Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Blog Tour: Don't Lie to Me - Amber Bardan

Amber Bardan returns with a heart-stopping third installment in her high-octane, highly addictive Bad For You series

A fling with her best friend's reclusive business partner should've been harmless.

When Emma meets him, the only way she's looking to be tied down is in the literal sense. But Avner—shady hacker, off-the-books investigator, occasional spy—takes her breath away. He's the first man who doesn't turn to mush under her sexual spell: a fact that makes what's between them very different, and very real.

Beautiful and uninhibited, Emma is everything Avner thought she would be and more. Yet his deadly past and dark duties can never be forgotten…not even as he succumbs to their seductive intimacy. But for the first time he's after something of his own, as well.

And now that he's found Emma, he'll protect her, no matter what. Because anything worth loving is worth fighting for.

But nothing about Avner is remotely harmless.

Soon, Avner has infiltrated Emma's personal life, stalled her career and nearly destroyed everything she's worked for—all in the name of protection. Desperate and heartbroken, drawn into a secret criminal underworld in her quest for understanding, Emma discovers the truth: Avner's secrets are far more devastating than his lies.

Book Three of the Bad For You series

Her foot landed on mine, the point of her heel slamming my toes. “Whoops, sorry.”
I hauled her close. Her hips met mine, and I held her right there, stopped among the other dancers celebrating Haithem and Angelina’s wedding.
I’d offended her, it seemed.
A smile itched through me. That’s what I’d done. Offended her pride and now she was out for blood.
My blood.
Any way she could get it. And she was almost tempting enough to willingly bleed for.
I leaned to her ear, the perfect little shell exposed by the formal arrangement of her hair. Exposed like the stretch of her smooth white neck begging for the scrape of my teeth. “You could allow me to lead.”
The night we met she returned to the suite with Haithem without offering me another look. Whatever my friend said to her was enough to quell what we’d started. And hadn’t I behaved? Hadn’t I done the same?
I’d kept my eyes, my hands, my desire, my cock to myself.
She’d lasted a day before her lusty little gaze sauntered back to me. One day without me reacting to cause her to prove what I wouldn’t show—yes, I wanted her.
“I bet you like that, don’t you?” Her throaty feminine tone breezed right back into my own ear, dripping with honeyed seduction. Like she knew exactly what to say and how to say it to bring a man to his knees.
No guile or coyness.
Need blasted through me. My fingers tightened on her. Woman. So much woman, her confidence as alluring as it was compelling.
Confidence that made me want to find out exactly what she was made of.
“I do.” I released that confession, then stepped forward and moved her across the dance floor. Until now, I’d waited for her to allow me to lead—now I simply did. Directing both of our bodies as one, gliding us around the floor. Her muscles released and she gave in.
I tipped her. Her back arched over my arm, chest out, head back. My vision blurred with the vision of having her arch like that in my bed.
That’s exactly where I’d have her soon enough.
I hauled her back up to me. “But you have no idea how much you’re going to enjoy it.”
Her eyes flared. I spun us around.
She held on to me, and laughed.
Like the first time I’d heard the joyful sound, something buried deep and knotted inside me—memories of a good life—released.
A hungry, aching lust burned through me.
I wanted that joy, just a taste of it.
My gaze traveled over the guests to the villa where Haithem and Angelina had already retired for their wedding night.
Haithem ordered me not to have her. Perhaps he remembered the Avner from college. The one who’d had girls and toyed with them.
The one for whom sex was sport.
The song switched to something slower. I dragged her in, no longer waltzing, succumbing to the sway of a slow dance. I absorbed the last shudder of her laughter as it trailed off. Let it warm and thaw the bleak part of me that had forgotten what happiness felt like.
That old Avner was gone. Perhaps Haithem knew that.
Perhaps that’s what had him afraid.
Because this Avner had not had a woman in years. This Avner had become obsessive. Locked in a lifestyle that stripped the world of warmth.
Until now.
She placed her hand on the back of my neck and drew me down. “Come to my room.”
Need curled tight within me.
She’s family, Haithem told me. Emma is off limits—not for sport.
I drew back. Her cheeks flushed. She took a shaky breath, that magnificent confidence of hers seeming to quiver for a moment as she waited for an answer.
So be it. The choice couldn’t be clearer.
I had years of self-deprivation to make up for. When I took Emma it wouldn’t be for sport, we’d bask in this feeling.
The way she looked at me right now, breathless in anticipation—she felt it too.
There was one thing for it.
I’d make her mine.
5 Stars
The way she looked at me right now, breathless in anticipation-she felt it too.
There was one thing for it. 
I'd make her mine. 

