Reviews Published Professional Reader Challenge Participant 80% 2016 NetGalley Challenge 50 Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Perfectly Inappropriate by Stacey Kennedy

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: No.
Subject: Making her fantasies true might give her a lot more than what she hoped.
A woman scorned and a politician with a wild side connect online—and explore their hottest fantasies in the flesh.

Olivia Watts knows that her problems are painfully average. She got engaged, and her fiancé cheated. She gave up on her dream job—street photographer—and settled on a more practical one: graphic designer. She scrimped and saved to buy a home, only to realize how empty it was. So when Olivia hears about an exclusive dating app that matches subs with highly trained doms, she does something she never thought she’d do in a million years: She signs up. The last thing she expects to find is a man whose sizzling touch reawakens the woman she used to be. . . .

Noah Grant has no time for relationships. His sole purpose is to win reelection. That’s why he pays a premium to the discreet app that satisfies all his dark desires. But after sweet, innocent Olivia is vetted and arrives for their week together in his penthouse, it’s blatantly clear that she’s running from her demons. Noah’s more than willing to be her escape—until their emotions get tangled up in their games. Now, to become worthy of Olivia’s heart, Noah will have to prove that he’s more than a fantasy.

This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Olivia's life fell apart and she is lost. All of her plans for her future are ruined and she has no idea what her next step will be. 

She works at a job she hates, and her heart is broken so badly, she can't see a way to open her heart back again.

Sir offers an escape, a parenthesis in real life, no strings attached and amazing crazy sex. Fulfilling her deepest darkest fantasies is her new goal, but she is not ready for Noah.

He is a force to be reckoned, the instant they met sparks flew and he captivated her as much as she did him. 

Noah uses this as an escape, and sweet Olivia is a breath of fresh air. He definitely was not ready for the attraction he is feeling towards her. She has awaken something within them that he didn't know existed and now he is addicted to it.

But their time is short and their worlds so different, can they make this fantasy work in their real worlds? Will this feeling between them be enough?

Olivia found her love for herself again with Noah's strength and support, as a true Dom, he gave her power back to her and now she was stronger than before.

Love is tricky and you have to be able to risk everything for the ones you love. Some might think this is a foolish notion, but I find myself thinking as a hopeless romantic most of the times. And when you find yourself in a spot like they did, throwing caution to the wind and bearing your heart might be the only way to be happy and have a love of a lifetime. 

