Series: Sunset Cove #2
Published by Self-Published on May 24th 2016
Genres: LGBT, Romance
What do you do when the one you least expect to matter…
Ends up mattering the most?
Derek Pearson likes to think he’s an easygoing guy. Uncomplicated, upfront, and unapologetic with what he wants. His what you see is what you get attitude is on prominent display for anyone who cares to look, and his foul mouth is right there to back it up should you miss the point.
However, what you see isn’t always what you get, and only a select few have ever glimpsed the real man under the brash exterior.
Among them? Professor Jordan Devaney. Complicated, high-maintenance, and vibrant, he’s Derek’s opposite in every way. From the moment they saw each other, a love-hate relationship began.
But what happens when one person wants more?
I’ve got to admit I was a smidge skeptical about Devil’s Kiss. As much as I adore Ella Frank’s writing, Finley, the precursor to this book, missed the mark for me somewhat, but man oh man does she deliver the goods with this one. I absolutely loved it, but I do not recommend reading Devil’s Kiss without reading Finley first.
We’re introduced to Derek and Jordan in Finley. Derek is Finn’s tough, tatted best friend, and Jordon is Brantley’s posh, dramatic best friend. There was some serious animosity between the two men in the previous book, and I’ve been dying to know exactly what went down.
In their freshman year of college, Derek and Finn wind up in Professor Jordan Devaney’s History class. They are shocked to discover how young their teacher, but this isn’t a love story about age differences. Jordan immediately singles out Derek on the first day of class. There’s a magnetic pull between them that is a bit antagonistic and very seductive. Derek makes his attraction well known, but Jordan is insistent on maintaining a strictly professional student-teacher relationship.
I have a thing for brawny, damaged heroes with kind hearts, so I completely fell for Derek. His muscles, tattoos, and I don’t give a crap attitude make him appear intimidating, but inside he’s deeply wounded and vulnerable. With his best friend wrapped up in a new relationship, he turns to an unlikely confidante: his professor. They say opposites attract, and you can’t get more opposite than these two. Whereas Derek had a difficult upbringing to say the least, Jordan grew up with doting parents and a silver spoon in his mouth. Why would a wealthy man who is flamboyant and arrogant want to be with a rough-around-the-edges, aggressive man who wears black nail polish? It’s an odd pairing but absolutely perfect.
Jordan and Derek don’t fall into bed immediately. In fact, the writer makes them work hard for happiness. It’s the crock pot kind of simmering, tension-filled romance where you begin to wonder when they’re going to get it together. It is frustrating at times, yet ultimately it makes their romance more gratifying. It isn’t just about sex for them. The story is about two men discovering what they want and coming to terms with what they’re willing to settle for. It’s about resiliency, confronting demons and fears, and letting love in. Ella Frank being Ella Frank, though, you can expect the sex to be sizzling, and it is.
The story spans about a decade, and there’s a great deal of overlap with events that occurred in Finley. It was fascinating to see how all the pieces fit together, and it made me enjoy this story even more. Finn and Brantley feature prominently, and I was reminded how much I’ve missed them.
Devil’s Kiss is a touching and absolutely wonderful romance.
Recommended for fans of:
Opposites attract love stories
**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**
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DEREK PEARSON PUSHED open the door of Leighton, Finley & Associates, and stepped out on the paved sidewalk. It was the first day of August, and if the sweltering Floridian sun was any indication, today was going to be hotter than hell’s waiting room.
As he strolled toward the curb, he pulled a pack of Marlboros from the pocket of his shorts and flipped open the top. He needed a fucking cigarette after watching Daniel Finley and his damn professor get all sappy and shit. That was gonna get old real quick if he had to stomach their nauseating displays of I love yous longer than the fifteen minutes he’d been in there. But he’d known he had to make an appearance sooner or later; otherwise Danny boy would’ve shown up asking questions. Questions he wasn’t ready to answer.
There’d been a reason he hadn’t come around to see Finn when he first moved back from Chicago two months ago, but it wasn’t something he was in the mood to talk about yet, even if he was one of the two people on the planet who would get all the shit he’d been dealing with.
Yeah… He just wasn’t ready to go there.
With a smoke between his lips, he lit up, then shoved the pack back in his shorts. He was so damn antsy lately, and for that he could thank his brother, Alan.
He walked around to the side of his Jeep and pulled open the door. After climbing inside, he grabbed his cell phone and stared at the dark screen, contemplating his next move.
Am I really planning to do this?
Fuck, it seemed that he was, even when he knew better.
If he did this, it would be nothing more than a Band-Aid over the real problem. A shot to numb the more painful issues he was dealing with right now. He would be slipping back into a pattern he had pulled himself out of. An addiction he’d broken free from. But he was also aware that if he didn’t do it, the alternative would be to spiral out of control, and solitude was no longer helping his fucked-up nerves.
He brought the phone to his ear and waited. The phone rang and rang, and fucking rang, until he was close to hanging up—and then it connected.
“You free?” were the only two words out of his mouth. He waited, not caring to pursue small talk. That wasn’t what this was about. All he cared about in that moment was getting what he needed.
When an affirmative came through the phone, he hung up, tossed it on the dashboard, and brought the Jeep to life. As he sped across town, he white-knuckled the steering wheel and didn’t allow himself to think about the consequences of what he was about to do.
It took him less than ten minutes to pull into the underground parking garage of The Palisades and take the elevator up to where his drug of choice waited for him. He glanced up into the camera in the corner of his metallic confines and stared boldly into the face of the one who was waiting at the other end of this ride.
Yeah, he was about to fall off the fucking wagon big time. Was about to slide back into the one place he promised himself he wouldn’t go again. Yet as the elevator came to a halt and the doors opened, there was no denying this was exactly what he wanted.
“I have thirty minutes,” were the words that greeted him.
Derek walked off the elevator and over to the naked man waiting for him. He took the haughty chin between his thumb and forefinger and promised in a voice thick with arousal, “I only need ten. Take me to your room, Jordan. Time’s a wasting.”