Emma is Angelina's best friend, which means now she's best friends with Haithem as well, and she must suffer with watching the sickeningly in love couple while her life hits a standstill. Figuring out living situations, her job, her future in general can wait while she is with the couple in Italy though, because there are handsome men at every turn. Avner seems like just the type of poison she desires, until she finds he is Haithem's best friend. He's the first guy she can't control herself with, but he's also within the circle and off limits. The two can't deny their attraction and when their personal lives keep tangling them together they find themselves giving in. A friendship is agreed upon while Emma focuses on jump starting her career, but a dangerous threat to her life makes Avner pay a little bit more attention, makes his emotions a little stronger, and his protection hurts Emma more than helps her. Desperate to understand better Emma begins to dig a little deeper, but the secrets she holds close and the lies she uncovers threaten to unravel everything. 

My intentions with Emma tonight were pure. But my desire for her was far from it.

While I have loved the previous two novels in the Bad for You series, nothing prepared me for just how much I would enjoy Don't Lie to Me. The characters, the story line, the erotic passion, and the worrying suspense kept me wrapped in this book for hours, avoiding sleep in hopes of getting a resolution on who is after Emma and finally seeing Avner and Emma have a real shot at something more. Emma and Avner are so different from Angelina and Haithem, it's like night and day. Sure, Avner is just as commanding, but for different reasons. Emma is stubborn, in fact I hated her for the first 20% of the novel, but she grows on you. She's independent, smart, and her past is heartbreaking. Her growth through out the novel was beyond my expectations for her and really rounded out the story line for me, made it more realistic. Their attraction is complicated, the emotions connected to that even more so. These two go beyond lust and the push and pull game they partake in caused me to feel so conflicted. Their lives are so drastically different, but every time they gave in to their desires I cheered a little inside. They are hot and heavy when they let passion rule and just like always, Amber A. Bardan writes some very hot erotic scenes. 

"Emma." He said my name in a damning growl. And I was damned. Damned by him. Damned for doing this. Damned for needing this.

The suspense surrounding Emma's and the protection Avner so desperately wants to provide to her makes this one of the better romantic suspense novels I have read. I couldn't figure out for the longest time what connection Emma had that could cause her life to be in danger, it was surprisingly engaging to be out of the loop and to be figuring it out right alongside the characters. Like the previous novels in the series, secrets are the name of the game and those secrets bring along some twists. Facing the secrets, lies, and the lurking danger doesn't sound like a perfect recipe for the couple to find solace in one another, but it makes the adventure getting there so much better. As a reader I was constantly hoping for one thing, but left questioning how any of this could turn out good for Emma or Avner. It's a thrilling story to follow and Amber's writing brings it all to life with her descriptive words, complex characters, and her imaginative story line that doesn't follow all the usual norms.

After spending years imagining fictional adventures, Amber finally found a way to turn daydreaming into a productive habit. She now spends her time in a coffee-fuelled adrenaline haze, writing romance with a thriller edge.

She lives with her husband and children in semi-rural Australia, where if she peers outside at the right moment she might just see a kangaroo bounce by.

Amber is an award winning writer, Amazon Bestselling Author, and member of Romance Writers of Australia, Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, and Writers Victoria.

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