Title: Ours to Love
Author: Shayla Black
Genre: BDSM (Domination and submission)
Content: MFM, brothers
Stand Alone: yes
Series: Wicked Lovers, Book 7
Re-issued / Re-edited: no
Date published: May 07, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Group US
Length: long novel
Page count: 400 pages
For those of you who have been following the series, you know Xander (first introduced in Belong To Me) is a total playboy. You HAD to know there was a story there. Ours To Love is the longest, meatiest Wicked Lovers book to date. It’s a story that touched my heart about healing, forgiveness, and acceptance. With, yes, some really steamy stuff. ~Shayla Black
Between two brothers…
Xander Santiago spent years living it up as a billionaire playboy. Never given a chance to lead his family business in the boardroom, he became a master in the bedroom instead. His older brother, Javier, inherited the company and worked tirelessly to make it an empire. But while cutthroat corporate espionage took its toll on Javier, nothing was as devastating as the seemingly senseless murder of his wife. It propelled him into a year of punishing rage and guilt…until Xander came to his rescue.
Comes an irresistible woman…
Eager to rejuvenate Javier’s life, Xander shanghais him to Louisiana, where they meet beautiful London McLane. After a decade of tragedy and struggle, London is determined to make a fresh start—and these sexy billionaire brothers are more than willing to help. In every way. London is stunned to find herself open to every heated suggestion…and desperately hoping that her love will heal them.
And inescapable danger.
But a killer is watching, on a single-minded mission to destroy everything the Santiago brothers hold dear, especially London. As fear and desire collide, every passionate beat of her heart could be her last.
I am not following this series religiously because it is not all HEA menage. I read Decadent (Wicked Lovers, Book 2) and Surrender to me (Wicked Lovers, Book 3) by Shayla Black but both ended MF and I felt totally cheated because I fell hard for both third character. I was completely invested in the stories and I cringed for hours after I read the last lines … which prove you how this series is good if you cannot let go after the epilogue. So I decided to leave this series alone even tho I like this author a lot. On the other hand, I read Dangerous Boys and their Toy a long time ago (initially released in May 2008 at Ellora’s Cave) and it is still today, many years later, a book I remember which is for me a sign that not only it was memorable but a proof that the author is talented. And by the way, for me, it is not because an author is prolific that he/she is talented. But in this particular case, Shayla Black aka Shelley Bradley, is definitely one: she proved over and over that her books are must read. I just want to add that I rediscovered her with The Masters of Ménage series that she co-authors with Lexi Blake (aka Sophie Oak).
Shayla Black (aka Shelley Bradley) is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 30 sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances for multiple print, electronic, and audio publishers. She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading and listening to an eclectic blend of music.
Shayla’s work has been translated in about a dozen languages. She has also received or been nominated for The Passionate Plume, The Holt Medallion, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the National Reader’s Choice Awards. RT Bookclub has twice nominated her for Best Erotic Romance of the year, as well as awarded her several Top Picks, and a KISS Hero Award.
A writing risk-taker, Shayla enjoys tackling writing challenges with every book.
I was contacted by Shayla Black to review this story. I must say, even if I am not easily impressed by anyone, that I am with this author. She is definitely a person that I wished I had the opportunity to meet and interview live and know more how she became a best-selling author, her path, her struggles and her success.
When I review a book, I always check on Goodreads and where the links take me. Of course, authors like Shayla Black have many fans and reviews and I was curious to know, as usual, the average rating of this book and read the first 2 or 3 reviews. I am never influenced by them because what pleases one reader may not be the case for me but it is always interesting to read the general feeling and the passion in the *** honest review*** they did.
