Cole Madison. Bear with me, I need to say it again… Cole Madison. I knew from the moment we met this character in Entice that he would be somethin’ special, but I never imagined Ms Frank would give us someone this perfect, all wrapped up into a nice little tattooed-and-pierced-in-all-the-right-places kind of package. I loved the previous instalments of this series but this book was my undoing. Sensual, well-paced, mouth-wateringly lascivious, this is a story that will leave you breathless from beginning to end, and with only one thing on your mind… Cole Madison.
“Remember this moment, Rachel, because I don’t plan to forget it until you’re screaming my name so loudly that every single person within a ten-mile radius knows what it f*cking is.”
At last, our heroine is Rachel, Mason’s younger sister, whom we have watched share her loved ones’ happiness but never quite achieving her own. On more than one occasion, we have sensed her own sadness and inability to open up about it to the ones who care about her the most, making us desperate to finally hear her story and uncover the demons that have been weighing down this multicolour-haired little firecracker’s spirit. Through occasional flashbacks into her past, we discover Rachel’s history of abuse and the reasons behind the protective walls shielding her heart from harm. The only time she had given her heart to someone, she ended up severely mistreated, both physically as well as psychologically, turning her into a woman afraid to trust her instincts when it comes to men and determined never to lose control over her life again. She guards her heart and her body by picking men who could never affect her emotionally and whom she can dominate in the bedroom.
“She wanted companionship, and she craved to be touched, but Rachel wanted the control. She never wanted to be the helpless one again – ever.”
Cole is the very type of man that Rachel desperately tries to stay away from. He is arrogant, self-assured, determined to get what he wants and he has decided that what he wants is Rachel. From the very first time he laid eyes on her he has known that he had finally met a woman who would challenge him and keep him on his toes. He is drawn to the vulnerability that he sees behind her tough exterior, making him want to protect her as well as bring her out of her shell. Cole’s dominant and controlled personality comes through in every aspect of his life, from his professional life to the one behind closed doors, and while this excites Rachel and ignites every cell in her body, it also shatters any semblance of control she tries to keep when around him. Submitting to someone like Cole is the very thing she is most afraid of doing again, but it also happens to be what she craves the most.
“I was determined not to know you, yet here I am. How did you slip past all the walls I put up?”
What starts as a casual arrangement between two consenting adults wishing to explore their attraction on a short-term basis, quickly becomes exactly what both of them have been looking for in life. They heal each other, feed each other’s desires, their mutual attraction being only a trigger for a much deeper connection between two people who seek control for very different reasons, but ultimately both equally desperate to be loved and to love freely without restraint. Rachel’s transition from a traumatised young woman scared to trust her heart again into a confident butterfly who finally finds safety in the arms of the right man is a sight to behold.
“Will you swallow your pride, show me your strength, and find the hope that this person took away from you?”
With a subtle hint of a BDSM theme and two characters unafraid to explore their most intimate sexual predilections, we are given possibly the hottest instalment in the Exquisite series. Every part of this story was flawlessly developed, each relationship carefully pieced together. Ms Frank has a very special talent for writing stories that are equally emotional as they are sizzling, giving us some of the most memorable hot lovin’ scenes I have ever come across. This was a book that was not only impossible to put down, I did not want to put it down. And when it was finished, I had an urge to start it all over again. And find myself some caramel candies.
“I want to please you as much as I want you to please me. I want to use my body and yours to bring you the most pleasure you have ever felt, and after it’s through, I want to start all over again.”