Sunday, August 16, 2015

ARC Review: Scandal Never Sleeps

Gabriel Bond has a handful of men he considers blood brothers despite the fact that they aren’t biologically related. They called themselves Perfect Gentlemen in boarding school and the name has stuck all the way into their successful adult lives. When the true womanizing playboy of the bunch, Maddox, ends up dead through mysterious circumstances, it rocks the Gentlemen to their core. After the funeral he meets the sexy and curvy Eve, and their connection is immediate. They decide to have a one night stand that turns into a weekend fling. The problem? Maddox’s murder is being pinned on Gabe, who inherited Maddox’s whole empire, and Eve’s given name is Everly Parker, a protege of Maddox’s and now an employee of Gabriel’s. In Scandal Never Sleeps, Shayla Black and Lexi Blake team up to give us a one night stand coming home to roost with a dash of romantic suspense done right!

Everly Parker is the smartest, most capable romantic suspense heroine I have read in a long while. It’s safe to say a common fear of a romantic suspense reader is to have a heroine who is too stupid to live; a heroine who thinks her love will save the day as opposed to actual life skills, so she puts herself unnecessarily in danger. Blake and Black created a fierce creature in Eve, a woman who may have some insecurities about her relationship with Gabe but in the end has a brain and uses it, over and over again. I love her, and I hope the rest of the women in the Perfect Gentlemen series follow in Eve’s footsteps. Eve is the vice president of cyber security in Maddox’s company so she can hack her way into practically anything, and has been doing that since she was a teenager, to the chagrin of her police officer father. He was a single dad so she grew up around cops and ex military men; she knows how to handle a firearm, how to protect herself in hand to hand combat, and how to think critically. She is also a curvy, vivacious redhead who takes no mess from anyone, but is also a compassionate loner who looking for a family to call her own.

Gabe and Eve’s relationship turns from awkward to intense as they try to figure out who killed Maddox and why; their relationship careens like a car on a roller coaster through every discovery and doubt. Quickly we come to understand Gabriel has his work cut out for him if he plans on wooing Everly. Initial misunderstandings and mysteries aside, Gabe makes it his business to claim Eve for himself. A powerful man like Gabriel who has a laser focus on a woman is a sexy man indeed. We know that family is important to Gabe through his relationship with his Perfect Gentlemen to be sure, but also through his relationship with his sister. The familial bond is something he takes seriously, and when Maddox dies, it rocks all of the Perfect Gentlemen to their core. With successful businessmen, politicians (including the President of the United States), and a covert analyst aka operative among them, these men are in influential positions and have dominant tendencies to say the least. There promises to be even more on the horizon from Shayla Black and Lexi Blake; this is the first of the Perfect Gentlemen series and there are a couple of Gentlemen I can’t wait to read about!

There are twists and turns, shadows of doubt, and plenty of sexy times in Scandal Never Sleeps. Gabe and Eve are a perfect match; he is the handsome rich man used to getting what he wants, and she is the hourglassed brainiac used to thinking for herself. The realizations they both have about each other when the chips were on the line were wonderful to read, and any fan of romantic suspense or billionaires should have this on their auto-buy list.

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