I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Oh my. Once again, Ella Frank has made me fall in love. Every time I read one of her books, I’m like this is it. This is her best. But Devil’s Kiss? It simply stole every piece of my heart.
“In amongst all of the chaos and all of the ugly, Jordan was, as always, there for him. His rock. His everything.”
We met Derek Pearson and Jordan Devaney in the first book in this series. At this point, we know there is a past. Student and teacher. But there is so much we don’t know. There is so much to them than beyond the surface. There is a definite push and pull as they both struggle in their attraction to each other. But their chemistry is undeniable. Unstoppable. There’s this powerful force whenever they are together. They ease into a friendship, but they are always cautious. Hesitant. Their hearts are falling, while their minds tell them something different. Despite the ups and downs these two endure, their connection remains. Unbreakable. Always.
“Thank you for picking up.”
“You’re welcome. But I haven’t done anything.”
“You answered. That’s everything to someone with nothing.”
As the author moves the reader through the story, we are transported into the past to the very first moment Derek and Jordan laid their eyes on each other. From the very first moment Jordan saw Derek, he knew his life would change. He just didn’t know how much He saw beyond the brokenness that Derek tried so desperately to hide. Their story? Profound. Their love? Transcending. Moving. Powerful as it challenges them both to face something neither one knew was possible. To love and be loved.
“Want to know a secret?”
“You dared me.”
There was a slow and sensual burn with this one. But it was what makes their story so authentic. Genuine. Real. There is so much I want to say, but this is truly a story for you to get lost in. You as a reader are there through their highs and their lows. Through the darkness. When they are lost. The author masterfully weaves a story where two men fall in love over the course of many years. But circumstances are never right. As love is a risk. A dare. One they cannot take. Until they break.
“You ground me. You make me believe the impossible. You make it all seem obtainable. And you make me want to be better…for you.”
Devil’s Kiss is a true testament to the raw and incomparable talent that this author possesses. This story is deeply rooted in painful pasts, regret, risks, and sacrifices. But most of all it is rooted in love. An all consuming, overwhelming love. And the sexy times? OFF THE CHARTS. These two are so connected. Every thought, every move is felt. The author holds nothing back as these two had the most sensual, passionate, yet sexiest love scenes I have ever read in my life. Devil’s Kiss is heartbreaking, yet full of hope. Beautiful, but raw. Passionate and sexy. I absolutely adored every moment of this book.
Oh my stars.
Someone get Ella a crown, please. Everyone needs to know that she is royalty amongst authors.
I was intrigued by the slight view of, what seemed like a volatile relationship between Derek and Jordan, that we got in Finley. They clearly had a history, and I needed to know all about it! Luckily, Ella is a mind reader, and gave me exactly what I was looking for in Devil's Kiss.
Derek and Jordan are two people who, maybe on paper, you wouldn't ever see as "end game," they come from two, completely different worlds. While Derek comes from a broken home with an alcoholic, abusive father, Jordan has been brought up in wealth, luxury, and access to the most talented educators his parents could find. He's a genius who was always supposed to be successful; Derek has scraped by every step of the way, and managed to put himself through college with financial aid and the luck of a scholarship. These two are very different, and yet so perfect for each other; they are each other's yin and yang.
I loved the way Ella told the story of Derek and Jordan's journey. The time jumps that allowed us to see them each grow as individuals, and also as a couple/non-couple/"what the heck are we", only deepened my feelings for both of them. The way they balance each other out was so refreshing, and yet they never seemed dependent on one another in an unhealthy way. My heart hurt for Derek in numerous instances, and then swelled when Jordan was there to help him every time.
Ella pieced together the perfect mix of sweet, funny, and raw emotion to create a beautiful second chance love story between these two men. (Is it second chance? I think it's second chance…I'm calling it second chance!) Everyone knows I'm a sucker for student-teacher romances and Devil's Kiss reiterated not only why I love those kind of stories so much, but also why I love Ella's writing so much. It's pure gold all the way around, and it looks like I'm adding another couple to my "favorites" shelf.
From the very beginning the sexy prologue grabs you and has you begging for more, and I've grown to expect that from Ella, talk about making you want to turn the page! She has brought us two super dynamic characters which we've met before from Finley, book one. I absolutely loved meeting these characters in the first book, so I was so excited to learn they were getting their own story.
Derek Pearson, whoa is he HOT and full of attitude, he's everything you want in a tattooed, cigarette smoking bad boy and once you get to know him the layers peel back and you get to know him on a much more vulnerable level. Derek has a pretty bad past and definitely sat at the wrong end of the poker table when it came to parents, and living with an abusive, homophobic father for years is enough to make anyone turn stone cold and put those walls way up high. This made me love him even more, I love my flawed characters who don’t let their past define who they are.
