Most Eligible Bastard by Annika Martin
Released: November 7, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
I’ve enjoyed Annika Martin’s (aka Carolyn Crane) voice for some time – her books usually involve zany bad guys and are erotic. This one doesn’t have a bad guy – just a hero who starts off a little….bastardy. But he is actually a great guy – it just takes some time for that side to be noticed. Henry Locke is the CEO of a very large construction/poperty company. He treats his many employees with respect and like family. He isn’t sleazy – everything is done on the right side of the law. So what’s the problem? When his mother dies (she had cut him out of her life long ago) she leaves 51% of the company to her dog, Smuckers. And on top of that, Smuckers’ new companion and the person who is his dog whisperer who will now be running this huge company, is our heroine, and etsy jewelery and dog collar designer, Vicky.
Vicky pretended to be a dog whisperer one day for good fun, but Henry’s mom believed she could actually tell her what Smuckers was thinking. Vicky told her repeatedly it was not real, but his mom was convinced and would wait for Vicky in the park for dog readings. Thinking she was helping a lonely, old woman out, Vicky met with her and made sure her days were filled with some smiles. When she dies, Vicky is absolutely shocked that she now can run this huge company. She has no desire for it – until she meets Henry, who is extremely upset that Vicky and Smuckers are now making company decisions.
Everybody’s looking at me, but it’s Henry gaze I feel, like a silken ribbon on my skin. I don’t dare look at him. He’s a raging inferno of assholishness and powersuitedness with a dash of hotness that makes him…uh.
Henry and his team are convinced Vicky is playing some long con – that she tricked his mother into all of this, and got control of his company. He tries to pay her off – and while millions of dollars would help send Vicky’s sister to college and allow them to stop living so frugally, Vicky doesn’t want to be treated this way. She knows she never conned his mother and didn’t do anything wrong. An event happened in her past that caused a lot of people to look at her with disdain – and she is not going to let that happen again. She takes Smuckers, in his fancy dog collar, marches into the Locke offices, and demands her seat at the table. Let the enemy portion of our story begin!
I love an enemies to lovers trope – and what I really love about this book is that the author doesn’t rush the enemies part. She lets Henry simmer as Smuckers and Vicky attend board meetings. She lets him plot to destroy her, as he thinks she is a scammer and a con artist. She lets Vicky slowly work out her emotions as this position was dumped in her lap with no warning. She lets Vicky think about her dramatic past and how she wants to act now that she is older. I loved all of that about this book. They are truly enemies….until they are not.
Something changes. There is always that spark of sexual-tension (Vicky loves his hands and loves watching him mess with his watch and his buttons – this author always adds little details like this in her book.). Once they get to know each other – Henry realizes that Vicky is an amazing person. He truly starts to believe that she was not conning his mother for the company. And Vicky starts to see the softer side of Henry – and then there are explosive kisses, and explosions coming out of other…places…and it’s super sexy and intense and *turns fan on high.* Here’s a little peak:
He makes a growly sound as he rains kisses over my cheek, my neck, before taking my lips once again.
The cool breeze caresses my exposed legs, but underneath my clothes, sweat trickles down my spine.
The entire building seems to sway in time with my thundering pulse, in time with Henry, pressing himself to me.
Somewhere down on the street, trucks and cars rumble by and honking horns are answered by other honking horns.
He’s still wearing his own hard hat. It’s sexy as fuck.
His breath turns erratic as he runs his hands over the sides of my hips, up and down. “You and your fucking skirts,” he says like my fucking skirts are a point of awesomeness.
Without warning, he grips my ass – clenches it hard – fingers like steely vise grips. He jerks me against his rock hard erection, and I gasp to feel the size of him through our clothes. “You feel that?” he rasps, notching himself to me pulsing against me. “That’s how you have me every fucking day.”
I really appreciate reading a book that is not rushed. We truly get to know both Henry and Vicky, and even Smuckers! There are fights, and sex, and friendships, and laughing. So well done. I hope you pick this one up.