Monday, January 4, 2016

review || HOLD ME UNTIL FOREVER { blast } by Christina Phillips

Entangled: Brazen | January 4, 2016 | Genre
Grayson Brothers, book 3


She's the only one he wants...and the one he can never have…

Ella Clark has been in love with Alex Grayson forever. She’s tired of being invisible—or worse, being treated like his kid sister. If she can just get him to drop his iron-fisted control for two seconds, she’ll prove she knows exactly how to blow his mind.

Alex has been fighting his attraction to Ella since her should-have-been-innocent sweet sixteen kiss burned down his world. He's damaged, and there's no way he'll ever drag her into his screwed up life. Until she offers him something he's always craved—steamy, no-strings sex inside his exclusive BDSM club. Where she'll be safe from the darkness that haunts him.

Except there's nothing safe about being with Ella, and the more she gives, the harder it is to let her go. If he stays, he risks everything, but how can he walk away from the only woman he's ever needed?

{ about christina phillips } .

Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing paranormal, historical and contemporary romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

She’s addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. Christina is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

{ excerpt } .

(Ella’s just told Alex that she’s leaving Grayson’s, and Alex has gone round to her apartment to try and talk her out of it…)

Guilt twisted through her again. Before he’d taken her into Grayson’s she’d been floundering, her self-confidence still in bad shape after her mom’s asshole boyfriend had cornered her when she’d been fourteen. Her succession of part-time and casual jobs was nothing to brag about, and the only constant in her life had been her volunteer work at the Wildlife Retreat.

“I’m not leaving you in the shit. There’s plenty of time to find a replacement for me.”

He gave her a smoldering look. Oh, for fuck’s sake… “No one could take your place.”

If only he were talking about her as a woman and not his indispensable work colleague.

“Hate to say it, but you’ll probably be surprised.”

He didn’t immediately deny it, which stung more than it should.

“You plan on staying in touch?”

She couldn’t tell by his tone of voice whether he gave a damn one way or the other. So much for no one being able to take her place. Looked like he was already over it.

Don’t you dare say it. Heat flooded through her, but the words spilled out anyhow. “I might come visit you in your club one night.”

At least it wiped that infuriating, unreadable expression from his face. He stared at her as though she’d just grown a pair of horns.

“I don’t think so.”

It was the note of finality in his voice that really pissed her off—as if he thought she was joking and he didn’t find it funny.

“Why not? I think I’d really get off on a night at your club.” Take that. If only she didn’t look so rough. It was hard trying to act like a sophisticated woman of the world when she was barefoot and Alex could’ve stepped off the cover of GQ.

“Didn’t know you were into that scene.”

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me.” Including the fact I sleep in one of your old shirts. At least he hadn’t recognized it. Then again, it was about three years old. He’d left it here when the brothers had helped her move in, and somehow she kept forgetting to give it back to him.

Accidentally on purpose.

“I would’ve known about this.”

Was he laughing at her? He didn’t look as if he was, but it was hard to tell what he was thinking.

Whatever. She wasn’t backing down.

“I might not be hardcore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to experiment now and then.”

“Define what you mean by ‘experimenting.’”

He damn well was laughing at her. What’s the kinkiest thing I’ve read lately? “Ménages.” That’d shut him up. Or turn him on.

“You enjoy having sex with two men at the same time?”

She glared at him. “You find it so hard to believe that two men would want me?”

“That’s not what I find hard to believe.”

His quick-fire response took her breath away. Trust Alex to compliment and insult her in one easy comment.

She cleared her throat, which kind of ruined the worldly aura she was going for, but it was better than choking on her own words. “So, does your club cater for that kind of thing?”

What was she saying? She’d die if he called her bluff.

He didn’t answer right away. His eyes were all dark and smoky and it was suddenly hard to breathe properly. He seemed to be considering her question, which sent prickles of alarmed excitement over her bare skin.

Excalibur caters for almost anything,” he said.

{ review } .

The story of Ella and Alex started years ago, when 16-year old Ella kissed Alex. But when nothing was said, Alex believed his darkness kept Ella away. Now, Alex can't keep anyone close -- and the fact that Ella, who he's managed to keep somewhat close, is leaving his company... he's not sure what he can do.

I loved Alex. I don't know what it is about a hardened Alpha who's afraid to let people in that does it for me, but Ms. Phillips wrote Alex so incredibly well. I wanted him to thaw a little, I wanted him to talk to Ella, I wanted him to allow her to hold him and to talk to him and to love him -- but he truly believed in the darkness that 'lived in him', and Ella was a lightness he didn't want to ruin.

Ella and Alex have issues with communication. There were many times I just wanted to throw one in the other's mind, because while both where essentially shouting the answer to one another, they both had moments of denseness where they simply weren't hearing. But due to that, the fears that Alex eventually feel certainly help with his thawing -- and with it, allow him to realize that maybe Ella truly is the one for him, the only one who can truly understand him.

I enjoyed this Grayson story. I enjoyed Alex and enjoyed Ella, and found that together, when verbal communication wasn't necessary, they were hot and steamy and the chemistry was undeniable. Their need for verbal communication, though, was a learning curve that both needed to experience. Their Excalibur scenes, while helped form Alex, fell a little flat for me, but I felt that they certainly helped the reader understand both of their personalities.

I haven't read book one, but I did find myself enjoying this third book a little more than I did the second.

for other reviews & tour goodies,

{ previous reviews in series } .

HOLD ME UNTIL MORNING 3.5 { review }

{ giveaway } .

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