“Is this some kind of joke?” Noah asked, lifting his gaze to her face.
“Is what a joke?” She blinked.
He held up the piece of paper. “No one, Olivia, and I mean, no one that I have met before has ever agreed to everything on this list. Explain to me why you, this timid person I see now, has no reservations about some of these items on the list?”
Her cheeks blushed a deep crimson and she quickly averted her gaze. “Well . . .” She drew in a long deep breath. “Well, I decided to go for it all because I want to experience all of this without holding back. And that means I need to do things I would never do before.”
Noah stepped forward, caught her chin, demanding her full attention. The eyes were his way into a soul. “You clearly have not thought this through,” he stated firmly. “If we were together, I guarantee you that you would lose sense of yourself at some point doing our scene. How could you voice what you hate if you’re not fully coherent?”
“That’s true,” she said softly, embarrassment shining in her eyes. “I suppose I hadn’t considered that might happen.”
And he supposed that was because she hadn’t done anything like this before. “We’ll need to address your limits later.” He scrunched the paper in his hands and shoved it into his pocket. Because right now he didn’t trust this woman.
Everyone had rules. Why didn’t she?
Intent to discover that answer, Noah moved into his living room and took a seat on his dark gray leather armchair set next to the white leather couch. Rolling up the sleeves of his white dress shirt, he said, “Undress to your lingerie.”
Olivia paused, her cheeks and chest flushing a deep red.
From his seat, he arched an eyebrow and waited.
A long, weighted minute passed before she inhaled a huge deep breath and blew it out slowly. She reached back and unzipped her dress, letting the fabric flutter to the ground. Noah’s mouth went dry, his cock swelled painfully in his pants. She looked even better out of the dress than she did in it.
There was not a second that he wasted. He enjoyed every one of them as he gazed over her black lacy lingerie and garter belts attached to black stockings with lace. She’d taken the time to look good for him, and he appreciated the view probably more than she knew. When he lifted his eyes to hers again, he noted the arousal there, and the darkness in her enlarged pupils. “Come to me,” he ordered.
She approached slowly then stopped. Her feet rested in between his legs, her fingers twined in front of her. He noted the slight wobble on her heels. Now he’d have his deeper look into this woman. Call it being intuitive, or simply good at reading people, but Noah trusted his instincts. And they had yet to fail him. “Before anything goes any further, you need to be honest with me.”
She swallowed deeply. “Honest about what, sir?”
He gave her a penetrating look, and she reacted, shifting from foot to foot. “What exactly are you looking to get out of this experience?”
“Some fun.”
He frowned and shook his head. “Be real with me.” This was her test. Her answer would gauge if Jared’s warning held merit. If her answer seemed staged, they were done. “Why are you here?”
Her gaze fell to the floor and her deep inhale and exhale raised and lowered her shoulders before she looked at him again. “I’m here because I want to remember what it feels like to be wanted. I want to remember how life felt when I could trust the people around me.” Her breath hitched, emotion filling her eyes, her chin quivering. “I want to feel beautiful again. I want to feel happy.”
At that, Noah cocked his head. “Now why would you need to remind yourself of all those things?”
“My fiancé cheated on me and I broke off our engagement,” she said quickly.
He caught her long exhale right after. That told him this had likely been the first time she admitted that aloud. “I’m sorry,” he told her gently. “That must have been extremely painful. When did your engagement end?”
“A month ago, and yes, it was incredibly painful.” She took in another deep breath then lifted her chin. “I want you to understand that I’m not doing this to spite my ex. I’m doing this for me. To rediscover myself.”
“And you think being here with me will help with this?”
She nodded. “I have no doubt that it will. This is my chance to take my life back. I’m here because I want to fulfill a fantasy. For me, not for anyone else.” She stepped closer to the chair. “Am I nervous? You bet I am. You make me incredibly nervous. You’re gorgeous for one, and your confidence is also very intimidating.”
With every word she said, the world faded away. For a second in time, it was just them that remained in a space where all he saw was her strength hidden behind a wall of pain. That woman, the one she fought to find again, was the only woman he saw now.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose #1) by W. Bruce Cameron

My Rating: 5 Stars
Series: Yes. A Dog's Purpose #1
Sex Scenes: No.
Subject: The biggest heart of all.
The beloved fifty-two week New York Times bestseller by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose is now a major motion picture from Amblin Entertainment in association with Walden Media and distributed by Universal Pictures! This remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose is directed by Academy Award-nominated director Lasse Hallström and stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, Josh Gad, K.J. Apa, Juliet Rylance, John Ortiz, Luke Kirby, and Peggy Lipton.

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog's Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

Bailey's story continues in A Dog's Journey, the charming New York Times and USA Today bestselling direct sequel to A Dog's Purpose. 

My Review

A Beautiful story about the best kind of friends we get in life. And the fictional idea that this perfect souls could be going from one life to the next, making people happy but never forgetting their loved ones.

It makes sense that someone as pure and perfect as a dog would live a thousand lives where they could accompany the humans through their good and bad times.

I was reading this book on a plane and I was straight out crying, probably scared some people too lol.

The emotions dog evoke in me are incredible, I've had the chance to share my life with four different dogs, each one amazing in its own way.

I usually joked about one of my family dogs being sent by my fist dog. When my first dog died I was no longer living in my parent's house and a couple of months later my family got a new dog. This dog and I had never met, but from the moment she saw me she loved me. And every time I came back home to visit she would celebrate my arrival the same way my old dog used to do. 

I always found it interesting, but maybe there is a little secret magic involved too.

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Like a Memory (Sea Breeze Meets Rosemary Beach #1) by Abbi Glines

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Sea Breeze Meets Rosemary Beach #1.
Subject: Don't let fear get in the way.
One memory. 
One special summer. 
The one thing Bliss had lost herself in when the fear and sickness were too much, moments never to be damaged by the harsh reality that followed… until now. 

