The sizzling second novel in a sexy new contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.
Brandon Lawless is a man on a mission: obtain the information that will clear his father’s name. He’s willing to do whatever it takes—even seduce his enemy’s personal assistant, the beautiful and innocent Carly Hendricks. But with her beguiling smile and captivating intelligence, Brandon soon realizes he doesn’t want to deceive Carly, he wants to win her over—both in the boardroom and the bedroom.
Then a twisted crime leaves Carly vulnerable and Brandon finds himself reeling. The stakes of his mission are now life or death—Carly’s life. And Brandon realizes he’s lost his heart to an amazing woman and his plan must succeed, because the stakes are no longer just revenge, but a once in a lifetime love.
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The Lawless siblings have dealt with their parents’ deaths and subsequent upbringing differently, due to where they were placed in the system, in what they experienced due to that placement and what means they had to plan their revenge on a group of people that monumentally altered their lives in the worst ways possible.
In Ruthless, readers witnessed Riley Lawless put into motion his part of the plan by seducing, manipulating, and using Ellie Stratton, but in the end, Riley realized that his feelings for Ellie and her presence in his life was worth more than any information he could acquire from her as a pawn in his quest for revenge rather than his partner.
In Satisfaction, another person involved in death of the Lawless’ parents becomes the Lawless’ siblings target, and even though Drew was supposed to be on point for this phase of the plan, Bran refuses to allow another woman to be unknowingly used in their scheme, taking a risk of losing the “in” they need to take down Patricia Cane but also finding the woman who might just calm his rage and need for violence as well as help Bran to realize his past doesn’t have to define his present or destroy his future.
Lexi Blake does a fantastic job of fusing the romantic and suspenseful plot lines of the Lawless series together in such a seamless way that they exist as a single entity – both dependent on the other to move the storyline forward as well as explore how the love and support of a good woman can mean all the difference when it comes to moving on from a less than stellar past and a single-minded focus on revenge.
Bran Lawless is not like any of his siblings, which makes sense due to his experiences in foster care and his feelings of inadequacy and need for violence. He watched how everything played out between Riley and Ellie and what Riley’s lies almost cost him, so he goes about securing Carly Hendricks’ assistance in their revenge plot in an upfront and non-duplicitous way, which is absolutely the way to go because Carly had already been lied to and used by her ex-husband and continues to be manipulated by her boss, Patricia Cane.
But what Bran didn’t anticipate was wanting Carly for more than just a way in or as someone to warm his bed, and while he doesn’t believe they can have a future together due to the fact that he’s damaged goods and he doesn’t deserve her, the peace she gives him is something he finds essential to keeping his demons at bay for as long as she’ll have him.
Bran and Carly’s growing relationship as well as the plan to uncover proof of the players involved in their parents’ murder are intricately woven together and tell quite the story of loss, lust, love, and betrayal, providing readers with the necessary insight in order to understand why Bran sees himself as a lost cause and why Drew can’t let go of their plot of revenge regardless of the strain it seems to be putting on the Lawless siblings.
The chemistry between Bran and Carly and the way that they heal one another’s pasts, and Drew’s intelligence as well as his need to protect all of his siblings in any way he can are the two driving forces of Satisfaction, allowing Bran a way to recover from what happened to him and proving just how much the deaths of their parents as well as the dubious plot against them continues to wreak havoc on them and seems to twist and turn in ways none of them could have ever thought possible.
The truths revealed in Satisfaction definitely change things for the Lawless siblings, but what that means for Drew Lawless and his need for revenge is left unanswered and while there seems to be a clear path for him to follow…that path cannot be traversed without the help of an unlikely ally, and she might just be the one to knock Drew on his ass and have him living for so much more than the next phase in his plot to destroy all those involved in their parents murder.
A complimentary copy was provided via NetGalley.
4.5 Poison Apples
“Are you absolutely sure you want to stay here?” Carly frowned as she brought out a blanket twenty minutes later. “The couch is pretty small. I’m not sure you’ll be comfortable on it.”
Bran was one hundred percent sure he wouldn’t be, but that wasn’t the point. He tugged his shirt over his head and folded it neatly. “I’ve slept in worse places. And I think it’s best I stay here tonight. Unless you want to come home with me.”
He knew she wasn’t going to take that option, but it would be nice. If Drew and Riley and Hatch met her, got to know her, they wouldn’t be so worried about her. All he’d had to do was spend a couple of hours with her to know that she was a deeply loyal woman. All he needed to do was prove he was worthy of that loyalty. She’d been bitten before and she was shy, but the man who gained her trust again would get everything from her.
