Book description from Amazon.com
Lou just needs someone to take her away. It doesn't matter if she knows his name. Or if he knows hers.
Actually, it's better if he doesn't know hers.
At least that's what she tells herself when she's sticking her tongue down the throat of the sexy handyman she just met at her new job.
Her father's dead. Her family's fortune is gone. And, oh yeah--she's assumed a false identity so she could get a position at Huntington Manor, the luxury tourist attraction that was once her family's estate. Nobody here knows that she's Louisa Cunningham, former heiress and current complicated head case. To them, she's just Addison Thomas, assistant to the hotel's General Manager.
Well, except to handyman Ward Brannon--to him, she's the strange but intoxicating new girl who tried to have sex with him without even knowing his name.
Ward is everything Lou knows she should stay away from. He's a playboy. He's constantly getting in fights. And he resents her family for reasons she doesn't understand. But in spite of herself, she can't stay away from him, even when that puts her secret at risk. Even when it becomes increasingly clear that he harbors a few secrets of his own...
My rating: 3 stars
I really admire Ember Casey's work - both in terms of the quality of her writing and in terms of how she's handling this whole indie author thing - and I was blown away by His Wicked Games. Her Wicked Heart, the first book in a spin-off series from the Wicked Games series, is a solid story that will appeal to romance readers who love a bad girl as well as a bad boy.
Things I liked about this book: I like Casey's attention to the characters' psychology. It helps make them more believable. I also think Casey pulled off a difficult moment when Lou and Ward are making out in the hedge maze at one point and she keeps calling him an asshole and he calls her a selfish bitch. I know that some people had a hard time with this, but I totally got it: By repeating back to each other how each felt about themselves, they were making the other person feel seen and accepted for who they thought they were. Pretty brilliant, if you ask me. Casey's also good at establishing and drawing out sexual tension, and this book is no exception. There are some sexy scenes here.
Criticisms: My biggest sticking point is that Lou was hard for me to relate to. I understood her intellectually, but I couldn't connect with her emotionally. I didn't dislike her, but I didn't like her well enough to tempt me to read the second book. However, it certainly won't put me off this author's work. I'll definitely give Casey's next series a try.
Overall, this is a quick read with some good sexual tension and unique characters.
For more on Ember Casey's work, visit her website and her page on Goodreads.
Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.