Review: Coming Home (The Surrender Trilogy #3) by Lydia Michaels

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Title: Coming Home
Author:  Lydia Michaels
Publisher/Year:  Penguin USA 1/21/14
Length: 300 Pages
Series: The Surrender Trilogy #3

Overview

The conclusion of the savage, sensual Surrender trilogy in which betrayal, pain, and vengeance threaten to destroy a passion between two damaged souls…

Evelyn “Scout” Keats thought she finally found her long-sought happiness in billionaire Lucian Patras. But even though Lucian has always treated her like a queen, she has discovered she is nothing more than a pawn in his own secret game.

Worse, her long-time friend and supposed shining knight, Parker Hughes has also used her for his own interests by playing a part in Lucian’s game. Everyone’s honor is suspect, and no one can be trusted. It is Scout’s worst nightmare come to life.

As she struggles to comprehend the cost of a broken heart and the value of love, she must choose, once and for all, how much her pride can endure—and how much she is willing to risk to be truly happy

My Thoughts

I have to say that i really enjoyed where this story went, and what i was expecting to be the case for some of the issues, actually wasn’t the case at all.  nicely done Ms. Michaels, Nicely done.

We re-join this ill working love triangle just as Evelyn has run away from both Parker and Lucien, after learning of the deal that was struck – making her in a sense a possession and breaking her trust.  From this point forward, Evelyn decides that she needs to be solely on her own, yet it’s not so easy.  while she has been able to put Parker in the back of her mind, her hatred for him being something that she can hold on to, she can’t quite let go of Lucien.  While she’s incredibly upset with him, she also loves him and isn’t able to move past it.

She has a plan though how she can forge a new path for herself.  not only does she have her job, but she wants to better herself, and this takes money.  She goes to Lucien to get a loan, hoping that he will be able to do that for her, without pulling her back in, but of course things aren’t so cut and dry.

We know that Lucien is barely surviving without her, and he’s more than ecstatic when she comes to him.  While he knows that it’s not going to be easy to get her back, he’s very persistent, and does what he can to keep some sort of attachment.

It’s only when Evenlyn is able to use the money that she got to get her own apartment that things turn worse to a point where Lucien really re-enters the picture.  On the 2nd night that she’s in her new place, she’s on her way home and crosses paths with some less than savory folks.  because of the ensuing fight, her information ends up in the papers, and Lucien finds her and isn’t very pleased.  He feels like he needs to protect her, and well, this is really the turning point for them.  It’s not all smooth sailing though from that point since she’s not ready to really let him back in.  it’s all at arms length.

One day while at work, she sees a tabloid with a picture of him and another woman and that sets her off.  She manages to attend the same function as him with another guy so that she can not only get a better sense of what’s going on with Lucien, but also to make him jealous.  it works.  This is the true turning point for things.  but never an easy task.

Just when things start to look up, rumors and information about Evenlyn is leaked to the press, Lucien feels he has to protect her even more, and the question becomes who’s behind it.  not only that, while Scout has the issue of her past haunting them, someone’s trying to mess with Lucien’s business and they have to sort out who that is.

So, as you can see, we have a very complex finale here, with a lot of passion in terms of love hate, love some more and hate some more.  Forgiveness among friends and family….perhaps, but maybe not….and then the concerns and questions for the future.

Lucien wants more than Evenlyn is still willing to give and it’s an underlying theme throughout on how much she’s going to give up, and what the sacrifice means.  There’s also a mystery of a secret that Evenlyn is keeping and that’s a bone of contention with Lucien.  there’s also the question of what will come of Pearl – whom we know is still in a rehab facility unhappily.  Will Lucien continue to pay, will she stay at rehab, will Evelyn and her form a better relationship?

There’s more role-playing in this final installment which is always entertaining, and quite a bit of passion as feelings are rekindled.  All in all, a nice conclusion.  I’m still surprised about some of the things that happened, and where the story took them, but overall, i think that it was nice…and the epilogue was sweet as well.  Not taking the story in the expected place  which is great, all the while, ending the story as it needed to be.

