Review & Excerpt: Holding On Tighter by Shayla Black

Author: Shayla Black
Series: Wicked Lovers #12
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Pages: 368
Reviewer: Marie
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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Jolie Quinn is a woman in charge. Her no-nonsense attitude has made her a rising star in the fashion world and her brand a household name among the Dallas elite. Nothing will stop her from achieving her goals—not even the gorgeous British security contractor who seems just as interested in seeing her personal assets as he is in protecting her professional ones.

After a tragedy left him broken, Heath Powell made a rule of staying unattached. But Jolie challenges him in a way he can’t ignore, and he isn’t used to backing down from a confrontation—especially when the reward for winning could feel so good. As passion blazes between them, the stubborn, confident beauty arouses more than his desire. She touches his heart.

When a mysterious enemy threatens Jolie and her company, Heath is the only person Jolie can trust to help. But working with him to save her business might put her dangerously at risk of falling in love…

Heath jerked back to face her and leaned in so close their noses nearly touched. “Am I wrong?”
She refused to stroll down that memory lane. “Does it matter?”
“I daresay it does. But we’ll come back to that. If you were merely mistrustful of men, you would have waited until tomorrow and delivered a well-​placed warning to keep me away from your sister.
Instead, you came after me. And when you found me with another woman, your temper flared. If I merely lived up to your expectations of being a womanizing prick, that shouldn’t make you angry at all, simply smug at being right. But you were livid. I doubt all that displeasure is on your sister’s behalf. In fact, I suspect, Ms. Quinn, that you have more than a passing interest in me. You were jealous.”
Apprehension raced through her veins. He was uncomfortably close to the truth. “You’re egotistical.”
“But I’m right.” He gave her a tight smile. “For the record, if I intended to disregard policy and pursue a woman in the office, I wouldn’t bother with your sister. As you say, she’s naive and provides no challenge. But you . . . You would be far more interesting. Pretty, strong, smart, not easily bendable. Color me intrigued.”
She tensed. “I’m your boss.”
“Temporarily. We’re both adults. Surely neither of us are prone to torrid emotional attachments. We could keep business separate from personal, couldn’t we?”
Normally, she’d say yes. But working with him constantly buzzing around her, asking questions, and watching her every move had already dented her focus. “I have no intention of becoming your next conquest.”
“I never planned to pursue you.”
Jolie wondered why, then dismissed the question as she buttoned her red coat. “Perfect. There’s nothing left to say except I’m sorry for intruding on your evening. I hope we can forget this by morning.”
She had to get out of here. She’d overplayed her hand and needed to regroup, to think about how to treat him tomorrow. The last thing she wanted was for Heath Powell to decide she was a challenge he should convert into his next bed partner after all. Normally, the sexual urges of a man wouldn’t concern her unless she was interested. If so, she found a way to have him for a night or two, then ended it.
Something told her that nothing with Heath would ever be that simple.

But when Jolie turned her back on him and headed for the parking lot, he snaked an arm around her middle and pulled her against his big, steely body. “I never planned to pursue you . . . but I’ve changed my mind.”

Yes, yes, and yes! Ms. Black has done it again with the next book in the Wicked Lovers series. It’s full of intrigue, snarky humor, romance, and of course, extremely scorching sex.

Holding on Tighter revs up from the very beginning and just doesn’t let go. It’s a wild and thrilling ride chocked full of action and seriously intense chemistry between our hero and heroine, Heath and Jolie.  Heath is the embodiment of a dominant male. He’s mysterious, sexy, commanding and over-the-top passionate. His attraction to Jolie is apparent from the get-go, and the way he treats her is enough to make any woman swoon. Of course, him being SO sexy helps tremendously, too. Jolie, on the other hand, is a spitfire. She’s confident, independent, and her resistance brings out the charm in Heath.

The story itself is brilliantly written, with Shayla Black’s signature touch. It’s an addicting, sexy romance that’s guaranteed to please.

I read and reviewed a paperback copy of the book offered to the blog by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

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