I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Lexi Blake
Released: November 17th 2015
Series: Topped #2
Published by Self Published
“This was an entertainingly sexy short read…”
~ Under the Covers
Even though I’ve only read a few of the Masters and Mercenaries, I picked this up out of order because if there’s one thing I love reading is a good romance about a hot chef. Something about men that love to cook…. 🙂
Eric is the sous chef at Top. A restaurant that ties into the original group of mercenaries (the Taggarts). He’s also ex military and after his time serving he was left with a severe scar on his face. He came out of all that with a very good attitude and even stronger personality. One that he likes to use in dominating women as well. Deena on the other hand is a waitress at Top and she is trying to rebuild her life after a bad and abusive relationship. She is excited to explore her liking for BDSM.
Sanctum is offering an opportunity for new members to join in and undergo training. Eric and Deena are offered this since they work at Top and are paired up together for the training.
As much as you would expect the badass ex military to be, well… badass, Eric is actually really nice and sweet. Yes, he’s a Dom, but he’s not the type to rule with an iron fist and isn’t as intense. Might just be what Deena needs. I liked his character a lot more than I liked her. I found her a bit whiny and impulsive.
Eric was set from the start that she was supposed to be his forever, and I always have issues with novellas where the girl falls for the guy in such a short amount of time. I felt I could’ve used a full length one instead.
One of my favorite things about this though (other than the sweet chef hero 😉 was seeing the rest of the crew (especially Ian!!!!!) and get a small glimpse of their lives now. This was an entertainingly sexy short read and it just reminds me that I need to hurry up and catch up on the original series.
“I’m trying to keep every other man in the world off her so I can have her for myself.”
“I was never going to make you urinate on a fire hydrant. I got a kitty litter box.”
Damn, he was already hard. He started naming all the ingredients he would need for tomorrow night’s Provençal chicken dish. Chicken thighs, kosher salt, cracked black pepper…
“Are you doing that thing where you prepare a dish in your head so your dick will go down?” Javi asked.
“Yes.” There was no point in denying it. Herbes de Provence. Flour. Lemon.
by Lexi Blake
Released: November 17th 2015
Series: Topped #2
Published by Self Published
One Hot Chef….
Eric Vail has always loved a challenge. After leaving the Navy, he mastered his passion for cooking. As the sous chef at Top, one of Dallas’s hottest restaurants, his skills are pushed to the limit every night. Unfortunately, his ultimate prize still eludes him. Server Deena Holmes is the sweetest thing he’s seen in forever, but she’s as distant as she is beautiful. When they’re put together in the same training class at the infamous club Sanctum, he knows this is his shot. And this former SEAL never misses.
A Woman Who Lost Her Taste for Love…
Deena thinks Eric is the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen, but her heart has been burned too many times before. She’s sworn off relationships for good and she can’t trust herself with a man that easy to fall in love with. She takes a spot as a trainee at Sanctum in the hopes of finding a safe place to explore and experiment. When she discovers her partner is the same chef she dreams about every night, Deena knows she may have bitten off more than she can chew.
A Perfect Recipe for Passion
While exploring the world of Sanctum, Eric and Deena find themselves learning about each other and finding an intimacy neither expected. But when the ghosts of her past resurface, old wounds are reopened. Can their newfound love survive when it’s put to the test?
“Why? Why would you want me?” All her arrogance was gone.
“Because we’re friends and I like you and you’re gorgeous. I’ve wanted to sleep with you from the moment I saw you. That might not be what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. I think we could be good for each other. Neither one of us has had a lover in a long time. Am I right?”
“You’re right,” she replied. “I haven’t even dated anyone since my divorce.”
“Then why not try? If it doesn’t work, we’ll go back to being friends.”
Her head shook. “That never happens.”
“I don’t know what kind of douchebags you’ve been dating, but I’m still friends with almost every woman I’ve ever dated. It doesn’t have to end in either happily ever after or hate. Especially if we’re both honest. The contract is for six weeks. I can promise you right now that I’m still going to like you after six weeks. You be honest with me. Were you planning on experimenting with your training Dom if you’d had chemistry with him? Before you knew I was the Dom. Would you have given that Dom a chance?”
She nodded silently.
“Well, then I suppose we’ll have a very abstinent training period and then we’ll go our separate ways when it comes to the club. I guess Big Tag and the shrink aren’t as smart as they think they are.” He wasn’t about to give up. This was only the beginning of a very long battle, but it was time to retreat. “We’ll talk about the contract later tonight and set up all the rules. I’ll still have to touch you during the scenes, but I’ll make it as impersonal as possible.”
“We don’t know that we have chemistry,” she said quietly, making no move to grab the bags.
He shrugged. “I guess we won’t know.”
He turned to begin helping her. He would take the bags out to her car and then let Grace know she was on her way. Someone would meet her in the parking garage to help her bring everything up. He would spend the afternoon planning menus with Chef and heading to the farmer’s market to find fresh vegetables for dinner.
A hand on his arm gently pulled and he turned.
Deena was standing right there, her face turned up to him, her eyes wide. “Shouldn’t we know?”
She went on her toes and pressed her mouth to his. He went still, unwilling to frighten her away. Soft lips moved over his as her hands found his waist. She was tentative, but he could sense the fire in her. Those hands told the real tale. They moved restlessly, as though she had them on a leash. He wanted that leash taken off.
When she ended the kiss and stared up at him, he decided to go for broke. She wanted to see if they had chemistry? He could show her how volatile they could be.
“My turn,” he whispered before he took control. His hands slid up her neck, fingers sinking into the soft, silky strands of her hair.
He kissed her, moving his lips over hers, commanding her. The minute he took control those hands of hers started to move, sliding up the muscles of his back, her body pressing in. He felt her relax as though happy to not be the one in charge. Deena could take control of a room of diners and work that floor with an iron will, but she was shy about this. She needed him to take charge of the physical part.
He could do that. It wouldn’t be sexy if she weren’t so together in the rest of her life. He kissed her again and again, his tongue finally moving over her full bottom lip. She groaned and her mouth opened, welcoming him inside.
The kiss turned wild, their tongues playing against each other as their bodies came together. He could feel her rubbing against him. He would bet her body was soft, her pussy already getting slick and ready for him.
He was so ready for her.
And if he took her right here on the prep table, she would likely run away forever. She wasn’t ready. Not even close.
He broke off the kiss, brushing his lips lightly against hers one last time. He’d promised her control. It was damn iron will that got him to take his hands off her. She was so sweet looking with her hair mussed and her lips puffy from kissing. This was how he wanted to see her all the time. Sweet and willing and ultimately satisfied.
Satisfaction would have to wait.
“We have plenty of chemistry, sweetheart.”
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I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!
I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
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