Series: S.I.N. #1
Published by Bantam Source: Netgalley
Genres: Alpha Guy, Contemporary Romance, Dark, Erotica, Millionaire/Billionaire Hero, Revenge, Romance, Stepbrother Romance
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It was wrong for us to be together, but it was even harder to be apart.
The memory of Dallas Sykes burns inside of me.
Everyone knows him as a notorious playboy, a man for whom women and money are no object. But to me, he’s still the one man I desperately crave—yet the one I can never have.
Dallas knows me better than anyone else. We bear the same scars, the same darkness in our past. I thought I could move on by staying away, but now that we’re drawn together once more, I can’t fight the force of our attraction or the temptation to make him mine.
We’ve tried to maintain control, not letting ourselves give in to desire. And for so long we’ve told ourselves no—but now it’s finally time to say yes.
I like J. Kenner, and I really enjoyed the Stark series and Kenner’s style of writing, so I figured this book would be the right kind of book for me. While I did enjoy a lot of the elements in this book, there were a couple of things in the book that kept me from really loving it the way I wanted to, or rather the way I loved the Stark books.
So I was kind surprised this ended up being a stepbrother romance, which like a lot of things can go either way for me, sometimes I think it works great, and sometimes I just don’t care for it. In this particular case it honestly didn’t bug me one way or the other, I mean it does play a role in the plot line and its definitely part of the reason why they put off having any kind of involvement with each other romantically, but there was so much more going on in this book that I genuinely don’t have much of an opinion about that aspect of the book.
I’m one of those readers who has to love the characters in a book for me to enjoy the story line, and honestly I don’t think I loved them, and it wasn’t that I didn’t like them, but rather that I didn’t really get them. Dallas and Jane are both seriously damaged people, they are both living the lives they are in the present wholly because of a very serious traumatic event in the past. An event that they went through together, or rather mostly together. Dallas wasn’t as forthcoming about the extent of things during their traumatic experience, so he has some let’s just say very personal problems that need to be worked out. But both of them carry more emotional scars then anything. And they both live by very different philosophies as well, Dallas lives for revenge and Jane lives for justice.
The characters themselves were a little… I guess the best way to say it would be extreme. Everything in this book is so heightened. So dramatic and the stakes are always huge. The pacing is really fast, and I think almost in a sense it’s kind of a disservice to the characters and the romance, I never have a chance to get to know these two as a couple because everything is always moving at warp speed, it doesn’t necessarily feel natural. The book does end on a bit of cliffhanger, and I am interested to see where the story is going to go, especially now that I think the bulk of the backstory is done being explained; so while I wasn’t head of heels in love with the first book in the series, I definitely liked it enough to go on with the story and see what happens next.
Even by Southampton standards, the party at the nine-thousand-square-foot mansion on Meadow Lane reeked of extravagance.
Grammy Award–winning artists performed on an outdoor stage that had been set up on the lush lawn that flowed from the main house to the tennis courts. Celebrities hobnobbed with models who flirted with Wall Street tycoons who discussed stock prices with tech gurus and old-money academics, all while sampling fine scotch and the season’s chicest gin. Colored lights illuminated the grotto style pool, upon which nude models floated lazily on air mattresses, their bodies used by artisan sushi chefs as presentation platters for epicurean delights.
Each female guest received a Hermès Birkin bag and each male received a limited edition Hublot watch, and the exclamations of delight—from both the men and the women—rivaled the boom of the fireworks that exploded over Shinnecock Bay at precisely ten p.m., perfectly timed to distract the guests from the bustle of the staff switching out the dinner buffet for the spread of desserts, coffee, and liqueurs.
No expense had been spared, no desire or craving or indulgence overlooked. Nothing had been left to chance, and every person in attendance agreed that the party was the Must Attend event of the season, if not of the year. Hell, if not of the decade.
Everyone who was anyone was there, under the stars on the four acre lot on Billionaires’ Row.
Everyone, that is, except the billionaire who was actually hosting the party. And speculation as to where he was, what he was doing, and who he was doing it with ripped through the well-liquored and gossip-hungry crowd like wildfire in a windstorm.
“No idea where he could have disappeared off to, but I’d bet good money he’s not pining away in solitude,” said a reed-thin man with salt-and-pepper hair and an expression that suggested disapproval but was most likely envy.
“I swear I came five times,” a perky blonde announced to her best friend in the kind of stage whisper designed to attract attention. “The man’s a master in bed.”
“He’s got a shrewd head for business, that one,” said a Wall Street trader, “but no sense of propriety where his cock is concerned.”
“Oh, honey, no. He’s not relationship material.” A brunette celebrating a recently inked modeling contract shivered as if reliving a moment of ecstasy. “He’s like fine chocolate. Meant to be savored in very limited quantities. But so damn good when you have it.”
“More power to him if he can grab that much pussy.” A hipster with beard stubble and a man-bun wiped his wire-rimmed glasses clean with his shirttail. “But why the fuck does he have to be so blatant about it?”
“All of my friends have had him.” The petite redhead who pulled in a six figure wife bonus smiled slowly, and the flash of her green eyes suggested that she was the cat and he was the delicious cream. “But I’m the only one of us to enjoy a second helping.”
“All your friends?”
“How much pussy?”
“At least half the women here tonight. Maybe more.”
“Man, don’t even ask that. Just trust me. Dallas Sykes is the King of Fuck. You and me? Mere mortals like us can’t even compare.”