Smoldered by Rachel Blaufeld
Hiding the effects of his emotionally stunted youth behind a gritty persona, and keeping his fractured soul buried deep while seeking out his baser instincts, Asher is convinced he is man enough to leave the past in the past. The only clue to his broken soul is his deep-seated need to provide safety and a good life for emotionally damaged women within the glamorous walls of his strip club.
Fooling himself that he deserves little in life, Asher keeps his big heart tightly guarded with everyone but Sienna Flower, his friend, business partner, and headliner. Until, that is, the night he runs into his childhood friend, Natalie Parker. While trolling a rival strip club, perusing their offerings for his own personal pleasure, he collides with his past. Coming face-to-face with a woman he only knew as a girl, he’s shaken when he finds the dark-haired beauty in a precarious position. Now all grown up, she’s a hardened soul who reminds him of where he came from, and stirs within him the need to protect yet another woman.
Known as Nat to most everyone, Natalie is a single mom to Quinn. But when she’s under the bright spotlights in a thong, she’s known as Natasha or Nataleigh Dallas. A girl who once had everything going for her, she’s now a jaded stripper with only room for her son in her life, and has erected impenetrable barriers around her heart. The strength of those walls is challenged the night a man she has known since childhood steamrolls his way back into her life, flashing those smoky-gray eyes that have always melted her.
A man she has loved from afar since she was a young girl, one who lights fire to her walls, burning deeper, setting everything ablaze––smoldering her.
Asher and Natalie, two people who are equally tormented by their own demons, set out to rescue each other as part-time lovers in a torrid, desperate workplace affair. Thinking they can remain friends while keeping their hearts at a safe distance, they find themselves at odds when their situation morphs into a messy, tangled mess.
Ripping free of each other proves impossible as they learn that the very web that connects them goes much deeper than they ever expected.
This book, once I was done with it, I just could not stop thinking about it. And the title is so perfect…SMOLDERING HOT! This was the first book by Rachel that I read, and I hooked and went straight away to buy book 1 in this series. And although this book is part of a series, you can totally read it as a stand alone and not be lost.
Asher and Nat were a hot mess. Asher is all alpha and Nat is so stubborn – I wanted to reach thru the page and shake her a time or two. Having both grown up in the part of Vegas far from the lights of the strip, they were both determined to leave that world behind and make a new life away from their pasts. And even though Asher is still in Vegas, The Electric Tunnel is his ticket, making a name for himself. So when he runs into Natalie at another club and see the hard, broken girl, nothing like the friend from his childhood. He does what he always does – turns into the overbearing, over protective, savior to the women that occupy his life.
The Charity Series by Maya James
BOOK 1 – CHARITY’S WARRIOR
Gorgeous and overly-experienced Justin Collins saves Charity from her attacker, and continues to save her in many other ways. “He’s just the right mix of gentleman and caveman,” is how she describes him. He gives her exactly what she wants, and almost everything she needs, but his damaged past makes it impossible for him to commit.
At a new job, she falls into an online relationship with JP, the company’s owner. She hasn’t seen him, but he fills the gaps of Justin’s absences and feeds a fire Justin left unattended.
The return of her ex-lover exposes the dangerous secrets around her—one of these men has the power and connections to keep her safe at any cost, and the endless love for her to use this power or give it up to keep her.
BOOK 2 – CHARITY’S SECRET
The holidays arrive filled with wonderful sentiments that leave each of these lovers closer than ever, but just as the celebrations come to a close, one of their dearest friends is brutally attacked. There needs to be retribution, and both Justin and Charity deliver it. In the process, evidence of a traitor is discovered on the Panther team, jeopardizing not just everything they’ve worked for—but their very lives.
Discovering Charity’s secrets devastates Justin, but his broken heart is no rival to the fury of learning that his beautiful obsession is being hunted. Rescuing her leads him to the truths of this past.
Nothing can contain Justin’s devotion and intensity. Charity has to be kept safe. The traitor and their enemies, personal and political, must be eliminated if they are going to survive.
Their powerful love is ready and eager for the next evolution of their relationship, but Brian Marker has returned for his revenge. The gifted assassin in Justin can sense the ruthless killer all around them, hunting them, closing in, and it’s time to begin the plans he’s been protecting from everyone, even Charity. Senator Lewis moves closer to the presidential candidacy with Panther’s help, and a power struggle larger than anyone was prepared for unfolds around them. Panther Inc. must pass hands to Garrett so Justin and Charity can run across the world to drive their stalker out into the open to face them.
Charity and Justin refuse to let anything come between them and their lust for each other. They accept their fate with all the erotic heat they both have craved from the beginning, a fire so intense that it ignites flames in those around them.
But there are always dark and dangerous corners and those wicked souls hiding within them. With the light at the end of the tunnel before them so bright that they can see the rest of their happy lives together, will Charity and Justin make it to God’s alter in bliss—or tragedy?