Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Lawless #1
Published by Berkley Trade
Release Date August 9, 2016
Genres: Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase From: Amazon US
Purchase From: Barnes & Noble
Purchase From: Amazon UK
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The first in a sexy contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.
The Lawless siblings are bound by vengeance. Riley, Drew, Brandon, and Mia believe the CEO of StratCast orchestrated their parents’ murder twenty years ago to steal their father’s software program. And there’s only one way Riley can find some solid evidence...
Heir to the StratCast legacy, Ellie Stratton hires a new attorney to handle a delicate business matter—and she’s shocked by her attraction to him. Over the course of a few weeks, Riley becomes her lover, her friend, her everything. But when her life is threatened, Ellie discovers that Riley is more obsessed with settling an old score than in the love she thought they were building. And Riley must choose between a revenge he’s prepared for all his life and the woman he’s sure he can’t live without...
Series: Lawless #1
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: August 9, 2016
“Smart, savvy, clever, and always entertaining. That’s true of Riley Lawless, the hero in Ruthless, and likewise for his creator, Lexi Blake. Both are way ahead of the pack.”
~ New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry
“I love Lexi Blake. Read Ruthless and see why.”
~ New York Times bestselling author Lee Child
With Ruthless, Lexi Blake has set up shop on the intersection of Suspenseful and Sexy, and I never want to leave.
~ Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author
Ruthless is full of suspense, hot sex, and swoon worthy characters — a must read!”
~ New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst
“Why did you do that?”
It was the first time she’d spoken without being prompted. “Do what?”
Her face flushed the sweetest pink. The color went all the way down that sexy V-neck. Her breasts flushed as well as her face, and it made his damn dick tighten. “Kiss me. Why did you kiss me like that?”
Oh, so many reasons, but he gave her the most compelling one. “I wanted to.”
The minute she’d opened the door and he’d seen her standing there looking anxious, he’d known how to calm her down. All he’d had to do was put his hands on her and some odd connection flared between the two of them. She hadn’t fought him. He could have gone on kissing her. He’d been the one to pull away.
It was like the minute he walked in, he was the only thing that existed for her. It made him feel ten feet tall, but it also made him want to please her.
It was an unsettling sensation.
Her hands came up, fingers on the sides of the table. “You know what I’m asking. You knew I wasn’t alone. Why did you pretend to be my boyfriend?”
It was easy to see she’d wanted him to wait for her at the restaurant so as to avoid him meeting her sister and ex. When she’d opened the door, he’d immediately known something was wrong. He’d gotten a glimpse of her sister and known Ellie had likely needed a hand. It had to be tough on a woman’s ego to lose even a pathetic excuse of a husband to a younger sister.
“You were alone with your sister who slept with your husband. Excuse me. Ex-husband.”
She shook her head. “At the time, we were definitely married. How did you know he was my ex-husband?”
“He took half your net wealth. I’m your lawyer. At this level, a good lawyer is less legal counsel and more war consultant. I can’t properly perform my duties if I don’t know everything about you, including the fact that you tend to have terrible taste in men.”
She frowned. “I haven’t had a ton of boyfriends. I’m not sure what my taste is.”
He really wanted to understand why she’d married that obvious prick. “What attracted you to him? Because from where I was standing, he looked like a dickwad desperate to be twenty-one again.”
She bit into her bottom lip, her eyes glancing away from him. “He wasn’t always like that. I actually met him when he was twenty-one. He was far more mature then.”
He liked her candor. “You were in college?”
“Last year of undergrad. We dated for two years and then it seemed like it was time to get married. We’d moved back here to Manhattan so I could take my place at StratCast. I thought he was going to go to grad school, but he decided on a different path.”
“What path was that?”
A single brow rose over her right eye. “You don’t know?”
Of course he knew. He knew everything. “Are you referring to your ex-husband’s penchant for swinging for the fences? When it comes to investments, that is.”
It was what he liked to call “idiots who funded ridiculous ideas.” They never wanted a simple profit out of their money. They wanted millions and really fucking fast. They swung for the grand slam when all they needed to do was get on base.
It took a true genius to take a single idea and make millions off it. Drew had.
Her shoulders straightened. “He wanted the easy solution. A get-rich-quick scheme. He wasn’t that way at first. At one point he was very intellectual. It’s what attracted me to him. He was curious about the world and liked to discuss everything from politics to social jus- tice to movies we saw. He changed. I didn’t. In some ways, I blame getting involved with me for what happened to him. He got around my father and real wealth and wanted some of his own. When I met him, he wanted to be a professor. He wanted to teach.”
