When the woman of your dreams has been showing nothing but disgust for you for years, there are only two things you can do. Either try to replace her and hope you’ll get over her, or be a man about it and show her what she’s been missing out on.
Holt Lamm is now certain the first option hasn’t helped him much – he’s still stuck on Bella Cross, and being with so many women hasn’t driven her out of his mind. When he arrives earlier than usual at the place their gang go to relax, and sees her smoking, he knows he’s found the chance he’s been looking for. Even if Bella hates him, he can still have one night with her and make her fall in love with him, too. But what if Bella is already in love with the Dominant womanizer? And what will happen between them once the others arrive, as well?
Smoking Holt, though the 3rd book of the Tryst Island series, feels more like the sequel of Kristi and Cam’s story, really. We know by now how Bella has a thing for Holt, but the fact he held a candle for her, too, was the real surprise. As a short story, it really was satisfying. In less than 50 pages, we were given a thorough background of the relationship between those two, plenty of love scenes to spice things up, and loads of fun while they were trying to be discreet about it and find out a way to keep at it both physically and emotionally. Hell, Holt even gained somewhat of a love rival!
That being said, it lost some major points due to Bella being a brat – her words, not mine, at least she knows herself enough – at times when she didn’t need to be. Even from Kristi’s book, it was plain obvious she was the one having a problem, yet here she was, once again, thinking her sister pitied her and hating her for nothing. To think that she would be surprised when her sister, for God’s sake, offered to help her with her business. Goes to show how much of a Drama Queen and a selfish kiddo she really was… As for Holt, he was not very convincing when it came to his feelings. Not because he didn’t say it or show it enough – God knows that man did everything he could to make sure Bella understood he loved her. But because, to this day, I still believe that going after anything with two legs and a skirt is not the way to show you actually want one and only one woman… Those two, therefore, costed the story one cupcake.
The other cupcake was taken away because of personal preferences. I’m not a fan of sadomasochistic sex – or foreplay. While it is true I enjoy a few orders here and there, or some VERY LIGHT bondage, there were parts that I was turned off instantly and it was hard for me to get into the story again – FOR PAGES! Of course, that was not the writer’s fault. The genre of BDSM is listed next to the book’s title, and I knew before I read it – plus, it was mentioned in the first book, too. But I really wanted to see a happy ending for those two, and so I decided to be brave about it – remind me to stop being brave, I’m not cut out to be a heroic reader, it seems…
All in all, the book was not so bad. If I wasn’t a person that goes “eeek!” when it comes to sexual scenes like the ones it described, it would have rated higher. So I guess for a person like me it’s on 3 cupcakes, but for those of you who like BDSM it’s a 4-cupcake one.
***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***