Jordan (Posh) Devaney, he's privileged, smart--not smart, more like genius and he was raised with a great set of parents and is Derek's opposite in every way. Except the hot way, they pretty much match up on the "holy crap I'm hot" scale. I LOVE Jordan's no nonsense attitude and tight pants and brightly colored personality. Jordan also happens to have a nice past as Derek's professor, and I just loved reading those early beginnings of how it all started. I didn’t realize when I started reading this what a righteous love story it would be. And that might sound strange because the description of the book doesn’t necessarily allude to that, but oh boy, trust me in saying that it truly is.
These two have a silent challenge going on between them in the very beginning, and watching that grow and fester was pretty rad. Talk about your sexual chemistry! Holy crap, I swear you'd think these two would rather fight than anything thing else, they have this kindergarten game of "I hate you" going on and to be honest some of the banter back and forth was freaking hilarious. Beyond that, was a beautiful friendship that was being formed. The slow build up was great, because you know the whole time they just want to rip each other's clothes off, so bravo you strong willed beasts, because I would have failed that challenge way before you did. But holy cannoli, when the clothes DO come off, watch out! I mean it’s Ella Frank, do I need to say much more? Her sex scenes are some of the best out there, if not THE best, no joke this woman can write some sexy times.
Derek and Jordan’s journey was so much fun to read, and of course I read it slow, like I do with all of my Ella books, but with this one specifically I’m so glad for my slow-poking ways because what was waiting for me throughout was just wonderful to read. The emotion behind these characters is so real and unhurried, it’s sweet (yes, sweet) and funny and raw and emotional and I just love how Derek and Jordan came full circle and complemented each other. These two men have secured a very special place in my heart, and I encourage all of my book loving friends to go read it!
Copyright © 2016 Ella Frank
* * * *
DEREK PEARSON PUSHED open the door of Leighton, Finley & Associates, and stepped out on the paved sidewalk. It was the first day of August, and if the sweltering Floridian sun was any indication, today was going to be hotter than hell’s waiting room.
As he strolled toward the curb, he pulled a pack of Marlboros from the pocket of his shorts and flipped open the top. He needed a fucking cigarette after watching Daniel Finley and his damn professor get all sappy and shit. That was gonna get old real quick if he had to stomach their nauseating displays of I love yous longer than the fifteen minutes he’d been in there. But he’d known he had to make an appearance sooner or later; otherwise Danny boy would’ve shown up asking questions. Questions he wasn’t ready to answer.
There’d been a reason he hadn’t come around to see Finn when he first moved back from Chicago two months ago, but it wasn’t something he was in the mood to talk about yet, even if he was one of the two people on the planet who would get all the shit he’d been dealing with.
Yeah… He just wasn’t ready to go there.
With a smoke between his lips, he lit up, then shoved the pack back in his shorts. He was so damn antsy lately, and for that he could thank his brother, Alan.
He walked around to the side of his Jeep and pulled open the door. After climbing inside, he grabbed his cell phone and stared at the dark screen, contemplating his next move.
Am I really planning to do this?
Fuck, it seemed that he was, even when he knew better.
If he did this, it would be nothing more than a Band-Aid over the real problem. A shot to numb the more painful issues he was dealing with right now. He would be slipping back into a pattern he had pulled himself out of. An addiction he’d broken free from. But he was also aware that if he didn’t do it, the alternative would be to spiral out of control, and solitude was no longer helping his fucked-up nerves.
He brought the phone to his ear and waited. The phone rang and rang, and fucking rang, until he was close to hanging up—and then it connected.
“You free?” were the only two words out of his mouth. He waited, not caring to pursue small talk. That wasn’t what this was about. All he cared about in that moment was getting what he needed.
When an affirmative came through the phone, he hung up, tossed it on the dashboard, and brought the Jeep to life. As he sped across town, he white-knuckled the steering wheel and didn’t allow himself to think about the consequences of what he was about to do.
It took him less than ten minutes to pull into the underground parking garage of The Palisades and take the elevator up to where his drug of choice waited for him. He glanced up into the camera in the corner of his metallic confines and stared boldly into the face of the one who was waiting at the other end of this ride.
Yeah, he was about to fall off the fucking wagon big time. Was about to slide back into the one place he promised himself he wouldn’t go again. Yet as the elevator came to a halt and the doors opened, there was no denying this was exactly what he wanted.
“I have thirty minutes,” were the words that greeted him.
Derek walked off the elevator and over to the naked man waiting for him. He took the haughty chin between his thumb and forefinger and promised in a voice thick with arousal, “I only need ten. Take me to your room, Jordan. Time’s a wasting.”