Bliss York didn’t live a normal teenage life. She didn’t go to Friday night football games, walk the halls with her friends every day, go to her prom or even walk to receive her diploma. It had all been taken from her the fall that she was fifteen years old and she was given the diagnosis no one ever wants to hear. 

She had leukemia. 

Seven years after spending a summer with a girl who he knew would always be his first love and the one who got away, Nate Finlay returns to Sea Breeze to help his fiancé open her new boutique clothing store. When the new employee walks in Nate is taken back seven years to the girl he thought he’d love forever. The one who never answered his calls or returned his text. The one who shut him out completely with not even a goodbye and broke his heart. 

They’ve each become someone different. No longer the young teens with stars in their eyes. But does that matter when your heart still says that’s the one.


So this time I'm indulging in one of my guilty pleasures which is Abbli Glines and her beautiful stories.

I remember falling in love with the Rosemary beach and Sea Breeze characters the first time I read them. My favorite where Rush and Blair and this time I get to read about their beautiful son Nate.

His life has been easy so far, he's had everything he ever wanted, a loving family and amazing friends. 
But we realize in this book, that being the result of an amazing love story brings a lot of pressure. He knows how much their parents love each other and he is scared to death that loving someone so much could bring his destruction. 
So to be safe, he is choosing a safe relationship, no drama, no crazy feelings involved... easy.

Bliss has had a hard life, she went through something no kid should at such a young age nor ever. But that made her stronger, she knows how precious life is and she is ready to have everything she missed while sick.

She is not scared of life or love, she is just scared of not enjoying every second, because she knows what it feels like to be in the verge of losing it all.

Her memory of her summer with Nate was her happy place during her sickness but life will show her that sometimes dreams and memories are better than the reality.

Nate has no idea where she's been but he knows for sure he can't get close to her. She is everything he vowed not to have, because falling for her might mean insufferable pain in the foreseeable future.

I really connected to this book, because we have all been there, scared of opening ourselves to the possibility of love, because extreme feelings and crazy passion have the downside of coming with the possibility of unmeasurable pain and suffering. 

But unfortunately if you don't risk it you may never get to experience the beauty of loving and being loved by someone.

We should never let the fear of losing someone keep us from loving them, because life will never be complete without love.

And fear is their biggest enemy.

About the Author:
Abbi Glines is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, Field Party and Existence series. She never cooks unless baking during the Christmas holiday counts. She believes in ghosts and has a habit of asking people if their house is haunted before she goes in it. She drinks afternoon tea because she wants to be British but alas she was born in Alabama. When asked how many books she has written she has to stop and count on her fingers. When she’s not locked away writing, she is reading, shopping (major shoe and purse addiction), sneaking off to the movies alone, and listening to the drama in her teenagers lives while making mental notes on the good stuff to use later. Don’t judge.

You can connect with Abbi online in several different ways. She uses social media to procrastinate.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Feels like Summertime by Tammy Falkner

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: No.
Subject: A Second chance at love.


Katie Higgins was the first girl I ever loved. We spent one summer together at Lake Fisher when we were sixteen and then I never saw her again. My life is shit, my job is gone, and my dad had a stroke, so I find myself back at Lake Fisher once again. And so does Katie. Her last name isn't Higgins anymore, because Katie is married with three kids and one more on the way, but when she shows up at Lake Fisher with her kids, danger trails her all the way there. I could do a lot of things. I could leave and go home. I could stay and deal with it. But what I want most of all is just to take care of Katie. If I concentrate on her, maybe I won't have to face my own problems. Yeah, that's it. Fix Katie. 


I haven't seen Jake in eighteen years, but the moment I lay eyes on him, I feel safer than I have in a very long time. Memories swamp me every time I look out over the clear, cool water. A first kiss. A first boyfriend. A first love. That old spark is still there. I just can't act on it, and neither can Jake. Our story started eighteen years ago, and then we both made lives with other people. Jake is willing to tell me about his, but I can't share mine with him. Ever. We can be friends and spend another summer together, right? Sure, we can. 

Katie's life hasn't been an easy one, she is on the run and scared, so going to the place that gave her the happiest memories when she was younger seems like a good idea. 

She had no clue she would run into the same man that made her so happy all those years ago. 

