Cover Reveal: Top Secret – A NEW M/M Romance from Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Cover Reveal Banner for Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Great News!

Bestselling author duo Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy return with Top Secret, their first Male / Male romance in 3 years. I’ve read the ARC and it really lit my fire! It’s funny, angsty, hot and heart-warming.

I’m still burning…and you can find out why when Top Secret releases, May 7th!

About Top Secret

LobsterShorts, 21 — Jock. Secretly a science geek. Hot AF.

 LobsterShorts: So. Here goes. For her birthday, my girlfriend wants…a threesome.

SinnerThree: Then you’ve come to the right hookup app.

 LobsterShorts: Have you done this sort of thing before? With another guy?

 SinnerThree: All the time. I’m an equal opportunity player. You?

 LobsterShorts: [crickets!]

SinnerThree, 21:  Finance major. Secretly a male dancer. Hot AF. 

SinnerThree: Well, I’m down if you are. My life is kind of a mess right now. School, work, family stress. Oh, and I live next door to the most annoying dude in the world. I need the distraction. Are you sure you want this?

LobsterShorts: I might want it a little more than I’m willing to admit.

SinnerThree: Hey, nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries…

LobsterShorts: Tell that to my control-freak father. Anyway. What if this threesome is awkward?

SinnerThree: Then it’s awkward. It’s not like we’ll ever have to see each other again. Right? Just promise you won’t fall in love with me.

LobsterShorts: Now wouldn’t that be life-changing…

Q&A about Top Secret:

Q: Have we met these characters before in another book?

A: No! These guys are brand new, and we can’t wait for you to meet them.

Q: Is this story MM? Or is it a MMF / MFM / menage?

A: This book is MM.

Q: Is this a love triangle story?

A: Not really. You’ll see.

Add Top Secret to your TBR &  PreOrder!

Goodreads: https://geni.us/TopSecretGoodreads 

Apple: https://geni.us/TopSecretApple 

Kobo: https://geni.us/TopSecretKobo 

Nook: https://geni.us/TopSecretNook 

Read Chapter One of Top Secret!

Keaton

“Look,” Annika whispers in my ear. Under the table, her small hand squeezes my thigh, while her cheek gently nudges my chin toward the doorway. “He’s cute.”

“Subtle,” I tease before giving the object of her attention a cursory glance. He’s just a tall guy with brown hair, nothing special as far as I can tell. “How about we save this conversation for later?”

She rolls her eyes. “We both know there won’t be a conversation, Keaton. You like playing along, but you won’t actually go through with it.” This time she forgets to lower her voice.

“Go through with what?” one of my frat brothers asks from across the table. Tanner, Judd, and I had popped into the campus Starbucks for a caffeine fix after practice. Annika’s next class is directly across the street, so she’d come to say hi before class.

“Nothing,” I tell Tanner.

If you can call your girlfriend wanting a threesome with another dude “nothing.”

Yup, my girlfriend wants a threesome. And here I’d thought that, after six years together, Annika couldn’t surprise me anymore.

She and I have been inseparable since junior year of high school. I know every last detail about her, from her food preferences to her pet peeves. I know she gets anxiety in long lines, that she sneezes any time she gets a whiff of cinnamon, that she loves the beach but hates skiing.

What I didn’t know was that my girlfriend fantasizes about threesomes. The first time she brought it up, I thought she was kidding around. Annika Schiffer, heiress to a home-furnishings fortune, wants to bang two guys at the same time? Yeah right.

My girl is the president of her sorority, wears a pearl necklace (and not the fun kind) on a daily basis, and made me wait until we were eighteen to lose our virginities to each other. Don’t get me wrong—she’s not some uptight rich bitch with a stick up her butt. She’s fun and warm and fierce when someone tries to mess with her or her loved ones.

But she’s also… I’ll just say it: vanilla.

I didn’t think she was serious about the threesome thing until last week, when I’d asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she brought up the idea again.

I move my lips to her ear so Tanner and Judd can’t overhear. “Don’t you worry, babe, there’ll be more than just a conversation,” I rasp.

