Series: Lawless #2
Published by Berkley Books on January 3rd 2017
Buy on Amazon
Brandon Lawless is a man on a mission: obtain the information that will clear his father s name. He s willing to do whatever it takes even seduce his enemy's personal assistant, the beautiful and innocent Carly Hendricks. But with her beguiling smile and captivating intelligence, Brandon soon realizes he doesn't want to deceive Carly, he wants to win her over both in the boardroom and the bedroom. Then a twisted crime leaves Carly vulnerable and Brandon finds himself reeling. The stakes of his mission are now life or death Carly s life. And Brandon realizes he's lost his heart to an amazing woman and his plan must succeed, because the stakes are no longer just revenge, but a once in a lifetime love.
And…the revenge plot rolls on, in ‘Satisfaction’, as each of the Lawless siblings find their happy-ever-after while getting payback for their parents’ deaths. What struck me immediately was how unusual this series is—a suspense plot that does not involve secret agents or high-octane chases but rather one of corporate espionage and layered discoveries where the build-up spans what I’m suspecting would be an entire story arc that will only end in the last book.
I did find the characters hard to get into though, even if the sex is undoubtedly hot. Bran/Carly seemed somewhat mismatched as their relationship seemed based mostly on needs fulfilment and Brandon’s superficial desire to ‘help’ all the women he sleeps with. Carly pings this radar because she fits his type to a ’T’ as the damsel in distress who badly needs rescuing, her passive and near-virginal ways (in comparison) a foil to this unstable character so full of rage and simmering violence that love really can’t conquer all.
In many ways, I found it hard to see Bran as a grown man in control of all his faculties but more alarmingly, I thought of him more and more as a man-whore-child who couldn’t shake his family’s shackles off him simply because he hadn’t proven himself capable. But it’s precisely the volatile, passive-aggressive behaviour of Bran’s that I found truly distasteful, as he slides constantly into the mantra that he isn’t good for anyone, then turns around shouldering a messiah complex tinged with a black-edged cruelty when he taunts the sexually inexperienced Carly with the sheer number of hookers/strippers/women he’s gone through in a bid to let her see the ‘real him’. That Carly mothers him thereafter, deciding he needs ‘domesticity’ instead convinced me that it wasn’t quite a pairing I could get behind at all, when she merely chose to see the tragic side of him.
That said, the tortured-leading man who needs a gentle woman to reform him is probably a trope that others would appreciate, even if it doesn’t appeal to me personally.
However, I do find myself intrigued with the setup for Drew Lawless and Shelby Gates, who start at opposite ends of the scale and go eye to eye as he tries to hinder her investigation into their family. And unless there’re some hard limits that are going to be crossed, I’m cautiously waiting out to see how the whole story goes down.