Review: Breaking Out (The Surrender Trilogy #2) by Lydia Michaels

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Title: Breaking Out
Author:  Lydia Michaels
Publisher/Year:  Penguin USA 11/19/13
Length: 300 Pages
Series: The Surrender Trilogy #2

Overview

Second in the darkly compelling, sexually-charged contemporary romance trilogy, in which two men vie for the mind, body, and heart of a woman who may never give in to their wishes—or her own…

Evelyn “Scout” Keats has left behind her painful past of surviving on the streets, and is now living in the luxurious penthouse master suite of Hotel Patras with her lover, billionaire Lucian Patras. But what she doesn’t know is the price Lucien paid for her freedom.

To protect Scout’s life, Lucian cut a deal with a dangerous man from her past, Parker Hughes. He swore to stay away from her for thirty days, even though he knows Parker will be fighting to keep them apart for good and take Scout as his own.

Yet neither man realizes that Scout is not about to be used as a prize or a bargaining chip for any man’s power play—and she falls back on her hard-earned self-respect and courage to show both men that the only person she truly needs is herself.

But Lucien has other plans…

My Thoughts

WOW!  so, i’m really enjoying this series so far in case you hadn’t noticed.  Not only is it steamy and romantic, you really have to wonder about the twists that are coming.  In the first installment, we meet Evelyn/Scout when she’s working as a maid at the prestigious Patras hotel when she encounters Lucien, the owner who makes her an offer she cannot refuse.  To be taken from homelessness and despair into a world of security with a roof over her head, clothes, food, and all just at the price of herself.  Being his company.  As we got to know this duo a bit more in book 1, we saw that there was much more there than just a deal, and this is what takes us into book 2.

There’s a fair bit of role playing that makes things really interesting at the onset – we see fantasies coming to life, and a sense of realism, it’s not all heated passion that we get, it’s adventure and romance and the thrill of things which kept me entertained.

In this 2nd installment, things definitely become more challenging for them, and Evenlyn isn’t sure what she’s able to give of herself because of the trust issues that she has from her mother.  This story takes us on the journey of Lucien trying to show Evenlyn how strong she is, but being patient with her in the skills that she wants to develop, all the while, allowing his love for her to grow and becoming vocal about it.  The issue here though is that while Evelyn appreciates that, she’s not able to tell him how she feels.  she shows it, but doesn’t say it, and it becomes a bit of a wall between them.

At the same time, Parker, Evelyn’s best friend from the streets comes back around and really wants to make a play for her affection.  His deal that he’s struck with Lucien (from back in book 1, as a reminder that in order for Parker to tell Lucien where Evelyn was, he had to give Parker a job and then give him a chance at wooing Evelyn).  Lucien was banking on that time not coming for quite some time, so that he can build the security that he has with Evelyn and convince her that there’s no one else for her.

As we saw in book 1, Parker and Slade cross paths and since we know there’s been a falling out with Lucien and Slade over Evelyn, it’s not surprising that Parker has been helped by Slade and is now able to take full advantage of the deal.

the question is – what will happen now right?

Lucien’s made a big gesture to Evelyn in the hopes that it’ll secure his place in her life and vice versa, it back fires a bit unexpectedly and Evelyn runs to Parker.  Lucien fears that his world is coming tumbling down now, ends up flying to Paris to see his father whom he has no relationship with because of his own indiscretions and all in all you have a huge mess.

Where we’re left off in book 2 is quite the edge of a cliff – we’re at a turning point where it’s a matter of pride, love and friendship that makes things the most complicated, and you have to wonder how paths are going to cross again.

Personally though, i’m most intrigued by what Slade’s doing and what his motivation is.  I wonder what the story is there and i have my inklings about it.  I’m also curious why Parker is the way that he is and what he plans to do with it.  We get his back story a bit more, but still…i’m left wondering.

