ruthless at work, and well, also at his personal affairs. Sara Turner is a woman who had to run away from her family’s bad reputation all her life. She has carved a life for herself and her brother-who’s in and out of trouble to make things harder for her. So Sara and Nic have already been involved but circumstances got in the way and they have broken up. When Nic realizes a great chunk of his money is missing and the only suspect is Sara, they’re pulled back together. This is literally the point we’re introduced into their story.
I liked this sort of dropped-in-the-middle tune of the book. As Sara and Nic pulled more into what is clearly a set up, they discover they’ve actually been holding out a lot from one another, even though they considered what they once had was deeper than anything they’ve experienced before. It takes a lot to weather a relationship and these two discover this along the way. I liked how strong Sara had to stay in face of everything, from being accused of a crime she hadn’t committed to being considered a plaything of Nic’s, and Nic, despite seeming to be all that I despise in a billionaire hero, actually had potential to be softer and more understanding.
As much as I enjoyed the idea of being whisked off to a private island and enjoying the privileges of being rich, I couldn’t help but be a bit bothered by Nic’s idea of protecting and guarding Sara. Sure, who wouldn’t want to have everything they could possibly want, but that shouldn’t come with the price of one’s freedom, both physical and emotional. Just when I was thinking all this, the plot kept thickening and certain things about Nic’s life and psyche came to light, and he came close to redeeming himself. I say ‘came close to’ because that’s where my only problem with this book was. The only thing I could whine about to be honest. The ending didn’t give me the kind of satisfaction I expected considering the general theme of the book and the characters. Yes, everyone’s heart was in the right place, and yes, they did do right by each other in the end and all was back to being good with everyone patching things up, but that bang moment was missing. For me at least. I thought, with a few more pages, a total closure could’ve been had. Or maybe, as someone who likes to talk things to death, I wanted them to talk more before they patched things up, I don’t know. Especially considering Nic’s past.As someone who has a soft spot for damaged heroes, I would’ve loved to read more about Nic’s life than we were told. It felt as if everything, all the tension and mystery of the missing money and the set up, worked up to the moment where all was swept under the rug for a quick and satisfying end. But even with all this, I still liked the story. And love to read what comes next. Despite my whining about the lack thereof, there were still things that could be transported to the next book.
If you like to read a romance with a billionaire hero, well then duh, this book is for you. But not just a rich man and poor woman story, this was a nice romance as well, with two people who tried to heal in spite of everything, and perhaps with a little help from each other.
I’m adding three spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge, and kinda wish I had a sexy, thoughtful billionaire to sweep me off my feet, because yeah, who wouldn’t? Right?
Alison Aimes is the award-winning author of the sizzling contemporary romance Billionaire Blackmail as well as the action-packed, sexy sci-fi romance series The Condemned. A romance junkie with a PhD in Modern History, she’s an all-over-the-map kind of woman with a love for dramatic stories and great books, no matter the era. Now, she’s creating her own stories full of intrigue and passion, but always with a happy-ever-after ending. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and her dog. When not in front of the computer, she can be found hanging with family and friends, hiking, trying to turn herself into a pretzel through yoga, or, last but not least, sitting on the couch imagining her characters’ next great adventures.
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