I love Reid's books and this is one of my favorites, so much I read over time and time again. Strong and cynical hero, yet still personable and sweet. Not the super strong somewhat unbelievable alpha male that belongs on mount Olympus and not in society. And the fact that we get his side and feelings just makes him even sexier! And the heroine although the conventional virgin, demure, shy and a bit naive, she is still feisty and strong enough to have the alpha confused and totally besotted. The chemistry between them is explosive and out of control, right down to the end. That ending was just perfect, as explosive and charged as the rest of the book. Throw in a couple of evil siblings and you have another Reid winner!
This book pulled me in right away. I could feel Natasha's pain and emotions of everything that she was going through. I really don't know how she held up as good as she did. Natasha was engaged to Ricco. He is Leo's step brother. Leo and Natasha walked in to find Ricco having sex with Cindy, Natasha's little sister. Leo takes Natasha home with him, so she doesn't have to go home to the apartment that she and her sister share.
When Leo finds out that Ricco has stolen money from him, he confronts Natasha telling her she was in on the plot. Leo was cold as ice one moment but kissing Natasha like he couldn't get enough of her the next moment. The way Natasha kissed him back with so much passion, that Leo that she seduced his brother to get her share of Leo's money. Leo tells Natasha that he can either call the police, or that she can stay with him, and in his bed for the next 6 weeks until she can pay him back. The money had been placed in an account that couldn't be touched for 6 weeks. Natasha didn't have much of a choice, she stayed with Leo.
Leo was shocked when he found out Natasha was innocent, and he felt like a jerk. I thought he would beg her to forgive him, but he still came off as bit of a jerk. It was because he loved her so much, and had a strange way of showing it. I loved the passion in this book. Natashia, and Leo could be screaming at each, ready to pull each other's hair out one moment, and then they would kiss with just as much passion and emotion. They may not have shared kind words with one another at first, but the chemistry between them was red hot! I know the title gives this book away, but the suspense was great. Leo and Natasha didn't make love the first time till half way through the book.
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. The interchange between the H/H is just excellent and I have found myself going back to re-read sections because I enjoyed them so much the first time. The characters seemed so strongly fleshed out and real to me and they stayed true to how Ms. Reid introduced them from the start of the book, especially the hero (his blunt way of talking was pretty interesting and I liked how the heroine recognized that as one of the hero's more attractive features even in the middle of their many battles). I loved how you knew what the two characters were feeling just from some minimally described thoughts and statements, even when it was obvious they didn't know how they were feeling themselves! This is probably going to be my favorite Reid book for some time to come. Kudo's Ms. Michelle Reid. You out did yourself this time! One of the few times I've read a Harlequin where I didn't want the book to end.
I won't go into the plot details since others have done so. I was very disappointed in this because the plot was rather promising. It's one of Harlequin's staple plots, but there was so much about the actual execution that went wrong. 1. The characters. Leo was just too wishy-washy to be an actual alpha-male. But he wasn't actually a sensitive or real guy either. So, he just fell flat in between and came across as being more like an immature teenage who picks on the girl that he has a crush on. At least his brother Rico stayed true to his character. The heroine, whose name I can't even remember (that's how memorable she is), was a REAL doormat. And reading Harlequins, I expect them to be doormats, but she was just way over the top. A nympho doormat. I think the author was trying to portray her as someone who was just dying for some small measure of affection, but she failed in doing so. Rather, the heroine came across also like a teenage who is discovering her hormones. If this weren't a Harlequin, I'd actually say that the heroine is more like one of those "naturally submissive" females that are depicted in BDSM books.
2. The side characters. The step-sister Cindy is a complete B**** and there is something seriously wrong with the parents. And having introduced such awful people, there should have been some sort of closure to them, but there wasn't. The "family" that made the heroine the doormat that she is, should have been the focus of some sort of "justice" enforced by Leo, but this never happened.
3. Plot development. This book really just goes to show that having a successful formula (i.e. girl catches her a-hole fiancee bonking her sister, gets "rescued" from her humiliation by her fiance's brother, then used and blackmailed for sex, to happily ever after) doesn't guarantee a good book. It's how you get from one ingredient to the other that will determine whether the end result is worth our money and time.
4. I am so tired of the "I-thought-you-were-a-gold-digger-that-I-could-treat-as-a-prostitute-until-I-realized-you-were-a-virgin" epiphany that makes the alpha hero actually use his brains and also simultaneously realize that he's been in love all along. It makes no sense whatsoever. Being a virgin doesn't mean that someone isn't a gold-digger. But whatever.
It was a great mills n boon read until the ending. Good angst, good characters and I enjoyed the byplay between them. However, the ending seemed to say that she was in love with him because of the sex. That's lust, not love. If the ending had been written better, I would've given it 4.5 stars.