She shivers, and then flashes me a dazzling smile. Her face is flawless. Classic features, pouty lips, and smooth skin that’s just the right amount of dewy. She works hard and spends a lot of money for that skin. I’ve been in her bathroom at the sorority house, so I’ve seen all the products she puts on her face to keep it looking so perfect. Not to mention the monthly facials, which require her to fly to New York every month because this little college town we live in doesn’t have a “competent aesthetician”—her words, not mine.

It helps that her father owns a helicopter that can accommodate her monthly treks. I’m not one to judge, though. My dad has his own jet.

“I can’t wait,” she says before hopping off my lap. “Come over tonight after practice, okay, baby? I have to go to class now.”

“I’ll see you later.”

“Bye, boys.” Annika’s hand flutters in a wave on her way to the door.

“Later!” Tanner calls after her. And if I’m not mistaken, he takes a longing look at her ass.

“Dude,” I say. “If you’re going to eye-fuck my girlfriend, you could at least be subtle about it.”

“Why?” Tanner argues. “She’d be flattered. And you should know how good you’ve got it. Besides, I’m harmless.” He flashes me a big smile. “What are we doing this weekend, anyway?” Tanner asks. “The Presidential Dance-off, right?”

I shake my head. “That’s, like, in two weeks, man.”

“Really? Why did I think it was sooner?”

“Because you’re stupid,” Judd offers helpfully.

Tanner gives him the finger, before turning back to me. “Do you know what you’re doing for yours yet?”

I have no clue. And no, dancing isn’t an actual requirement for our fraternity’s presidential race. But it used to be. A few decades ago, the candidates running for frat president decided a dance-off was the only way to decide who was more fit to lead. Hence, the Presidential Dance-off was born. On our living room walls, there are old photos of well-dressed men with slicked-back hair and girls in poodle skirts on their arms.

My fraternity has long-held traditions that began well before the invention of the red Solo cup. But these days, Alpha Delta has evolved. Or devolved, depending who you ask. Instead of perfecting his twist and his mashed potato, the presidential candidate is expected to dazzle the other members by planning a kickass event. I’m talking epic. Monumental. The kind of party that will be remembered for years to come.

Although, like dance moves, I’m not entirely sure that party planning is a solid indicator of what makes a good president. Sure, frats throw a lot of parties, but there’s a social committee for that.

The role of president is actually pretty lame, according to Reedsy, our current prez. He pulled me aside after I threw my name in the race and admitted that it’s a boring gig and that I should reconsider. “So much fucking responsibility on your shoulders, dude,” he’d bemoaned.

For a moment, I’d almost bailed. To be honest, I’m only running because my dad was president of Alpha Delt in his heyday, and my granddad before him. But that’s also the reason I couldn’t bail. My father would lose his shit if the Hayworth legacy ended with me.

So I have ten days to plan a legendary party.

“Maybe I can just hire an event planner?” I suggest.

“No way.” Judd’s response is immediate. “If that fuckhead Bailey finds out, he’ll have you impeached.”

“You can’t impeach someone until he’s elected,” Tanner points out.

Still, I don’t want to be accused of cheating. What a pain in the ass this whole thing is. “We can brainstorm about this on Sunday night. We have a game to win on Saturday.”

“Oh, we’re going to win,” Tanner promises.

But I’m not so sure. Not only am I worried about the Northern Mass offense, I think my father is driving up for the game. So winning isn’t even enough. If the Northern Mass players aren’t crying into their helmets after the fourth quarter, my father will still give me hell at brunch the next day.

And here I thought weekends were meant to be relaxing.

“Fine,” Judd says. “We’ll talk about your campaign after the other meeting on Sunday night.”

“What other meeting?” I search my brain and come up empty.

“Pledge Committee,” he says, gulping the last of his coffee.

Oh, phew. “I don’t have to go to that one. I’m not on PC this year.”

“But I sent you that email?” Judd whines. “I told you I need you there. Initiation night is coming up and my committee is lame.”

“Who’s on it, anyway? What do you have planned?” Note to self: be conveniently unavailable on Sunday night. There is no way I’m sitting on the Pledge Committee again. Dealing with last year’s pledge class was a total pain in the ass.

“There’s Ahmad, who’s smart but boring. Paul, who’s just boring. Owen, who’s fun but not exactly creative. And Paxton, who’s just a tool.” He sighs. “Whatever. At least Bailey isn’t on it this time. Remember what a buzz kill he was last year? I fucking hate that guy.”

