ARC received via M. Robinson.
Whew! What a rollercoaster ride. If you’ve read the VIP series, you know that Brooke is one of Madam’s employees- she’s a little (okay maybe A LOT) on the wild side, extremely sexual and daring, but also very damaged from her teen years and on. This book covers many years and I actually liked reading about how Brooke and Devon were before they met each other.
Brooke is in high school with what she thinks is the perfect life. She’s got friends, a love interest, her parents are very rich and they’re very good to their children. One night, Brooke comes home early, her mom is away and her dad is there with another woman. She listens in and finds out some extremely damaging information. This is all the catalyst for why Brooke becomes a VIP and doesn’t get attached to anyone throughout the years.
Then we have Devon. (if you don’t remember him from the VIP series, he’s the bar owner where Ysabelle first starts to work when she arrives in the area). His family life is the EXACT opposite from Brooke’s. His dad beats his mother almost daily. He tries to protect his mom and sisters from him. Years later, Devon is about to graduate from college with his masters degree when he finds out he inherited a bar from a deceased family member. He takes it because he wants to help out his mom and sisters. The bar is very successful so he’s pretty much rolling in some money and loving the female companionship that comes with it.
Brooke and Devon have an instant connection and what follows throughout the story between them is at times unhealthy, but they also have some very real moments together. When things were good between them, they were really good. When things were bad between them, it was pure angst. I was a little frustrated with Brooke’s inability to commit to Devon, but also with Devon’s inability to get help for his PTSD from his childhood. Which I know happens in real life, but I found myself as a reader wanting him to ease his suffering. Both of those issues kind of kept their relationship in a state of limbo for a lot of the story.
The sex was hot in this one. I think hotter than the other books in the VIP series. Let’s just say Brooke and Devon are VERY down with experimenting in everything sexually. And there is a ton of sex in this one. I love a good sex scene and this book had many.
All in all, I enjoyed this one. It kept me intrigued and didn’t bore me one bit. I loved the scenes where Brooke felt like she could just be herself with Devon and his family. The angst and some of the situations that happened towards the end really fit in with their relationship and I applaud M. Robinson for keeping with that character consistency even though I’m sure it couldn’t have been easy to write at times.