TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subjects of surviving rape, trauma suffered during combat, child abuse, and possible sterility. If you have issues with these elements, this book might not be for you.
Raped. Tortured. Beaten. Essie Santiago’s life fell apart when she was sixteen, and it’s taken eight years to put it back together. There are some pieces that can never be mended; it would take a miracle for her to get pregnant, and physical closeness is something that makes her shudder. Only her love of creating beauty in the form of fashion gets her through the worst of the darkness.
When a mortar attack destroyed half his face and all of his life as he knew it, something vital died inside of former Marine, Ezekiel Steele. For years he’s felt nothing… until he sees Essie trying her best to be invisible. But the feisty spark inside the lovely fashion designer is too bright to be concealed, and like a moth to a flame, he’s helpless to resist her.
Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is taking the world of fashion by storm, holding a contest to find the best designer the city has to offer. Competition is fierce, but all Essie can concentrate on are Steele’s dirty-talking lessons in sex. But when the student surpasses the master when it comes to love, Steele’s inner demons get the better of him. If he can’t face them down, he’ll lose Essie forever.
***This standalone, mildly erotic contemporary romance contains a dirty-talking Alpha with a penchant for having sex in public places. No cheating, no love triangles and no cliffhangers. Fairy tale HEA guaranteed. Due to adult language and sexual content, this book is not intended for people under the age of 18***
Received a copy for a honest review
Ok so for 4 books we have gotten hot, tattooed, alpha men and women from the House of Payne. Now we have head of the House’s security non-tattooed alpha Ezekiel Steele in the mix along with Essie Santiago, fashion designer and Twist’s little sister.
We found out in book 3 why Essie left Chicago as a damaged teen, but now she’s back in town to win the honor of being House of Payne’s exclusive fashion designer. Being that it’s Payne we know she’s gonna have to jump through some hoops to get there.
I think it’s great that straight out of the gate Steele, as he likes to be called, knows how to deal with Essie. When she finds out that the contestants have to go through deep background checks for the contest she wants out, she doesn’t want anyone else to know she has been through some serious shit that almost killed her.
By pushing her into a corner, so to speak, he gives her a reason to stay because she is a fighter!!
These two characters are made in fire from the experiences they’ve lived. Him a ex solider, not only scarred on the outside from the wounds of battle, but scarred on the inside from the wounds that his childhood and his ex wife left on him. Her scarred both on the outside and the inside from a monster that decided to take her childhood from her.
Watching these two together is great! Steele does a awesome job of making Essie feel safe, yet letting her come into her own.
Steele realizing that his perfect ex wife wasn’t worth the pedestal that he put her on and that he hurt the one person that he promised not too broke my heart.
Essie and Steele fit together so well that when they figure it out its beautiful.
Reading about the fashion show is super cool! I love seeing how Essie gets her inspirational from the different tattoo artist! Enter Mad Max!! Helloooooooooooo hot stuff!! Accent and tats he needs a book like, STAT!!!
Not only did Gail give us our original House favs and introduce us to a new hot tattoo god, but she also gave us some seriously mental competition for Essie in the Fashion Designer contest!
Dizzy Izz and Oliver are pissy, uppity, and just plain no completion when it comes down to it, but like a good villain makes for good tv they also make for good reading too!
I love just how well Gail’s characters fit in the story, whether they’re a main character or a side one.
I LOVE this series and can’t wait for more!!
“You sure you don’t need… uh, this?”
A low, sexy laugh escaped him as he brought his hand back to the juncture of her thighs. “This? You mean my cock?”
It was amazing, how she could still blush. “Mm-hm.”
“Say it.” When she didn’t immediately respond, the slow encroachment of his hand stilled. “Essie, I want you to feel free to say anything when you’re with me. Any thought. Any word. Nothing’s forbidden between us. You can say it.”
“Okay.” She huffed out an irritated breath and tried not to imagine what her mother would think of her for having such a dirty mouth. “Your, um… your c-cock.”
His hand instantly slid into her cleft, homed in like a champ on her clit and gave it one hard circle. She gasped, her head flinging back, but just as suddenly as he started, he stilled again.
“You stumbled a bit on that, sweetness. Say it again. It sounds so pretty, coming from your sweet lips.”
“Your cock.” It was quiet, hushed, but she managed to say it this time without stuttering. She was immediately rewarded with a few more spectacular swirls of his finger, but just as she was dissolving into a pool of pleasure, he stopped again.
“Say it again.”
Goddamn it. “Your cock.”
“Your cock, your cock, your huge, fucking cock.”
She thanked heaven and whatever deity that might be involved in dirty talk when his fingers began to move, but they worked her so slowly she couldn’t stand it.
“Do you like my huge, fucking cock, Essie?”
“Yeah. Oh, yeah.”
“How much do you like my huge, fucking cock?”
Feverishly she pumped her hips, trying to get him going, and her hands loosened the front of his jeans despite his claim that it wasn’t necessary. “I love your huge, fucking cock.”
“What do you love about my huge, fucking cock?”
“At the moment, I love that it can’t talk.” – (322 words)
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Author Bio: A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.