Title: Empress in Lingerie
Author: Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year: Createspace Publishing 6/6/18
Length: 167 pages
Series: Lingerie #5
I’m Vanessa Barsetti, the daughter of the infamous Crow Barsetti.
My father taught me how to fight. If a man lays a hand on me, I’ll put him in his grave. As a Barsetti, I’m proud, stubborn, and don’t take nonsense from anybody.
I walk home from a bar and take the wrong path.
And witness a brutal crime.
The murderer won’t let me go. He’s handsome, lethal, and terrifying. With tattoos on his forearms and a presence full of threat, he’s a shade of evil I’ve never encountered. And then he tells me the most terrifying thing of all.
His name is Bones.
Vanessa can’t catch a break now can she? First she was kidnapped and almost murdered by Knuckles – the guy who had a vendetta against Sapphire, and now she crosses paths with Bones Jr who has a vendetta against the entire Barsetti family. Poor girl. No matter how good of a fighter she is, she’s gotta cave at some point. or does she?
we know from the last book that the family discovered that Bones (the one who bought Pearl) had a son, but they didn’t know much about him. What we learn here is a bit more about who he is, what his life has been like and why he’s got a chip on his shoulder. He’s drawn the short stick because his mother was Bone’s mistress, and when he was killed by Pearl and family, she was left with nothing. When she was forced into prostitution to support her son, well that didn’t turn out well either and she was murdered and Bones was left on his own.
Where we are now in present day is just shortly after Vanessa’s horrible situation with Knuckles, she’s back to her old life and trying to really move past everything. She’s back at school, she’s getting involved with men again, but her guard is up. She takes different routes home every night in case someone is trying to follow her and wait to scoop her up, she’s taken precautions again in her home, but unfortunately for her, the route she takes home one night is the wrong one. Because she comes across a man murdering another man in an alley, and her life is changed forever. She’s kidnapped and when the man realizes who she is, things get worse fast.
Bones knows who Vanessa is, and while he’s got this score to settle with the family, he wasn’t actively pursuing her. She fell into his lap and that’s the best blessing he could have hoped for. He has his plan to kill her on video, send it to her parents and make them suffer. The problem though, as we’ve seen with Pearl and Adalina, these women are able to exude confidence, sexuality, power, and all of those things combined make their keepers unable to follow through in what they wanted to do. Vanessa makes a pea for Bones to let her go by offering herself to him, and from that point, we see a corner that they’ve turned.
The balance of the story that we have here is the endless question of what Bones is going to do with Vanessa and what chance will she have at freedom. The game that he’s playing is an interesting one because he keeps her hostage for about a week, and then allows her to go home, to live her life, have her phone, interact with her family, but if she breathes a word of anything to them, they are all dead. You can only imagine the complexity here since this is a family that doesn’t hold anything back, and doesn’t lie.
While she has her freedom though, he’s claimed her. Vanessa is his and no one is allowed to have what he wants and has. This is really where their chemistry becomes something unimaginable. It’s powerful, and intense ,to a level that none of the other couples have shared yet in my opinion. While they need each other as things progress, they also have this hatred and distrust that is a layer that’s unique to their story. The question that you have to remember is who will die since you know someone has to and how is it going to happen. Every time Vanessa thinks that she has the upper hand, she learns that Bones is a step ahead of her.
There are so many other spokes to this story that make me intrigued. For one, Vanessa keeps asking Bones what his real name is and he’s so opposed to sharing. i think there’s a story there that we don’t know yet. Next, Bones has always wanted to know who killed his mother so he could get revenge, and when things are narrowed down, it’s someone who’s maybe too powerful to take down.
The dynamic though of Vanessa and Bones is something that keeps this story moving so quickly. If you remember, Bones the elder was HORRIBLE. he was disgusting, inhumane, and vile. Bones Jr is really trying to be something different because he doesn’t believe in all that his father did, but he has to keep some sense of power because that’s what’s necessary to survive. Because he’s his own man though, we see so many redeeming qualities to Bones and want him to be a better man.
The moments when that man comes out, he is tender, romantic, sweet and really gives Vanessa everything that she could need. But he still has his bite. Vanessa on the other hand is Barsetti through and through and never gives up fighting for what she believes is right either physically or in spirit. The way that she’s able to get through to Bones during certain moments is intense, and that makes their passion and magnetism even more intense. Their scenes are completely reflective of how they are – when they come together, their heat and passion is explosive, hot and well….one of my favorite pairings in the series so far.
So many questions, so few answers. Will the Barsettis figure out what’s going on without Vanessa telling them and what will it mean? Who will come close to killing the other first and what are the repercussions? Will Bones survive trying to avenge his mother’s killing, and will Vanessa be caught in the crossfire? So much to wonder, so now i need the next book. Enjoy!