No big secret there. Judd’s had it in for Luke Bailey ever since the guy rushed Alpha Delt sophomore year. And say what you will about Judd, but he’s not an asshole unless he feels you’ve given him a reason. He’s a bro to the core—he believes in male bonding, high fives, and, in his mind, a friendship isn’t official unless you’ve bled together, partied together, and nursed your twin hangovers the morning after.

Luke Bailey doesn’t subscribe to this philosophy. The moment he scoffed at Judd’s attempt at a fist bump, he earned himself an enemy in Judd Keller.

Since then, their tumultuous acquaintanceship has only gotten worse. Luke is a cocky ass when he wants to be, and Judd hates feeling like he’s being mocked or judged.

Oh, and then Bailey banged Judd’s ex. So there’s that.

“You exert too much mental energy on that guy,” Tanner informs Judd. Tanner’s a psych major, so he’s constantly dishing out (pretty good) advice that everyone mostly ignores. “Holding onto anger isn’t conducive to robust mental health.”

“First of all, say the word robust one more time and I’ll clock you. You know how I feel about that, bro.” Indignation flashes in Judd eyes. “And second of all, Luke Bailey screwed my girlfriend! I’m never not gonna be angry at that prick.”

Ex-girlfriend,” I hedge, but it earns me a deep scowl from Judd. The two of us are teammates, and I do feel loyalty to him, but I’m also not afraid to call it like it is. “You and Therese were broken up for months.”

“Me and Therese are never broken up. Sure, we take short breaks, a hiatus or two. But she’s my girl,” Judd says tightly. “Everybody knows that.”

“Bailey says he didn’t,” Tanner says.

“That’s bullshit. He’s a liar. And now he’s trying to screw K over!” Judd growls. “He joined the presidential race to get back at me. I just know it.”

“You think?” Tanner looks skeptical. “Because that would be sociopathic lengths to go to just to spite you.”

“Yeah,” I agree with a chuckle. “Bailey’s a prick, but I can’t see him taking on the huge responsibility of running a fraternity just to flip you the metaphorical bird.” Although if I’m being honest, I don’t know why Luke Bailey is running for prez. The guy hasn’t shown much interest in frat activities since he joined us.

“He totally would,” Judd argues.

“Hey, we got class now,” Tanner reminds our sulking buddy. “We should book it over there.”

“Fine.” Judd scrapes his chair back and gets to his feet. His cloudy gaze meets mine again. “I’m serious, man. Bailey is bad news, and we need to kick his ass in this campaign. There’s no way I’m letting him be our president.”

“Don’t worry. He won’t be.”

Once my friends are gone, I let out a tired sigh. I don’t particularly care about Judd’s beef with Bailey at the moment. I have a football game to win, a campaign to plan, and a father to impress.

And a girlfriend to please.

I go up to the counter to get a refill, then settle in my cozy corner of the coffeehouse and open the app I downloaded last night. I hadn’t lied to Annika earlier—her birthday request is in the forefront of my mind. I just need to do some investigating first.

Welcome to Kink!

Add a profile pic.

Add bio.

I’d wanted to fill all this out last night, but my frat brothers suckered me into an epic session of Red Dead Redemption that lasted till three a.m. Now I quickly scroll through the camera roll on my phone until I find a suitable one. It’s of Annika and me, taken in Easthampton last summer. She looks smokin’ hot in a teeny string bikini, and my abs are looking tight, if I do say so myself. I crop out our faces and load the photo.

I skip the bio for now, because I’m feeling impatient. I want to see what this app has to offer more than I want to break my brain thinking of one hundred and forty-five characters to describe how my girlfriend wants to bang two men at the same time.

Actually, that’s pretty much the gist of it.

Still, I’m curious to check out the goods. Kink is more hookup app than dating app, and I’m pleased to discover it lets you search for users who’ve expressed interest in certain arrangements.

I click on the threesome box in the search section. There are an eye-opening number of options, combinations that hadn’t even occurred to me. Annika wants another guy, though, so I ponder the easiest combos.

m/f/m

m/m/f

My finger hovers over the m/f/m button. The other option means the men are allowed to touch, I think. It’s the moment of truth. Some guys would hate this idea. I don’t, though. I’m a scientist. Experimenting is what I do.

