AT YOUR SERVICE (Masters and Mercenaries 14.5: Topped 4) by Lexi Blake-Review & Excerpt Tour
AT YOUR SERVICE
Topper #4/ Masters and Mercenaries 14.5
by Lexi Blake
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Genre:adult, contemporary, erotic,romance
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 14, 2017
Juliana O’Neil’s promising future was burned away in the heat of battle. She had been an officer with a bright future in the military, but now she is struggling to survive. Her husband gone and her career in shambles, she finds a job at Top as a hostess and tries to put together the pieces of her life. The last thing she needs is any kind of male attention, but she can’t help but be amused at her neighbor and coworker’s lothario antics. Not that she would have anything to do with him, at least not for more than one night.
Javier Leones doesn’t understand monogamy. No woman could ever be enough for his endless libido, but he has to admit Juliana has his attention. For reasons he doesn’t fully understand, he can’t seem to get the gorgeous redhead with the sad eyes out of his head. After one scorching night together, he realizes he’ll never be able to get her out of his system. But with his reputation, he fears she’ll never see him as more than a one-night stand.
When their passions collide, these new lovers will be forced to confront Juliana’s past and come to terms with Javier’s present. Will they find their way or will this reservation be cancelled at the last minute?
REVIEW: AT YOUR SERVICE by Lexi Blake is the latest novella in the author’s contemporary adult MASTERS AND MERCENARIES: Topped BDSM romance series. This is naval officer and amputee Juliana O’Neil, and chef Javier Leones’ story line. AT YOUR SERVICE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Juliana and Javier) AT YOUR SERVICE follows several paths including the building romance and relationship between co-workers and neighbors Juliana O’Neil, and Javier Leones, as well as the destructive nature of loss and war. Juliana is a naval veteran who lost her dominant hand while on deployment over seas, and has found a bit of a kindred spirit in her neighbour Javier Leones, whose older brother continues to struggle with the loss of his legs. What ensues is the back and forth between Javier and Juliana as our heroine battles between her head and her heart, and the loss of a future she longed to explore; and the potential destruction of Javier’s brother when the demons come knocking on Javier’s door.
Javier Leones, a former military man, is a manwhore whose doesn’t do relationships; whose reputation with the ladies precedes his introduction to our story line heroine. A Master at the BDSM Club Sanctum, as well as a chef at Sean Taggart’s TOP restaurant, Javier also faces an uphill battle with his older brother who has struggled since the loss of his legs while on deployment over seas. A series of unexplained break-ins, and threats to his brother’s life find Javier stepping back to protect the woman he loves.
A one-time chef, Juliana now works as a hostess at TOP due to the difficulty using the tools required for the job but Javier is determined to push our heroine to take the steps to further a career long thought lost. Juliana is a woman afraid of losing her heart, and accepts that a relationship with Javier means there is always someone else waiting in the wings.
The relationship between Juliana and Javier is one of friends/co-workers to lovers; a relationship that struggles on preconceived notions, a past riddled with too many one-night stands, and a woman who battles some ghosts of her own. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive; the D/s and BDSM scenarios are limited and light involving some spanking, and show and tell. Juliana’s constant back and forth, yes and no, up and down was a little disconcerting; her jealousy, anger and indecisiveness juxtaposed with her easy going concern for Javier’s brother. The author’s need to constantly remind the reader about Javier’s past indiscretions is bothersome and annoying.I struggled with the numerous mentions from family, friends and the woman he loved.
There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including several previous story line couples as well as a number of TOP employees, and SANCTUM members, Javier’s ex Kristy, and his brother Rafe Leones; and nosy neighbors Mrs. Gleeson and Mr. Cassidy.
The world building continues to look at the friendships and relationship at TOP and SANCTUM, as well as the ongoing struggles for the military personnel who continue to do battle upon returning home.
AT YOUR SERVICE is a story of family and friendship, and the daily struggle for American veterans whose lives have been destroyed or forever altered. Both the H/h have issues and vulnerability that need to be addressed, hopefully their happily ever after isn’t compromised by ghosts from the past. The premise is captivating and inviting; the characters are energetic and lively; the romance is provocative and intense.
Copy supplied for review
Reviewed by Sandy
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.