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I loved this book! Darkly intriguing and dramatic but also light and funny, with a gorgeously intense, romantic and spine-tinglingly sexy romance, JLA has delivered a wonderfully engrossing story with twists and turns, flawed characters that I fell instantly in love with, and a mystery that kept me guessing, with dynamics that kept me captivated and have me desperate for more from this series.
Julia Hughes is a nurse who is trying to rebuild her life after a bad marriage. She has packed up her life and is moving from Pennsylvania to Louisiana to take a nursing job caring for an almost-comatose young woman. On her final night at home, she decides to embrace her new adventurous spirit and she shares a blisteringly hot encounter with a stranger from the bar – the hottest man she’s ever seen. Only for her to discover that he is, in fact, Lucian de Vincent, her kind-of new boss.
Lucian de Vincente is the youngest of the three de Vincente brothers. Wealthy beyond their dreams, they are pretty much American royalty, but there is a sense of darkness and mystery surrounding their family, with rumours of curses and hidden family secrets plaguing them for generations. Lucian survives it by being sarcastic, irreverent and inappropriate, and I love him for it! He is intelligent, wild and so freaking funny, but he has started to lose himself.
There used to be a time when it took nothing but a knowing smile and a sultry voice to get him so hard he could drill his dick into a wall. And it used to take even less for him to fuck and lose himself for a little while.
Not so much.
Lucian’s already complex life has recently become more complicated with the return of his twin sister, missing for ten years and now almost in a catatonic state, and the death of his father, which is no great loss to Lucian or his brothers, but while it looks like a suicide, the boys suspect it’s anything but. And then Julia comes into his life. He wants her in a way he’s never experienced, and though she’s initially horrified to see him again, he’s a man who always gets what he wants.
Their great-great-grandmother once claimed that when the de Vincent men fell in love, they did so fast and hard, without reason or hesitation
OMG, this is such a fun set up! Lucian’s crude flirtiness, filthy mouth and over-confidence was so funny, and I loved the constant teasing and banter between him and Julia.
“Is there literally anything you can’t make sound sexual?”
“No. It’s like a superpower of mine.”
She resists him, but you know she wants him just as badly, and the chemistry is sensational as they get to know each other more, and the sexual tension builds and builds to the seriously hot and steamy inevitable hook-up, and then into so much more, and OMG I loved every spine-tingling moment of it.
“I’m not just screwed up, Ms Hughes. I’m as broken as they come, but I don’t need to be fixed. I don’t /want to be fixed.” He caged her in. “I like all my fucked-up shards and pieces. They make me who I am. They make me real. The question is, can you handle real?”
He pressed his forehead against hers as he drew in a ragged breath. “I think I’m going to want to keep you.”
It’s a wonderful contrast to the story of Lucian’s family, which is dark and gritty with a bit of a gothic feel to it, and the mystery, the curse, the sense of spookiness and the creaky old house with weird noises and mysterious drafts had me wondering if the story was going to veer into the paranormal. It was exciting and mysterious, and had me theorising what was happening and how it was going to play out, and I thought it was really cleverly done.
The introduction to the de Vincente family is really well done. Lucian and his siblings are a unique and complex bunch, and I love the dynamics of their world. There are so many secrets and hidden agendas that are just begging to be unveiled, and I loved the glimpses we got into elder brothers Gabe and Devlin, and I can’t wait for their stories! But Lucian completely owns this book as the younger, irreverent yet troubled brother, and watching him find someone to accept him and all of his flaws, and fall in love for the first time was something truly special.
“You guys…your family really is its own world.”
He slid his hand up her side, underneath the sweater. “You know what?”
“What?” Her hand landed on his chest.
Lucian guided her back until she was lying on the couch as he rose above her. Those beautiful whiskey-colored eyes met his. “I want you in this world – my world.”
I loved this book. It has a really unique feel to it which completely sucked me in, I loved the characters, their romance, and the overall story, and I can’t wait for more!
An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The de Vincente series
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