Be sure to look below for an excerpt!
Sebring by Kristen Ashley
“Olivia Shade was something of exquisite beauty not allowed to be what she needed to be. Beauty bound. She was not a ghost who could be seen. She was a hostage in a lavish cage.”
Five years ago, Nick Sebring saw his girlfriend murdered right in front of him and he could do nothing to save her. Now, he’s back for vengeance on the man who ordered the hit but he needs an in. Olivia Shade is the daughter of a notorious criminal and plays her own part in the family business. Years ago she tried to get out and found out the hard way that for the shades, there is nothing else but the family business. A prisoner of her own life, she indulges herself where she can, and this brings her to an elite and private club where she meets Nick.
The two are aware of each other from the world they live in, but when they meet for the first time their chemistry is explosive. But Olivia, knowing what her family is capable of, keeps Nick at a distance. Nick continues to pick away at her walls but finds other ones popping up along the way. As time goes by both of them begin to have deeper feelings for the other, but a huge amount of obstacles stand in their way, the worst being Nick’s ulterior motives.
“I live in dark. Dawn never comes for me. There will be no new day where I wake up complete. Happy. Loved. There is no other side to make my way to. There is no believe. It just isn’t for me.”
This book completely gutted me. It had everything I look for in a romance novel, not even just a Kristen Ashley one. I love when a heroine is closed off and the man needs to fight for her, it’s one of my favorite romance tropes. Being in the minority and not loving Knight Sebring (I know ladies, put down your pitchforks) I was apprehensive about Nick Sebring as a hero, especially because I didn’t remember him being the best guy when we met him initially. Ashley obliterated these fears because Nick is now one of my favorite Kristen Ashley heroes now. And he doesn’t use the word daddy, thank God.
I loved the plot, it kept me guessing at every turn. There were some twists near the end that I felt I should have seen coming, but honestly didn’t at all. I also don’t normally like mafia/organized crime romance and it totally worked for this story and didn’t hinder my love of the book at all. I also loved how the characters from previous books in this series fit seamlessly into the story and felt like I was saying hello to old friends. Everything with the plot was so intricately done and yet didn’t feel forced, I loved every moment of it.
Hands down my favorite part of the book was Olivia. I felt for her every page I read, and it only grew as the book went on. I understood her choices, and I completely empathized with her situation. My heart bled for her and her suffering, for her impossible situation and her fruitless efforts to escape the life she had been born into. Her constant efforts to shut Nick out and down I was cheering for her and yet at the same time hoping Nick would break through, because I understood both sides of her dilemma. Let him in and possibly get hurt, or let him go and feel that loss.
Kristen Ashley writes a romance that everyone can love and will capture the hearts of her readers, old and new. I felt this story deep in my gut and even now days later I can still feel it; it’s one that will stay with me a long time. I loved it. It made me cry! (In a good way).
“I woke up from my dream to a living dream. Complete, happy…. And loved.”
ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review
In the hotel room, Nick heard the knock at the door.
He moved to it, looked out the peephole and felt the corners of his mouth hitch up when he saw her.
Fuck, those big green eyes, perfectly arched dark brows, the olive tint to her skin, the expert way she shaded under her cheekbones…
She was a coldhearted criminal but she was one that was very easy to look at.
And even easier to fuck.
He opened the door.
He was going to say something but he didn’t get the chance when her hand darted out and she caught him under his jaw, using it to push him in and around until his back hit wall.
She stared up at him, her hand wrapped around his jaw, her expression holding an emptiness that was so extreme it was almost like a void he could fall into and get lost forever.
He heard the door swish closed and latch.
Then she was up on her toes, her head moving toward his, those green eyes dropping to his mouth.
She didn’t get her lips to his before his tongue was out, as was hers, both of them colliding and tangling before her mouth slammed to his just as her body pushed in, pressing hard, forcing him tighter to the wall.
He shoved out. Gripping her wrist at his jaw, he yanked it down, twisting and slamming her against the wall, slanting his head to deepen an already deep kiss. Their tongues again clashing before he actually took her mouth.
But he took her mouth.
And like she’d done to his, he consumed it.
His fingers still around her wrist, he yanked it around his back, using his body to shove her tight to the wall, pressing his hardening cock against her stomach.
She arched, and moving quickly, whipped him around so his back was to the wall and she took over the kiss. Tearing her wrist from his hold, she curled her fingers around his throat just as she cupped his hardening crotch with her other hand.
Fucking hell, this woman was hot.
But he was done playing.
And he was done kissing.
Her mouth, that was.
He pushed her away. She struggled to regain control.
She lost this struggle when he caught her hand and dragged her down the short hall into the room.
She lost her footing when he gave her hand a strong tug and she fell into him with a soft gasp.
He let her hand go, caught her hips and threw her four feet onto the bed.
That got him another soft gasp which took his cock from hardening to rock-solid and throbbing.
He bent over her, holding her now intense green gaze, spanning her hips with his hands. Shoving backwards, he found the hook of her skirt, released it and pulled down the zipper.
He moved his fingers to curl them into the sides of her skirt’s waistband. With a vicious tug that took her hips and panties with it, he yanked off the skirt.
Chest to the bed, eyes to her cunt, the black curls neatly groomed with a precision that meant her wax technician was a master with possible OCD issues, they were also glistening with wet.
Having the tussle at the door, seeing the utter perfection of her pussy, smelling her, watching her legs part in invitation, her knees shifting up, Nick couldn’t have gone gentle if he’d wanted to.
Luckily he didn’t want to.
He bent his neck and devoured her.
Fuck, she tasted just as perfect as she looked.
As he fed, he felt her excitement ramp. Tasted it. Ate it. Gave her more. Consumed the result. Drove her to the edge.
And when he had her there, he stopped and moved over her.
Not surprisingly, she used both the pump she already had planted into the bed and the calf she had wrapped around him to flip him and then she was straddling him, pushing up, her hands already to his fly.
Normally, he would not allow this.
Her face flushed with need, her manner urgent, even desperate, all that surged through his blood, his gut, straight to his cock.
So he allowed this.
She tugged his pants down, grabbed his dick, guided it to her and took him home.
At the beauty of her sheathing him, he gritted his teeth against the urge to let go and release way too fucking early. Bucking his hips, he watched how much she liked taking him, her head thrown back, her shining, straight mass of silken black hair swaying.
Then she dropped forward into a hand in the bed by his side, locked eyes with him and rode him violently as he watched until she gave it to herself and she kept doing it until she forced it from him.
He came down buried inside her, his eyes opening to see her still resting in her hand in the bed, her body moving gently with her still-labored-but-evening breathing, her dark hair framing her oval face, her straight bangs brushing her lashes, her green eyes locked to his trying to brand him, make him hers.
No way in fuck that was happening.
But he’d take more of this.
A lot more.
That said, the woman was going to learn how to give up control.
Not surprisingly, without a word, she swung off his cock, moving immediately toward the side of the mattress.
Nick focused on pulling up his trousers, doing the fly and angling off the bed. By the time he was up and had turned his attention back to her, she was on her feet, facing him, arms twisted behind her to do up the skirt she’d put on.
He held her gaze.
“We got all night, Olivia,” he informed her.
Not even a hint of a response to him calling her the name she hadn’t given him.
Then again, he knew she knew him; she’d make it her business.
She also knew he’d do the same with her, even before he sat next to her the night before.
Her expression might not have changed but his words spurred her to action, this being walking his way.
She stopped. Her eyes still on his, she lifted a hand and touched his chest lightly with just the pad of her middle finger.
It lasted half a second.
Then she dropped her hand, turned and walked away.
He heard the door close behind her and he couldn’t stop his smile.
Fuck yes, a seriously cool customer.
And the hottest fuck he’d had in his life.