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Book CoverVeena’s review of Ours to Love (A Wicked Lovers Novel) by Shayla Black
Contemporary Erotic Romance published by Berkley 07 May 13

I’ve enjoyed reading Shayla Black’s spicy stories about wicked lovers and the women who tame them. This book has all the ingredients that take a story from good to great. Two sexy, dominant billionaires who need to be tamed and a sweet, innocent submissive who’s finally ready to live her life to the fullest. Corporate espionage and professional assassins. Wow! Playboy Xander has featured in previous books as a friend with deep pockets full of just-in-time resources. His stern CEO brother Javier who’s dealing with the murder of his wife has been on the fringes of our awareness. All we need is the innocent, naturally submissive London and some kink to bring them to their knees. I settled in for a hot and spicy read, ice on the ready to cool me down. Alas!

It turns out that Javier is a total control freak and a jerk to boot, in my humble opinion anyway. Lost in a haze of alcohol and depression because a wife whom he married as a business proposition and didn’t love was murdered. If he wanted justice he should have engaged top-notch investigators to get to the truth behind the murders and bring the perpetrators to justice. In the meantime, his business is going to rack and ruin and he’s turned his back on the only family he has because his brother refused to be his wife’s dom.

I loved Xander when I first met him. The closer look at him isn’t so kind. Here’s a guy who’s born to a life of wealth and privilege. He wants to help and he’s shut out. I would have thought a lot more of him if he had gone out and demonstrated what he was capable of in a meaningful way. Instead, he sulks like a spoiled child living up to his family’s expectations by fucking his way through life. To give Xander some credit, he really does care for his brother and tries to help him find control and discipline and kick his alcoholism.

I just can’t make the emotional connect with the two. However, London is another story. She’s the saving grace not just of the Santiago brothers but of the story itself. Having been seriously injured in a car accident in high school, she proved all the naysayers wrong and took control of her life and her future. Her grit, courage, and determination has given her everything she could have dreamed of and more. She is like a ray of sunshine who redeems the characters of the two Santiago brothers and creates the emotional connect which saves the book.

The suspense with the corporate espionage is very weak and predictable. It does, however, get us to meet all our old friends in Louisiana and catch up with their growing families, which is fun for those of us who have read the previous books in the series.

All in all, the story just does not live up to its potential. I have discovered in the past that when you build up the anticipation, it raises expectations beyond belief and often times the end never lives up to the expectations. Perhaps that’s what happened with this story for me.

[Ed. We have a copy of Ours to Love to give away to one lucky commenter. A great way to see if you agree with Veena or think differently! Leave us a meaningful comment to be in the running.]

Grade: C+


Between two brothers…
Xander Santiago spent years living it up as a billionaire playboy. Never given a chance to lead his family business in the boardroom, he became a Master in the bedroom instead. His older brother inherited the company and worked tirelessly to make it an empire. But while the cutthroat corporate espionage took its toll on Javier, nothing was as devastating as the seemingly senseless murder of his wife. It propelled him into a year of punishing rage and guilt…until Xander came to his rescue.

Comes an irresistible woman …
Eager to rejuvenate Javier’s life, Xander shanghais him to Louisiana where they meet the beautiful London McLane. After surviving a decade of tragedy and struggle, London is determined to make a fresh start—and these sexy billionaire brothers are more than willing to help. In every way. And London is stunned to find herself open to every heated suggestion…and desperately hoping that her love will heal them.

And inescapable danger …
But a killer with a hidden motive is watching, on a single-minded mission to destroy everything the Santiago brothers hold dear, especially London. And as fear and desire collide, every passionate beat of her heart could be her last.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:
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