When they met, their love was so pure and innocent, but life has changed them, they both know real pain and deceit. Could this two new people they've become connect in the same way as before, or are they not meant to be together at all?

Jake was also running away from himself when he found Katie again. His life was not his anymore, and he seemed to have lost his spark. 

Katie and her family bring light back into his somber existence and this time he won't let her go.

He will be anything she needs, a savior in her time of need. Scary things are coming their way and it will be up to them to survive them together.

The idea of a second chance with that special person that you thought you lost is so romantic and beautiful. How teenage love might be able to become the real thing even after loosing everything is extremely amazing.

Sometimes when you loose something so great that almost breaks you, you find yourself feeling like there's no way things might get better, that there couldn't possibly be another chance at happiness. But in this book we get to see that destiny might still have something in store for us, and we only have to let go of the hurt and open ourselves up to life again.

A beautiful story, and amazing characters to meet.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Seduce Me (Austin Singles #1) by Kelly Elliott

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Austin Singles #1
Subject: From hate back to amazing love.
What happens when you’re forced to seduce the one person you vowed never to love?

You get screwed … in more than one way. 

I walked out of Tucker Middleton’s bedroom seven years ago, leaving him hurt and angry. Now I need his help; the only way I can get it, is to make him think I want him back. 

The only problem is we have silently vowed to hate one another for the rest of our lives. In order to get Tucker to help me—I have to seduce him. 

Easy right? 

Hell yes! I’m the CEO of CMI Consulting. If I set my mind to something, I make it happen. 

Charleston Monroe is playing me for a fool. If she believes for one second I’m going to let her walk into my life to help her save the very job that ripped her away from me, she’s got another thing coming. 

She thinks she can seduce me, and I let her believe she can. After all, I’m getting what I’ve always wanted. 



This story contains crazy hot sex, and one shaved pussy. 

Amazon - UK - AU - CA - - UK - AU - CA - - & N -

Charlie and Tucker's story goes way back, she broke his heart when they were younger and he hasn't been the same with her ever since.

He was so angry, he couldn't help fighting with her every time they saw each other and Charlie was the same way. Their personalities collided every time they were around one another.

But as the saying goes, there's only one step from hate to love and vice-versa, and they are the living proof of it.

When someone hurts you, it's easier to push them away with hateful words and anger towards them, because the other option is acknowledging the pain they caused.

The only problem with that is that it's not really a solution, because that anger is still a really intense feeling towards that person, which makes it impossible to move on.

Tucker has been hating and loving her for years, which caused him not to move on and find someone else, because deep down he knew there was no one else for him.

Charlie has been chasing her future for so long, leaving everything else behind in the way to her final destination. But now that she is there she realizes that this may not be what she wants. 

She was so focus on following this path that she forgot what she really needs.

When they stopped overthinking things fell into place as they were always supposed to.

Two matching pieces of a life time coming solved puzzle.

Kelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. Since finishing her bestselling Wanted series, Kelly continues to spread her wings while remaining true to her roots and giving readers stories rich with hot protective men, strong women and beautiful surroundings.

Her bestselling works include, Wanted, Broken, Without You, and Unconditional Love, to name just a few.

Kelly has been passionate about writing since she was fifteen. After years of filling journals with stories, she finally followed her dream and published her first novel, Wanted, in November of 2012.

Kelly lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, and two pups. When she’s not writing, Kelly enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is down to earth and very in touch with her readers, both on social media and at signings.

To find out more about Kelly and her books, you can find her through her website.


Rolling over, I pulled the covers over my head and moaned.

“Oh shit,” I whispered. Even my whispered words hurt my head. I

hadn’t drunk like that in a long time.

Note to self: Give up alcohol. Except wine. Wait. No. Never ever give up


With my head still buried, I tried to think back to last night. The

last thing I remembered was talking to that guy . . . Brad. No Billy.

Bobby? Brady?

Who cares? I need aspirin.

I pushed the covers over my head and went to get out of bed. I

froze when I saw the sheets.

Oh. My. God.

These aren’t my sheets.

Turning, I looked at the bed.

This isn’t my bed.

Glancing down, I gasped.

I’m not wearing any clothes.