At least he’d gotten her this far. She was talking. Now he needed to get those shoulders down from around her earlobes. For one moment, for that moment when he’d drawn her into his arms and pressed his mouth to hers, she’d relaxed against him, given over to him. Her body had softened and she’d leaned into him, and if he’d pressed her, he didn’t know what would have happened. She might have continued kissing him, forgetting all about the other people in the room. He could have cupped her breast, her ass. Put his hands anywhere he liked.
She hadn’t given a damn that they hadn’t been alone. All she’d cared about was him.
Wow! Just wow. I had a feeling going into this story that it was going to be phenomenal, but it exceeded every expectation I had and then some. This was my first book from this author and I’m already planning on carving out time in my reading schedule to devour her other books. Especially since I figured out early on that some of the characters in this story starred in her other hugely popular series, Masters and Mercenaries. You can bet my one-click finger quickly found its way over to Amazon to snatch all of those up! It’s not very often that you find a book, especially from a new to you author, that has every aspect and sub genre you have grown to love. Suspense, betrayal, danger, revenge, heartbreak, scorch between the sheets, secrets/lies, and a love that has you rooting for the main couple from page one. Ruthless had all of this and so much more conveyed in a conversational writing style that made flipping the pages effortless. We were quickly introduced to many players and characters and it didn’t take long for me to attach myself to each and every one of them in loving and dysfunctional ways.
I just loved Ellie. She came across as a woman who would be your best friend and your strongest defendant, no matter the circumstances. A heart full of gold despite her upbringing and lack of love and trust from those around her. She thrived in her life not because of the things thrown at her, but despite them. It took a lot to dissuade her from her ultimate goal, but even when she was knocked down, she just got up that much quicker and fiercer. Even though the world tried its hardest, she wasn’t going to get walked all over and told what to do. I simply loved her ferocity in every aspect of her life; work, passion, and love. She alone had the power to truly change not only a man’s way of thinking, but his entire family’s. It was truly spectacular to witness between the pages.
You know from the beginning that Riley is playing her. But we also have the insight of knowing what’s going through his mind, so we know while he’s doing these dastardly things and it’s eventually going to implode in his face, he can’t help but fall under her spell. The passion and instant attraction these two shared was indescribable. I don’t think I’ve ever read two characters who needed the influence of each other in their lives more than Ellie and Riley. A match made in an imperfect heaven, it was as if their fate had been written before they each drew their first breaths. Though not traditional, I thoroughly enjoyed traveling the road that was their relationship. To some it may have felt as warp speed, but to me it just felt like natural cohesiveness of two souls that had finally come into contact with their other half. I realize that sounds corny and cheesy, but when you read their thoughts, dialogue, and actions I have no doubt you’ll come to agree with me. I loved how broken they both were, from abandonment to circumstance to neglect. There’s not much more beautiful than two damaged people finding each other and healing what hurts inside. It’s awe inspiring when it comes from a female character, but when it comes from a male and he finally allows himself to be vulnerable, well, it’s truly breathtaking. And I can promise you that there will be plenty of breathtaking scenes in this story.
Romantic Suspense is quickly becoming my favorite genre in the literary world, and this book was nothing short of surprises. It takes a lot these days to get one by me, but Ruthless was full of twists and turns I never saw coming. Keep in mind that even though this book is intended to be read as a standalone and has no cliffhanger that the overall big picture story is far from over. There’s at least one more book coming, but I have a feeling it will end up being a trilogy when it’s all said and done. I love that even though we got some answers in this book there are still many more to figure out. I have so many theories floating around in my head about the end game and I am dying to see if they will come to fruition. I felt like a conspiracy theorist many times throughout this book and the rush was exhilarating! Cannot wait to read the next installment.
Coming January 3rd!
The sizzling second novel in a sexy new contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.
Brandon Lawless is a man on a mission: obtain the information that will clear his father’s name. He’s willing to do whatever it takes—even seduce his enemy’s personal assistant, the beautiful and innocent Carly Hendricks. But with her beguiling smile and captivating intelligence, Brandon soon realizes he doesn’t want to deceive Carly, he wants to win her over—both in the boardroom and the bedroom.
Then a twisted crime leaves Carly vulnerable and Brandon finds himself reeling. The stakes of his mission are now life or death—Carly’s life. And Brandon realizes he’s lost his heart to an amazing woman and his plan must succeed, because the stakes are no longer just revenge, but a once in a lifetime love.