I even dreamt about sex with men once. Or twice. I never mentioned that to Annika. But why would I? I’ve also dreamt of meeting a dragon who smoked clove cigarettes. The things my brain invents while I’m sleeping aren’t newsworthy.

But I’d be lying if I said that Annika’s shocking birthday request turns me off. I’ll try anything once. And the app lets you click as many boxes as you want. So after looking over my shoulder once more just to make sure nobody I know is watching, I tap both options and usher in the possibility of taking a walk on the wild side.

The threesome has to be with a stranger, though. I’m certain that any one of my frat brothers would be down to help me give my girl a night to remember. Well, except Dan, who’s only down for dudes. And, well, Bailey, who thinks I’m an ass. I think he’s an ass, too, so I guess we’re even.

But I can’t do this with someone I know. What if the whole night is awkward as fuck? If it’s a brother, I’ll still have to live with him. If it’s a teammate, I’ll still have to see him in the locker room.

And then there’s the opposite scenario. What if it’s not awkward as fuck? What if I like it a whole lot?

Yeah, I don’t want my buddies judging me. A stranger for the win, then.

I lean back in my chair and start swiping.

The Dirtier Duet: Another Sexy, Suspenseful, Satisfying Series by Lisa Renee Jones

tour banner graphic, Her Submission by Lisa Renee Jones

 

The second and final book in the Dirtier Duet by Lisa Renee Jones.

Abbie swore that she was done with rich, powerful men. They’ve hurt her. They’ve hurt her mother, who she will do anything to protect. She’s done playing the submissive. She’s ready to fight back.

The problem is that Gabe Maxwell is one of those rich, powerful men and he refuses to be ignored. He’s in her path and she can’t seem to steer clear of him. He wants her. She wants him. But it’s not that simple.

There is more to her story, more than Gabe knows, but then, there is more to Gabe’s story than Abbie knows, too.

“What do you want, Abbie?” Gabe demands, tearing his mouth from mine. “Say it. I need you to be clear. What do you want? But be careful what you ask for. You’ll get it.”

“More,” I say, twisting my hands in his T-shirt. “More of you, Gabe. All of you.”

He slides his hands under my leggings, palming my backside I left bare in the rush to take out Dexter. “More doesn’t get you a nice, funny guy, Abbie.”

“Thank fuck for that. Show me. Stop hiding. Stop trying to be only what you think I want, Gabe. Stop trying to be less than you are because that makes us less than we can be.”

“And if you can’t handle who I am?”

I’m on fire now, poking the bear and I can’t hold back. “And you’re afraid to find out. Is fear all I make you feel?”

His mouth suddenly crashes down on mine once more, his tongue pressing past my teeth, his kiss demanding, angry. He’s pissed. At me. At himself, I think, and that’s what I want to know. That’s the part of him I want to understand, I want to demand he show me.

“Get undressed,” he orders, setting me back from him, crossing his arms in front of that broad perfect chest of his.

My chin lifts in defiance, in refusal to allow him to intimidate me. Maybe he wants me to think he’s a monster like Kenneth. Maybe that should even piss me off but it doesn’t. It challenges me.

I pull my shirt over my head and toss it aside. “See?” I say. “Sometimes I even follow orders.” I unhook my bra, shrugging it away, exposing my naked breasts, the cold air puckering my nipples. “I must be very, very afraid of you.” I toe off my shoes and peel away my leggings, no panties to fret with. I’m not wearing any. Naked now but for socks, I’m not messing with, I close the small space between us and stand in front of him. “Or maybe I was right. You’re the one who’s afraid.”

He catches my hip and drags me to him. “You’re playing with fire.”

“Stop warning me away and pulling me back. Choose, Gabe. All in, remember? Or is that code for only if it’s me?”

His jaw clenches, his gaze lowering, raking over my naked breasts, and I can’t explain it, but I’m more naked right now, in this moment, with this man, than I’ve ever been before.

“All in, Abbie. That’s what you want? That’s what you’ll get.” He backs me up and presses my hands on the bar behind me and at my sides. He shackles my hips, and pulls me forward, forcing me to use them to hold myself up. “Keep your hands there,” he orders. “If you move them, I’ll punish you.”

