To read an interview with Roe Valentine, please see the June issue of Uncaged Book Reviews.
Jilted ex-bride Antonia Robuchon has been groomed to be a trophy wife her entire life. When her mother falls ill, Toni suddenly finds herself temporary CEO of the family business. Though against her life plan, she realizes she has what it takes to succeed in the workforce. While trying to convince the executive team of her value, she finds help in an unlikely source—her society playboy assistant, Fabian. The closer they get, the more she questions her initial opinion of him. Can she protect her heart and her mother’s secret?
Trust fund baby Fabian Pallis has a reputation of being a ladies’ man who can’t—and won’t—commit. When Fabian’s father insists Fabian prove he’s a responsible employee, he’s forced to work for an old classmate, Antonia, who grew up to be more stunning than he remembered. Sparks fly on day one, and he quickly wonders if she could be the one to change his relationship status. How can Fabian leave the job with work experience when all he wants is his boss?
“Goddamn it, Antonia, tell me the truth.” His voice was low and growling, like he’d let his animal instincts take over. It scared her a little, but excited her just the same.
She trembled. “So you’re with Camille again, are you? Or is she just a friends-with-benefits thing?” Her jealousy showed its ugly head. That she tipped her hand enough to show him such an emotion irked her.
“I’m not with her.” He palmed her throat. The soft pad of his thumb lay on her pulse as it raced. “And don’t change the subject. You owe it to me. Tell me why you lied to my father,” he demanded softer that time, leaning closer to her face.
Desire worked through her body, igniting her senses. “I… I…” She moaned, acutely aware of how close his mouth was to hers. All she wanted was his lips on her lips. His lips on every part of her.
“Tell me, Toni.” His fingers tightened on her throat. She gasped at the eroticism of being caged by him, demanded by him. Her clitoris throbbed with how turned on she was by his power.
And without thinking, the words came. “Because I don’t want you to go.”
His mouth crashed down on hers. He bit her lips, sucked her tongue and tangled it with his. They matched intensities, both taking exactly what they wanted. She took it all. His lips, his tongue, his touch. He slid his hand down to her sex and rubbed hard until she pushed away in fear of orgasming right there in the hallway.
“We can’t,” she croaked, trying to get her bearings, only finding the room was spinning faster with each blink.
Fabian pulled her against him. “Don’t run from me.”
She jerked away from him. “You don’t get it.”
“Oh, I get it.” He scrubbed the side of his head in exasperation. “Admit it, Toni. Admit I might be the one you want.”
“What kind of a fool would I have to be to admit that to you?” A spike of anger rose inside her at the thought of Camille and all the other women in his life. “The last thing I’ll ever be is your fool.” But she wanted to be, horrifically. She wanted him in the worst way for the worst reasons. She wanted to be his fool, his stupid fool who showed up at his place of employment and nagged about a future. She wanted to be just like the others. And that was plain stupid.
“You have no idea what you would be to me.” His eyes glistened with the words.
“And I’m not going to find out either.” She turned on her heel, reeling in what had just happened between them. Again. She ached deep within, regretting walking away, but knowing she’d regret it more if she stayed.
Uncaged Review: I think I drug my feet getting around to reading this one mainly as it seems to be marketed as an erotic – and even though I’ll read most anything, erotica is not a go-to genre for me. By the time I finished the book, I decided I had just read a contemporary romance, a love story. Sure, it has a couple hot sex scenes, but what romance these days doesn’t? So for people shying away from this because it’s in the erotica category, I hope you will change your mind. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast I read this – and that happens mostly when I’m enjoying the story.
I will say, I did not like Fabian at first. And I almost groaned at his arrogance in the beginning. A rich boy playing the field, never getting serious about his life – party after party, woman after woman. On the other hand, I liked Antonia right off the bat. Antonia is the acting CEO of her family’s investment firm, since her mother is very ill. But her mother and Fabian’s father arranges for Fabian to work for the investment firm to try and teach Fabian how to be responsible, as the assistant to the CEO. Which so happens to be Antonia. And that first meeting does not go well, but Antonia will honor her mother’s wishes.
This is well written, and I did learn to like Fabian as the story progressed, and some twists were not expected. Erotic love scenes that will satisfy erotica lovers? Absolutely. But just remember, it’s so much more than that. Reviewed by Cyrene
4 1/2 Stars