Chloe Mason doesn’t remember much from her childhood. What she does remember she would definitely rather forget. From the frequent hospital trips to the distant adopted parents, she didn’t have the happiest of childhoods. When she finds out she has a brother, she immediately sets out to find him, desperate to know if she has the chance of adding some good memories to the crappy ones that she wishes that she could forget. When she walks into the offices of RBK, she hopes to find a brother to share her life with. What she doesn’t expect is to find a man that sets her heart racing.
Mike Keillor is a big man whore. Treating women like a disposable commodity, he gets a massive wake-up call when it turns out that his latest bar-room pick up is a coke-head who wants him to beat her up during sex. Looking upon the families that his partners have started to build, he suddenly realises that the days of empty sex should really be in his past. When Chloe Mason walks into his office, he feels a pull towards her that he can’t ignore. The damaged and fragile beauty (yes, I said damaged and fragile…did you expect anything else?) brings out all his protective instincts.
But the course of true love never does run smooth in these books and this one is no exception (although it was so left field it took me by surprise). First off Harry is none too pleased that man-whore Mike is sniffing around his recently-returned-from-the-dead little sister. Harry knows what Mike is like with women and doesn’t want him anywhere near her. This was unsurprising (I wouldn’t have let him near mine without a full health check and six months of proven celibacy just to make sure) and the inevitable happens when Harry makes Mike promise not to defile his little sister. Then there is the little situation of Chloe angering a Russian people-trafficking pimp when she talks to a few of his prostitutes at the shelter she works at. That was bonkers! So then we are left wondering whether or not Mike will be able to protect Chloe without breaking his vow to her big brother? And will she even want him now she knows of his man whore status?
I like Lisa Marie Rice novels. Yes, they have a formula (Tortured Alpha man meets and protects fragile heroine from impending doom and they have lots of filthy sex) but I like the formula. Let me start by saying that you need to read books one and two first. You need Harry’s back story as it explains a lot of Harry’s behaviour, including why he accepts her into his family so darned quickly. You also need to meet the other characters as they feature heavily in this book. Again, I like this as I love returning to previous characters to see how they are getting on.
Mike is a fantastic character. He truly doesn’t believe is ever going to get a HEA until he meets Chloe and then he accepts Harry’s demands so quickly because he doesn’t think he’s good enough for her anyway. I loved him because he wanted to change, because he wanted something more. He was also a big Alpha man which is always a pleasure. After he agrees to Harry’s demands, there is a six-month time lapse and I struggled with this. A lot seemed to go on during this time but the details are only mentioned in passing conversations. I thought this was a big loss to the overall story as we never saw the building of the friendship that led to the forging of an actual relationship rather than just sex. We also never saw whether or not Mike struggled with his complete character change as it was already well established by the time we got back to the couple.
Chloe was a nice enough character. I liked the way she dealt with Mike and his many (many) emotional problems. The female characters in this series seem to become more likeable and independent once their story has been told; maybe this is why I didn’t mind the other characters cropping up as much as they did! The sexy scenes were very very yummy, although there weren’t as many as I would expect in a Lisa Marie Rice book. Mike is a well experienced lover but Chloe was not. This led to some fabulous Mike moments *swoon*
The Russian side-plot was bonkers but enjoyable. However, I do think we spent a little bit too much time with him and his distasteful ways (although it did make all the men even more angry about him and then they all got more swoon-worthy :D) It was there to serve a purpose but it did get too much air-time when we could have had more Mike and Chloe time.
A very enjoyable addition to the series. With sex, romance and Russian mobsters, I think this one has a little something for everyone. Mike is full of so much self-hatred, I just wanted to give him a hug but I’ll settle for reading his journey to a HEA instead