Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a sexy New Adult romance from best-selling author Ella James. I read the first book in this series, SELLING SCARLETT, which features a strong independent woman selling her “carnal treasure” to help a friend in dire need. It was a steamer I enjoyed, so I thought I’d give the latest Love Inc book a look-see. UNMAKING MARCHANT has a story built on the power of addiction and mental illness.
About the book:
Marchant Radcliffe, owner of the exclusive Love Inc. brothel, is no stranger to darkness. He lost his parents in a plane crash and since college has harbored a secret almost too terrible to bear. He keeps his head above water by pouring his energy into his business—and he’s thrived, despite the dark blot on his soul.
Then, after ten years of good fortune, Marchant’s skeletons start to peek out of the closet, tossing him down a trail of ruin that begins with arson and could end with murder. Because he’s kept his struggles private, he has no one to pull him back from the brink.
After a breakup with her longtime fiancé, Suri Dalton, daughter of one of Silicon Valley’s tech tycoons, has nowhere to go except her BFF’s new penthouse in Las Vegas. The last thing Suri is looking for is a man, but after drowning her woes in wine on the flight over, she stumbles into a torrid make out session with a beautiful stranger—who just so happens to be Marchant Radcliffe, playboy and literal pimp.
Despite an immediate attraction, Suri writes Marchant off as exactly the sort of guy she should avoid. Until Love Inc. goes up in flames, Marchant winds up at the bottom of a swimming pool, and Suri is the only one around to pull him out.
What happens when what you see isn’t what you get? What do you do when destiny is too alluring to resist and too dangerous to survive?
This was an interesting steamy read. Suri is a smart woman engaged to an abusive alcoholic, Adam. He’s the only man she’s ever been with–they are high school sweethearts, but Adam’s continued alcoholism is a major stumbling block to their relationship. One night he’s way-too-handsy and ends up hurting Suri–which sends Suri from her Napa estate to Vegas to meet up with her BFF, Lizzy.
Lizzy is engaged to a billionaire, and has friends in quite low places: particularly a high-class brothel, owned by Marchant. Suri’s woefully prudish, perhaps, but she’s not interested in anything to do with a pimp. Well, at least not until Marchant ends up (inadvertently) saving her from an assailant and they have a brief tryst–Suri’s first-ever anonymous hook-up. She’s rather mortified to discover Mr. Love Inc is the sex-god who drew out her elusive orgasm like a bee finds pollen.
Still, there’s something vulnerable about Marchant, and Suri’s the Patron Saint of Lost Men, or something. She can tell Marchant is messed up, but she thinks he’s on drugs (Spoiler: yep) but that’s only a small part of the story. He suffers bipolar disorder and is on a mania high when they first meet, which later collapses into suicidal depression.
So, Marchant saved her, and she returns the favor. These two have a magnetic attraction–even before Marchant seeks treatment for his illness. He blames himself for ruining a good woman years before and doesn’t want Suri (or any woman) to get her heart broken. Guess what, Marchant? YOU are not the boss of WOMANKIND. We will have a broken heart if we WANT one, dangit!
Expect sex. Lots of it. Expect some brief domestic violence, and some drawn-out mania and many many bad decisions. It takes Marchant a LONG time to reveal his dark secret, but the end comes quickly after that–though this book ends with a cliffhanger.
This story introduces Lizzy, Cross and Suri. Lizzy attempts to sell her virginity in order to raise money to pay for Cross’ medical care after his parents cut him off and he’s injured in a bike crash. (There’s an argument for universal healthcare in this premise, methinks!)
About the Author:
Ella’s books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 100; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!