I have a confession: I don't read a lot of new books. Not because I don't want to, but because I have so little time to read. I don't want to waste what little time I have to read trying a new book/new author I might or might not like. So I often go on recommendations before trying out a new-to-me author. And in this case, I'm so glad I did.
Dani Wade, my sister, is responsible for my current obsession. Her "Oh my God, you have to read this!" came a couple of months ago after she tried out the first of Lexi Blake's Masters and Mercenaries series, The Dom Who Loved Me. I was fully sick of the books I'd reread fifty bazillion times, and so I gave in. I downloaded the book onto my Kindle...and I was hooked. Immediately.
The series currently has 4.5 books (four full books and a novella), with the fifth book, Ian's story (CAN'T WAIT!!!), due out in October. My favorite so far has been book three, A Dom Is Forever. Liam is just so deliciously lickable. ;) Not only does he have an Irish accent, but he loves curvy women (and we love him). His heroine, Avery, isn't physically perfect or flashy, but he can't get enough of her anyway -- and the way he instinctively takes care of her makes him even more sexy. Here's the description from Lexi's website:
A Dom Is Forever – Out Now!
A Man with a Past…
Liam O’Donnell fled his native Ireland years ago after one of his missions ended in tragedy and he was accused of killing several of his fellow agents. Shrouded in mystery, Liam can’t remember that fateful night. He came to the United States in disgrace, seeking redemption for crimes he may or may not have committed. But the hunt for an international terrorist leads him to London and right back into the world he left behind.
A Woman Looking for a Future…
Avery Charles followed her boss to London, eager to help the philanthropist with his many charities. When she meets a mysterious man who promises to show her London’s fetish scene, she can’t help but indulge in her darkest fantasies. Liam becomes her Dom, her protector, her lover. She opens her heart and her home to him, only to discover he’s a man on a mission and she’s just a means to an end.
When Avery’s boss leads them to the traitorous Mr. Black, Liam must put together the puzzle of his past or Avery might not have a future…
The thing that I love about this series -- and all of my favorite BDSM writers' books -- is the emotion that swamps every page. This is not erotica, not sex or "play" for sex's sake. This is pure erotic romance at its heart. Avery struggles with a past full of pain and sorrow and guilt. She has pushed herself to live when she'd rather die, and we see that struggle. We share her realization that she still holds herself back, and we take those first few steps of opening herself to Liam with her. Liam's past is full of secrets, and for a man who wants to be an untouchable island, the emotion he feels but doesn't want to acknowledge pulls us irrevocably toward him. He is truly the "strong, silent type" overcome by the love of the woman who is his match in every way -- in the bedroom and out.
I can't say enough about Lexi Blake's writing. If you want sexy, steamy, emotional, sometimes wrenching stories with plenty of twists and turns (oh, and handcuffs and rope :) ), you have to check out this series. I'm lucky enough that I get to hear Lexi speak this coming weekend at a nearby RWA workshop, and I can't wait to tell her in person exactly how much I enjoy her work. She's definitely on my keeper shelf!