This is the first book in the Exposure trilogy. I finished it in less than a day, and I am officially intrigued to find out what happens next. I need book 2, and I need it now!
Photographer CJ Parker is a woman who has literally not gone outside for the past six months. She’s been hiding from the world, and from life, ever since an unimaginable tragedy forced her into seclusion. On the one day where she decides to finally venture outside, she meets the mysterious billionaire, Asher Sloane. Dark-headed, magnetic, and gorgeous, Asher drips sex and animal magnetism. He draws CJ out of her shell and into the world, while showing her things that she never knew existed. What CJ doesn’t know is that Asher has a dangerous past. Behind his beautiful blue eyes and confident demeanor lies dark secrets that, if they are brought to light, could mean the end of CJ and Asher’s relationship. Will the exposure of Asher’s past destroy them?
For all of you who aren’t big fans of the billionaire theme, don’t let that stop you from giving this book a try. The story-line is absolutely amazing. Yes, we do have a debonaire billionaire who apparently “drips sex” (sounds messy), but the size of his wallet is not the driving force behind this novel. The heroine’s agoraphobia undoubtedly sets this book apart from your average billionaire contemporary romance. It’s intense, dark, and full of secrets, but CJ’s drive to never give up in overcoming her tragic past was inspiring.
It Sucks You In
One of my favorite things about this novel was that the storyline was never stagnant. The characters encountered several different obstacles, and yet everything flowed together into one cohesive plot. From the very beginning we know that CJ’s agoraphobia stems from some terrible event in her past, and we soon discover that it relates to the guilt she feels over her little brother’s death.
I must say the author took a very risky, yet ultimately successful approach to this crucial aspect of the story. Although CJ and Asher are strangers when they first meet, he already knows the details surrounding her brother’s death because it was covered extensively in the news. However, we as the audience are not privy to the details of his death until over a quarter of the way through the book. I was initially worried that this strategic delay would cause reader frustration, but shockingly enough it simply made me read the pages even faster.
As if that storyline wasn’t enough, Asher has is own problems. He first came across CJ passed out on the sidewalk after her first attempt in months to go outside. When she awakens hours later in his apartment, he feels an intense desire to protect her, and help CJ face her fears. He’s also crazy horny for her, and it isn’t long before he’s got her pressed up against a wall, bumping and grinding their way to a happy ending. Asher quickly makes a proposition that CJ act as his fiancee in order to get his stalker ex-girlfriend off his back. He’s rich, handsome, and mysterious. Of course he has a stalker ex. This fake fiancee proposition was the one part of the book where I was like, “Really?”
A little over a month ago, I wrote a post about female stalkers in romance novels, and Asher’s ex Sophie acts like your stereotypical bitch of a stalker who you just wanna slap. Although, technically she’s less violent than your average female stalker. Eh, we still have 2 more books in the series for her to get really crazy.
Sophie presents yet another hurdle for our heroine to overcome. I suspect that in her youth, Sophie went to the Premier Bitch Academy for Spoiled Youngsters, was captain of the “How to Push People’s Buttons” team, and majored in “Royally Pissing Me Off.” Her treatment of CJ was beyond deplorable, and whenever they discussed Asher’s past she was annoyingly cryptic. To be fair though, towards the end she was basically spelling it out for CJ, but it was completely going over the poor girl’s head.
Twists and Turns
A large chunk of the novel is focused on uncovering CJ’s past, which cleverly draws attention away from Asher’s own little secrets. There was some initial mystery surrounding his character, but fairly early on Asher confides to CJ about the death of his own brother and mother. This shared past of family tragedy is what initially drew them together, and allowed them to have a deeper emotional connection. Little did we know that there was actually more of his past to uncover, and it isn’t until the very end of the book that we are offered a glimpse of what he’s been hiding.
I don’t do spoilers, so I’m not going to reveal how CJ’s brother died, or what exactly is going on with Asher. Even though I won’t tell you the details, trust me when I say that altogether these secrets combine to form a gripping story that will have you hooked.
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: The Exposure Series, book 1.
Should you read it? I feel the need to provide a disclaimer here. The story surrounding CJ’s brother is heartbreaking. The author makes his death seem so real, as well as CJ’s difficulty in adjusting to his loss, that it was hard to read at times. Overall though it was a captivating read that I simply couldn’t put down.
Smut Level: Asher is a man who knows how to talk dirty, and he isn’t afraid to put his skills to good use. Hot and steamy baby!
Get it on Amazon: Dude! This book is free!! Get it while you can, click here.