Between Commitment and Betrayal
Hardy Billionaire Brothers #1
by Shain Rose
My father’s business partner will do anything for the empire they built together…Even marry me.
Declan Hardy, All-American heartthrob and retired NFL billionaire, is my complete opposite.
He’s commanding where I’m cooperative.
Spontaneous while I am deliberate.
Loud when I stay quiet.
The only thing we have in common is that both our names are on my father’s will.
He’ll inherit the fitness and hospitality empire and I’ll keep the one thing I hold dear.
As long as I marry him—with conditions.
One year of a fake marriage.
One year of living together.
One year of pretending I belong in his luxury lifestyle.
But stipulations are never that simple.
Especially when I can’t tell if his kisses are fake or if I’m pretending when I kiss him back.
And as more conditions arise, it’s clear there’s a fine line between commitment and betrayal… and neither of us knows where that line falls.
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“What’s with this gold owl necklace?” He asked quietly.
“It meant something to me once.” I bit my lip as I looked at his, how close he was now, how I could feel his breath mingling with mine. “Felt like a symbol of being saved.”
“Hmm. Do you want to be saved now?”
He didn’t give me a moment to consider more. He pushed me up against the front of the Bugatti and devoured my mouth. I tasted his hate for all we were going through, his anger, his intrigue. I met it with mine. Bite for bite. Touch for touch. My hands were in his dark hair—pulling, clawing, consuming.
His fingers dug into my thighs as he lifted me onto the hood of his car and lapped at my neck while he moved between my legs. I wrapped them around him immediately, my body latching on like a starved animal who’d found a feast.
And I couldn’t stop even knowing that this arranged marriage was a recipe for disaster.
He ripped his lips from mine only to drag them over my neck, to taste my sensitive skin there, to suck it like he owned it. “No. You don’t want to be saved from this. From me. You want it, Everly. All of it.”
I shook my head but held him close, ground my hips into his length. “I’m here because I have to be, not because I want to be.”
“You don’t want to be?” He lifted one dark eyebrow, and then his hand was skirting under my dress and into my panties. “Tell me then, is it the rain making you wet or me?”
(Before I get into my review, read that excerpt again and if you think that’s the hero for you then this is definitely your next read.)
Overall, the heat is off the charts but the heart seemed to be a little lacking for me. I enjoyed Everly, she’s strong and independent … except when it came to Declan. Every interaction with him had her folding to his will, which is fine in a dom/sub type relationship, I guess, but I would have really liked for there to be a bit more balance. It did lead some seriously off-the-charts hot sex scenes but it didn’t do much for me to feel their “love” for each other.
Declan was a little bit on the other side of Alpha, maybe even a touch toxic at times. He’s controlling, dominant, overly jealous, but can also be sweet and thoughtful so I can kinda get it – he will definitely appeal to some. And he had some moments for me as well, but there were also times when I felt like his dealings with Everly were unhealthy. I just kept thinking that a therapist would have a field day with this one (which I guess maybe isn’t what you should be thinking when you are reading a romance).
The lack of communication between these two, and the push-pull of their interactions, got a bit old and some of the things Declan did … I really don’t know how he expected it would all work out in the end. But I can see the allure and the author definitely has me intrigued about the next book. I’m more than willing to take my chances and find out how Alpha that Hardy brother can be!
Between Commitment and Betrayal will be the perfect read for the right audience – the writing is enjoyable and the characters have their appeal. It’s not going to be for everyone, but I think this author knows who she’s writing for and delivers to them exactly what they will love.
Shain Rose is a USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English Literature. Those degrees now help her write steamy romance with an edge. From contemporary to dark romance, you will always find a dominant hero and an emotional rollercoaster ride before you get to her happily ever afters.
She lives where the weather is always changing with a family she hopes will never change. When she isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and wild golden retriever. Yes, it takes a lot of books, coffee, and candy to keep her sane.
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