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Overall rating – 5 silken sheets

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He’s going in deep to make her his…

17227474Struggling artist Sheridan Harper never imagined she’d spend a sizzling night with Jared Quinn, the smoking-hot star quarterback of her local professional football team, the San Jose Hawks. And she’s even more shocked when Jared’s publicist offers her a proposition: a fake marriage to keep Jared out of the gossip mags. Being that close to Jared would be too tempting, so to protect her heart, she insists on secretly including a clause forbidding sex between them.

Jared just wants to keep his starting QB job and keep it in San Jose. His reputation as a ladies’ man has landed him in the headlines one too many times, but there’s something about his kind, passionate new wife that tempts him beyond reason. Any sort of intimacy between them is completely forbidden, but as their bodies fall in deep, will their hearts follow suit.

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Karen Erickson was one of the first erotic romance authors whose work I devoured when I bought my Kindle. I was thrilled to see she had a series with Entangled Brazen (as Monica Murphy) and I’m delighted to report her writing is as hot and compulsively readable as ever.

One of Karen Erickson’s strengths is the depth of her characters. They leap off the page, they’re so 3-dimensional, and at the end of the book, you feel you really know them.

18266340_sSheridan Harper is instantly likable. A talented artist, she is struggling to keep her tiny studio afloat. Since she inherited it from her beloved grandmother she is reluctant to sell up, even though she’s not sure how long she can make it work.

Enter Jared Quinn, aka The Mighty Quinn, superstar performing quarterback in the NFL, and a face that’s instantly recognizable from a multitude of adverts. He’s as well know for his womanising behaviour as he is for his underwear adverts, and Sheridan is beyond flattered when he asks her for a drink after the art exhibition she’s taking part in.

 And hey, it could be a story to tell her grandchildren when she was an old lady sitting in her creaky rocking chair. Once upon a time, my children, I went on a brief date with a very famous, Super Bowl– winning football player. It was magical. And boy, the man could kiss, though that’s another story for another time…

Ha. If she personally discovered that particular skill of his, then she’d consider herself lucky. Not that she was looking to kiss famous football players.

But she certainly wouldn’t protest if it happened.

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The chemistry is instant.

 She broke the kiss first, her wide-eyed gaze meeting his, their chests brushing against each other with their accelerated breaths.

 “Wow,” she whispered and he chuckled, smoothing his thumb across her cheek. “Maybe we should take this someplace else.”

 ~

 21375121_sAnd Sheridan is tempted to behave in whole new ways she’s never even dreamed of before.

The man was some sort of miracle orgasm fairy, delivering them with shocking ease.

 “Yeah, come for me,” he encouraged because he knew. Of course, he knew. One time with Jared and it was as if he already owned her.

 She did come for him. Just like that. She’d read romances where men demanded the orgasm and the women gave it over with ease. She always called bullshit on those scenes.

 Turned out she’d just been doing it with the wrong men.

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15071371_s Jared has a massive set of problems of his equally massive shoulders. A shoulder injury that hasn’t quite mended properly. A hugely popular second-string quarterback nipping at his heels. A tarnished image in the media, due to a recent scandal with a married woman, and a new team owner who demands that he cleans up his image or he’s out.

His PR agent comes up with a perfect solution. Jared gets married. He can demonstrate responsible behaviour, soothe the team owner and win back the adoration of the fans. Marrying Sheridan would benefit them both. She’d get an injection of finance to save her ailing studio, he’d attain the respectability he needed. And then after a year of marriage they’d seek a quiet divorce and both go their separate ways.

On paper it made sense, but one thing frightened Sheridan more than anything else: that she’d end up falling in love with Jared and she’d be destroyed when they split. To protect her heart, she insisted on a no-sex clause in the contract. If they didn’t have any physical contact, she might just be able to survive a year in close proximity with Jared. To protect them both, the contract included strict penalties if either of them made sexual overtures toward the other, or if they let slip to anyone that their marriage was just a fake.

 The clause always hung in the back of her mind, and she wished for about the millionth time that she’d never asked for it. Guilt hung over her like a shroud. If he knew it was included at her request, he might never forgive her. Especially since she decided she didn’t want to hold herself to it any longer. She wanted her husband too much. Needed him. But in Jared’s eyes, it might look like a calculated move. As if she were setting him up to have their marriage rendered null and void.

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At first it worked, after a fashion. It was a foregone conclusion they’d crack at some point, and that the repercussions would be huge, but as always with a good book, the journey was what made it special.

 She was amazing. Beautiful. A pain in his ass. Flighty, stubborn, irritating, persistent. He wanted her more than any other woman he’d ever wanted in his life.

Karen Erickson teased and tortured me all the way through, letting them get close and then pulling them back. I wouldn’t have been able to resist Jared Quinn and I’m amazed that Sheridan managed to for so long!

H18982804_se looked amazing. Navy blue skullcap on his head, wavy strands of wheat-colored hair sticking out from the bottom. A tight, long-sleeved blue T-shirt clung to his broad shoulders and muscular chest, the rust-colored Hawks emblem emblazoned in the center. Black Nike shorts that hung almost to his knees, a bottle of water clutched in his hand, the epitome of the sexy athlete just finished with his morning workout.

 Leaning against the counter, he tilted his head back and drank, giving her an unabashed view of everything that was the glory of Mighty Jared Quinn, star quarterback.

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There was plenty of football action and discussion, but not enough to overwhelm the story. Instead, it fleshed out the characters and gave a delicious lead-in to the next in the series.

This was an intensely sexy book, and I will be diving into the next one with an expectant smile on my face 🙂

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Overall rating – 5 silken sheets

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Sexy rating – 5 lips

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Plot – great

Characters – fabulous!

Warnings – a continung addiction to Entangled’s Brazen line…

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DETAILS:

Genre: Contemporary erotic romance

Published: January 2013; $2.87 (Amazon)

Publisher: Entangled Brazen

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