When Emily Donahue sets eyes on Ash Bristol, she is convinced he’s the one she’d been waiting for, her Prince Charming. But wealthy playboy Ash Bristol’ has been burned. He’s sworn off relationships, vowing to have nothing more than a series of steamy one night stands. So when he meets Emily, the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, he resolves to seduce her, possess her…and walk away.
The passion that ignites between them has him questioning his decision. He begins to suspect he just tossed away the best thing that’s ever happened to him…and vows to win her back.
Can he survive the erotic punishment she—and her friends— devise?
Emily was probably the most soft-spoken one of the entire group thus far. She came from a wealthy family (like most of the characters) but she loved her job as a teacher and organizing events for various charities. She was brought up to always be polite, she didn’t tolerate cussing or yelling, she preferred to avoid confrontation, and she was rather shy. An incident in her past has made her weary of men, especially rich pretty boys who think they’re God’s gift to women. And then she laid eyes on Ash Bristol.
In the beginning, Ash is a real jerk, but there are hints of a kind man buried under paranoia, anger and just a general case of misguidedness. He obviously had a conscience but preferred to push it away to guard his heart and his bank account. I felt his character had a bit more growth or arc than Emily’s, but I did enjoy seeing him make mistake after mistake only to finally realize he was on a train to lonelyville.
What I found very enjoyable about this pairing was the innocent virgin with a backbone and the “bad boy” who eventually realized that not all women were like his conniving ex, and thus making an innocent woman pay for another’s mistakes was not the kind of man he was raised or wanted to be. They both had their issues with the opposite sex, but they were able to learn something from one another. If you think Emily was going to be a pushover and forgive him easily, you’d be mistaken
The best moment of the story was Ash’s attempt to redeem himself. I loved his vow to take things slow and just be her friend while trying to woo her back with dates, revealing a secret passion of his and his vow to not touch her until she was ready. When Emily repeatedly tried to tell him that she wanted to take their relationship to the next level, he didn’t believe her. Her plans for seduction were endearing then funny then really hot!
He was an honorable man—when he chose to be. And he had given her his word. No sex until he’d earned her trust.
What the fuck had he been thinking?
I’m really enjoying the tempo changes of each story in this series. It keeps me from getting bored too easily yet they all feel cohesive. All the stories are fast-paced, but Ms York does manage to give enough information about the characters to make me feel for them and feel vested in the outcome of their relationships. It’s best to read the stories in order because the circle of friends that congregate on Tryst Island always return in one group or another throughout the series. On the one hand we get more insight into characters whose stories have yet to be told, but on the other hand a new reader might get confused with so many names and personalities. If you want a quick, sizzling read with a good balance of sexiness, humor and drama then pick up any one of these books. I’m giving it five stars because the a-hole turned into a wonderful man, and Emily may have started out as a shy virgin, but she emerged as a strong woman who wasn’t afraid to set clear boundaries even if the consequence might have pushed away the man she wanted.
Disclaimer: I received the paperback as a gift for Christmas from a friend. The views and opinions expressed in this review are my own, and in no way represent the views or opinions of the publisher/distributor.