Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sheri's Review of House Of Payne: Steele by Stacy Gail


TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subjects of surviving rape, trauma suffered during combat, child abuse, and possible sterility. If you have issues with these elements, this book might not be for you.

Raped. Tortured. Beaten. Essie Santiago’s life fell apart when she was sixteen, and it’s taken eight years to put it back together. There are some pieces that can never be mended; it would take a miracle for her to get pregnant, and physical closeness is something that makes her shudder. Only her love of creating beauty in the form of fashion gets her through the worst of the darkness.

When a mortar attack destroyed half his face and all of his life as he knew it, something vital died inside of former Marine, Ezekiel Steele. For years he’s felt nothing… until he sees Essie trying her best to be invisible. But the feisty spark inside the lovely fashion designer is too bright to be concealed, and like a moth to a flame, he’s helpless to resist her.

Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is taking the world of fashion by storm, holding a contest to find the best designer the city has to offer. Competition is fierce, but all Essie can concentrate on are Steele’s dirty-talking lessons in sex. But when the student surpasses the master when it comes to love, Steele’s inner demons get the better of him. If he can't face them down, he’ll lose Essie forever.

123,000 words                 

***This standalone, mildly erotic contemporary romance contains a dirty-talking Alpha with a penchant for having sex in public places. No cheating, no love triangles and no cliffhangers. Fairy tale HEA guaranteed. Due to adult language and sexual content, this book is not intended for people under the age of 18***


“You sure you don’t need… uh, this?”
A low, sexy laugh escaped him as he brought his hand back to the juncture of her thighs. “This? You mean my cock?”
It was amazing, how she could still blush. “Mm-hm.”
“Say it.” When she didn’t immediately respond, the slow encroachment of his hand stilled. “Essie, I want you to feel free to say anything when you’re with me. Any thought. Any word. Nothing’s forbidden between us. You can say it.”
“Okay.” She huffed out an irritated breath and tried not to imagine what her mother would think of her for having such a dirty mouth. “Your, um… your c-cock.”
His hand instantly slid into her cleft, homed in like a champ on her clit and gave it one hard circle. She gasped, her head flinging back, but just as suddenly as he started, he stilled again.
“You stumbled a bit on that, sweetness. Say it again. It sounds so pretty, coming from your sweet lips.”
“Your cock.” It was quiet, hushed, but she managed to say it this time without stuttering. She was immediately rewarded with a few more spectacular swirls of his finger, but just as she was dissolving into a pool of pleasure, he stoppedagain.
“Say it again.”
Goddamn it. “Your cock.”
“Your cock, your cock, your huge, fucking cock.”
She thanked heaven and whatever deity that might be involved in dirty talk when his fingers began to move, but they worked her so slowly she couldn’t stand it.
“Do you like my huge, fucking cock, Essie?”
“Yeah. Oh, yeah.”
“How much do you like my huge, fucking cock?”
Feverishly she pumped her hips, trying to get him going, and her hands loosened the front of his jeans despite his claim that it wasn’t necessary. “I love your huge, fucking cock.”
“What do you love about my huge, fucking cock?”
“At the moment, I love that it can’t talk.”  - (322 words)

Purchase links for all HoP books

1.      HOUSE OF PAYNE: PAYNE - http://amzn.to/1QusDvO
2.      HOUSE OF PAYNE: SCOUT - http://amzn.to/1SBs1J5
3.      HOUSE OF PAYNE: TWIST - http://amzn.to/1SBs6fP
4.      HOUSE OF PAYNE: RUDE - http://amzn.to/1VK1Xjh


Essie Santiago has had it rough. At the age of 16 she was raped and tortured by her brothers friend, leaving her with not only physical scars but emotional scars as well. But the one thing that keeps Essie's thoughts from going back to the past is her career as a costume designer in Texas. Essie is thriving in her new state but when her brother "Twist" presents her with a job offer back home, she soon finds herself packing her bags and heading to Chicago. The one place that was filled with heartache. The House of Payne Tattoo Studio is now looking to expand their brand into fashion and has now turned Essie's dream job into a contest. With nothing left, she enters to the contest and quickly makes it to the finals. However when contest tunes into a three ring circus, Essie learns that her and her fellow designers are to make a full line and present it to the CEO. But while in the meeting with the CEO, she locks eyes with the sexy man standing in the corner. He has to be security but he doesn't look like the typical "Rent-a-Cop" she is use to. Something about this man has awakened something is Essie that hasn't been there since before her attack. 

Ezekiel Steele really didn't want to attend this stupid meeting at The House of Payne but his security company (PSI)  was to be in charge of the contest. But when his eyes land on the small creature in the corner, he is soon glad he was there. She wasn't like the other two designers. She was normal. Well as normal as one can be when they are covered from neck down in thick layers of clothing and won't look up. However when they do make eye contact, Steele knows that there is more to this girl than what appears. 

With the electrifying attraction between the two, it was only a matter of time before they start to hang out and get together. Steele, with his own demons soon starts to help Essie work out her issues using his own therapy, aka "lessons". Which consist of plenty of dirty talk and public encounters that open her up to a new world. However the one thing he knew he wouldn't be able to do was to fall for her. He already had his "perfect" in life and look at where that got him; a broken and scared man. 

Essie on the other hand was coming into a new life. Steele was everything to her and was starting to fall for him. But after she reveals her feelings to him, he quickly states his past and how he can not allow himself to feel the same way. This then leaves Essie crushed. Can she get over the fact that his demons won't allow him a moment of happiness? Can she still be there for him? Or was Steele only in this for some fun? 

This is where Essie starts to aggravate me. She finds out from one of Steele's co-workers that he traveled back to Louisiana to try and come to terms with his past. She was asked to be patient and wait for him but when he returns she shuts him out. How selfish of her to do that. After everything this man did for her. How he treated her with such care and ease and this is what he has to come home to, a bitter woman. She couldn't stay by his side and support him? He did that for her on multiple occasions.

Now on to the parts that I loved and made me blush:
1-The Bowling Alley Scene, who knew a stinky bowling alley could be so hot.
2-The car wash scene........no comment,lol.
3-Steele's actions after hearing of Essie's news towards the end of the book. His take charge approach was just what she need.

Lets just say Stacy knows how to write a hot scene. I was blushing for 75% of the book. The characters were perfectly written and the supporting characters couldn't have been better. The way they gave Essie a taste of what freedom was like should us that she surrounded herself with a great group. Even the villains in the book were greatly done. I love the talking in third person, I was cracking up reading that. All I kept thinking while reading about the villain was some short of mess up episode of Project Runway. 

This book is the 5 book of the House of Payne Series but can be read as a stand alone. I have not read the previous books but will definitely check them out. 5 Star read. 

ARC was provided in return for a honest review. 

Author Bio:

 A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.

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