Title: Hard Rules
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Release Date: Aug 9th 2016
Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in Hard Rules, the smoldering, scorching first novel in the explosively sexy new Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.
How bad do you want it?
The only man within the Brandon empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family's business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring him between good and evil.
Emily is consumed by Shane, pushed sexually in ways she never dreamed of, falling deeper into the all-encompassing passion that is this man. She trusts him. He trusts her, but therein lies the danger. Emily has a secret, the very thing that brought her to him in the first place, and that secret that could that destroy them both.
I jumped at the chance to read this book as the blurb was really intriguing! I went in with high expectations and let me tell you this book surpassed them!Though I haven't read any of LRJ's books till now, this one had me hooked from the first line.Hard Rules sets up a great stage for the Dirty Money series and introduces us to the characters and setting.
Shane Brandon, a highly successful attorney has returned to Denver to help out with the family business and he plans to clean it up.His father is dying due to a brain tumor but instead of spending time together like a normal,happy family does there is a silent war raging in the Brandon family.Shane's brother Derek wants to inherit the Brandon empire and he has no qualms about involving himself and the company in illegal activities.Shane is the only one who has a set of moral values.Their father is more than happy to pit the two sons against each other.Shane's mother is another mysterious figure who claims she wants to help Shane over Derek.
On the other hand we have Emily, who seems to be running away from something.She has come to Denver for a do-over.She and Shane meet at a coffee shop first and at his company again.After spending an explosive night together she sneaks out in the morning, only to find out that he is her new boss' son!Soon she begins seeing the different sides of Shane and even though both of them are keeping lots of secrets, they begin to fall for each other.Shane wants to keep Emily away from the dangerous mess that he is involved in but Emily believes in him and is determined to help him. But what will happen when all the secrets finally come to light?
The writing in this book was splendid!I loved the mysterious and suspenseful feel which had me turning page after page quickly.The characters were also very well-developed.The chemistry between Shane and Emily was awesome.The power play,secrets and drama was mixed in together with a beautiful and sensual romance.I don't want to give too much info away, but this book has set up the story for the novels to come.Even the secondary characters played pivotal roles.
My only complaint would probably be that I wish Emily and Shane's relationship was more well developed.Though the attraction between them and the chemistry is believable, I think they need more time to get to know each other emotionally as well.This book ends with a cliffy, and though I have my theories, I can't wait to get my hands on the next book and see where Lisa Renee Jones takes this series!
It is going to be a very long wait till February!*sighs*
**An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review**
His hand curls around mine and he drags it to his knee, and the way he’s looking at me, like the rest of the room, no, the rest of the world, doesn’t exist, steals my breath. I haven’t allowed anyone to really look at me in a very long time.
“Emily,” he says, doing whatever he does to turn my name into a sin that seduces rather than destroys me.
“Shane,” I manage, but just barely.
“Did you say yes to dinner because you didn’t want to be alone?”
I am not sure where he is going with this, if it’s about reading me or if he needs validation that I am here for him, so I give him both. “I like being alone,” I say, and on some level, it really is true. “I said yes to dinner because you are the one who asked.” My lips curve. “Actually you barely asked. You mostly ordered.”
“I couldn’t let you say no.”
“I’m actually really glad you didn’t.”
“And yet you say you like being alone?”
“It’s simple and without complication.”
“Spoken like someone who’s lived the opposite side of the coin.”
“Haven’t we all?”
“Who burned you, Emily?”
I blanch but recover with a quick, “Who says anyone burned me?”
“I see it in your eyes.”
“Back to my eyes,” I say.
“Yes. Back to your eyes.”
Those two words sizzle, matching the heat in his eyes, and my throat goes dry. “Then stop asking so many questions.”
He reaches up, brushing hair behind my ear, his fingers grazing my cheek, and suddenly he is closer, his breath a tease on my cheek, his fingers settling on my jaw. “What if I want to know more about you?”
“What if I don’t want to talk?”
“Are you suggesting I shut up and kiss you?”
Yes, I think. Please. But instead I say, “I don’t know. I haven’t interviewed you as you have me. I know nothing about you. I want to know if you—”
He leans in, and then his lips are on mine, a caress, a tease, that is there and gone, and yet I am rocked to the core, a wave of warmth sliding down my neck and over my breasts. He lingers, his breath fanning my lips, promising another touch I both need and want, as he asks, “You want to know if I what?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series, which is now in development for a television show to be produced by Suzanne Todd of Team Todd (Alice in Wonderland). Suzanne Todd on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy - a modern girl we all can identify with. I’m thrilled to develop a television show that will tell Sara’s whole story - her life, her work, her friends, and her sexuality.
In addition to the success of Lisa's INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin's Press.
Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women's Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.
Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.