Derek Brighton has become one of Dallas’s finest detectives through a combination of discipline and obsession. Once he has a target in his sights, nothing can stop him. When he isn’t solving homicides, he applies the same intensity to his playtime at Sanctum, a secretive BDSM club. Unfortunately, no amount of beautiful submissives can fill the hole that one woman left in his heart.
Karina Mills has a reputation for being reckless, and her clients appreciate her results. As a private investigator, she pursues her cases with nothing holding her back. In her personal life, Karina yearns for something different. Playing at Sanctum has been a safe way to find peace, but the one Dom who could truly master her heart is out of reach.
On the hunt for a killer, Derek enters a shadowy underworld only to find the woman he aches for is working the same case. Karina is searching for a missing girl and won’t stop until she finds her. To get close to their prime suspect, they need to pose as a couple. But as their operation goes under the covers, unlikely partners become passionate lovers while the killer prepares to strike.
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If you've read any of the Masters and Mercenaries books, you know who Derek is. He's a Dom and police detective with a tough-as-nails exterior. Normally I wouldn't be pointing you toward a book so far into a series because, let's face it, who knows if the six books ahead of this one will be ones you'll enjoy? But this little tasty treat is a perfect introduction into Lexi's M&M world and a great way to decide if you'd like to read more.
I'll admit, I'm not a fan of the 1001 Dark Nights covers. I can't ever figure out which author they belong to because they all look the same, and then I get kinda pissed because I miss an addition to a series I love, which is what happened with this book. But I'm so glad I finally figured it out despite the cover!
Derek is such a gem. As tough as he is, the quirks Lexi adds into his life are interesting. His ex-wife, for instance, is a shark, and the way he thinks about her and interacts with her are funny as hell. He's also a dumbass when it comes to certain things -- yes, you read that right. He has a lot of preconceptions about Karina that put him off on the wrong foot. I'll admit, I kinda enjoyed seeing the big, bad Dom being proven wrong. And when he finally gets it right? Good GOD, he scorches up the pages!
Karina has been described in other books (only peripherally) as "that crazy PI." She's not really crazy. Like many of Lexi's heroines, she's not "put together" and perfect. She's relatable, and her history is heartbreaking. A widow, Karina has held herself back from intimacy because of her past, because she doesn't feel she can ever fully expose herself to someone else. Sharing her secrets with Derek, especially, is impossible, despite the way the two of them sizzle whenever they're in a room together.
I'll let you pick up the book and read all about the way Derek and Karina finally come together, but suffice it to say, they make one helluva couple. You DO NOT have to read any of the other books in this series to understand this one. That's right -- you can waltz right into these pages without a moment of misunderstanding. We get some nice glimpses of the other characters in the series, but only in a peripheral way. I warn you, though...once you start with Masters & Mercenaries, no matter where, you WILL want to read the rest. Trust me!