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.
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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
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