Review – Away From Me by Lexi Blake

Review:

Oh my goodness.  Talk about a sultry, sexy, scintillating romance about forgiveness, second chances, and love that will last a lifetime.  Gabrielle is the sweet submissive to Callum’s decadent dominance.  But Gabrielle is facing crisis and instead of turning to Callum and confessing all, she pushes Callum, gets rejected, and runs.  I adored Gabrielle so much. What an amazing and courageous young woman.  I loved her grit, determination, and passion.  She has been dealt a very hard and emotional hand of cards but faced it with so much bravery and strength that it was impossible not to admire and love her.  Now Callum…while I thought he was pretty awesome too, I seriously wanted to jump into this book and punch him in his junk…and more than once too!  However, he makes up for it with his actions and blatant devotion to Gabrielle and being the man she deserves. They have some wicked hot chemistry and in pure Lexi Blake fashion, the sex scenes were scorching and erotic.  I loved the emotion this book brought forth in me and every second was a delightful treat.  You can expect buckets of heat and sex and so much feeling you should keep a box of Kleenex close by.  Overall, this was pure Lexi Blake and as always, I am not disappointed.  5 stars.

 

 

Re-released in a second edition with updates.

Shattered by the loss of his wife, Callum Reed is a man surrounded by rules designed to protect him. He rebuilds his life with careful discipline, but can’t deny what he feels when he meets the lovely Gabrielle Sullivan. She’s everything he wants in a woman, but he views all relationships as contractual. Despite her misgivings, Gaby signs his contract and becomes his perfect partner. Until the night she breaks his cardinal rule.

After three years of perfect obedience, Gaby declares she wants love and she isn’t settling for less. Love isn’t in their contract, so Cal lets her go. But Gaby has a secret reason for leaving. When Cal discovers the truth, nothing will stop him from following her.

On a secluded island paradise, Callum will do anything to prove he’s the perfect husband for his defiant love.

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“Hello, Cal,” she said evenly. “How are you?”

He looked her up and down, his dark blue eyes showing absolutely no expression. Those eyes assessed her, roaming every inch of her body in a decidedly clinical fashion. “I’ve been perfectly fine, Gabrielle. How have you been?”

His hand was suddenly on her elbow. Her skin tingled where he touched her. He didn’t pull at her, merely squeezed gently, and she let him lead her. Yes, that was a force of habit, too, but perhaps her Irish friend was right. If they had any hopes of being comfortable around each other, they had to talk. They began walking slowly away from the pool.

“I’m well.” That could have come out a little stronger. She sounded like a scared rabbit and that wasn’t at all the impression she wanted to make on Cal.

“That’s nice.” Naturally, his voice sounded perfectly even. He could be negotiating a deal rather than talking to an old lover. “From the evil glances I’m getting from some very old friends, I would think I had tried to kill you.”

“I’m sorry, what?” This wasn’t the way she’d expected their first meeting to go. She’d kind of avoided thinking about it.

His jaw went tight. “I’m talking about all my friends looking at me like I’m some kind of criminal. I’ll admit I haven’t exactly been social lately, but I didn’t expect to walk into a party and find myself completely unwelcome. The only thing that’s changed is the status of our relationship, so I’m wondering what’s been said about me.”

Damn Heather and her big mouth. It was supposed to be a secret. She smiled brightly and slipped her arm through Cal’s. Yes, she needed to handle this. She’d never intended to make anyone hate Cal. He simply hadn’t been able to love her.

She had no interest in the two of them becoming a focus of gossip. If she seemed comfortable with her ex-lover, perhaps the other guests wouldn’t talk about them. She tried to look nonchalant. “I have no idea why. I haven’t seen any of these people since I left town ten months ago. Maybe it’s me they’re wary of.”

“I doubt that, pet,” Cal said, all silky and smooth. His voice had a direct line to her soft parts. “Even my oldest friend seems to have turned on me. Greg barely spoke to me this evening. His friendliest words were to tell me to leave you alone. I swear, Gabrielle, if he didn’t need me to broker his deals, he might not talk to me at all. Now I wonder why that is.”

