What do you do when the man who you love more than anyone else in the world terrifies you? This is a question Shyla must confront and it takes her to her breaking point.
The only person who can bring her back is the same person who is capable of destroying her beyond repair. Shyla has seen a side of Taylor she can never forget. She now understands that not only is he capable of immense tenderness, but ruthless violence. She must decide if she will fully trust Taylor and embrace both his light and darkness, as it is clear both exist equally within him. Their pasts continue to cast a shadow over their relationship as Shyla attempts to convince Taylor that the only way they can truly embrace the future is to reopen and repair old wounds. Taylor swears anything he has ever done was to protect Shyla, but Eric's words haunt her and cast doubts on Taylor's intentions. Taylor will do anything for Shyla. Now she must decide if that is actually good thing.
Stunned, I unzip the garment bag and find a long-sleeved black velvet dress with a plunging neckline. Even if he would permit me to wear a bra, it would not even be possible in this dress. The hem, I estimate, would stop about mid thigh. Inside the shopping bag is a pack of sheer black silk stockings, with one opaque line running along the back of my heel to the top of the stocking, punctuated by a small satin bow. A thin red garter belt is provided to ensure the stockings stay in place. There is also box of fire-red stilettos inside the bag, the heel so sharp and steep that my eyes widen as I rotate the shoe to examine it. Holy hooker heels. With a confounded pout on my face, I slide on the dress, stockings and shoes. The stockings turn out to be exceptionally long, stopping just below the crook of my ass, framing each cheek like a gift. I pin only one side of my hair back, exposing one shoulder. I find a lipstick to match my shoes and apply a gunmetal eyeshadow and black mascara.
Then I anxiously wait like a good girl.
It isn’t long before Taylor returns, dressed in a perfectly tailored graphite suit, a crisp white shirt and navy tie to match the muted Icelandic vistas. He had left in street clothes, and I wonder if he just picked this up. Normally I would ask, but this Taylor is not one with whom I would engage in such insignificant trivialities. You don’t waste your words with Mr. Holden.
I remain seated on the edge of the bed, instinctively waiting for him to find me and tell me what is to be done next. I fiddle with my red lacquered fingernails as my heart flutters. It is a feeling I have learned to love and hate: not knowing what Taylor will do or say, but relishing in the agony of anticipation.
I sense I am in trouble, but I can’t know for sure until he decides to disclose. Asking is futile.
His footsteps are quick and come to an abrupt stop when he finds me. Without uttering a word, he reaches for one of my hands and incites me to stand. I look up expectantly as his piercing jade eyes assess me. Am I pleasing to his frigid yet fiery glare? His poker face reveals nothing. He takes a half a step closer, so that his breath tickles my hairline. Then, he grazes the tips of his knuckles along the smoothness of the velvet, starting at my right shoulder, and trailing down the deep V-neckline of my dress, stopping just at the peak of my breast. My clit lights up with arousal, begging for his relief. And he fucking knows it. My hips involuntarily jut forward just a centimeter, but he reads those subtle cues like a sexual seismograph. His eyes sharply shift to my pelvis and then back up to my eyes. Despite all of the questions in my mind, they plead with him in silence, large and doe-like. I am willing to forget it all tonight if he’ll just relieve me of the desire for him that bleeds through my skin. It’s something I know he can sense from across a room and he uses it to lull me like a snake charmer would. He feeds off of my desperation for him, the way my pulse speeds when he blows on my neck, or stares at me like a wolf patiently stalking his prey. And so, he will make me wait, delighting in my angst.
His eyes track down to my breastbone, and his knuckle grazes my already rigid nipple. A small puff escapes my barely parted red lips as my back arches towards him. I clench my fists at my sides, using whatever I have left of my willpower not to grab him and pull him closer.
Nina G. Jones was born and raised in Bronx, NY and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and two crazy Boxers.
She is the author of the Amazon Bestselling Strapped series and the erotic romance, Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel.
Let me start with a little back story.Last fall I read an awesome little book called Strapped. I was introduced to Taylor Holden and Shyla Ball and instantly fell in love. I immediately searched the internet for everything Nina G. Jones and boy was I surprised to find out that was her first novel. Flash forward a year, and here I am reviewing the last installment of the Strapped series and saying goodbye to the two people that Nina made me fall in love with, Taylor and Shyla.
I went in to this knowing it was going to me a mind blowing, twisted ride. How mind blowing and twisted, I wasn't sure, then I started reading. Every thought of what I had in my head of what was going to happen was shot to hell. I was taken on a journey that only Taylor can take you on.
These characters have evolved perfectly. Taylor isn't just a damaged boy who was abandoned by his mother, he is dark, twisted and loves Shyla fiercely. Shyla isn't a naive, innocent bystander anymore. She is just as twisted, almost as dark and found her soulmate in Taylor.
The story goes full circle and all of your questions will be answered. This is the end, after all and Nina didn't torture us with a cliffhanger, thank God! I would have hunted her down if she would have done that, well, ok, maybe just spammed her inbox with messages of despair. The pieces to the puzzle all fit...or do they.
Throughout the series we watched Shyla explore her darker side, with Taylor's help. There were times I wondered if she was doing everything for herself, or just for Taylor. I don't have to wonder anymore, now I know, it was for herself.
Taylor's need to protect Shyla knows no limits. He will do anything, and I mean anything to keep her safe. He is a man that isn't afraid to take risks and one that knows how to get what he wants.
Their relationship is tested almost to the breaking point, and after reading the second book, I can honestly see why. These two have to find a way to love each other without compromising themselves in the process. Taylor may even have to learn how to give up some control, yeah, like that's going to happen!
It has been a pleasure and an honor to have followed this series through to the end. To watch their relationship grow and become something that will work for both of them was a magical, roller coaster, twisted mind fuck of a journey. If there was any doubt of Nina being able to write dark, this should settle that debate. This book isn't fluffy, it isn't kittens and rainbows and unicorn farts of glitter. It's raw. It will make you cry, scream, and trust everything you ever thought about these characters.
I hate to say goodbye to Taylor and Shyla, but their time has come. Thank you for sharing them with us Nina and I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next.
*And if you wonder why this review is a bit vague, I do not want to spoil this story for anyone. The plot line is very intricate and I feel that it is best to experience it on your own, without bias...other than the fact that I love everything about this book and Nina.*
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