Hold Me Until Forever (Grayson Brothers #3)
by Christina Phillips
A Contemporary Romance
Released January 4th 2016
She’s the only one he wants…and the one he can never have…
Ella Clark has been in love with Alex Grayson forever. She’s tired of being invisible—or worse, being treated like his kid sister. If she can just get him to drop his iron-fisted control for two seconds, she’ll prove she knows exactly how to blow his mind.
Alex has been fighting his attraction to Ella since her should-have-been-innocent sweet sixteen kiss burned down his world. He’s damaged, and there’s no way he’ll ever drag her into his screwed up life. Until she offers him something he’s always craved—steamy, no-strings sex inside his exclusive BDSM club. Where she’ll be safe from the darkness that haunts him.
Except there’s nothing safe about being with Ella, and the more she gives, the harder it is to let her go. If he stays, he risks everything, but how can he walk away from the only woman he’s ever needed?
After reading Hold Me Until Morning, the previous book in the series, I was expectantly anticipating Alex’s story. With his broodiness and quiet intensity, I thought it would be awesome to see him unraveling over a woman. Thankfully, Christina Phillips delivered in that front much as I expected. Alex’s story was packed-full of intense emotions–these mostly coming from Alex and his determination to stay away from Ella.
I found Ella to be a great character to get to know. She was fun and quirky and gave as good as she got even at times when her vulnerability came unto the surface. She cared a great deal for Alex and his family, yet I admired her determination to step away from the family business and follow her dream. Of course, it was her decision to leave Grayson’s that ultimately brought her and Alex together so it was a win-win in all counts.
I enjoyed the way the author went about bringing Alex and Ella’s connection to the page while still allowing me to get to know the characters as individuals. I loved getting to see Alex fight his feelings and attractions to Ella just as much as I enjoyed Ella goading Alex along the way. Needless to say that their chemistry was intense. I enjoyed the back and forth, the lustful glances and the exploration of their attraction. It sure made for a more interesting read to see how Alex, slowly but surely, gave in completely to his attraction–especially after he spent so many years trying to keep it at bay.
Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the series and the characters from the previous books make appearances in this book, Alex and Ella’s story can be read as a stand alone.
All in all, a friends to lovers story that was years in the making and ultimately inevitable. 😉
*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
(Ella’s just told Alex that she’s leaving Grayson’s, and Alex has gone round to her apartment to try and talk her out of it…)
Guilt twisted through her again. Before he’d taken her into Grayson’s she’d been floundering, her self-confidence still in bad shape after her mom’s asshole boyfriend had cornered her when she’d been fourteen. Her succession of part-time and casual jobs was nothing to brag about, and the only constant in her life had been her volunteer work at the Wildlife Retreat.
“I’m not leaving you in the shit. There’s plenty of time to find a replacement for me.”
He gave her a smoldering look. Oh, for fuck’s sake… “No one could take your place.”
If only he were talking about her as a woman and not his indispensable work colleague.
“Hate to say it, but you’ll probably be surprised.”
He didn’t immediately deny it, which stung more than it should.
“You plan on staying in touch?”
She couldn’t tell by his tone of voice whether he gave a damn one way or the other. So much for no one being able to take her place. Looked like he was already over it.
Don’t you dare say it. Heat flooded through her, but the words spilled out anyhow. “I might come visit you in your club one night.”
At least it wiped that infuriating, unreadable expression from his face. He stared at her as though she’d just grown a pair of horns.
“I don’t think so.”
It was the note of finality in his voice that really pissed her off—as if he thought she was joking and he didn’t find it funny.
“Why not? I think I’d really get off on a night at your club.” Take that. If only she didn’t look so rough. It was hard trying to act like a sophisticated woman of the world when she was barefoot and Alex could’ve stepped off the cover of GQ.
“Didn’t know you were into that scene.”
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me.” Including the fact I sleep in one of your old shirts. At least he hadn’t recognized it. Then again, it was about three years old. He’d left it here when the brothers had helped her move in, and somehow she kept forgetting to give it back to him.
Accidentally on purpose.
“I would’ve known about this.”
Was he laughing at her? He didn’t look as if he was, but it was hard to tell what he was thinking.
Whatever. She wasn’t backing down.
“I might not be hardcore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to experiment now and then.”
“Define what you mean by ‘experimenting.’”
He damn well was laughing at her. What’s the kinkiest thing I’ve read lately? “Ménages.” That’d shut him up. Or turn him on.
“You enjoy having sex with two men at the same time?”
She glared at him. “You find it so hard to believe that two men would want me?”
“That’s not what I find hard to believe.”
His quick-fire response took her breath away. Trust Alex to compliment and insult her in one easy comment.
She cleared her throat, which kind of ruined the worldly aura she was going for, but it was better than choking on her own words. “So, does your club cater for that kind of thing?”
What was she saying? She’d die if he called her bluff.
He didn’t answer right away. His eyes were all dark and smoky and it was suddenly hard to breathe properly. He seemed to be considering her question, which sent prickles of alarmed excitement over her bare skin.
“Excalibur caters for almost anything,” he said.
About the Author
Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing paranormal, historical and contemporary romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.
She’s addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. Christina is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.