Make You Mine (Nine Circles Book #2) by Jackie Ashenden
Overview by Amazon:
He’s raising the stakes.
International playboy Alex St. James always plays to win. Whether it’s betting on a high-stakes card game–or bedding a high-class socialite–the gorgeous world-class gambler knows how to beat the odds using his brains, his body, and a whole lot of charm. But there’s one woman who’s immune to Alex’s bag of tricks–which makes her the perfect challenge…and the ultimate prize.
She’s going all in. Once a special operative in her native Russia, Katya Ivanov knows what kind of man Alex is. As his personal bodyguard, she’s seen him seduce the richest women, place the riskiest bets, and break the hardest players. But to even a score from her past, she’s willing to take a gamble on her reckless boss. Even if she has to pretend to be his lover. Even if he drives her mad with desire. And then she never wants this dangerous game to end…
There is something about a seductive about a playboy. I don’t know what it is, but Jackie Ashenden makes Alex St. James so attractive and dangerously sexy. Even when we are observing him with other women and pretty much sleeping with at least one woman a night, he still has unbelievable appeal.
This story is more than just a contemporary romance novel. There are very deep emotions explored in this book. Alex and Katya have not lead normal lives and bear deep, deep emotional scars. These wounds are present in every action in the story. Alex is looking to avenge a wrong done to him as a teenager and Katya is struggling with the past and a responsibility she still has.
Alex is a gambler for a living and he gambles at more than the card table. He gambles with his body and livelihood to enter into a very high stakes card game that could be life and death. Katya is his bodyguard who attends the game in Monte Carlo as his lover. For the stiff Katya, it becomes the most challenging job of her life.
While Alex is like an Olympian of bedroom athletics, Katya is the opposite. A cool, regal ice blond who has never been touched. I really enjoyed the chemistry between the two as they are both virgins in many ways. Alex has never had an emotional connection with the women he has slept with and Katya has never been touched by a man before.
This book is part of a series called the Nine Circles. Other characters pop up to support the mission that Alex and Katya are on. I was totally intrigued by the back story and the preview for the next book was actually almost as intriguing as this book was.
This story has jet setting poker games, scintillating sexual energy and revenge. My only challenge with the book was how much time was spent lost in the characters musings about their pasts. At times I wanted them to just do something instead of brooding, but it did add a depth to the character development and a deeper understanding of the actions they take.
A well-crafted and interesting story that features two very interesting characters who blaze with their chemistry and sexual energy.