Covering my mouth, I jumped up. “I didn’t. Oh God, please tell me

I didn’t. Terri! I’m going to kill her.”

Frantically looking around, I saw my purse on the chair in the corner.

Rushing over to it, I dug through it until I found my phone.

As I waited for that whore to answer her phone, I mumbled, “She

broke the number one girlfriend code. Don’t let your friend leave with a

guy when they’re drunk!”

“Hey, girl! So? Did you get laid like you wanted? Please tell me yes

’cause this would make a great story.”

My heart jumped to my throat as a small sound came from my lips.

“Wh-what? Why? How could you? You let me go off with him? What if

he had killed me!”

She laughed. “Hardly. But then again, you do drive him up a wall,

and he has mentioned snuffing you out a time or two.”

My finger and thumb went to the bridge of my nose. “What are

you talking about?”

Terri muffled the phone, then laughed. “Hello? Terri! I’m at a

strange man’s house, I don’t remember anything, and I’m naked.”

“Wait. You’re naked?”


“Oh, wow. Shit just got really interesting. Where’s Tucker?”

Tucker? How in the hell would I know where Tucker was?

“I don’t know! I don’t care. Terri. I don’t know where I am. He

could come back any minute, and I’m standing here naked. Oh my God.

Do you think I had sex with him?”

“Do you feel like you had sex?”

Stopping, I jumped around a bit. “No. I’d be sore if I did, right?

Fuck if I know, it’s been so long.”

Terri sighed. “It really has been that long. You’ve done forgotten

how it feels, huh?”

“Aww, hell, Mr. Pootie!”

“I’m sure he’s fine. Let’s get back to what happened between you

and Tucker last night.”

I shook my head as I glanced around the room for my clothes.

Dropping to my knees, I looked under the bed.

“Why are we talking about Tucker? I have bigger problems.”

Then I heard a male voice clear his throat.

“Oh God,” I whispered. “He’s in the room, Terri. I’m naked! I can’t

find my clothes.”

Terri laughed. “Okay, well, have fun. Tell Tucker I said hey.”

My brows furrowed, and I was about to say something when the

line went dead.

It was then I felt the change in the room, and everything from

last night came crashing back into my poor brain, causing my head to

pound harder.

Slowly lifting up, I peered over the bed, only to find Tucker leaning

up against the doorjamb. He wore a shit-eating grin on his face, and

fuck me, he looked so gorgeous.

Oh no.

I swallowed hard. “Um . . . I can’t, um. Well, it appears I am . . . you

see, I can’t find my, ahh . . . the dress I had on.”

Jesus. Why do I act like an idiot around him? Why!

“Your clothes had throw up on them. They’re almost dry.”

My stomach dropped. “Did we . . . ?”

He smiled. Full on dimples and all.

God, I want him. Even in my current hungover condition, I’ve never wanted

this man more than right now.

Wait. No. I don’t!

Yes . . . yes, you do.

Crap. What if I already had him? And I don’t remember. I’m going to be so

pissed off if we had sex and I don’t remember it.

“No, we didn’t sleep together, and for the record, you got yourself


Relaxing, I let out the breath I didn’t realize I held in.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Siren in Bloom (Texas Sirens #6) by Lexi Blake

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Texas Sirens #6.
Subject: Finding your true family.
Re-released in a second edition with new content.

For psychologist Leo Meyer, peace and comfort come through strict discipline and order. It’s one of the reasons he was chosen by Julian Lodge to be the Dom in residence at his club. His time there has been a near-perfect existence filled with a daily routine free from the chaos of emotional attachment. With the exception of his brief relationship with Shelley McNamara, that is. She may have been the only woman he ever truly loved, but he was confident he had put her out of his mind until she walked into his club on the arm of another man.

Shelley McNamara is tired of waiting for her new life to begin. After finally finding freedom from an abusive marriage, she is eager to discover who she really is. After her encounter with Leo Meyer, she knows that the first thing she wants to explore is the lifestyle he exposed her to during their brief time together. She’s been promised her new Dom will be an excellent fit, but she can’t imagine anyone could fill the hole left by Leo. Until she sees Master Wolf.

After a devastating injury forced his retirement from the Navy SEALs, Wolf has been restless and lost. Hoping to reconnect with his estranged family in Dallas, Wolf accepted a new job working for Julian Lodge. His first assignment is training a beautiful woman named Shelley. Her fiery nature unlocks feelings he didn’t know he was capable of after a life spent in combat. The closer they become, the more certain he is that she is his ideal mate. The only catch is that her relationship with Leo may not be as resolved as they both believed.

Just when Shelley believes the looming shadow of her deceased husband has finally cleared away, a dangerous killer arrives at her door seeking retribution. Leo and Wolf will have to put their grievances aside, leverage all their training, and work together to keep her safe and claim her heart.

Now available for pre-order!


Barnes & Noble:






I always get super excited when it's time to read one of Lexi Blake's books, and this time was even better, I LOVED Wolf from the first time I read about him and now it's his turn for a HEA!

I didn't know Shelley very well before, but from her story we can tell she has been through a lot and it has destroyed her confidence, to the point to where she doesn't recognize herself anymore. 

She is in the road to discovery, to finding herself again, but she can't let go of this one man she left behind.

Leo was a light in her darkness, but she was forced to push him away to protect him, she didn't want anyone else to be part of the nightmare that was her life.

Now that it's all over she wishes she could take it back but Leo is hurt. He accepted her word and let her go, but seeing her now is bringing all of his feelings back, and he is not sure if he can resist her again.

But that's where Wolf comes in, he had no idea the situation he was getting into, but now that he understands he sees that there is no other solution, he will get the family he has always wanted, he just has to figure out how to trick Leo into seeing the truth he so strongly denies.

Leo and Wolf are two halves of the same and Shelly might be the glue they need to be one again.

Two sexy ex Seals and a true submissive collide, will they find a way to trust each other and their feeling for one another? or will they never find their true happiness?


NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

* * * *

Shelley watched as Julian Lodge’s perfectly formed body wielded the whip. There was a crack through the air and a snap back, and then a thin, red line welled on the white flesh of Finn’s back.
Shelley took an unconscious step away from the stage and right into Wolf’s chest.
“Shhh, it’s all right, sweetheart,” Wolf whispered against her ear. “Finn loves this. From what I understand, Finn has been Julian’s submissive for years. They know what they’re doing and what it takes for Finn to find his subspace.”
She gasped as the whip cracked again, the sound violent, like a snake striking from nowhere. She kept her voice low. “I don’t see how Finn isn’t screaming.”
“It sounds worse than it is.”
She looked over and Leo was standing right beside them. She thought he’d walked away, felt more comfortable with him walking away. But he was standing right there beside his brother, dressed almost identically. Two amazingly gorgeous men.
Yeah, if she hadn’t had ménage fantasies before, she sure as hell had them now. Why had she ever put that down on the questionnaire?
Because there was a part of her that wanted what Trev had found. Because there was a part of her that wanted the balance of two men just in case one of them turned out to be a criminally minded douchebag. Because she didn’t trust herself anymore.
And because the whole month she’d spent talking to Wolf, she’d had fantasies about Leo suddenly turning around and both men wanting her. But that was all it was, a fantasy.
“Don’t be afraid, sweetheart,” Wolf said, his arms encircling her. He was so protective, but could she trust him?
“She isn’t afraid. She’s worried. That’s her worried face. Her brows wrinkle, and she gets this deep line right in the middle of her forehead.”
Trust Leo to have noticed that.
“Sweetheart, we don’t have to play with the whip if you don’t want to,” Wolf assured her. “But you should know that what you hear, that cracking sound is something Julian controls with the flick of his wrist. Really look at Finn’s back. Julian is in complete control. That whip can be horrible if he handles it wrong. Or it can whisper across Finn’s skin. It can bite on the right side of pain. It can be what Finn needs it to be. Do you see any blood?”
She didn’t. There were several pink lines on Finn’s flesh, and now she could see the way he’d relaxed, his shoulders slumping and head lolling back. Finn seemed to be getting what he needed.
“He feels like you did when I spanked you.” Wolf’s voice was a deep rumble over her skin.
“You spanked her?” Leo sounded like Wolf had said he’d beaten the crap out of her.
Julian turned and stared back because Leo’s voice had carried through the dungeon.
“Sorry,” Leo said, holding a hand up.
She felt Wolf move behind her as Julian turned back to his task. That crack split the air again, but she saw it differently now. The spanking Wolf had given her had been so different. It had changed her world.
Wolf leaned over behind her, speaking to Leo. “She ignored certain key parts of our contract. She was assaulted, and she didn’t call me. I went to her place, and she was there with some fucking former SEAL mercenary shit.”
“Holder?” Leo asked the one-word question with a sort of hushed awe.
“Yeah, how did you know?” Wolf asked. “Wait. He called you, right?”
“Yes,” Leo replied. “Did you say she was assaulted? Get back here. We can’t talk up here.”
She was pulled back, two arms on either of hers. She almost stumbled, but Wolf held her up. He finally cursed and shoved a bulky arm under her knees, hauling her against his chest. He followed his brother as Leo made his way through to the back of the crowd. She could hear the whip crack again and again, Finn’s soft moans filling the air, making her believe he was enjoying the experience.
What would it be like to trust someone the way Finn trusted Julian?
“Explain.” One word, but Leo made it sound like a long Shakespearian speech.
“She had her laptop stolen on the train,” Wolf replied before she could get the words out. She was rapidly figuring out her response was not required.
“She was robbed?” Leo asked like he gave a damn. Logan had followed him, staying behind Leo like a properly trained lackey.
“Yes, I was,” she managed, keeping her voice down because even she knew not to disrupt a scene. “Though the thief was an idiot because I bought that laptop bag at Target, and he had full access to a handmade Versace. I know which one I would have stolen.”
Wolf turned her toward him. “Are you sure about that? He could see it? He had obvious access to something that was more valuable?”
She nodded. “Yes, he stared at it. There’s no way he could mistake my bag as the more expensive one. That Versace was beautiful. Mine was beaten up. I shoved it on the floor. The leather is warped. It got wet. I was stupid and set it down in the rain when I was trying to unlock my car. I can’t replace it so it looks like hell.”
“So the only thing valuable was the laptop, and it was visible?” Leo asked.
“No,” Shelley said quietly, well aware she was still in the middle of a scene. This couldn’t wait until later? “My laptop bag was big enough that I could close it.”
Wolf and Leo shared a long look.
“I’ll check into it,” Wolf said, his words sounding like a promise.
“Have you read her file?” Leo asked.
“I have a file?” She wasn’t aware of it. Crap. She should have been. Julian Lodge looked like the kind of man who kept a lot of files.
“Of course,” Wolf replied. He turned back to Leo. “You think this is about her ex? I can go talk to Tag right now.”
Shelley’s skin went cold. What about her ex?
“No idea,” Leo answered. “But if someone is coming after her, I want to know what it’s about.”
“I’ll look into it,” Wolf promised.
Leo nodded. “I’ll let Tag know, but he’s the one who trained Ben and Chase. They’re specifically here to handle things like this. We’ll meet tomorrow at noon. Chase is one of the best hackers in the world. If someone has said anything about her on the net, Chase can find it. If some asshole wrote an e-mail about her, Chase can give it to you.”
