Series: Wicked Lovers #12
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also by this author: Pure Wicked: A Wicked Lovers Novella, Seduction in Session
Jolie Quinn is a woman in charge. Her no-nonsense attitude has made her a rising star in the fashion world and her brand a household name among the Dallas elite. Nothing will stop her from achieving her goals—not even the gorgeous British security contractor who seems just as interested in seeing her personal assets as he is in protecting her professional ones.
After a tragedy left him broken, Heath Powell made a rule of staying unattached. But Jolie challenges him in a way he can’t ignore, and he isn’t used to backing down from a confrontation—especially when the reward for winning could feel so good. As passion blazes between them, the stubborn, confident beauty arouses more than his desire. She touches his heart.
When a mysterious enemy threatens Jolie and her company, Heath is the only person Jolie can trust to help. But working with him to save her business might put her dangerously at risk of falling in love…
Holding on Tighter by Shayla Black is book 12 in the series, but I read it without the others and didn’t have an issue. I did struggle with parts of the story though…
So, we have Jolie, our heroine and entrepreneur. She hires a private security guy, Heath, to provide her company with security support. Heath is hot and Jolie thinks he is going to break her sister’s heart, so she warns him off. Then sleeps with him…
Jolie has a rocky history with men. Her mom is not the best role model, having just concluded her 4th divorce, and Jolie has her own heartbreak. When you combine the super tough, driven career woman with the man hating woman with trust issues, you get one of 2 characters. Either the heroine comes off as insecure and awkward around men or she comes off as a raging bitch. Jolie was the later and that always disappoints me. Why do strong women have to come across as bitch and defensive? I will say that Jolie wasn’t so bitch that it ruined the book for me or anything, but its one of those cliche’ that really bothers me.
Heath is your classic alpha male man whore. Seriously, you get a lot of back story on his previous conquests and get to experience one in the beginning of the book. His wife died 7 years ago and when he finally moves on and falls in love with someone else, the feeling isn’t returned. So, he decides to bang his way through the female population of Dallas in dive bars. Again, another cliche character trope that I don’t care for. I can get past that though.
I think my struggles with the book were the combination of these two characters. I didn’t dislike either independently, but together, I didn’t care for them as the main couple. I struggled to really care about them. I felt a great deal of ambivalence towards them overall. The plot was good and there is a bit of mystery woven into the story that held my attention more than the characters. So, while I didn’t love this book, it didn’t really have anything to do with the writing style or anything like that and I will probably pick up previous books in the series.
This book is deemed WAY TOO HOT FOR MOM! Seriously, mom, if you are reading this, you will not like this book at all. Go read the other books I loaded on your kindle 🙂
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: protector
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: standalone within and interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
- HEA: View Spoiler »
Books by Maya Banks, Lexi Blake…then you will probably like Holding on Tighter!
From Holding on Tighter:
Heath jerked back to face her and leaned in so close their noses nearly touched. “Am I wrong?”
She refused to stroll down that memory lane. “Does it matter?”
“I daresay it does. But we’ll come back to that. If you were merely mistrustful of men, you would have waited until tomorrow and delivered a well-placed warning to keep me away from your sister.
Instead, you came after me. And when you found me with another woman, your temper flared. If I merely lived up to your expectations of being a womanizing prick, that shouldn’t make you angry at all, simply smug at being right. But you were livid. I doubt all that displeasure is on your sister’s behalf. In fact, I suspect, Ms. Quinn, that you have more than a passing interest in me. You were jealous.”
Apprehension raced through her veins. He was uncomfortably close to the truth. “You’re egotistical.”
“But I’m right.” He gave her a tight smile. “For the record, if I intended to disregard policy and pursue a woman in the office, I wouldn’t bother with your sister. As you say, she’s naive and provides no challenge. But you . . . You would be far more interesting. Pretty, strong, smart, not easily bendable. Color me intrigued.”
She tensed. “I’m your boss.”
“Temporarily. We’re both adults. Surely neither of us are prone to torrid emotional attachments. We could keep business separate from personal, couldn’t we?”
Normally, she’d say yes. But working with him constantly buzzing around her, asking questions, and watching her every move had already dented her focus. “I have no intention of becoming your next conquest.”
“I never planned to pursue you.”
Jolie wondered why, then dismissed the question as she buttoned her red coat. “Perfect. There’s nothing left to say except I’m sorry for intruding on your evening. I hope we can forget this by morning.”
She had to get out of here. She’d overplayed her hand and needed to regroup, to think about how to treat him tomorrow. The last thing she wanted was for Heath Powell to decide she was a challenge he should convert into his next bed partner after all. Normally, the sexual urges of a man wouldn’t concern her unless she was interested. If so, she found a way to have him for a night or two, then ended it.
Something told her that nothing with Heath would ever be that simple.
But when Jolie turned her back on him and headed for the parking lot, he snaked an arm around her middle and pulled her against his big, steely body. “I never planned to pursue you . . . but I’ve changed my mind.”