The price of survival…
Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.
There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.
A forbidden auction…
Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.
Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.
THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.
This one should come with a health warning: Dark and dangerously seductive and highly addictive from the get-go.
Avery has been sheltered her entire life by her over-protective father and her social-climbing fiance. She has lived like a modern-day princess, not wanting for a thing. However, everything comes crashing down around her when her father is accused of fraud and later beaten to within an inch of death. Avery has to step up and look after him while trying to keep the roof over them and cover his medical bills.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and she reaches out to a notorious gangster looking for a loan. There she meets the manipulative, secretive Gabriel and suddenly she is signing up to sell her virginity to the highest bidder.
The first half of this book was exceptional – suspenseful and slow-building and it had me on the edge of my seat. Those scenes at the auction were incredibly well written. I had butterflies in my chest and a nasty taste in my mouth and I actually had to look away from my kindle a few times because it was so awful to read. I felt her pain, her humiliation and her desperation to try and cling onto herself.
The second half felt rushed to me and I wish it had been fleshed out more so I could feel the connection between Gabriel and Avery. I still don’t understand how she could have feelings for the man that has orchestrated her demise, and, while I did catch glimpses of the man he is underneath, I can’t forgive the cold, callous way he treated her at the end. To be fair, it’s obvious he hates himself for what he has set in motion, but still.
I suspect there are other players in this and that Gabriel himself has been set up, but I could be barking up the wrong tree. I suspect creepy Uncle Landon of having a hand in this, and I’m so intrigued to find out where it’s heading. I hope in the next book that Avery really mans up and fights back because she was a little too weak at times in this one. I want her to kick butt next time and really go all out to seek vengeance.
The sex scenes were hot and well written and I enjoyed this author’s writing style. I also adore the underworld vibes and hope she explores this further as the series progresses. While this isn’t a new story (I’ve read similar like it) it manages to remain authentic and it comfortably stands on its own, largely because it’s well executed and the characters are decently developed.
I really look forward to continuing this series especially as that cliffy has left me dangling one-handed off the ledge.
Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
A sense of familiarity fills the space between us even though I know we haven’t met. This man is a stranger, but he looks at me as if he wants to know me. He looks at me as if he already does. There’s an intensity to his eyes when they sweep over my face, as firm and as telling as a touch.
“I need…” A thud against my ribs as I think about all the things I need—a rewind button. One person in the city who doesn’t hate me by name alone. “I need a loan.”
He gives me a slow perusal, from the nervous slide of my tongue along my lips to the high neckline of my dress. I tried to dress professionally—a black cowl-necked sweater and pencil skirt. His strange amber gaze unbuttons my coat, pulls away the expensive cotton, tears off the cotton fabric of my bra and panties. He sees right through me, and I shiver as a ripple of awareness runs over my skin.
I’ve met a million men in my life. Shaken hands. Smiled. I’ve never felt as seen through as I do right now. Never felt like someone has turned me inside out, every dark secret exposed to the harsh light. He sees my weaknesses, and from the cruel set of his mouth, he likes them.
His lids lower. “And what do you have for collateral?”
Nothing except my word. That wouldn’t be worth anything if he knew my name. I swallow past the lump in my throat. “I don’t know.”
He takes a step forward, and suddenly I’m crowded against the brick wall beside the door, his large body blocking out the warm light from inside. He feels like a furnace in front me, the heat of him in sharp contrast to the cold brick at my back. “What’s your name, girl?”
The word girl is a slap in the face. I force myself not to flinch, but it’s hard. Everything about him overwhelms me—his size, his low voice. “I’ll tell Mr. Scott my name.”
In the shadowed space between us, his smile spreads, white and taunting. The pleasure that lights his strange yellow eyes is almost sensual, as if I caressed him. “You’ll have to get past me.”
My heart thuds. He likes that I’m challenging him, and God, that’s even worse. What if I’ve already failed? I’m free-falling, tumbling, turning over without a single hope to anchor me. Where will I go if he turns me away? What will happen to my father?
“Let me go,” I whisper, but my hope fades fast.
His eyes flash with warning. “Little Avery James, all grown up.”
A small gasp resounds in the space between us. He already knows my name. That means he knows who my father is. He knows what he’s done. Denials rush to my throat, pleas for understanding. The hard set of his eyes, the broad strength of his shoulders tells me I won’t find any mercy here.
About the Author:
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, four dogs, and one evil cat.
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