About the ***honest review***. Is it only me that this term plays on my nerves? I swear, each time I read it, it seems that a beginning of a rash is showing up! I get it that some reviews are/were not honest. Some groupies can praise the story with a single useless sentence such “I loooooooooove this story” and some criticisms not founded or exaggerated to the point that it seems more some kind or revenge or just plain mean. I heard of few authors that creates imaginary fans accounts that they are using to praise themselves and some readers find their best highlight of their day by spending their time to leave mean reviews. It happens. There is no perfect world ever. So probably the ***honest review*** is coming from there. Maybe. I am assuming here, must have a valid reason… somewhere. But to read the “Review copy provided for an honest review” or *I received this book in exchange for an honest review*, I feel as if the reviewer takes him/herself way too seriously and has a huge ego (it is also possible that it is now a must mention that reviewers are all using but since I did not receive the memo… which I am glad by the way! lol). So, why mentioning it? I mean the reputation of a reviewer is based on this fundamental principle: honesty. Yep. I find that stupid to mention it as if it is necessary to advertise the world that the reviewer is legitimate or has to be taken seriously or whatever. One review does not make a person, the same way a book does not make an author. I know I wrote some ordinary reviews and I hope some were good but I hope that I portray a woman of convictions with honest points of view, not a woman who brand the banner: hey people! read me because I am honest, you know? Anyway… that is my venting 5 minutes about it. 😛
Now. Phew. Feel better. I got this on my chest for a while now! Will I make enemies here with my sarcastic comments? probably. Do I care? nope. Sorry, Mrs Shayla Black, it has nothing to do with you personally at all.
Ours to Love is book 7 of the Wicked Lovers series. Like every series, it is very common to have secondaries characters becoming main characters. With time and inspiration, their personality and place evolve. This is what happen with Xander, portrayed as a long time Dom playboy. He was up till book 7, a useful character. Not really a villain, not really lovable, but definitely the kind of character that fit the series and the different characters in a BDSM club.
First, I precise that this book can totally be read as stand alone. I explain earlier why I stopped reading the series and picking up this book now did not diminished my pleasure and was never frustrated about references from previous situations or characters that I felt lost in the the story.
Xander’s brother, Javier, was also very interesting. He has life baggage and I enjoyed to see him changing because of one woman. Sometimes, it takes only that, one person to change your world.
Both male characters were definitely high maintenance material. One with control and anger issues and the other one with guilt and rejection. It was very interesting to know how two brothers so very different in their day-to-day life could compromise with the help of a woman.
You know that I consider a great menage if the characters are pieces of a puzzle. This is definitely the case here. The heroine, London, was the key.
I am not very fond of inexperienced heroine. I do not want them a slut as I do not find that attractive, but the innocent ***********almost*********** virgin (if not a real virgin) after 20-25 years old is not attractive to me, at all. I find those heroine ridiculous, out of this century reality and my middle-aged old me rebels completely to relate to this kind of heroine. I will never understand the attraction of the fans for this kind of heroine. Do they want to relive their deflowered time? really? Do they feel like trash because they are not **********pure********* anymore so they wish to imagine it happened like a romance of fiction? Did they love so much the pain that they want to relive it again? I mean… nope. I do not get it, never will. My choice eh?
This said, I make exception IF it is justified. London, the Ours to Love‘s heroine is an exception. She had excellent reasons and I did not cringe. I understood her insecurities and I understood her need to move on. Her story was totally credible.
Shayla Black has two strong writing points: the way she develops her characters and a strong plot. There is always a spiral of emotions that makes you glued to the story. Ours to Love is about a D/s relationship story. Nothing new in the menage world, you’ll say. But what I loved about this story is that the submissive nature of the heroine was believable and because of her lack of experience and her will to experience sex, she had an open mind to accept what came her way. Thanks G. no mention of “oooo noooo what will my family/friends/neighbors/pets think about?” But what I found the most interesting was Javier who was a Dominant with Dom tendencies. I liked that he was not born a Dom. I loved that he made mistakes how to handle a sub. There is no perfect Dom in this world, nor a sub. It takes years to arrive to this perfect place of complementary partnership/relationship. So when I read that a potential Dom is not perfect, I believe it. What I liked the most, I think, is the fact that both brothers were not born with the knowledge to share. That is another something that is so very dejà-vu. I find conflict and high maintenance male characters so much more interesting.
Indeed this story is erotically charged. It is not hard core domination and submission though but definitely a great D/s dynamic that I enjoyed and found believable.
For many reasons, I recommend to read Ours to Love. now.
Characters:5 ~ Plot:5 ~ Sex Heat:4
Equality Level:5 ~ Credibility:5 ~ Originality:5