*I received a free copy of Hard Rules from St. Martin's Griffin via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: Dirty Money #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 9 August 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Suspense
How bad do you want it?
The only man within the Brandon empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family's business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring him between good and evil.
Emily is consumed by Shane, pushed sexually in ways she never dreamed of, falling deeper into the all-encompassing passion that is this man. She trusts him. He trusts her, but therein lies the danger. Emily has a secret, the very thing that brought her to him in the first place, and that secret that could that destroy them both.
Hard Rules is a suspenseful read, but I found the first half to be too slow… Things definitely picked up towards the end, though, and I’m happy to have the next book already on my kindle!
Hard Rules had characters with so many secrets it almost made me dizzy! Emily and Seth met by chance, and Emily was on edge from the beginning. They met again the same day, after Seth finished work, and he persuaded her to have dinner with him – and then he brought her home with him. Their attraction was hot and instant, and for the first part of the book, that was the main part of the story. Attraction, seduction, secrets, and lust.
The slowness of the first part of Hard Rules made my mind wander a bit, but one the pace sped up, and more was happening both between Seth and Emily, and between Seth and his family and work colleagues, I got hooked. Especially because Seth was back in the family business after having gone to New York to become a hot shot lawyer. Which, apparently, was exactly what his family and the business might need. Even if they didn’t necessarily want it.
Emily’s secrets stayed her own, as even in the chapters narrated from her perspective didn’t really shed any light on what was up with her. Apart from danger, mysterious phone calls, and Seth. Hard Rules was a solid first book in a series, and as I said above, I’m happy I have the next one to read straight away. The dual narration from both Seth’s and Emily’s point of view worked well, as did the present tense that brought me into the middle of the action and everything that was going on.
“Here’s how this is going to play out: Whatever, or whomever, is tormenting you can’t have you tonight. That’s what you need to know. Not tonight. Understood?”
“Yes,” she breathes out. “Please.”
“Yes and please. Remember those words and my name because I’m going to make you say them over and over again.”
My father is everywhere and the idea that he will soon be nowhere but our memories is unfathomable.