Gaby flushed, guilt flooding her system. She truly hadn’t meant to hurt him, but she didn’t want to rehash the end of their relationship. She’d kept the secret this long. There was no reason he should know about it now. “I don’t know. I have never spoken to Greg about us.”

“I’m sure Heather talks enough.”

Gaby felt her heels sink into the grass as they left the deck. The evening grew darker as the lights from the torches got further away. The gazebo in the distance seemed to be Cal’s destination. She followed willingly. If they were going to talk, it was best to do it in private.

“I can’t control Heather’s mouth. That’s supposed to be Greg’s job. He’s her husband, after all.”

Cal helped her up the gazebo’s steps. He was always solicitous. It was one of the first things to attract her. He was a Dom of the first order. Gaby had been looking for someone like Callum since the day she realized there was a whole world out there for people like her. She’d gone through a couple of men who claimed to be Doms but really just used it as an excuse to be selfish. A real Dominant was someone like Cal, who always took care of her, even if he didn’t love her.

“Well, as it was pointed out to me recently, a Dom only has as much control as his sub allows him.” His deep blue eyes were almost black in the moonlight and there were lines around them that hadn’t been there before. There was a weariness to his frame that called to her. She fought the urge to smooth down his tie and snuggle in his arms. He wasn’t hers to take care of anymore. He turned to her. “So what have you been up to since you left?”

Her hand unconsciously went to her breast, thinking of the pain that centered there. “This and that.”

He leaned back, staring at her as though trying to decide something. “I never could figure you out, Gabrielle. I didn’t know if you were simply content to be kept or if there was some ambition lurking under the placid surface.”

The darkness was a welcome ally as she felt herself flush. If they’d been under even the soft lights of the party, he would have known how much that hurt. “Well, you weren’t interested in my ambitions.”

He shrugged. “I just wondered what you did all day.”

Her laugh was bitter and without an ounce of humor. “I ate bonbons and watched soaps. I counted the hours until you got home.” She turned away from him and looked out over the yard. In the distance, her friends mingled and laughed. She still seemed so far away from them. Maybe she would always seem far away now.

Distance had given her some perspective, especially when it came to her old Dom. “You weren’t interested in who I was as a person, Callum. You were interested in who I was as a sub. My submissive self was docile and sweet. That was what mattered to you. I didn’t ask questions or make demands. It was a D/s relationship. It wasn’t a love affair.”

She knew the difference now.

His fingers ran across the exposed skin of her shoulders and she held on to the railing of the gazebo. The spaghetti straps that held her dress up offered little protection against his gentle assault. She shivered at the touch.

“And you don’t want that anymore, do you? You don’t want a man to dominate you? You don’t want a man to take charge?”

Oh, there were certainly parts of her that did. His hands ran down to her waist, settling on her hips. Push him away. Do it now or this is going to go poorly. You are not capable of handling this.

But she’d waited too long. When he pressed his groin against her backside, she could feel the hard ridge of his erection, and she knew she wasn’t going to walk away.

It was only sex. Sex with Callum had been mind-blowingly good. There wasn’t any reason she couldn’t enjoy it again as long as she held herself apart. It had been so long. And tomorrow morning, she would be on a flight back to her island, where she was surrounded by gorgeous men she couldn’t fuck because they were either an employee or a guest. She was starting over. Shouldn’t she honor her past with one last nice night?

Yeah, her girl parts were super stupid and they were firmly in control.

Cal pressed his hard dick against her and her brain no longer mattered. That dick had been the best she’d ever had and her whole body reacted. It was like her body knew what it had been through in the last ten months and was demanding payment. That big, hard dick was payment for all the pain.

She could handle it. Hell, after what she’d been through, she could handle anything.

 

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Excerpt Reveal – Nobody Does It Better by

A spy who specializes in seduction

Kayla Summers was an elite CIA double agent, working inside China’s deadly MSS. Now, she works for McKay-Taggart London, but the Agency isn’t quite done with her. Spy master Ezra Fain needs her help on a mission that would send her into Hollywood’s glamorous and dangerous party scene. Intrigued by the mission and the movie star hunk she will be shadowing, she eagerly agrees. When she finds herself in his bed, she realizes she’s not only risking her life, but her heart.

A leading man who doesn’t do romance

Joshua Hunt is a legend of the silver screen. As Hollywood’s highest paid actor, he’s the man everyone wants to be, or be with, but something is missing. After being betrayed more than once, the only romance Josh believes in anymore is on the pages of his scripts. He keeps his relationships transactional, and that’s how he likes it, until he meets his new bodyguard. She was supposed to keep him safe, and satisfied when necessary, but now he’s realizing he may never be able to get enough of her.

An ending neither could have expected

Protecting Joshua started off as a mission, until it suddenly felt like her calling. When the true reason the CIA wanted her for this assignment is revealed, Kayla will have to choose between serving her country or saving the love of her life.

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“You look beautiful like this.”

Kayla didn’t respond because they were in the dungeon. She wasn’t sure of all the protocols Josh would use. Some Doms preferred their subs remain silent in the dungeon.

A big hand touched her head, palm covering her scalp. “Naturally you have perfect form. Did you learn this at The Garden? I’ve heard of it, you know. It’s so exclusive even I can’t get in. I was jealous of Jared when he got a membership to Sanctum. I don’t like being left out.”

He was an interesting combination of strong Dom and wayward boy. There were major gaps in his history, long periods of time that remained unaccounted for, and that couldn’t mean anything good. A good life tended to be documented carefully. What had happened to him between the time he left his foster home and the moment he showed up on Hollywood’s radar? What had happened that made him forever need to belong, even if it meant buying his way in?

“You can talk, pet. Unless I give you specific instructions, I never mean to silence your voice.”

“If we go to London or Dallas, I can get you into both,” she offered. “They’re wonderful clubs. Completely different experiences, but both amazing. The Doms in charge are private bastards.”

“I belong to a club in Dallas.” His hand came off her head and his feet disappeared. “It’s very nice.”

She knew the one he was talking about. “Well, then if we’re in Dallas, you can take me someplace new. I’ve heard The Club is lovely and that Julian Lodge knows how to treat his clients. It’s probably better than Ian Taggart. Ian treats everyone like we’re still in the Army and he’s the general in charge.”

“Lodge is polite, but I still feel like I’m on the outside any place other than The Reef.”

She heard the door to the closet open and took a long breath. “It’s good to have a place where you belong.”

She couldn’t see what he was doing. It was part of the glorious mind fuck that got her adrenaline going.

“You seem to belong a lot of places.”

“I have a membership to The Garden and Sanctum, but only because of my work status. I feel weird in Sanctum. For a long time I was on the opposite side of Ian Taggart—well, he thought I was on the opposite side. No one was allowed to know my true identity except my handler and his boss. It’s the curse of the double agent. Sometimes you feel like no one believes you at all because you’ve become such a master at lying.”

She was surprised that came out as easily as it had. Her former career wasn’t something she liked to talk about, but something about being in the dungeon always made her vulnerable. In many ways, the dungeon was the only place she did talk about what had happened to her. It was her confessional, the one place she could be vulnerable because she knew there would be absolution.

“Do you still lie?”

“I try not to. In my daily life, I don’t lie at all. I don’t care enough to lie. I can be too harsh at times because I gave all my fucks up a long time ago.” Except that I’ll lie to you. I’ll lie because my job and my friends are all I really care about anymore.

Yeah, she didn’t say that part out loud.

“I like honesty,” he said. “No, I require it. I can’t stand people blowing sunshine up my ass. I have far too much of that every day. It makes you wonder who to trust. It’s why I like Jared. I don’t think he’s smart enough to lie.”

“That feels rough.”

“I guess I gave away all my fucks, too. Eyes up.”

She brought her eyes to meet his gaze and couldn’t help the shiver of desire that went through her body. He’d shed his shirt and every bit of dietary restraint showed in his perfectly cut body. Wearing nothing but a pair of low-slung jeans, he stared down at her. There was no way to miss the bulge in his denims. Joshua Hunt was built on long, lean lines, but that erection was anything but lean. It was a massive beast restrained by denim.

He held a crop in his hand, looking every inch the dark, decadent Dom.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE