"Last Kiss" Ranks First In Emotional Complexity


           


Title:  Last Kiss
Series:  (First and Last #2)
Author: Laurelin Paige
Format:  eARC
Length:  400 pages
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Rating:  4 Stars

"Visceral, enticing, shining with white lies and dark truths, seductive twists and turns, and a love that takes your breath away." – Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author

A GAME OF CAT AND MOUSE FILLED WITH DARK DESIRES AND DANGEROUS SECRETS…

Emily Wayborn has made a decision.

She might not fully trust handsome and deadly Reeve Sallis, but he is the one person that gives her what she needs. With Reeve she can finally be herself. Submitting to him is the only thing keeping her grounded as the rest of her life falls apart. But the hotelier is a master at keeping secrets and as she continues her quest for answers someone is making sure she doesn’t find them.

Time is running out and she is questioning everything she thought she knew about friendship and love. She must now make an impossible choice that will determine if she will survive with her heart…or at all.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
Be careful what you wish for...it just might kill you."

After Amber is found beaten, barely alive, and sporting the tattoo/brand of mobster Michelis Vilanakis. A brand that stands as proof of her indentured servitude. A brand that marks her as his property. 
The newly coupled Reeve and Emily are bound and determined to keep her safe, and well out of the clutches of Reeve's nefarious uncle.

At any cost.

But Amber and her ties to both Emily and Reeve's intimate pasts are a far more ominous form of bondage than either of the two has the power to withstand without shattering the other.
Unless...
Emily and Reeve can save...themselves!

This story is all about manipulation. Whether it be Michelis' coercion of Amber. Reeve's sensual control of Emily, Emily's emotional waffling with Reeve, or Amber's blatant puppet mastering of everyone. It is crystal clear from page one that secrets, lies, and deny...deny...deny are all elements which rule the roost plot wise for this read.

With the threat of Michelis serving as the ever present wolf at the door. It would be very easy to forget that sometimes wolves have been known to wear sheep's clothing. 

It would be if...

Amber's presence at Reeve's ranch wasn't sending Emily on constant sojourns down memory lane. To revisit memories which do nothing but frustrate readers, and lead Emily to sabotage everything that has even the slightest chance of making her happy.

If anyone is expecting help from leading man Reeve, in the transversing of this ever torrid tangle; they are doomed to a series of endless disappointments. Unless by helping you meant that he should : avoid dealing with his uncle, leave his emotional position with both women ambiguous enough to spark jealousy, and give so much space to the woman that he claims he can't live without that she feels that she has no choice but to run.

Hmmmmm...

Thankfully. The double edged sword that is emotional blackmail with a chaser of angst laced guilt and denial is laid down somewhere around 35% in (Kindle approximation.) In favor of danger of a more physical variety. But the question still remains.

With whom does the real danger lie?

Readers will note that a great deal of this review centers around the emotional subterfuge that runs rampant throughout this book. This is because for better, and sometimes for worse; this is the vehicle by which most of the drama found here is delivered.

There are still glimpses of the Dom / Sub sexual relationship that we have been trained to salivate over like Pavlov's dogs. Coupled with the mystery of who and why when it comes to Amber. But for the most part it is the feels that serve as both savior and assassin to this book's plot.


Reviewer's Note: The review provided has been given without input from St. Martin's Press or their agents. Last Kiss is the second book in a closely related series. It is highly recommended that it be read in the order intended.

About Larelin
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman and Friedman
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