Ella Frank is the author of the #1 Bestselling Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”
A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web at www.ellafrank.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ella.frank.author
Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.
Ella Frank’s Newsletter – www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn
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Twitter – @EllaFrank2012
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Books by Ella Frank
Sunset Cove Series
Finley #1- http://amzn.to/1MshEaY
Try - http://amzn.to/1SndAIf
Take - http://amzn.to/1q8fxz9
Trust - http://amzn.to/1q8fymN
The Exquisite Series
Exquisite - http://amzn.to/22Dnwpm
Entice - http://amzn.to/1q8fNOI
Edible - http://amzn.to/1UQ73ta
Masters Among Monsters
Alasdair - http://amzn.to/1q8fRhs
Isadora - http://amzn.to/1RGmELp
Blind Obsession - http://amzn.to/1UQ7544
Veiled Innocence - http://amzn.to/21MqYYZ
Blog Tour! FINLEY by Ella Frank! (@EllaFrank2012) Ashley, Bianca & Stacy gave 5 STARS! PLUS an amazing #Giveaway!
Author: Ella Frank
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
It's time to come home, Finn.
It’s been seven years since Daniel Finley left his hometown in Florida for the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s city life.
Since then, he’s worked hard for his position at the prestigious law firm Leighton & Associates, even when it’s caused distance and isolation from his family and friends. But that’s all about to change.
On his thirtieth birthday, he receives the one thing he never dared hope for. Something that was promised to him years earlier—a note. One simple sentence from the man he’s never been able to forget.
Six words will forever change the course of their lives.
Brantley Hayes has it all. Or so he thinks. When he first made the decision to take a job down in Florida, his family thought he was crazy. But, after years of living in the quiet beach town, he finally feels a sense of community. He’s surrounded himself with friends who are like family, has a job he loves, and owns a spectacular beachfront property that is his sanctuary.
Yet he still feels unfulfilled, as if a piece of the puzzle is missing, and he knows exactly which piece it is. On an impulse, he follows through with a promise he made years earlier. A promise to call home the one he sent away.
Nothing is as simple as it seems.
After years of separation, the former lovers are reunited, but Brantley wasn’t expecting to encounter the high walls now guarding Daniel’s heart.
Daniel may not be the same person he was when he left, but he knows that the first step to healing is the note in his hand.
I haven't written a review in soooo long…
*blows dust off keyboard, cracks knuckles* let's see if I still got it, shall we?
Oh! But before I start gushing over Finn and Brantley, and the wonderfulness that is Ella Frank, I just want to say a quick thank you to Stacy, Bianca, and Kat for taking me in as a guest reviewer! This is my first guest review with Biblio Belles, and all three of them are just the absolute best. Thanks for letting me dip my feet back in the review pool, ladies ;)
Now, onto Finley and the brilliance of Ella; this book was good. No, it was beyond good. It was so good that I read it start to finish in one sitting. I couldn't stop. The story of Finn and Brantley is a beautiful portrait of second chance love, and I fell in love with both of these men almost immediately.
Daniel Finley moved to Chicago seven years ago to attend law school, and now at the age of 30, his chances of making partner are nearly within his grasp. He's successful, he's gorgeous, he's rich…he has everything except the man he wants more than anything. Over the past seven years, he has tried to forget Brantley…to no avail…but after he receives a letter from the man who still owns his heart, Daniel devises a plan; go home and do whatever is necessary to forget him all together.
"I hate what you did to us. I hate that you chose how we should end. And I fucking hate that you decided that my life was better off without you in it."
Brantley Hayes is a successful college professor in Florida with the security of tenure right in front of him. He should be happy, but he's not. Because when he sent Daniel Finley to Chicago, he sent his heart right along with him. Sure, it might have been what he thought was best, but after seven years of no phone call, no visit, no communication at all, Brantley decides to take the first step and bring his Finn home. (I love that he calls him “his Finn.” Gah, be still my heart).
“I want to forget. Forget how much it hurts when I’m not with you… Help me forget.”
It only seems fitting that my first review in what feels like eons should be for one of Ella's books. I have been consistently amazed by her talent since she first released Exquisite, and anxiously await every new release. She has a magical way of creating characters that you never fully let go of; characters that you cry for and laugh with, and just love to love. Finn and Brantley were no exception. Second chance love stories are some of my absolute favorites, and these two wonderful men reiterated why the journey of two people finding their way back to each other makes my heart so happy. *sigh* Soulmates are the best, and these two are soulmates without a doubt.
