Wednesday, June 21, 2017

ARC Review: Revenge by Lexi Blake

Series:     Lawless #3
Pub. Date:June 20, 2017
Publisher:Berkley Romance
Length:352 pages

I thought we saw our major plot twist of the Lawless series in the last book, Satisfaction. But Lexi Blake twisted us up just a little more in this final and conclusory book of the series - and it definitely wasn't a move that I saw coming. I have enjoyed this close-knit family of siblings with a tragic past, and I was very excited to get to the story of Andrew Lawless, family patriarch. 

Andrew Lawless is not just the family patriarch. He is also a billionaire tech genius, and a bit of a geek with an inability to deal with people. Everything to Andrews is war, and he is trying to figure out where to move his players around the battle field to best suit his purpose. That includes the bombshell investigative reporter, Shelby Gates. In Satisfaction, we saw glimpses of Drew's unwitting attraction and grudging respect for the spitfire reporter, but that didn't stop him from shutting her investigation down at every turn. But after the big bombshell from the last book, Drew has decided that, in an effort to protect his family, he will bring Shelby in on the investigation, and maybe a little action on the side as well. Even though he was dictatorial, I adored Drew's socially awkward behavior. I also admired his drive, determination and intelligence. 

Shelby Gates became obsessed with the players in the Lawless family drama after her brother, also a reporter, was murdered while chasing the story of Patricia Cain. When Andrew Lawless sends a private jet for her, her curiosity won't let her ignore the invitation. And when Drew dangles some very juicy bate in front of Shelby's inquisitive nose, she cannot resist temptation. I don't normally like reporter heroines... but Shelby was okay with me. She wasn't trying to totally expose our hero, and she wasn't insensitive to the Lawless past and plight. I did like how she handled Drew, and how she was supportive in a way that he did not know he needed.

The relationship between these two unfolded at a nice pace to match the story. There was quite a bit of chemistry there already, and Drew did apply himself to intimacy with a single-minded focus that was deliciously steamy. That being said, some of the back and forth on the relationship did get tiring and aggravating. I would have liked to see them building and strengthening their bond more fully by a certain point... but we still had a push and pull going to nearly the end.  That's just a personal preference for me, and it may not bother you the same way.

The suspense plot for the series is finally fully revealed. We saw where it was going after the twist in Satisfaction, so you already know who the villain is.  As a result, the suspense aspect in this final installment was trying to determine just how said villain was going to carry out her evil deeds. I was pleased with this part of the story, and often found myself rushing through the romance bits to get back to the plot conflict. Overall, I am happy with this series and would recommend it to fans of steamy romantic suspense. My one regret for the series as a whole is that I happened to be reading all of these books at times when I was continually interrupted by work (or work travel) and I couldn't focus on them for any substantial length of time. That always impedes my enjoyment when I have to keep putting the book down and coming back to it later. So a re-read might be in order at a later date.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley.