Series: Shattered Promises #1
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publish Date: 10.28.14
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Gallery Books
Category /Genre: Erotica, Romance
Recommended for: 18+ due to sexual content
Received from: Simon & Schuster (in exchange for an honest review)
Date completed: 06.14.15
Goodreads link: NEED YOU NOW
Description from the publisher:
Life is hard. Life leaves you beaten, broken…alone. Then one day, a stranger touches your hand and you feel something intense, unforgettable, but yet, you want to forget. You need to forget. It’s safer than believing in things you've decided don’t exist. You know all about shattered promises and lost hope. You know them so much better than you know this excited, warm, wonderful feeling, and it scares you. He scares you, but he also makes you feel alive again. He makes you realize you haven’t really been living. You’re surviving and you fear he’s the one who’ll make you forget how to keep doing it. But what if he’s the one who changes everything?
This is a novella, and the first book in a new Shattered Promises series from the amazing Lisa Renee Jones. It was released in the 1,001 Dark Night Series (#7) along with novellas from many of today’s top romance authors (see series list below).
I’m one of those people who adores novellas. I love the little taste with a promise for more. Usually I read them between larger books as a mental rest. A literary petit four, if you will. Lisa Renee Jones is the master chef in creating these delicious delicacies.
Danielle “Danny” Woods is conscientious, studious, and organized. She has plans for a bigger career and the determination and drive to make her dreams come true. What she does not have scheduled is meeting a man like Jensen Miller in the bar of the hotel where she works in the management/corporate offices.
I loved how Danny fought the attraction in the beginning and continued to worry about the safety of her own heart throughout. This is a woman who will not be taken advantage. That worry and self-protection led to some jumping to conclusions. Jensen is a driven man willing to take on the worry and offer his protection, even when Danny is fighting it. He reads her emotions so well and tries to give her space when she demands it, but the attraction is just so strong that he knows that he can’t let her run.
* “I told you, if you run, I’ll come after you.” * sigh!!!
I will admit that as much as I do love novellas, I did cry when I reached the end of this one. I just wanted more pages!! I had to take a good breath and remind myself that Lisa Renee Jones always delivers (in her own time). I just don’t know which of her series I should be begging for next – I want them all!
Grammar/editing: ungraded – book received as an unedited ARC / errors excused
Other Books from Lisa Renee Jones: Please visit her website at: www.lisareneejones.com/ to locate a printable book list.
1,001 Dark Nights Series
1. Forever Wicked by Shayla Black
(Wicked Lovers #7.8)
2. Crimson Twilight by Heather Graham
(Krewe of Hunters #11.5)
3. Captured in Surrender by Liliana Hart
(1001 Dark Nights #10.5)
4. Silent Bite: A Scanguards Wedding by Tina Folsom
5. Dungeon Games by Lexi Blake
(Masters and Mercenaries #6.5)
6. Azagoth by Larissa Ione
(Deominca #10.5; Lords of Deliverance #5.5)
7. Need You Now by Lisa Renee Jones
(Shattered Promises #1)
8. Show Me, Baby by Cherise Sinclaire
(Masters of the Shadowlands #9)
9. Roped In by Lorelei James
(Blacktop Cowboys #6.5)
10. Tempted by Midnight by Lara Adrian
(Midnight Breed #12.5)
11. The Flame by Christopher Rice
(Desire Exchange #0.5)
12. Caress of Darkness by Julie Kenner
(Dark Pleasures #0.5)
13. Wicked Wolf by Carrie Ann Ryan
(Redwood Pack #8)
14. When Iris Eyes Are Haunting by Heather Graham
(Krewe of Hunters #14.5)
15. Easy with You by Kristen Proby
(With Me in Seattle #8.5)
16. Master of Freedom by Cherise Sinclair
(Mountain Masters Novella)
17. Adored by Lexi Blake
(Masters and Mercenaries #8.5)
18. Hades by Larissa Ione
(Deominca #11.5; Lords of Deliverance #6.5)
19. Ravaged by Elisabeth Naughton
(Eternal Guardians #7.5)
20. Dream of You by J. Lynn
(Wait for You #4.5)
21. Stripped Down by Lorelei James
(Blacktop Cowboys Novella)
22. Rage/Killian by Alexandra Ivy
(Bayou Heat #17-18)
23. Dragon King by Donna Grant
(Dark Kings #6.25)
24. Pure Wicked by Shayla Black
(Wicked Lovers #9.5)
25. Hard as Steel by Laura Kaye
(Hard Ink #4.5)
26. Stroke of Midnight by Lara Adrian
(Midnight Breed #13.5)
27. Kiss the Flame by Christopher Rice
(Desire Exchange #1.5)
28. Daring Her Love by Melissa Foster
(A Bradens Novella)
29. Teased by Rebecca Zanetti
(Dark Protectors #7.5)
30. The Promise of Surrender by Liliana Hart
(A MacKenzie Family Novella)
He releases me and begins to move, leaving me cold where I was warm only seconds before. I don’t think. I react, grabbing his arm. His leg pins the door, his gaze colliding with mine, his eyes darkening with a mix of what I think is satisfaction and conquest, but smartly he doesn’t speak, as if he knows that if he says the wrong thing, I’ll bolt.
