Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new romantic suspense novella from Shayla Black. DIRTY WICKED is part of her Wicked Lovers series and features a disgraced PI helping his best friend’s widow find justice…and love.
About the book:
From New York Times bestselling author, Shayla Black…
After being framed for a crime he didn’t commit, former private eye Nick Navarro has nothing but revenge on his mind—until a woman from his past returns to beg for his help.
Beautiful widow Sasha Porter has been hunted by his enemies. Desperate, she offers him anything to keep her young daughter safe, even agreeing to become his mistress. The last thing either of them want are emotional entanglements but as they entrap the ruthless politician who arranged Nick’s downfall and passion sizzles between them, danger closes in.
Will he choose love over vengeance before it’s too late?
How about a little taste?
Nick Navarro had been out of prison exactly thirty-five hours. Long enough to get a good night’s sleep, stock up on a few necessities, and visit his old friends, the Santiago brothers. Then he’d started putting his P.I. skills to good use, methodically searching for the woman he hadn’t forgotten a single detail about during the fifteen months of his incarceration.
He intended to hunt down the bastards who had framed him and offed his childhood friend so he could repay them in spades.
Sasha Porter was the key.
At first glance, it looked as if she had disappeared off the face of the earth. She’d fled her house, quit her job, abandoned her car, maybe even changed her name. But his gut told him she was still alive. She had reasons to fight.
He would burn down the world until he found her.
Nick was forcing himself not to pace manically when his doorbell rang, sounding above the din of pounding rain. He zipped his gaze to the clock. Quarter ’til midnight. Obviously this wasn’t a social call. Had his late buddy’s enemy gotten wind of him shaking the trees for Sasha? Or had that corrupt son of a bitch just come back for another pound of flesh?
With every light in the living room on, Nick couldn’t pretend he wasn’t home. Besides, he refused to let this asshole think he was afraid. So he drew his weapon and jerked the door open, wearing a snarl.
Nick expected trouble, a gunfight, a battle for his life. Instead, Sasha Porter stood under his little portico, clinging near the door to avoid the deluge of November rain. Without a coat, she shivered. An exhausted little girl slept on her hip under a baby blanket, blond curls askew. A ragged duffel bag hung over her other arm. Rain had seeped through Sasha’s tattered blouse. Water ran down her cheek, which was marred with an unmistakable bruise. Dark circles discolored the skin under her hazel eyes, now wide with fear as she stared at his SIG. Cursing, Nick scrambled to holster his weapon.
Nick Navarro is a PI just fresh out of prison. He was framed for raping a crooked DA’s niece, and while he was in jail his childhood best friend Mike Porter was murdered. Mike, an assistant district attorney, had sought Nick’s help getting evidence on his boss, DA Walter Clifford. Nick promised he’d take care of Sasha, Mike’s wife, if ever Mike got into trouble, but Nick had been locked away when she needed him.
Now out, Nick’s desperate to keep Sasha Porter, and her toddler daughter Harper, out of Clifford’s crossfire. She’s known the danger since the night before Mike was killed, but she’d never turn up on Nick’s doorstep if she wasn’t desperate. Clifford’s goons have hounded her steps for over a year, and Harper’s illness isn’t going away. Nick agrees to help–in return for Sasha’s full cooperation…in the bedroom.
Okay, okay, he’s not really that mercenary. His offer isn’t fully serious. He’s mad attracted to Sasha, but he’s not about to make her prostitute herself. Not when what he really wants is her full cooperation, anyway. He fell hard for Sasha when they first met–when she was Mike’s wife, and all he wants is for her to love him like she loved Mike. Not so easy. Still, we get a few cameos from previous stories, notably Xander, London and Javier and their adorable daughter, who take Harper so she’s out of the fray and can recuperate in safety. That leaves Sasha and Nick to hunt down evidence Mike had planted deep in the heart of New Orleans.
Naturally, along the way, the brute with the heart of gold wins over the shrinking violet, the bad goy gets worse, and the grand gesture gets completely out-of-hand…
I honestly liked the progression of Nick and Sasha’s affections, even if I felt the “L” word got thrown out there way too soon. The end was a little nutty–but justice was served with a side dish of cold revenge. So, HEA all the way, and a juicy interlude for the hero and his heroine.
About the Author:
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.