January 14, 2015
REVIEW: The Masseuse (The Body Works Trilogy #1)
Published December 2, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5 STARS
(From Goodreads) Anna Rossi lives by one simple rule: don’t get attached, don’t get hurt. But Alec Flynn doesn’t play by the rules…
Anna never takes on a massage client without screening him first, but the paycheck offered by billionaire Maxim Stein is too good to turn down. Stein is the richest man she’s ever laid her hands on, and despite the risks, she trusts that she can take care of herself. After all, she’s handled difficult clients in the past. What she isn’t prepared for is getting caught in a compromising situation by Maxim’s tall, dark, and gorgeous bodyguard—or the desperate desires he awakens in her…
Alec is dangerous. The mysterious, hard-bodied man is completely irresistible and won’t be refused, no matter what walls Anna puts up to protect herself. But as Anna falls fast for his careful ministrations and mind-blowing skills, she begins to realize that giving herself over to a man with so many secrets isn’t just putting her heart at risk—it’s endangering her life…
I must confess that, at first glance, I dismissed THE MASSEUSE because it seemed like it would be a tawdry cheap thrill. Masseuses have that sort of reputation, right?
What can I say? I'm an idiot.
In The Masseuse, Anna Rossi's services are needed at rich sleaze ball Maxim Stein's home. While there, she gets lost and has a run-in with his bodyguard, the mysterious Alec Flynn. That brief meeting stays with Anna, as does their magnetic connection, and after a few chance meetings, Anna and Alec begin a hot affair. The burden of confession doesn't fall evenly though, as Anna shares her heart, body and all her dirty little secrets with Alec, and he shares almost nothing. The lack of balance causes problems, least of which is mistrust on Anna's side. And, the worst of which is that someone seems to be gunning for Anna now, and she has no idea why.
So yeah. I'm a dumbass. I had no idea this book had so much depth and suspense and intrigue locked within its pages. Yes - Anna is a masseuse. But, truthfully, that fact is not a major part of the story. I was very quickly - almost immediately, actually - caught up in Alec's secrets and lies and the near impossible task of discerning whether his apparent feelings for Anna were real. Anna's profession became almost an extraneous detail.
Alec was my favorite part of The Masseuse. He was frustrating and infuriating and completely wonderful. There is a lot more to him than what meets the eye. In the beginning, he appears so aloof and uncaring. Like he's chasing after Anna just because he thinks she's hot. As in all the best stories, it may start out that way, but once they have some shared near death experiences, some ridiculously hot sex and some deep pillow talk, real feelings develop.
And, that's when things get really messy. Anna falls hard and fast and has to come to a decision about Alec's lack of full disclosure. He allows her in just a bit, and she's so desperate for that connection with him, she clings to those details he offers up and uses them to justify his continued presence in her life. Except, there comes a time when even that isn't enough for her. And, that time comes when it appears he's cheating on her.
Alec and Anna's relationship is passionate and intense. Their chemistry was wicked awesome, and something I could read about every day. The Masseuse is told entirely from Anna's POV, which is kind of a bummer. I mean, I get why - all of Alec's secrets would've come out so much sooner if we had his voice in the book as well as Anna's. But, this is one instance where I would love an eventual companion novel to showcase what's going on in that beautiful head of his.
There's a lot going on in The Masseuse. All the lines get blurred, and no one is sure who to trust. But, the one thing you are sure of by the end is that Alec and Anna love each other, and although things end a little on the hairy side, you feel good that they will come out of it all on top. Of course, this is only book one in a trilogy, so on the other hand, there's still plenty of time for one or both of them to screw things up. Thank goodness.