Big Easy Temptation by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #3
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ Barnes & Noble ♥ Kobo
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
The New York Times bestselling authors of the Masters of Ménage series present the third scintillating novel featuring the privileged, wealthy, wild men of Creighton Academy—the Perfect Gentlemen.
Years ago, Naval officer Dax Spencer and NCIS agent Holland Kirk indulged in a steamy affair—until she betrayed him in the wake of his father’s death. Dax tried to put her behind him with a payback of his own. But he never forgot Holland…
Now, as Dax and his fellow Perfect Gentlemen unravel a web of lies, he discovers his family’s tragedy is part of a much larger conspiracy. Soon, all clues point him back to New Orleans…where Holland waits, protecting her deadly secret and holding a torch or the only man she’s ever loved.
Once reunited, they can’t fight the passion flaring hot and wild. But something sinister lurks around every corner, from the elegance of the Garden district to the beauty of the bayou. Dax and Holland may find their way back to each other—if they survive…
If you haven’t read this book yet, run to the nearest retailer and grab yourself a copy because this book is brimming with explosive passion, destructive secrets and gut-twisting emotions, and will take you on the ride of your life! As the story unfolds, you can see the wave of pain and heartbreak coming, but you know you’ll have no choice but to ride it to get to the beauty on the other side!
Dax Shepherd thought his father’s alleged suicide and the scandal preceding it were the lowest points of his life, until the woman he loved betrayed him and left him, but he got his payback in the cruelest way possible and put her behind him. Or tried to. Now, new information has surfaced that supports his belief that his father was framed and killed as part of a conspiracy bigger than they ever imagined, one that has already taken the lives of their loved ones and has the potential to do great damage to lives and legacies. Dax is determined to clear his father’s name and then get to the bottom of this plot, but first he must face to woman who broke his heart years ago.
Caught in a sticky web, Holland Kirk gave up her chance for happiness with Dax to protect him and for that, he paid her back by breaking her trust in the worst way. Now he’s back to re-open the investigation into his father’s death and she has no choice but to work with him again.
I love Dax and Holland so much. Holland is confident and tough, except when it comes to Dax. Dax is alpha to the core, protective about his loved ones and really sweet, but I especially love that he didn’t play games with his feelings for Holland and put himself out there, even after he hurt her so badly. They bring out the worst and best in each other and their tumultuous relationship was heartbreaking, especially because of the manipulation if external forces that led to stupid decisions that cost them their happiness.
I love everything about this book: the characters, the dialogue, the emotions, the bonds among them and the unending mystery. Just when you think that the authors have given you the best they have to offer, they top it with this. There are more questions than answers at the moment and I can’t wait for the next book to see how Gus wreaks havoc on the emotions of an unprepared Perfect Gentleman!
“I’m going to kiss you now and I won’t stop unless you tell me to.”
“I won’t say a word,” she breathed.
He lifted his free hand to her hair, sliding out the elastic band holding the low ponytail she typically wore. He gripped the strands. “Soft as silk. Just like you.”
“I’m not soft, Dax.” She didn’t want him to think she was like the other women he’d been with. They likely had been sweet, feminine creatures. Holland couldn’t afford to be.
“Yes, you are. You can be strong and soft and silky all at the same time. That’s who you are and one of the reasons I find you interesting. I want to know every single facet of Holland Kirk. I want to be the man you explore with, experiment with, be true with.”
She had the feeling he wasn’t merely talking about sex. This was why she’d always hesitated. Dax wanted all of her, even the parts of herself she’d shut down and hidden and told herself didn’t matter. He wouldn’t accept anything less than the whole of her soul.
But if he gave her back the whole of his, wasn’t that worth it? If they were both vulnerable, they could learn to trust.
She leaned in and his lips finally met hers. Slow and steady. He took her mouth like a man indulging in decadence, as though knowing they would share the pleasure of sex made him willing to stretch this moment out to something rich and sinful.
Gently, he fisted a hand in her hair, lighting up her scalp with sensation as he took her lips more fully, clasping her body against his own. She softened, giving in to the demand of his mouth, his hands. And when his tongue slid over her lower lip, demanding entry, she couldn’t stop herself from flowering open for him.
Dax pulled her up and onto his lap. She clasped her arms around his neck, bringing him closer. She could feel his erection pressing against her, thick and hard. So big. She couldn’t help but wriggle a little, trying to get closer to him.
His arms tightened on her. “Stop it, sweetheart, or we’re going to have a problem. I want this to last. After waiting this long, I want to savor tonight.”
But she was already on the edge, dying for him to be on top of her, inside of her. “We should go to my bedroom.”
“We should set some ground rules first,” he growled against her neck. “Holland, I’m crazy about you, but you’re going to let me control sex. I’m not foolish enough to think I could control anything else in our relationship but I need you to let me handle this.”
“Why does anyone have to be in control?” She’d always been in the power position with the men in her bed. Ceding it to Dax both excited and scared her.
“Because, as you pointed out, I have more experience. And I’m wired to take control. We’re not going to go at it like two teenagers. Not this first time. Maybe later, when I know exactly how to touch you to get you hot.” Heat melted his dark eyes like chocolate. “But right now I have to figure out how to handle you, how to steer you the right way.”
“I’m not a boat, Captain.”
“Aren’t you?” He brushed a big hand over one of her breasts, cupping her flesh in his broad palm and making her gasp. “Everything that’s worth doing is worth doing right. Making love to you is definitely worth my best effort. See, this little nipple is begging for attention.” He dragged his thumb across the sensitive bud so slowly she bit her lip to hold in a moan. “Take off your shirt and your bra so I can give it the proper attention.”
His voice had dropped an octave and gone velvety. Holland found herself obeying him. Her fingers shook as she reached for the buttons of her shirt, twisting each and releasing it before moving to the next. She didn’t leave the comfort of his lap, but he sat back like a king watching the show, mentally undressing her with those eyes. There was something a bit forbidden about baring herself while his erection pressed so intimately against her.
Holland unfastened the last button and let her shirt fall away before she unhooked the front clasp of her bra. Her breasts were nothing special. She hit the gym three or four times a week to stay in shape. She considered herself more athletic than sexy, but the way Dax’s breath hitched and he affixed his stare to her bare mounds, as if he’d never seen anything sexier, made her rethink all that.
He dragged his heated palm down the valley between her breasts. “Sweetheart . . . I always knew you would be gorgeous without all those clothes. So beautiful.”
Until him, she hadn’t felt that way. Her body had been a tool to use in service of her job, a way to move about each day. When she’d had sex, she preferred to go to the bedroom, get the deed done, and get to sleep. Her few longer-term boyfriends hadn’t seemed to mind, but she got the feeling Dax would take exception to that routine.
With him, it meant far more to her than a rote activity, too.
He kissed her again, their tongues tangling as he explored her breasts, caressing her nipples, plying them with his touch. Fire licked through her system. She could feel herself getting wet and ready.
“Lean back for me. I’ll hold you and keep you safe.” His words rumbled over the sensitive flesh of her neck as he gently leaned her back, resting her over his arm until she arched and thrust her chest up to him like an offering.
“Yes, these little pearls need affection.” He tongued one, laving and sucking it.
She had to bite her lip to hold in a cry. She’d never thought her nipples were particularly sensitive, but that was because they’d never experienced Dax’s clever mouth.
She heard herself whimper as he sucked one bud deeper between his lips. He didn’t satisfy himself with a little lick, a short few seconds of suckling. Not Captain Dax Spencer. He indulged. He reveled. He caressed her with his tongue, tracing her areola before he sucked the tip back into his mouth and gave her the bare edge of his teeth. A tiny bite of pain flared before he soothed the bud with a soft laving. Her body balled into an ache, her sex throbbed as he shifted his attention to her left breast and gave it the same loving treatment.
“I want to kiss and lick and taste every inch of you, Holland. Do you know how long I’ve waited to be here? Years. Fuck, sweetheart, even before I met you, I dreamed about you. I’ve always known you’re the one woman who could make me feel, make me want forever.” He nuzzled her, the stubble of his hard jaw gently abrading her skin. “Stand up and take off your pants. I don’t want anything to stop me from touching you.”