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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Scandalous By Ella Steele

 Millionaire Jack Gray earned his fortune creating erotic art for a discerning clientele. He doesn’t use a brush to depict these hauntingly beautiful portraits—he uses bare skin. A sterling reputation is the only thing standing between Jack and poverty as he skirts the thin line between fine art and cheap sensationalism. To ensure that his character remains beyond reproach, an assistant observes his sessions.

While interviewing for a new assistant, Jack hears her voice—Abby Tyndale—the girl who got away. The last time Jack saw her was over a decade ago. After years of romantic tension she had nearly kissed him, but then disappeared without a trace. He hasn’t seen her since. Until now. When he learns that his lost love joined the clergy after she fled to West Texas, his heart sinks. She’s forbidden, forever set apart by her vows.

Jack’s life quickly spins out of control as Abby grows closer to him, and worsens when his client list is stolen. The financial blow alone is damning, but it’s the scandal brewing beneath the surface that he fears the most. Jack and Abby’s livelihoods rely on their reputations. A single scandal will destroy them both. While fearing a contrived scandal, they have courted a very real one as their romance reignites.

This erotic romance is an addictive tease that will leave you breathless and begging for more.

This romance novel is by bestselling author H.M. Ward under the pen name Ella Steele.

Thessa's Review:


"I see it, Jack. Your muse is back. The thing that gave you passion, tormented you, and haunted you is back. You're reeling in ecstasy and dread. It's something you want, but can't ever have. And the one that brings the pain is pure, white as snow... and standing in front of you"


This is one of the best books I’ve read all year. That’s a heck of a statement, but I mean it. I don’t know how I found this book, maybe it was divine providence, but it quenched everything I love about romance books. I was initially hesitant at first, considering the H/h were not at all typical, but the cover and hidden promise of what might transpire just drew me right in. By the way, how beautiful is that cover? I’ll tell you right now, the story is just as provocative. It tore me up, made my heart ache, made me cry and made me happy.

As I said, Jack & Abby were not your typical H/h. Jack is a famous artist, whose work can be construed as either fine art or pornographic. He does not touch, nor date, nor sleep with his models. He also hires a female assistant to oversee his every move when he’s painting a model. With these simple rules, he maintains a pristine reputation that helps him sell his art. Abby is the dubbed as the one who got away. Jack and Abby were close high school friends until she disappears after their near kiss. A decade has passed and Abby returns, practically penniless & desperate looking for job. She has spent most of her time as a minister in a small church in Texas. However, her church forced her to take a mandatory sabbatical after she openly commits an offense. So she’s back and her desperation lands her at Jack’s studio. Yes, she is a minister, but she doesn’t find his work offensive or disgusting, but evocative and beautiful. He hires her as his new assistant.

Working in such close proximity to Jack is having a profound effect on Abby. He’s stirring up feelings within her that she thought was long gone. Those repressed feelings that she has had for him all these years are returning with a force. As for Jack, he’s always seen Abby as his “unattainable goddess.” How long can these two keep up this charade?

He reached out for me, tugging me by the waist closer to him. Gazing down into my face, he whispered, “I’m sorry, but I can’t be the one to start this. I can’t be the one to pull you from your calling and break your vows.”

Talk about forbidden love and lust…WOW!! Though this was told in Abby’s POV, I felt so much for both characters. The tension was palpable and so physically powerful; it literally reached out and tugged at all my emotions. When they finally couldn’t take it anymore, their coming together was explosive. My God, it was beautifully erotic. When a story elicits so much emotion from you, you know it’s good. I love, Love, LOVE this story. I cannot recommend it enough.

Side note: H.M. Ward writes paranormal YA romance. Ella Steele is her pen name. I hope that Ms. Steele continues to write more these adult contemporary novels because this was utterly fantastic. 


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