Heat rushes through me but there is no fear. I don’t fear this man the way I feared Kenneth. I will never fear Gabe. I damn sure don’t fear the thick bulge of his erection pressing against my belly. “Punish me?” I challenge. “How would you punish me, Gabe?”

“You still haven’t been properly spanked, now have Abbie?”

“You spanked me, remember?”

“That was a love pat, remember? A spanking” he adds, most likely for effect, as he’s watching me with hooded eyes. “My hands on your pretty little ass. My cock buried inside you while I make it burn.”

His hand on my ass.

Spanking me.

His eyes lower to my mouth, linger with a promise of a kiss I crave but that doesn’t come, his gaze lifting with his own challenge. “Are you scared now?”

“If that’s the goal, it’s safe to say that you failed. I’m pretty sure what’s going on with me right now, can not be described as fear. Are you scared?”

I expect him to laugh or balk but he doesn’t. He leans in close, his lips at my ear, “From the day I met you, baby. From the day I met you.” He pulls back to look at me, blue eyes lit up and like fires in a forest, they burn a path through me. “And you’re right. I am pushing you. Right here. Right now. Don’t move.”

 

HIS DEMAND (book one) – Available Now

Read my Review of His Demand Here!

HER SUBMISSION (book two) – Available Now

MY REVIEW: HER SUBMISSION

Her Submission (Dirtier Duet #2)Her Submission by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time I open a new book by Lisa Renee Jones, I know three things will happen:
1. I will devour it in one sitting because nothing is worth the wait to see how it ends.
2. It will consume me from start to finish and leave me wanting more.
3. I will fall head over heels in love with the hero and declare him the “best one ever” – until the next book comes along.
It’s just happened again with Her Submission, book two of the Dirtier Duet and the suspenseful conclusion to Gabe and Abbie’s story. It sizzles with sexual chemistry and emotional suspense. It’s hot, it’s heavy, it’s compelling and ultimately explosive. I loved every minute of it.

To be honest, I loved Gabe Maxwell even before His Demand brought him into the limelight. Enigmatic, intricately layered, deeply damaged, intensely passionate and protective, Gabe is charming and sexy one minute, intense and demanding the next. Brilliant, confident and intelligent, he uses his sense of humor – and lots and lots of casual sex – to shield himself from the pain of a past filled with lies, betrayal, and losses. That is until he meets Abbie – the one woman who convinces him that the risk of losing is worth whatever it takes to win against bitter enemies – past and present – fiercely determined to take them down.

As always, Lisa keeps the reader on edge from beginning to end, weaving a web of doubts and suspense that make you question everything you think you know about Abbie and Gabe, and make you wonder what each may be capable of to save the other. Fortunately, they are surrounded and supported by an incredible cast of familiar, supporting characters – including Cat and Reese, Reid and Carrie, Grayson and Mia, and the fabulous Walker Security team. I don’t think I can ever get enough of these fantastic characters, and I hope I don’t have to try. I don’t know where Lisa will take them – and us – next, but I will definitely be along for the ride.

Be advised this is not a standalone. And although the Dirtier Duet may be read separately from the Dirty Rich series, go ahead and read them all, because after you finish His Demand and Her Submission, you’re guaranteed, like me, to want more. Much, much more. Until next time…

View all my reviews

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.
In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling WHITE LIES and LILAH LOVE series.
Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

The Empire, by Lisa Renee Jones: Blog Tour and Review

The Empire-Tour Banner

Title: The Empire

Series: The Filthy Trilogy #3

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date: March 12, 2019

About The Empire

The third and final book in the Filthy Trilogy – Eric and Harper’s stunning finale…

Passion. Lies. Family.

Eric and Harper will feel the push and pull of a dynasty gone wrong. Secrets remain. Danger is everywhere. And the pull of their forbidden love will not be ignored.

Can they survive their enemies and find a path to love and forever?

Teaser for The Empire

Buy The Empire Today

iBookshttps://apple.co/2CRyG1H

Amazon UShttps://amzn.to/2D5IMvU

Amazon CAhttps://amzn.to/2M4RugN

Amazon UKhttps://amzn.to/2AGsUOO

BNhttp://bit.ly/2SBAmSs

An Excerpt…

In life, there are people who touch our lives and leave lasting marks. There are people who cut us and do so in a way that we feel as if we might never heal. If we’re lucky, we find that one person who can soothe the ache of our wounds, if not heal them. That one person who sees our flaws as perfection. That one person who can make us whole again.

Eric shoves me against the wall of that alcove, and with that window beside us, overlooking the city, his big body pressed to mine, his kiss not only devours me—it speaks to me. He’s my one person and I’m his. I feel that in his touch. I feel that in the way we connect. I taste it in his kiss. I don’t know where this leads us. I don’t know if it means we can overcome the Kingston family, but I know we can overcome his demons. He doesn’t, though. I taste that in his kiss as well. There is torment, a feeling like he’s bad for me. That he shouldn’t want me and the only comfort I find in this and where we’re headed is that he isn’t pushing me away—he’s pulling me closer. And I will hold him tighter.

I sink into the hard lines of his body, slide my hands under his shirt, hard muscle flexing beneath my palms, the thick ridge of his erection pressed to my belly. God, how I want him, how I ache for more, and the next lick of his tongue just about undoes me.  I tug on his shirt. “Take it off,” I order, wanting to feel him closer.

He reaches over his head and tugs it free and then fixes me in one of those scorching blue-eyed stares, the way he had the first night we met, and I’m melting right here in this office for him. He tugs my shirt over my head and unhooks the front of my bra, his gaze raking over my naked breasts, my nipples puckering beneath his inspection, and my sex clenching, empty, so very empty without him. “Better?” he challenges, his attention settling on my face.

My hands come down on his upper arms, the jaguar on his right shoulder, reminding me just how much he wants to deny his heritage. It reminds me just how much this family burns him alive. “A little.” I slide my hands down his hips and boldly stroke the line of his zipper, the thick ridge of his erection.

He groans, one of his hands covering my hand, the other hand catching my hair, a rough pull as his mouth closes down on mine again. And then he’s devouring me again and I love it. I love that I’ve drawn this deep, guttural reaction from him. I love that he’s all here with me, not in his own head, not doubting how good he is for me. Not swimming in the ocean of numbers in his head. Not in the hell of the Kingston family.

This drives me. I want to push him. I want to keep him here, with me. I squeeze his erection through his pants and whisper, “Why aren’t you inside me already?”

He turns me, pressing me to the wall like he had in the cottage, his big body wrapping my body, his hands on my breasts, fingers teasing my nipples, lips at my ear. “You were always sweeter than revenge,” he promises. “Always more addictive.” He plucks at my nipples. “So fucking addictive and I hated you for that.”

He reaches for my zipper and I squeeze my eyes shut. I don’t have to ask what he means. I understand. From the moment we met, he was in my head, in my heart, his touch imprinted on my body. The man I compared all others to, and they came up short. “I hated you, too.”

His hands press under the denim at my hips. He caresses them down my legs and then his arm is wrapping my waist and he’s lifting me. In a few quick moves, I’m naked and he’s standing at my hips, one palm possessively on my backside. The other on my belly.  “Do you hate me now?”  His fingers walk down to my sex and he cups me.

“Yes.” I look at him. “I still hate you for having this much control over me.” He slides his fingers along the seam of my sex, sending sensations darting through my body.

“Is that a bad thing?” he challenges, his palm squeezing my backside, his fingers slipping inside me.

“Yes,” I say, panting my way through that one word and somehow adding, “Because when I look in your eyes, like I am now, I see expectations. The wrong ones.”

He scowls and suddenly he’s turning me, pressing my back to the wall, his legs caging mine. “What does that mean?” he demands.

“It means as long as you expect to hurt me, as long as you expect you being a savant, you being different from me, to make us less, we will be. It means, you expect us to fail and so we will.” I swallow hard, my hand planting on his chest, his heart thundering beneath my palm, pounding out an emotional beat. “You think I can’t handle who and what you are. You still think I’m the princess and you’re the bastard.”

He tangles his fingers into my hair, his touch rough, erotic, as he drags my lips to his. “We are the bastard and the princess, but I don’t care anymore. I want you. I fucking need you. Do you understand me?”

