Title: The Key
Author: K.T. Grant
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing 6/20/14
Series: The Dark Path #2
Erika has reinvented herself as an author of erotic romance under the pseudonym, Lily Fredericks. After her eight month sabbatical in New Orleans, she’s returning to Manhattan to promote her new book. Chris is handling her book tour and wants Erika to give him another chance. She’s forgiven Chris, but Max is always in her thoughts. Sick of waiting for Erika to come to her senses, Max takes matters into his own hands. He’ll go to New Orleans to claim her before it’s too late.
With Erika back in Manhattan, both Chris and Max try to seduce her in the hopes she’ll choose one of them. As both men battle for her heart, a woman from Max’s past reappears, bent on revenge. Chris will ruin Max anyway he can in order to make Erika his own. However Max has something up his sleeve to insure he’s the victor, but not without a price-Erika’s soul.
Can Erika choose between a man who seeks to possess and a man who can’t live without her?
It’s been a while since i read The Gate, and I was a bit afraid that i’d forget the juicy bits of the story and feel like perhaps i’d need to re-read to get up to date. but….NOPE – the way that our lovely author writes this 2nd installment brings you up to speed quickly, and gives you a divergent story line – with 2 parallel bits happening at the same time.
Where we pick up with Ericka and Max is that Ericka’s living in New Orleans with her best friend while trying to sort out the choices that she has to make in her life, all the while, finishing her first erotica book (remember she used to be a children’s author). Anyhow, this time away from New York was supposed to help her choose between Chris – the man that she’s lusted after forever or Max, the one thing in her life that rocks her world and shakes things up in ways in and out of the bedroom. What we see is that she’s not ready to forgive Chris for what he’s done and she’s not ready to let Max in without being cautious.
This 2nd installment takes us through what their lives become once Ericka returns to NYC, older, wiser and in a different head space. She has to find a way to make her career a success both for herself and for the publishing house while finding a way to let Max in since we slowly see that it’s what she wants. Max of course is the powerful mogul that’s not just a dom in his club, but in their life too. He wants something more concrete for the 2 of them, and it’s up to him to make Ericka comfortable with it.
The parallel story that we also get is between Catherine (the other owner of The Gate), her master Raymond and Bryan, the young’in that we met in the first book. Turns out that there’s more of a bond between these 3 than initially thought. Not only is he tied to Catherine (Cathy as he likes to call her) since she took his virginity, but turns out that he knows her master – he’s family. Ironic situation that they are in. anyhow, Raymond is so in love with Catherine that he’s willing to find a way to make it work and it’s never easy. He offers twists and proposals to sort it out, and it’s a challenge at the end of the book that really makes thing interesting, if not completely expected.
So, throughout this bridge book, we get a roller coaster of emotions with these love triangles, and that’s something that’s interesting. There’s no shortage of passion and steam among anyone, and i think that if you want variety – you get it here.
For me, one of the better things in this book was the re-introduction of Page, Chris’s sister who had been in a ‘relationship’ with Max in the past and almost killed herself as a result of it. she’ re-emerges and brings with her a bit of trouble, not just for Max but we can assume for Ericka as well. where this story ends up is someone landing in the hospital because of an attack and we don’t know for sure what the motive was yet. The questions beg us to wonder who’s going to survive in book 3, and which relationships will hold together.
If i’m completely honest with you guys though, i don’t know that i care so much about Catherine’s story right now – i feel like it would be a better novella. While there’s a lot of sex and tension there, i feel like it detracts from the main story line that we came to love – Ericka/Max/Chris – and what was going to happen. Having 2 love triangles amidst this story makes it more complicated and while i read it all, there were moments that i wondered if i would be better off just skipping through the catherine chapters to get back to Max.
The teaser for ‘The Lock’ – book 3 really makes you wonder – since we were already questioning the relationship between Page and her new fiance which happens to be someone that Max detests – but what was teased here makes it much more clear at least what the fiance Abe is out for – now what Page’s motivation in it all? that’s still to be determined, and makes for a great cliffhanger. Now if only we didn’t have to wait until 2015. oh well…