September 9, 2015

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Pure Wicked (Wicked Lovers #9.5)

I jumped the order a bit to read this novella, but it was totally worth it. Pure Wicked is an awesomely hot and exciting addition to the Wicked Lovers series. Check out my review, and then don't wait any longer - go order it!

Pure Wicked (Wicked Lovers #9.5), by Shayla Black
Publish Date: September 8, 2015
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: adult erotic contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) During his decade as an international pop star, Jesse McCall has lived every day in the fast lane. A committed hedonist reveling in amazing highs, globetrotting, and nameless encounters, he refuses to think about his loneliness or empty future. Then tragedy strikes.

Shocked and grieving, he sheds his identity and walks away, searching for peace. Instead, he finds Bristol Reese, a no-nonsense beauty scraping to keep her family’s business afloat while struggling with her own demons. He’s intent on seducing her, but other than a pleasure-filled night, she’s not interested in a player, especially after her boyfriend recently proposed to her sister. In order to claim Bristol, Jesse has to prove he’s not the kind of man he’s always been. But when she learns his identity and his past comes back to haunt him, how will he convince her that he’s a changed man who wants nothing more than to make her his forever?

Even though I did skip a few books in the Wicked Lovers series, I personally think I happened to read Pure Wicked right at the perfect time. I very recently finished book 2 in this series, in which Jesse McCall was introduced. Pure Wicked takes place several years after the events of that book, but for Jesse, not much has changed. And, therein lies his biggest problem. 

Although he's been sober for the past year, he's still not happy with his rock star life. He's looking for more meaning out of it. And, when a tragedy rocks his world, he decides to disappear on the road for awhile until the heat dies down. 

Which is how he finds himself in some podunk midwest town. Jesse is instantly drawn to Bristol Reese, a strong, confident woman who is trying to make her own way in the world, despite it seeming like everyone is out to stop her. Jesse sees so many qualities in her that he admires and wants to see in himself. So, he hides his identity from her for just a little bit of time so he can soak up her goodness and strength before he hits the road again. 

There was a lot to like about Pure Wicked. I didn't care for Jesse at all when we met him in Decadent. THIS Jesse, I liked. He's trying so hard to be the man he wants to be. But, when you've been doing the same thing over and over for ten years, it's so hard to just stop. This Jesse, though, is much more determined to push through the hard part and find a way to make himself happy. And I totally respect that. 

Bristol is doing much the same thing. She's stuck in her own rut - her small town life where everyone knows everyone and no one takes her seriously. Jesse steps into her life at exactly the right moment, and although she tries to remain level headed about him, it's hard when he is everything she has ever wanted or needed in a man, but could never dream to find in her hometown. 

My biggest issue with Pure Wicked is that it's just a smidge unbelievable. First, there's the instalove, which I can sort of forgive. I mean, this is a novella. This couple only has 100 pages to meet and fall in love, whereas the regular couple has 300+ pages to do the same thing. So, that much I can forgive. 

Sure - it's every girl's fantasy to have a rich, famous, hot rock star sweep her off her feet and save her from her humdrum life. But, that's what it is - a fantasy. It's a fun one though. So, even though Bristol's and Jesse's story might not ever happen in real life, it is completely enjoyable to imagine that it could. And, their fairytale story, coupled with some ridiculously hot sex, made for a very quick read. This whole series is the awesomesauce. Pure Wicked is just the cinnamon on top. 

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels. For over fifteen years, she's written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold well over a million copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She's thrilled that she's been living her dream as a full-time author for the past seven years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and a very spoiled cat. In her "free" time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

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