Heat rushes over me, through my body, over my skin and settles in my heart and my sex. “I fucking need you, too.”

“Good, because I might have asked you to stay, but I never intended to let you go. I’m not going to let you go. I’m not going to let us go.”

Review

The Empire (Filthy Trilogy #3; Dirty Rich, #10)The Empire by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Empire, #3 in the Filthy Trilogy and #10 in the Dirty Rich series by Lisa Renee Jones is a stunning, captivating thrill ride that concludes the story of The Bastard, aka Eric Mitchell, and The Princess, Eric’s stepsister, Harper Evans. Eric has now officially replaced all previous book boyfriends because he is everything that makes a great alpha male: a handsome, sexy, intellectually brilliant, tattooed, damaged, extraordinarily complicated ex-Seal who knows what—and who—he wants and will go to any lengths to protect the few people he truly loves. His character is so complex and compelling, all other protagonists pale in comparison. And Harper is his perfect foil – first as an antagonist and second as the only woman he’s ever loved. Add in all of the characters we’ve come to love from previous stories in the Walker Security and Dirty Rich series, and it’s a treasure trove for LRJ fans.

The Filthy Trilogy is a dark saga of a toxic, corrupt, and deadly family, with twists, turns, and misdirects that keep you guessing—from the first word to the last—who did what to whom, and why. It is an intelligent, well-written story that articulates the hidden darkness within all of us—greed, jealousy, rivalry, desperation, and revenge. But it’s also a tale of redemption, the longing for acceptance, the struggle to reconcile the dark and light within us, and the fear that the darkness will win. I didn’t just read The Empire, I devoured it because the first two books ratcheted up the stakes so high I couldn’t wait for the answers to all the questions left in their wake. And as astute as I am in figuring out whodunits, Lisa kept me wondering until the very end.

That being said, I hoped for two things I didn’t get in The Empire. First, I was hoping for a terrifying conclusion, a genuine life-or-death confrontation that would bring this story to an unforgettable climax. Lisa gave us that in Grayson and Mia’s story, but I hoped for even more from this one. Although satisfying in many respects, the conclusion—particularly for Isaac (indeed the ‘bad seed’ here) didn’t provide the closure I needed for that character. Ultimately, justice was not served to three characters who played such a major role in attempting to bring Eric and Harper down. Second, although I loved the push-pull, trust-or-can’t trust dynamic between Eric and Harper, not to mention their explosive chemistry, there was a little too much of both for my taste, and it felt too repetitive by the end. There was a little too much navel-grazing, particularly on Harper’s part, which weakened an otherwise strong heroine.

Nevertheless, I’m sure I’ll reread this trilogy because of its intelligence, darkness, and complexity—but mostly because of Eric. I want more of him. As Lisa herself might say, “so much more.” Lisa is a master at romantic suspense, her characters are utterly unforgettable, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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The Trilogy

THE BASTARD (book one) – Available Now

iBooks → https://apple.co/2MnlwQd

Amazon US → https://amzn.to/2L9lV3v

Amazon CA → https://amzn.to/2MqZhJl

Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/2ORhRa7

BN → http://bit.ly/2OUjMLl

THE PRINCESS (book two) – Available Now

iBooks → https://apple.co/2OAVBAN

Amazon US → https://amzn.to/2Obz11H

Amazon CA → https://amzn.to/2AZFCZx

Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/2RJyIwY

BN → http://bit.ly/2OJbQw0

THE EMPIRE (book three) – Available Now

iBooks → https://apple.co/2CRyG1H

Amazon US → https://amzn.to/2D5IMvU

Amazon CA → https://amzn.to/2M4RugN

Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/2AGsUOO

BN → http://bit.ly/2SBAmSs

Meet the Author

Author Lisa Renee Jones
CREDIT Teresa Lee Photography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling WHITE LIES and LILAH LOVE series.

Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Connect with Lisa: Media Links

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Amazon ➜ https://amzn.to/2MoWosB

Twitter ➜ https://twitter.com/LisaReneeJones

Instagram ➜  http://instagram.com/lisareneejones

Goodreads ➜ https://www.goodreads.com/LisaReneeJones

Front Cover of The Empire