She deserved to have someone who would watch her back, and that included ensuring that she could sleep the rest of the night. What little of it was left.
If someone showed up on her doorstep, he would take care of them. As viciously as he possibly could. He still intended to write her that check. He would do it because it would bring her peace of mind, but he was going to make sure none of them ever threatened her again. He would handle them in a way that would ensure her safety.
She shook her head. “You said your place is out in Palm Coast. That’s forty minutes away. I have to be at work pretty early in the morning.” She turned and started working on the couch, but not before he’d caught her staring at his chest. She smoothed out a sheet over the leather. “Why all the way out there? Why wouldn’t you set up here in St. Augustine?”
He would have to thank his brother-in-law for all the workouts. It was how they’d bonded. Case Taggart liked to lift weights and he’d brought Bran into his daily routine the last time he was in town. It wasn’t like Bran had been out of shape before, but Case’s daily regime had taken his lanky frame and honed it to something strong and masculine. He wished he could tell her how soft and sexy she looked in her pj’s. She had a robe wrapped around her, but every now and then it slipped open, revealing creamy skin and breasts he would love to get his hands on. He’d spent the majority of his evening watching women strip, but it was Carly in her pink tank top and perfectly respectable pajama bottoms that had his cock engaged. “We have some friends who have a condo out there and it’s outfitted with the best tech possible both computer-wise and security. Also, we thought it would be best if we were close but not too close. Patricia knew our parents quite well. One new person in her life who reminds her of old enemies won’t cause too much stress but if she were to see me and Drew, or worse, Hatch, she would definitely be suspicious. We’re simply being careful.”
“You have your mother’s coloring, but you don’t really look like her. You look more like your dad,” Carly said as she worked a pillow into a soft-looking pillowcase.
“I’m taller than he was, a bit more built. I looked more like him when I was smaller. Take off about thirty pounds of muscle, cut my hair into a military buzz, and put some glasses on me, and I look quite like him. Of course I’ve been told my father had an air of unmistakable genius about him that I don’t have.” Not that Hatch had put it that way. He’d explained that most people didn’t remember Benedict for his looks. They remembered his brilliant brain. “Drew is most like him. Another reason I thought it was better for me to go in instead of him. I think Drew would remind Patricia of our father.”
“I don’t know about that. She’s not very observant. One of the things you need to know about her is that she’s a narcissist. She doesn’t care about anything but herself and her bottom line.” She looked up at him. “Your brother is the man behind 4L?”
Naturally everyone was impressed with a thirty-four-year-old billionaire. “He is. I need you to understand that we have resources that we’ll use to take care of you. You’ll have a job at 4L if you want one. I’ll promise you that right now.”
“You need a personal assistant?” she said, her lips curling slightly.
He frowned because he hadn’t thought she’d ask that question. “No. I don’t really need one, but I promise I’ll find something for you. You won’t be left out in the cold. 4L is a big company and we own a lot of other companies. You would have your pick.”
Actually, Ellie could use a new PA. That wouldn’t be a bad fit. Ellie would be good to Carly and Bran spent a lot of time in New York. He could see her from time to time. He would have to think about it. He didn’t mention it, though, because Ellie’s last assistant had been brutally murdered in front of her. It wouldn’t give Carly great faith in them as a group.
She settled the pillow down and smoothed out the blanket. “I don’t know how I feel about a new job. Not that I’m not happy at the thought of keeping my house, but being a personal assistant wasn’t exactly my life plan. I wanted to write cookbooks. Well, I wanted to start out by editing them and work my way up.”
“It sounds like you want to be a chef.”
Her head shook slightly. “No. It’s different. I don’t want my own restaurant or to be in charge of a kitchen. I want to work at a lifestyle magazine. I love looking at decorating trends and cooking trends. A chef tends to focus on one type of cuisine. I want to try them all, not necessarily be a master at them. I like making people comfortable. At my heart, I’m a homemaker.”
Her home was lovely. The minute he’d walked in he’d felt a certain peace rush over him and not simply because the space was well decorated. Carly herself made a person feel at home.
Even when she was crying on his shoulder. She would probably run as fast as she could if she knew how much that had fed his soul. It wasn’t that he liked watching her cry. He’d enjoyed knowing he was helping her. He’d loved the way she’d clung to him, her arms tight around his body.
He probably shouldn’t tell her that, either.
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.