Friday, December 15, 2017

Audiobook Review: Smoke and Sin by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Series:     Perfect Gentlemen #4
Pub. Date:Nov. 21, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Greg Boudreaux
Length:11 hrs 3 min

Shayla and Lexi have been extremely evil with this series - giving us the teases of Mad and not answering the question of "is he or isn't he?" But I have been riveted to this series arc as they have dribbled out the facts of the conspiracy and huge political secret. I think it speaks to the quality of the writing that I have enjoyed this series despite being overtired of everything political over the past year.

The Perfect Gentlemen up in this installment is Roman Calder, right hand to the president, Zack Hayes. Roman is known around the White House as the Hitman... protecting the president with an iron hand. It seems that Roman's entire existence (at least since prep school) has been aimed at getting Zack Hayes to the White House. Nothing, and no one, is more important than his friend Zack. His single-minded focus has turned him into an asshole playboy, refusing to get serious about any woman unless she fits his cookie cutter mold for the perfect political wife. Unfortunately, when he found that woman, she was married to his best friend. He left a lot of broken hearts in the dust, including that of our heroine. I really had a hard time liking Roman... he seemed cold and manipulative, and he was very slow to learn a lesson from past mistakes. There were many times that I wanted to tell him to STFU and pay attention!

Augustine Spencer is the sister of one of the other Perfect Gentlemen, Dax. She and Roman went hot and heavy during law school, and she thought they would become an intimate power couple in Washington politics. But Roman treated Gus more like a dirty little secret, and broke her heart when she expressed an interest about the future. So after that heartbreak and then a further personal tragedy, Gus distanced herself from everyone except Maddox. I really liked Gus. She is an independent assertive heroine, dubbed the Ice Queen around the White House, but she hides a fiercely loyal heart of gold beneath her icy demeanor. I felt so bad for her when it came to Roman and the way he treated her, but I loved that she was unapologetic about herself, her sexuality, and her life and ambitions in general. I was a little worried a couple times when it seemed that Gus would go off half-cocked into danger... but she didn't cross the line into that TSTL heroine role.

Needless to say the relationship between Roman and Gus was a lot of hot and cold. They have explosive sexual chemistry but a lot of drama between them. Roman really needs to grovel and realize that he doesn't treat Gus the way she deserves to be treated, and Gus will have to come to terms with what happened in the past and forgive Roman for his part in it. And of course when they fall into bed, things are very intense.

As has been the case with most of this series, I have been more obsessed with the political intrigue than the romance. We are finally starting to get some answers as it seems the series is winding down... and let me tell you that I was squee'ing by the end. I can't wait for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio.

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