Book Summary (per Goodreads)
What would you do if you met a man that made you burn like wildfire from the inside out? Burn so hot that with one touch you forgot to breathe?
And if you knew that he had dangerous secrets? Would you be able to walk away?
I couldn’t. As strong as I know I am, I kept going back for more of him. That body… those eyes…
I saw him for the first time on my very first day in Vegas, and even then I think a part of me knew, because I couldn’t look away. It was like that moment when you see something flying towards you and you know it’s going to hit you before you can ever move out of the way, so you just watch, transfixed, as it crashes into you. Cristos Vicario: owner of the illustrious Adagio hotel and casino and reputed billionaire playboy. He sure as hell wasn’t what he seemed on the surface. That man had secrets. No one knew what a dark and dangerous world he lived in, and when I finally saw him for what he was, it was already far too late. I found myself inextricably tied to him forever. The course of my life altered. My entire world changed forever as he took away my freedom and gave me the key to my dreams in one fell swoop.
How could I have known that the one man who should have been my greatest nightmare would become the one thing I couldn’t live without? And all I had to do was forgive him…
I was only living for one thing, one goal, one endgame… until I saw Brielle. And when I touched her, it was all over for me… I just didn’t know it yet. Not until I broke all of my rules for her, one after another, and that still wasn’t enough. I wanted more.
I wanted it all. Yeah, what I did to her was pretty much unforgivable. I know that now. Some small part of me might have known it then, too, but it didn’t matter. I had to hold on to her. I would have done anything to keep her… and I did.
Now I’ve put her in danger, dragged her into my world, and I don’t know whether to push her away or hold her tighter. Letting her go would be the right thing to do… but every time I try to do the right thing… I can’t.
When I take her, it’s always hard and desperate, as if she’ll disappear if I can’t make her feel the same things I feel... if I can’t force her to care about me enough that she’ll look past everything else and see into my heart.
Last night, after she fell asleep, still wrapped in my arms, I rested my lips against the top of her head and inhaled the scent of her as she slept. Trusting me, even though she shouldn’t. “I don’t deserve you”, I whispered. “But I want you. God, I want you so badly.”
I normally do not love books that are a series, just b/c I hate having to wait and see what happens! I know I know who doesn't have the want/need for immediate gratification, but it is true. Now that said, some of my favorite stories are those involved in a series...and this series is now part of that list! I first read the description and thought it would be similar to quite a few of the romantic billionaire stories on the market now, but it is not...I was wrong. This takes a twist on the story for both the female and male roles! Quite simply this book is delicious and engaging all the way through. At times I disliked both characters (really disliked Cristos even when I loved him!), but overall loved both of them and can see them staying as some of my top favorite literary characters!
**This is not a book for young readers**
I love the way both books are written, but as this is the first in the two part series I will bring it up here. Often as readers we wonder, or at least I do, what the other character is thinking of the actions or events taking place, here Kella gives us that gift! Every few scenes it changes to the other main character and we see what they saw, felt, did, etc.
During the book I fell in love with how strong the characters were all developed. I felt like Brielle's big brother was the one we all wanted to have, that the new best friend was the ideal best friend (Welcoming, invited her to events, gave her advice about guys, etc.) I also found my love/hate for Cristos was almost immediate. I mean good looking billionaire, yes please, but then when his character starts developing and we see some of his activities and behavior..ehhh not so much. Now with that being said though, I adored the interactions and by-plays between Brielle and Cristos. You can see through Kella's writing how intense they both are, how strong and independent they both are, but how much they both care (even if they don't want to) about each other.
The ending of this book will leave you screaming either outloud for those of us who emote externally or internally with a big NO, which also answers a question that is alluded to throughout the book. It also left me on a love note with Cristos. (I am a sap what can I say) It also left me immediately turning to the next book in the series (need for immediate gratification remember?)
We pick up in this book (immediately if you are like me) knowing some of what makes Cristos who he is and why he is doing what he is. But still having the love/hate of why oh why does he treat Brielle that way! In this book their relationship continues to evolve and epitomizes the idea of on/off again relationships. Interestingly enough it is here that I do not enjoy Brielle at times b/c with her not knowing all of his demons, but knowing her background I was shocked that she kept coming back to him.
Obviously the story would not work if she did not keep going back/accepting him back, but I was thrown b/c in everything else she is so independent and strong-willed, but in regards to Cristos she seems to back down or give him A LOT of leeway. Partly that could be due to the intense nature of their attraction and relationship, which again Kella does a superb job of conveying and bringing to life to us readers. Brielle's brother becomes more of the storyline here and he is fantastic. Gruff, loving big brother and law enforcement. The way he is depicted I could visualize the struggles on his face and life over Brielle, Cristos, the background issues, etc.
Cristos does a HUGE no no in this book, but it leads to some interesting discoveries. I was not surprised by the result (in fact it was the one time I was like well this is what will happen), but the story telling of it was descriptive and well timed. Then we get to the ending and it is just what we want (though somewhat cheesy on the last page:)-!)
So if you can't tell from how much I wrote on this book, I am a fan of it. I know I will be checking more works from Kella McKinnon and I do recommend this 2 part series for those of you who like romance with a bit of an action/thriller background.
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Disclaimer: I was given this book for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.