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Friday, July 26, 2013

HIS WICKED GAMES by Ember Casey (Review)

I saw Ember's tweet a couple of days ago about her first book being out. I went to Amazon & read the description and immediately knew I had to give this book a try. I'm so glad I did.

Synopsis, copied & pasted from Amazon:
Trapped with a billionaire in his mysterious mansion... Can she beat him at his own game?
Lily Frazer would do anything to save the Frazer Center for the Arts--even take on the infamous billionaire Calder Cunningham. When Lily breaks onto the Cunningham estate, she only wants to find and reason with Calder. (All right, all right, she wants to punch him in the face, too, but that's Plan B.) As it turns out, the arrogant billionaire is willing to give her the money he promised, but there's a catch: she must win it from him.

And the games he has in mind aren't exactly... innocent.

Lily isn't about to give up the money without a fight (or let some haughty bastard seduce her), but she quickly discovers that there might be more to the brooding Calder than she initially perceived. As their games of cat and mouse become increasingly sexual in nature, she suddenly finds herself confused by her own emotions. Can she deny her attraction long enough to win the money she needs?

A contemporary, steamy take on Beauty and the Beast, His Wicked Games is a tale of devilish deeds, wild passions, and wicked romance.

My rating: a solid 5 stars
This is one of the best romance novels I've read in a long time, and that's saying something. I read a lot of romance novels.

What I love about this book: The characters are funny and 3-dimensional and sexy. And they grew from their experiences. The stakes are high - Lily's fighting for her father's arts foundation, which both of them had poured all their resources into, and Calder...well I won't give it away, but he's determined not to cough up the dough. Calder's house is like the dream house I designed when I was 12. I didn't lose interest in the story after she left his house like I normally do when the intense bonding period is over. The sub-plots were tightly woven & the characters' reactions & motivations believable, despite the apparent ridiculousness of the situation. There wasn't a single moment that I felt was eye-rollingly cheesy, which is rare for me in a romance...even really good romances. The sex scenes were so satisfying I felt like I'd just gotten laid. (And, um...the main character's name is Lily, my main character's name is Lilly...)

Criticisms: The synopsis led me to expect something a teeny bit different from how the book actually unfolded, but not so much that I felt cheated or anything. (Actually, on the contrary, the book-as-written is much better than the book I was already looking forward to.) Also, at one point I felt a little jarred: After the smokin' hot scene in the gallery, I expected the next scene would be a continuation of the tour, but it wasn't, and the rest of the tour wasn't mentioned at all, so it was a little odd. There were also a few minor copy editing errors.

That said, though, I just finished reading HIS WICKED GAMES last night (was up until 3am reading), and I'm tempted to re-read it again already. That's how good it is. I'm all over TRUTH OR DARE (Book 2 in this series) when it comes out in August 2013.

Read this book. It's the best $2.99 I've spent in a long while.

And for more on Ember Casey's work, visit her website and her page on Goodreads.

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