I really enjoy though how Lucien’s character is written.  He’s not afraid to be emotional and show how he feels which we don’t often see.  We see him lose control of things, go into a tail spin but it all comes from a great place.  He has this sensuality that he shares with Evelyn that’s amazing.

I’ve just got my hands on book 3 the finale in the series and i can’t wait to see how they get to the end point, and hopefully my intuitions are correct on how things will pan out.  Enjoy!

Review: Falling In (The Surrender Trilogy #1) by Lydia Michaels

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Title: Falling In
Author:  Lydia Michaels
Publisher/Year:  Penguin USA 9/17/13
Length: 309 Pages
Series: The Surrender Trilogy #1

Overview

The debut of an emotionally charged and highly erotic contemporary romance trilogy, in which love and trust are the most dangerous games of all…

With a dark past that would have shattered most people, Evelyn “Scout” Keats is doing what no one in her bleak world thinks possible—getting off the streets and leaving her impoverished life behind. She’s a new maid at the luxurious Patras Hotel, and aims to keep her job no matter what. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to sacrifice her dignity, or let anyone into her heart. The risk of losing either is just too great.

When hotel tycoon Lucian Patras discovers Evelyn in a compromising position, he uses everything at his disposal to seduce her—a proposition that both surprises and frightens her.

Ignorant to her true circumstances, Lucian relentlessly pursues Scout as a prize to be won. But he is soon given an unforgettable lesson in love and sacrifice when he learns how far Scout has gone to gain her independence and discovers that there are some things money can never buy.

My Thoughts

Based on the premise of these characters, i got a bit of a sense of Maya Bank’s Fever Trilogy – since we first meet a girl who’s homeless and trying to make it honestly, while encountering her ‘boss’ in a sense.

We meet Scout / Evelyn when she’s rushing to make it to her new job – the high end Patras hotel where she’s a maid.  It’s there that her life changes forever.  It’s on the day that she fills in for another maid Bridget who usually works on the Penthouse level that she meets a man who’s staying/living there that things change.  She accidentally knocks papers off his desk just when he enters the room, and that’s where things go downhill.  He gets mad because he thinks she’s snooping and of course that’s not the case since she can’t read.  From there – the roller coaster ensues.

The man, Lucien Patras, owner of the hotel propositions Scout to do something that would make her life so different, yet take her out of her comfort zone.  He offers her a roof over her head in a room in the hotel, clothing and everything that she could want.  All for the trade off of her ‘company’ which of course means more than just being by his side at biz functions.  In Scout’s mind, there’s a trade-off of course because while she really wants the shelter and the goods that she can sell for money in the future when things end, she’s not ready to give herself to him given that she’s a virgin.

Some how, Lucien manages to convince her to agree, and their relationship grows and builds from there.  Scout does her best to keep her past a secret and Lucien begins to unravel her story.  They begin to grow together, which turns out to be not such a good thing for a few people.

Scout’s best friend is Parker, a boy that she met a few years back on the streets, and while she considers him to be her best friend, Lucien knows that Parker is in love with her.

The other guy – Slade is Lucien’s business partner and best friend.  He doesn’t take a liking to Scout and actually really dislikes her to the point that there’s a falling out, which of course is a foreshadowing.

What makes things more exciting though is that while this story could be a streamlined version of the usual – down on her luck girl meets rich guy, gets schooled in all things passionate and sexual….that’s not what we get here.  There’s a deal that Parker scores with Lucien in the hopes that he can make Scout his…and that complicates things .

I have to say though, that all in all, the writing of this story is nice.  i’ve been stuck in a rut lately where some authors don’t write the heated scenes in a way that makes me want to read more, but these were steamy scenes.   Even the instances where they hadn’t fully consummated their relationship, it was still hot and i really appreciate that.

I can’t wait to see where book 2 goes since the very end of this introduction story takes us to a ‘dark’ place.  It’ll be interesting for sure to see who’s going to fight for what, what tactics they’ll use, and where passions will net out.