Review: Make you Mine (Nine Circles #2) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: Make you Mine
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 5/5/15
Length:   278 Pages
Series:  Nine Circles #2

Overview

In the Nine Circles Club, one lucky man gets more than his share of money, power, and women—until he meets a beautiful opponent who plays in the name of love…in Make You Mine by Jackie Ashenden.
He’s raising the stakes.
International playboy Alex St. James always plays to win. Whether it’s betting on a high-stakes card game—or bedding a high-class socialite—the gorgeous world-class gambler knows how to beat the odds using his brains, his body, and a whole lot of charm. But there’s one woman who’s immune to Alex’s bag of tricks—which makes her the perfect challenge…and the ultimate prize.
She’s going all in.
Once a special operative in her native Russia, Katya Ivanov knows what kind of man Alex is. As his personal bodyguard, she’s seen him seduce the richest women, place the riskiest bets, and break the hardest players. But to even a score from her past, she’s willing to take a gamble on her reckless boss. Even if she has to pretend to be his lover. Even if he drives her mad with desire. And then she never wants this dangerous game to end…

My Thoughts

I’m really enjoying this series – i think the fact that there’s this bigger story that seems to be woven throughout each installment so far makes it that much more engaging.

So we had the first book with Gabriel and Honor – and we saw how their relationship had the potential to make Gabe’s world explode since Honor is his best friend Alex’s sister – yet we see that maybe it’s ok right?

So in this 2nd book, it’s about Alex, and his quest to find out the link of who Gabriel’s father is since it’s not their stepfather, while fighting demons of his own.  The journey that we go on shows us quite about of what happened to Alex nineteen years ago, and a lot about who he is now and why.

As expected, things get interesting when we learn more about his bodyguard – a woman who appeared in the first book – an attractive Russian woman who was special forces and has the ability to disarm Alex with a look.  You know it’ll inevitably lead to chemistry right?

When Alex has to go to Monaco to play in an exclusive poker tournament that’s run by Conrad – the demon from his past and potentially a link to his father  – we see things get interesting.  There’s clearly more to the game than meets the eye since Alex realizes that it’s not Poker exactly that folks are there for.  They aren’t the best players and there are hints of other things that are of interest outside of cards.

All the while, Katya, his bodyguard and the other guys, Gabriel, Zac and Eva try to uncover the links and information – which still seems elusive even at the end of the story.  What’s not escaping us is the chemistry and tension between Alex and Katya and once they start to scratch the surface – everything erupts.

Katya plays the role of girlfriend and lover when she’s had no experience at all in that.  She learns a lot about herself and is forced to admit to herself why she’s been so stoic and hard through out her entire life – all because of the emotions  that Alex brings out.  What it leads to is uncharted territory for the two of them, and it’s only when one is shot and ends up on the edge of death that things are finally realized.

The great continuation that we are taken with this story is that there’s a video that’s being used as blackmail against Alex and while he uses a facade of not caring, we know there’s more to it than that, and it’s Eva that we learn who may be able to decipher it all.

So true to Jackie Ashenden’s style, we not only get a book with a compelling plot, but one that’s so hot and steamy that you can’t help but to get engrossed in.  The way that she writes the need for control and ownership, dominance etc from Alex is incredibly hot.  The way that we see Katya fight giving up control and letting Alex lead is also really compelling.  I can’t wait to see what’s next since there’s clearly something between Eva and Zac and it has to come out in the next book.  Enjoy!

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