The rules of engagement are clear: it’s all-out war. And their hearts are on the line.
It’s not that Abby Harkness’s ex cheated. Hell, it’s not even that he did the dirty with her own sister. The worst part? Everyone—even her own mother—knew about it before she did.
These days, Abby’s nomadic job makes it easy to stick to the rules that protect her heart. Rule number one: Never stay in any man’s bed more than one night. But when a carefully planned tryst falls through, she finds herself stranded in a boardroom—naked—with the one man who makes her body scream danger.
Three hours of mind-blowing sex later, Marcus Brookhein walks out of the boardroom feeling like he just lost. That doesn’t sit with someone who lives and breathes competition. Next time, he’s making the rules. Starting by getting her assigned to work side by side with him.
Abby is desperate not to repeat a night of pleasure that left cracks in her carefully constructed defenses. But four long weeks of close proximity loom before her. And Marcus has a lot to teach her about playing dirty…
Warning: Contains a contest of wills with hot sex. Epic hot sex. Pushing-the-limits sex. On a conference table. On the kitchen counter. On the floor—because they never quite make it to the couch.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
This short, very hot read pitches a battle of wills and restraint (mostly lack thereof) between two determined characters – one who wants nothing beyond a single sexy night, and one who won’t settle for anything less than everything.
Abby’s life was irrevocably changed by the triple betrayal of her ex and family. It wasn’t just her trust that was shattered, but her belief in deeper emotions and her willingness to engage with anyone beyond the physical. She works hard, she hooks up for one night and she moves on. That’s the only life she wants – one that doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t feel particularly good either and there’s an emptiness inside she can’t shake, but she prefers that to betrayal. And this is what makes her an interesting, empathetic character. It would be easy to judge or dislike her, but there’s so much more to Abby than her work and her one night stands.
Which is what Marcus sees, even when he thinks she’s nothing more than a challenge. Marcus is a man who made himself from nothing. He didn’t have family support and he only really has one close friend, but he loves a challenge and has built a highly successful life out of winning. It’s no wonder he’s attracted to Abby, but while she’s smart enough to want to avoid him at first, he fools himself into thinking this is an easy game to win.
What follows is packed with heat. Seriously, this book is hot, so if sex and thoughts about sex and talk about sex isn’t your thing, walk away. There is more to this story than the sex, of course, but it’s a pretty unavoidable part of the plot when that’s all Abby is willing to give and it’s what Marcus is willing to use to gain more. The pair of them are stubborn and earthy and determined to win, even when neither of them can quite recall what the game is anymore.
There are also a lot of emotions swilling around, mostly from Abby. She might have spent three years doing her best to feel nothing, but that’s impossible with Marcus in the frame. And everything that happens with her sister. I have to admit I wish there had been more closure on everything to do with her family (her mother in particular), because as easy as it was to see why that messed Abby up so badly, I felt it needed to be dealt with more firmly in order for her to move on. Marcus is much more straightforward, once he sorts his priorities out, but that doesn’t save him from heartache, of course. Not when he and Abby are so stubborn and bad at communicating. Thank goodness for Abby’s best friend, is all I can say.
Short and sexy this book may be, but it also delivers a satisfyingly emotional plot that turned all the games into so much more than winners and losers. If you’re looking for something hot with a bit of extra depth, then you should give this a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what this author has to offer next – especially if it involves Marcus’ friend Cole.
Moment of Weakness is out October 13th!
Visit Toni J. Strawn for more details.