Ella's writing was (as always) beyond superb, and took me through just about every emotion possible – I don't know any author that can make me go from crying to throwing my pants off in a shorter time span! I have a very open mind in terms of romance, and I'm a firm believer that love is love -- period. Even so, I was a little nervous when I read Try, my first M/M romance, because I was worried I would feel disconnect from all the sexy times, and nobody wants to feel left out of those situations! Welp, here I am reading my fourth M/M romance and I swear I get more turned on every time, so as long as Ella wants to keep putting out wonderfully dirty and delicious M/M books, I'll read every single one without question…along with any other book in any other genre she decides to delve into, because as time as shown, there is nothing this woman can't write and write ridiculously well.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“I want to forget. Forget how much it hurts when I’m not with you.”
Successful lawyer, Daniel Finley (Finn) has built an an amazing life in the city of Chicago. He’s on track to make partner and on the outside looking in you’d think he has everything. And he does. Except the man who broke his heart all those years ago. Professor, Brantley Hayes has never gotten over the one person that made him feel whole. Even though he’s the one that pushed Finn away to allow him to pursue his dreams, the burden on his chest remains heavy. One day, Brantley sends a note. Just six words. And that changes everything.
“I’ve always needed you, Finn.”
When Finn returns home he’s not sure what to expect from Brantley. He was sent away to make something of himself. But Brantley hurt Finn. Deeply. They are both guarded the moment they see each other. But you can still count their heartbeats every time they are in the same room. It’s like time stops. They only see each other. But this is no easy road they are heading down. Insecurities still dwell deeply within both of them. Both left with scars of their own, their hearts never healed. Shattered since the day they have been apart. Can they go back to what they once were? Will circumstances force them apart for good this time?
“I want you. And I’m selfish enough to keep you for as long as you let me.”
Finley is absolutely stunning. My heart pounded. It raced. Their love was intoxicating. Their love attests to love never understanding time or circumstances. THIS BOOK. Love only understands its own heartbeat in someone else. And this is what you feel between Finn and Brantley. Through it all, their love is always felt. They had such an insatiable hunger for each other and it surpasses the physical and sexual. Finn and Brantley? They love deeply. Who could ever question their love?
“Was it worth it?”
“Every last second.”
The writing is unparalleled. Miss Ella Frank is a master at her craft. She brilliantly writes a story where she embeds the reader deep within the heart and soul of her characters. You never read her stories. You LIVE each moment. She expertly wrote the story with some series of flashbacks allowing the reader to fully understand these two men and what their love once was and that it never stopped. Finn and Brantley will have you laughing one moment and crying the next. Their love has faced so many obstacles, yet it never wavered. It got deeper. Stronger. The author beautifully balances the erotic and passionate nature of this story. The sexual connection is unreal between these two. There is no doubt that these men were made to love no one else but each other.
“Now I’m right back where I was before I left.”
“And where is that?”
“Tangled up in you.”
If you enjoyed The Temptation Series, then Finley is a MUST read! My heart ached. My heart soared. I also fanned myself. Several times! These two are HOT! I was fully invested in Finn and Brantley’s story. I laughed with them. I cried with them. My heart broke with them. Finley is a compelling and phenomenal story that I could not put down. Read. This. Book.
Professor Brantley Hayes….. I probably shouldn’t start my review this way, but damn.
He might just be my new favorite person. Not only is he hot as hell, but good lord, I might go to church if he asked me to. And I’m not easily converted, but for this guy, I might dunk my head in some holy water, or a pool, or whiskey. I mean really, does it matter at this point? He could be a nightwalker from Game of Thrones and I’d be like—Yes Sir, please take me to your dark dungeon and turn my eyes blue. Yes Brantley, Please!
OK, moving on…
Daniel, please come home. Please!!
I refuse to ruin the story for anyone, but I will tell you this.
First, read the blurb, because I refuse to retell the story via blurb.
I will say that this AMAZING story is told in past and present tense, third person POV. And I know that some people shy away from third person, but I swear you won’t even notice! Ella is seamless with her words, and so will be your reading experience.
Ahhh to be in Florida again… Finn wants sooooo badly to come home, and he does. He wants to respond to that note. He wants to visit the one place that made him feel like home. Beyond those swaying white curtains, beyond that countertop. Daniel is basically trying to act tough and he’s putting on a front. And….
HAHA!! BURN! I’m not gonna tell you!
YOU MUST BUY TO ENJOY (said in caveman voice)
The side characters in this book will take your heart right along with the main MC’s. They are simply, magnetic. I love reading books that bring my heart close to everyone that I read about. And Ella just gave me some new best book friends, with this book. I LOVE everyone! (ok, maybe not everyone) but you get it.
There was a silent desperation in the fight for love, and a severity in the power to conquer it. Nothing made sense, yet everything MADE sense. The dichotomy of love is what made this book soar above any other, and the simplicity of love is what made it real. Ella, you made me cry again…in the best way.
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