Let me just start by saying that I don't know if I would recommend purchasing any of these books by themselves. Let me amend that, I'm sure that I would not recommend that. I absolutely LOVED each episode but they are not books or novellas, they are PIECES of a book. You get zero satisfaction from reading just one episode by itself and because each is so good, all you're going to do is run out and get the next one so do yourself a favor and just get the entire set.
This is really the opening of the series which lays all the background for the story.In Episode 1, we meet Frankie and Derek and damn! Your Kindle might actually combust from the chemistry between the couple. It's hard to even discuss the details of the story line because the the chemistry is so well done and detailed, it automatically stands out in your mind. In terms of the background we get, Frankie is preparing to take over her Father's business doing something related to commercial real estate and Derek is a developer who hires Frankie as the agent for his new development.
What I love is Frankie, she is strong, driven and the best at what she does. Derek is also my favorite flavor of brooding alpha male with a chip on his shoulder and a really dirty mouth. Oh how I looooove a dirty mouth. The other thing I like about this book is that Derek hires Frankie to work for him and it genuinely appears that his decision is based on her qualifications despite the fact that he wants to crush her cookies. Finally, this book introduces what will be a continuing theme throughout the series of the push and pull between Derek and Frankie wanting to keep things professional and blurring every line. This episode rockets you into the series and gives you a sense of just how good things are going to get.
Minor criticism- Frankie has these dreams, I don’t like em. Enough said.
Episode 2 picks up right where we left off in the last episode and I think this one is even better than the first one. We learn that Derek uses his talents in and out of the bedroom to get what he wants. That was kinda awkward but it did help us to understand that Derek just wasn’t the commitment guy. He was the sex as a physical outlet guy. In a strange twist, that actually made me appreciate his feelings for Frankie more because you knew right away it was something special. Frankie and Derek keep running into each other (mostly because Frankie now works for Derek and he can’t stay away from her) and their chemistry builds with each interaction. There is a party scene in which things get extremely steamy. You get extra twists and turns in this episode because Frankie’s d bag of an ex asserts himself. It always fun to see our alpha Hero deal with other men and you get that in this episode. This episode also gives us more information about Derek’s revenge plot he has cooked up with his sister. That whole thing is a bit convoluted and both Derek and his sister are going to some truly strange lengths to make it work but whatevs, it added to the story line so I’ll allow it.
I have to say the steamy scenes are STEAMY, Marni Mann is an expert of steam and you will not be disappointed in this episode.
Okay this episode was not my favorite in the series. On the positive side of things, the sex scenes are just RIDICULOSULY HAWT and just, whew! So whatever I might be feeling about the story line in this book, my overall impression was that I enjoyed this installment. Derek’s sister Hayden plays more of a central role in this installment and her place in the story line is…shocking. I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll let you just read it but I really liked what the author did with Hayden. In episode 3 you really start to see how Derek’s feelings for Frankie are moving from purely physical to something much more. My problem with this episode was the very thing I previously loved about the series- Frankie. Frankie just comes off as being a little immature in this episode in the way she reacts to certain things. I got it in terms of what we learn about Frankie’s background but I just didn’t love what we saw of Frankie in Episode 3.
I had been waiting through the series to find out what was going on with Derek’s past and how it led him on the path to revenge. In Ep 4, we finally get a more in depth perspective on Derek’s past. With that perspective and the telling of that story come issues that both Derek and Hayden are facing in the present. Of course the present issues impact Derek’s relationship with Frankie and things get really good as we watch all these things play out. Frankie is STILL trying to balance her personal and professional life in this instalment. Frankie still feels like she is wrong for crossing the line with Derek and continues to wonder if she is doing the right thing. I gotta say, I kinda wanted to hit Frankie in the head. Like either bang the guy and be happy or don’t bang the guy and be alone with those weird dreams. Whatever you do, please stop with the “I am but I shouldn’t” because it was driving me crazy.
Of course, it goes without saying at this point, but the author continues to deliver the hot hot stuff. And by “hot” I mean “hot tub.” OMG, it was just…I was just….I mean, this is some next level erotic ish people. The connection between Frankie and Derek is so electric it just jumps off the pages. Episode 4 was really everything I loved about the series in one book, it’s probably my favorite episode.
The thing about this episode is that it had a surprising amount of emotional content. Throughout the series a true love is forming between Frankie and Derek but in this episode, we see it clearly in a really sweet way. Not only that but this episode continues the theme of a really well depicted supporting cast of characters that don’t overshadow the whole book. Enter Will and welcome back Brea and Hayden. The supporting cast are a loyal group who only work to emphasize the connection between Derek and Frankie by giving them context. Honestly, I hope the author does a Will series because I will definitely be reading it. The series ends on the best possible note. The ghosts of the pasts are finally laid to rest, Frankie finally gets that she can and does have it all and our favorite couple get their HEA.
I think you will love this whole series because the author builds tension in to the story from the beginning. I like the forbidden lust/love stuff, it keeps things moving forward. What begins between Derek and Frankie as lust rapidly turns into something much stronger and even more addictive. Both parties try to end things for the sake of common sense but it just doesn't work.
If I had one criticism of the series it would be that when you read this series together (as you should), the number of sex scenes can get a little overwhelming. I can never believe it when I say that but it's true. These are not light sex scenes that are written as fillers, they are the real deal heavy stuff and to read as many as there are in the series can be a lot.
This series is like way up on my recommended list for erotic romance fans. I've been waiting for something like this for a long time and I was not disappointed. The story has twists and turns that will leave you satisfied that you read a good book. The character development is thorough and present throughout the whole series. The angst regarding the choices Frankie and Derek have to make gives the entire series emotional credibility. You won't be able to guess what's going to happen in the story and I think you'll love nearly every minute of this series. Well done to the author!
**ARC provided by Author**