Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #22.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher:1001 Dark Nights Press
Release Date: June 22nd 2021
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Social Butterfly PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters and Mercenaries series…
David Hawthorne has a great life. His job as a professor at a prestigious Dallas college is everything he hoped for. Now that his brother is back from the Navy, life seems to be settling down. All he needs to do is finish the book he’s working on and his tenure will be assured. When he gets invited to interview a reclusive expert, he knows he’s gotten lucky. But being the stepson of Sean Taggart comes with its drawbacks, including an overprotective mom who sends a security detail to keep him safe. He doesn’t need a bodyguard, but when Tessa Santiago shows up on his doorstep, the idea of her giving him close cover doesn’t seem so bad.
Tessa has always excelled at most anything she tried, except romance. The whole relationship thing just didn’t work out for her. She’s not looking for love, and she’s certainly not looking for it with an academic who happens to be connected to her boss’s family. The last thing she wants is to escort an overly pampered pretentious man-child around South America to ensure he doesn’t get into trouble. Still, there’s something about David that calls to her. In addition to watching his back, she will have to avoid falling into the trap of soulful eyes and a deep voice that gets her heart racing.
But when the seemingly simple mission turns into a treacherous race for a hidden artifact, David and Tess know this assignment could cost them far more than their jobs. If they can overcome the odds, the lost treasure might not be their most valuable reward.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
*Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.
**Disclaimer: This book contains mature content. As a result, my review may contain references to content intended for mature audiences only.
You guys, I can’t even explain how much I adored this story. The world of the McKay-Taggart is getting so much bigger and I can’t help but be utterly in love with it all. I’ve said this many times, but I have yet to read a book by Lexi Blake that I didn’t find charming and adorable and that didn’t make me cry at least once. And Treasured is no different. We’re finally in the next-gen part of the series. I know we started down that road with Submission Impossible, but for me Treasured just confirms it. Because this book focuses on David Hawthorne, the eldest son of Grace and Peter Hawthorne. That’s right, Grace, the heroine of the very first book in this series. My heart just skipped a beat when I saw that he is getting his story.
David is such a unique character in the Masters and Mercenaries world. He’s not ex-military, he’s a history college professor and he is such a delight to read about. I had so much fun figuring him out and I loved that he kept surprising me. He has so many layers that I didn’t think he would have. I’m going to let you discover him on your own, because I just fell for him, hard, and I don’t want to spoil the fun of figuring out who he is. What I will say is that I loved his conversation with his uncle Ian in the beginning. Yes, Ian Taggart blessed the pages once again, and he had some wisdom to share with his nephew. It was a touching scene, and, predictably, I cried. Because that’s what I do with Lexi’s books, I cry.
In all seriousness, I loved that scene. There were many really powerful scenes in this book, but this one just both broke my soul and soothed it. It was a conversation that I don’t think I’ve seen all that often in fiction, and I think it was so well done. Not only did it address some of David’s insecurities, it also showed how the bond that David and his stepdad, Sean Taggart, and actually David with the entire Taggart family, could be like, if only David would allow himself to fit in with them.
Tess was also a delight. I felt like she was the perfect match for David. She was also on the receiving end of a wisdom-filled conversation with Ian Taggart. That was very fun. I loved how she slowly faced her insecurities, which were all perfectly understandable. Sometimes the things we think people say about us are worse than what they actually say about us, if they even say anything at all, and I loved seeing how that played a role in Tessa’s life.
There’s a hint of mystery, a treasure hunt, some danger, and really hot sex scenes. Basically all you could wish for. On top of it all, Treasured is the perfect story to help with dealing with the wait for the next book in the series, which comes out in September. All in all, I really enjoyed Treasured and I can’t wait for more.
Download your copy today!
What the hell was she doing?Tessa glanced down at her watch. She was standing in front of her building ten minutes early, and there was a big part of her that wanted him to be late. Really late. Annoyingly late.There had to be something about the man that wasn’t perfect beyond his connection to her employer.She’d come down when she realized if she stayed inside one minute more she was going to decide to change again. Because she’d been halfway to convincing herself that she could do a fine job as a bodyguard in that curve-hugging dress that gave her so much confidence. Lots of bodyguards wore four-inch heels and a push-up bra. Yeah, sure they did.Coming down here had saved her so much discomfort because in her line of business, slacks, a sensible shirt and shoes, and a blazer were the only way to go. The blazer hid her shoulder holster in a way that off-the-shoulder sex dress never would. And she didn’t care that Hollywood assassins could stuff any number of weapons between their thighs. Hers did not work that way.It’s not a big deal.The words David had said haunted her. What did that mean? It’s not a big deal. It had felt like a big deal. Not texting that smart hottie back had been a big fucking deal to her. She’d agonized over it, and he’d just kind of let it wash over him. He’d taken his shot and moved on. She had thought of nothing but him for weeks.Or he was saving face by playing it cool and she was being ridiculous. The man was making this easy on her and she was inwardly complaining that he wasn’t making it harder. It was perverse, but then she had deeply conflicted feelings about David.Feelings she could maybe work out over the course of this week. She could get to know him and then she would see he wasn’t as perfect as he seemed to be. Most men showed their true colors when a woman spent too much time with them. He wouldn’t be as patient as he seemed. His charm would wear off when she took charge and he got annoyed.Yes, this could be exactly what she needed.Especially if he was late.
For More information about 1001 Dark Nights Visit