Scarlet Stilettos by Ash Penn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Laine Lawson and Tony Barton are best mates, their friendship forged from a one night stand. Laine has declared herself celibate. Tony has met a man who meets all of his needs. But Will isn't all he seems, especially when he discovers Laine isn't all she seems, either. When Laine takes an abrupt holiday and Will moves in with Tony, all hell breaks loose for the pair of them. Tony learns more about Will than he really wanted to know. Laine makes a mess of her family and has a heart to heart with Adam, her ex who literally tossed her out into the street like garbage. All this while hiding her feelings for her best friend. Tony gets in over his head in Laine's absence. Can she come back and save the day?
This book needs trigger warnings for domestic violence. I wasn't expecting it and at points I had to put the book down.
Minus: My personal feeling is there is nothing sexy about the word saliva. Every time I read it in a sexy scene, it pulled me out of the book with a shudder. I think this book could have been two books on their own, one about Laine and one about Tony, instead of being one book together. There was a LOT going on.
Plus/Minus: I could have kicked Tony's ass for fucking in Laine's bed. I was so mad about it, I tweeted about it while I was reading. I don't CARE if he went back and changed the sheets. I can know intellectually WHY he did it because I've lived there, but I still wanted to smack him for it. NO. Just NO. It did lend itself to more tension later in the book, however.
Plus: I fell in love with Laine the moment I first read her. She's fun and strong without losing her feminine side and the vulnerability that makes her human. I loved that Tony, the ex fighter and all around badass, winds up getting himself in a heap of trouble and I actually like the mental stress it puts on him. I love the chemistry between Tony and Laine and I love Oliver for being the smooth motherfucker he is, despite being another bad guy.
All in all, excellent read.
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