“We’ll be there,” Wolf promised.
“I will?” Shelley asked.
“You will.” Wolf and Leo said the words at the same time, with the same deep inflection.
“Fine.” She couldn’t fight both of them.
There was a long pause. She stared at the scene in front of her. She thought they were being overly protective, but then she hadn’t had anyone who was protective of her besides her brother in years. Maybe never since her father died. Bryce had married her for specific reasons, and when those dried up, he’d ignored her.
“Did he hurt you?” Leo asked, putting his hands on her shoulders and turning her around.
“No.” She looked into his face, stark and lovely. God, he was a beautiful man. “He didn’t touch me. He just took my bag.”
The whip cracked again. She turned her face back, but now she was flustered. Her heart was racing. Why had that man taken her bag when there was something much more valuable in his grasp?
Had it been random? Why wouldn’t it be random? What could she have that someone really wanted? She was living hand to mouth. She’d lost all of the property she’d owned with Bryce.
“Hey, calm down,” Wolf ordered, his voice commanding her. “We’re going to handle it.”
Leo watched her for a moment. “She sometimes has anxiety attacks, nothing serious, but she can get herself worked up. If you don’t talk her down, she’ll be anxious for hours. Shelley, why don’t we all go up to my office and we can talk about what’s making you nervous?”
Now Leo was making her nervous. God, the last thing she wanted was to become one of Leo’s patients.
“I think I can handle this, brother,” Wolf said, taking her hands in his.
Leo’s eyes narrowed. “And I think I’m the one with the degree in psychology. If she doesn’t want to talk to me, I’ll go get Janine. Honestly, I should have thought about putting her in Janine’s group in the first place.”
Wolf squared off with his brother. “She’s my sub, Leo. I have zero problem with her getting into Janine’s group, but for now let me handle her in the way I see fit.”
She wasn’t sure what group they were talking about, but it didn’t seem like the time to argue. Leo stood, his arms across his chest, and she worried for a moment that he was going to argue with Wolf.
“I want to stay with Wolf.” She looked up at Leo. This was the longest conversation they’d had in fifteen months, and instead of being her friend, he wanted to be her shrink. She didn’t want that. She wanted what Wolf could give her.
Leo took a step back, his disengagement clear. “Of course. Come along, Logan. We still have work to do.”
The two men walked away, losing themselves in the crowd.
“Come on.” Wolf pulled her back toward a corner of the room. She could still see the stage, but it was slightly darker away from the lights. Wolf settled his big body on a chair that had been shoved into the corner. “Sit down. We’re going to talk for a minute. What’s your safe word?”
She needed a safe word to talk? “Gucci. I have to find a chair. Hold on.”
His hand came out to tug her to him, settling her on his lap. She was surrounded by him, his arms encircling her waist, the warmth of his chest touching her skin. “Did you do as I asked?”
“What did you ask?” She had to put her arms around his neck for balance.
Wolf’s hand was on her knee. “I gave you some specific grooming instructions.”
Oh, god. She shivered. He was talking about her pussy. She’d thought about him the whole time she’d been in the shower. She hadn’t been able to think about anything else. She’d carefully shaved her mound, pulling the lips of her pussy apart and gingerly running the razor over her flesh. Every stroke of the razor had sensitized her skin. “Yes, Sir.”
“Let me feel. Spread your legs.”
She swallowed, hesitating. “But there are people here.”
The Dawson twins were close, Kitten at their side. And Ian and Charlotte Taggart were cuddled together, not far away. She could see the big, sarcastic dude whispering to his wife.
Wolf’s voice came out in a hard grind. “I don’t care. And neither will they. Now spread your legs and let me feel your pussy or use your safe word.”
It didn’t exactly seem fair, but she’d known it would be this way going in. She could choose to obey or this particular portion of her evening would be over. And she wasn’t sure she wanted it to be over.
Shelley took a deep breath. She was either in and willing to explore or she should walk away. She’d been so passive when it came to Bryce because she hadn’t been willing to fight. She wanted to be done with waiting for something to happen to her. Wolf was giving her a choice. This wasn’t some passive activity. She had to make the decision.
She spread her knees. She looked around, trying to see if anyone was watching.
“Stop it,” Wolf said, his hands tightening. “You’re not to worry about them. You’re going to focus on me. Now, I gave you instructions, and I intend to find out if you followed them or if you’re going to get another spanking.”
She wouldn’t mind the spanking, but in this case, she’d been a good girl. And despite the fact that it had made her uncomfortable, she’d only put on the clothes Wolf had given her. And he hadn’t given her a pair of underwear.
He kept one arm wrapped around her waist, and the other found her knee. He forced her to open further. She could feel the cool air on her flesh. A thrill went through her. She’d never done anything like this, but she’d dreamed of it. In her darker fantasies, she’d been placed on display and touched and admired. Bryce had told her she was a freak when she’d mentioned her desires to him.
But she didn’t want to think about Bryce. She wanted to think about Wolf’s hand on her thigh.
“Tell me something, sweetheart.” Wolf’s voice was thick and dark, his lips tickling her ear. “Are you thinking about what happened on the train now?”
So this was Wolf’s version of therapy. She had to admit, she preferred Wolf’s hands on her to sitting in Leo’s office.