He draws my hand into his, his fingers lacing with mine in what feels far more intimate than it logically is, but then I’ve just proven logic has no room in encounter number two with this man. I am lost to him and in the promise lacing the air with something unfamiliar and wicked, something I have never experienced before. Nerves flutter in my stomach, but they do not win, not when heat licks at all the places I want to feel this man. And not when I crave the freedom to simply experience the moment I never allow myself.
Allowing him to lead me into the hallway, I am relieved when he doesn’t push me in front of him. He seems to get me without even knowing me, holding onto me, but still leading, going first down the hallway, as if he’s aware of the vulnerable, exposed sensation walking in front of him would give me.
It’s then that I realize we’re on the thirtieth floor, where the elite suites are, and I wonder who this man is, my curiosity piquing further when he stops at the “Heather” room, our most expensive rental. But I don’t have time to debate his importance. He pulls me in front of him, his hips framing mine, the thick pulse of his erection nestled against my backside as he slides a key card through the door and pushes it open.
This time, I am in the lead vulnerable position, and I have this gut feeling it’s intentional, his way of telling me the final decision to move forward has to be mine. This is my moment of control and I inhale, waiting for the need to bolt to overcome me, but it doesn’t. My mind knows I’m with a stranger, it knows this is dangerous, and my actions are out of character for me, but the low burn in my belly this man creates has control. I barely know the instant I decide to stay. I am simply claiming the tiled entryway as my path, and this night as an adventure. He doesn’t give me time to go far or to reconsider my choice. The door slams shut behind him and a dim light fills the open expanse of a room, with windows overlooking the city. I take another step, and he shackles my wrist, dragging me around and to him. My purse, which I’ve forgotten I’m holding, slides to the floor, but I don’t care.
He is hard and warm and I am melting into the defined lines of his body even before the fingers of one of his hands tangle into my hair, dragging my mouth to his. His breath is a tantalizing promise of another kiss, his free hand curving my backside, molding my hips to his, of something more. “I’ve been thinking about how you’d taste since the moment I laid eyes on you.”
The declaration is a low, raspy seduction made a promise by the thick press of his cock against my belly and the hot press of his tongue into my mouth.
And I do not feel the normal things I’d expect with a stranger, like fear, nervousness, or doubt. There is a thrill to the unknown with this man I did not know was a part of me, but it is. It so is. My body has control, or perhaps this man has control, because I can’t find it in me to find a reason for this to be bad. There is only the sensual overload he’s creating in me, the way his scent, so divinely woodsy, teases my nostrils. The way his taste, of what I think is a mix of bourbon and mint, seeps into my mouth. And, oh God, do I like bourbon and mint. It’s addictive. He’s addictive and our silence is golden. It’s freedom and it’s forgiving, asking no questions, demanding no explanations. It’s freedom I never allow myself, not even with past lovers, but I feel it now.
My fingers flex where they have landed on his hard chest and I fully intend to begin exploring every deliciously masculine line of his physique. He distracts me though, walking me backward, pressing me against the wall, shocking me by shoving my hands over my head, using one hand to connect my wrists and pin them in place. I’m held captive, both by his grip and his piercing green stare. But even more so by how much I not only want him, but how much I want to give myself the permission to do something daring and edgy. For once in my life, I want to color outside the lines, and not in sweet hues of pink, but in fiery red.
I inhale and hold in the air as his free hand goes to my waist, gliding upward over my ribcage, slowly taunting me with his intended destination, until he is cupping my breasts. He studies my face, waiting for a reaction. I cannot deny him or me. My lashes flutter and my back arches, my body leaning into his touch. His fingers tease my nipples through my dress but the touch is too brief. His hand caresses its way back to my hip. “How many times have you fucked a stranger?”
It’s a surprising question that ends our sweet silence, but somehow, coming from him, it’s not a demand. It’s a further seduction. “Never.”
“Do you know how dangerous it is to trust someone you don’t know?”
A shiver runs down my spine but it’s not the fear such a question should create in me. I’m aroused, my sex clenching, my thighs damp. “Yes,” I reply. “Yes, I do.”
“And yet, you’re here.” The words are thoughtful, as if he’s contemplating why that might be rather than asking me for an answer I don’t have, and he never gives me a chance to deliver.
Abruptly, he releases my hands, rotating me to face the wall, and my hands press to the smooth surface. He steps into me, the thick pulse of his erection nestled to my backside once again, his breath warm on my neck, by my ear. He nips my ear with his teeth. “You don’t begin to know how dangerous it is. Or what I can do to you if I so please. Right here. Right now.” He yanks my dress all the way up to my waist, the black thong I’m wearing leaving me naked to his touch, his palm caressing my cheeks. “A good man would spank you for taking the risk.”
My heart leaps. “What? No.” I try to turn, afraid I have made a mistake, but his powerful thighs cage me in. “No, I—”
“But I’m not a good man,” he continues, his hands high on my ribcage, fingers framing my breasts. He leans in, his head dipping low, his lips grazing my neck. “I’m the kind of bad guy good girls like yourself run from.”
It’s an erotic thrill that is one part fear and one part electricity. I believe him. And I believe that is exactly what drew me to him. He is what I am not and never will be. He is daring, dark, completely without the many inhibitions I hate that I possess. Rejecting that part of me, I declare, “I’m not running.”
“You should be.” He reaches down and yanks away my panties. I yelp with the shock of the action and there is just a hint of fear in me, but there is also arousal, there is a burn low in my belly. I want to know what his kind of bad is in a way I am not sure I’ve ever wanted in my life.