Reviewed by Sheena
Blurb: Ever since Bell’s mother died while serving time for a murder she didn’t commit, Bell’s been focused on one thing: revenge. She knows her mother was set up by Jonathon Gable, the head of both the powerful Gable family and an international banking corporation. Now she’s determined to take him down—from the inside.
Bell needs access to the Gable home and offices, so she poses as a bartender to seduce her way into the bed—and life—of Jonathon’s rebellious youngest son, Lander. He has an attraction to danger, a vulnerability Bell isn’t shy about exploiting. It should be easy to uncover the secrets she needs to destroy his family and clear her mother’s name.
But it turns out Lander is much more complicated than she ever imagined. He’s enticing, intelligent, mysterious—plus their sexual chemistry is off the charts. Even though Bell knows he’s the enemy, she can’t help but be moved, both physically and emotionally, by the man she swore was just a target. When he finds out the truth she’s sure both their hearts and her plan will be crushed…until she begins to realize that Lander might be hiding his own secrets, darker than she ever imagined.
Sooo….*nervously wrings hands* Have you ever read a book from cover to cover and still feel like “whaaa???” I mean I consider myself one of the smart cookies, one of the brighter crayons in the box, I can screw in a light bulb all by myself and the elevator most certainly rises to the top floor…so I should get this contemporary romance novel right? But I didn’t! I didn’t get it at all! And it wasn’t even a bad story. It was a good story! Freaky right!??? Author Kyra Davis is pretty heavy handed with the intrigue. You think you know things and then you find out some other things and then those things correspond to the other things and then you probably should consider these things and well, so goes the story! I should mention that this rather epic novel was originally a serial (Pure Sin) that was combined into the full length. Perhaps I would feel less adrift if I read it as a series…meh too late now and I digress…
Heroine Bellona (namesake of the Roman goddess of war fittingly) is out to avenge her mother’s imprisonment and subsequent death (was mom guilty? it was kind of open to interpretation for awhile) and to do so she picks out her prey, a weak link (or so she thinks) in the Gable family, the young, hot, Lander. Bell was kind of flat for me, I quickly became immune to her incessant inner rantings and her drive for justice, but Lander had some serious dimensions and perhaps the best character twist of the novel. He was purely a tool in which to infiltrate and destroy Bell and was naturally more balanced. But from the moment she touched him and allowed him to “come inside her” (beware he does this well and often, heh heh) she almost has to redouble her efforts to convince herself that he is the enemy and remain hell bent on justice.
…and then Lander pulls back…he’s toying with me, making me ache as he pulls out and then pushes in just a little farther. Again I want to look away- to deny this desire is real- but I don’t.
“Please,” I say again, my body now screaming for release. “Please…more.”
“…with intense force he thrusts deep inside me, over and over, setting my whole universe on fire.
ENEMY…This man is my enemy.
“So, you are a warrior,” he says softly, and in an instant…with focused power he enters me again, rotating his hips so that every nerve ending inside me feels the impact. his name bursts from my lips and I quickly cover my mouth with my hand as if I can somehow take it back.
“Look at me. He reminds me. See ME.”
This man. My enemy.
Surprisingly, there are other characters in this story, most prominently Lander’s older brother Travis and his wife Jessica. Both demonized throughout the book – so much so that it almost feels like alright already, they are scummy evil I get it, no need to bludgeon the point home. According to plan she positions herself to gain employment with the enemy Gables and we get a closer look at Travis nefarious and callous behavior as he enables (perpetuates?) Jessica’s destructive behavior. They are such a wretched pair that I often wondered if it was even worth it to bring them down. They were doing a fine job self destructing from where I sat- but if the lady wants revenge- so be it *shrugs*
The smexy times are certainly bountiful. Lucky for me I was nonplussed by the swift and often coupling- but I can see how it could quickly get a little *eye-roll* he is “filling her up again hunh.”
I have read enough to know and understand that not every story ends in a HEA. Sometimes it takes a while to get there. Bell does turn a corner and begins to think she can see Lander as an ally and no longer her enemy. Can she truly trust him? I don’t know, but she did at least decide she could now bang him guilt free. Which is something, right? My problem with the ending (and yeah ok, I know there is another book coming out December 30, 2014, Dangerous Alliance) but what the hell is the partial, stop-gap, resolution? This is not even a cliff hanger that I love to hate. It’s like the author took a break to get coffee and stretch her fingers out a little and then as she sipped her joe, just decided to wrap things up…later….sometime….perhaps. Maybe.
I really like Davis’ voice, I think there is some good meat to this story, but maybe too much meat…too…tough….like I chew, and chew, and chew and when the meat finally breaks down, I desperately need to rest my jaw and sip something alcoholic before I go for more bites. Did that make sense? Try it- in a figurative way….chew, chew, chew, chew and break….and sip and chew, chew, chew and see how you feel. THAT’S how reading this book made me feel. Instead of just enjoying the story with it’s plot twists and revealed secrets- I was working way too hard to swallow it down and enjoy it to the fullest. But that being said- it sure does taste good and I will definitely be reading part two this winter. I know right!!??!! This book bugged me out. I feel like I should dislike it but I totally don’t!
Most revealing quote:
“I take a deep breath and force myself to remember. I remember my mother crying. I remember her protestations of innocence that no one listened to. I remember what she looked like when I called her a killer and a whore.
I don’t deserve a happy life. I can’t forget that. But I also have to remember that the Gables don’t deserve happy lives either. They’re the ones who started this. They literally got away with murder. I owe my mother justice. I can’t have a real relationship with Lander. But if I let my mother down again, if I fail, my life is completely worthless. There has to be justice.