Series: Dirty Money #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Damage Control, Bad Deeds
Also by this author: Damage Control, Bad Deeds, Murder Notes, Murder Girl
**Pre-Order sale -$4.99 (reg. $7.99)**Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in the smoldering, scorching first novel in the explosively sexy new Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.
How bad do you want it?
The only man within the Brandon empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family's business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring him between good and evil.
Emily is consumed by Shane, pushed sexually in ways she never dreamed of, falling deeper into the all-encompassing passion that is this man. She trusts him. He trusts her, but therein lies the danger. Emily has a secret, the very thing that brought her to him in the first place, and that secret that could that destroy them both.
Lisa Renee Jones
Jones is a new to me author so I was excited to see what kind of writer she was. I was not disappointed. Hard Rules kept me guessing and wondering!
The book starts with a prologue that takes place 6 months prior to the main story. You meet Teresa and her brother Adrian. While the exchange tells you a lot about them, you aren’t quite sure about their role once the main book starts and that leads to the first mystery. Emily and Shane were great characters. I thought both were well written, dynamic characters. You get to know them in bits and pieces adding to the mystery of it all. Shane’s family is AWFUL. Emily is such a mystery that you wonder how much of what she says is real or part of her ‘cover’. I was so engrossed in the story I fell asleep with my kindle (I woke up with it on my face) and woke up excited to read more.
Shane is dominate and demanding with Emily which fits right in with his job and life. He is successful and powerful and has been fighting his family for years. He is dominate and demanding at work too. So, I thought that aspect was well written and made sense. Emily is a tougher nut to crack because you don’t know about her ‘real’ life. You get glimpses that show she is used to dealing with powerful people but she is also willing to submit and let go of some control at times. While I think some people might feel that Emily’s character is confusing, I think its all part of the mystery. She is trying to be someone she isn’t so that confusion and uncertainty about how she behaves is important.
I will say that Emily and Shane’s relationship lacked a bit of credibility. You have to be willing to just accept that a guy like Shane (smart, powerful, rich) falls in love almost instantly with an unknown girl and she consumes his thoughts. I know this will turn some people off from the story. But, honestly, it was easy for me to overlook because, well, honestly, its a romance book and if Jones spent all her time in the slow build of a normal relationship we would never get to the mystery!! If insta-lust isn’t your thing, consider yourself warned.
- POV: Dual 1st
- Tears: No
- Trope: secret identity, on the run, dysfunctional family.
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: book 1 in a series
- Cliffhanger: YES
- HEA: ??
Spin/Ruin by CD Reiss, The Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige, Ruthless by Lexi Blake…then you will probably like Hard Rules!