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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Vice by Rosanna Leo (Review & Excerpt)

Title: Vice
Series: Standalone
Author: Rosanna Leo
Release Date: September 22, 2015 - Samhain
Format: Ebook received for review
Pages: 226 per Amazon

As a Vegas singer and volunteer counselor, Kate Callender has experienced life on both sides of Sin City’s bright lights. The thrill of performing, and gambling’s devastating effect on the addicts’ families.

Liam Doyle is just the kind of man she despises—a handsome, enigmatic businessman with a knack for seducing customers into his casino hotels. Determined to put a lid on his growing influence, she prepares to picket the opening of his newest casino, Vice.

When Liam spots the lone protestor hassling his customers, annoyance wars with instant attraction. And he quickly discovers the leggy redhead not only can’t be bought, she tempts him the way the sound of a roulette wheel lures a gambler. 

They are natural enemies, but when a vile attack sparks Liam’s protective instincts, they begin a sexual odyssey that dances on the edge of addiction. Dangerously close to losing control...and losing themselves.

I love Rosanna Leo.  She is absolutely one of the nicest authors I've had the pleasure of getting to know, and I've worked with her quite a bit.  So when the offer for Vice came along, I was more than happy to take it on for review.  I'll be the first to admit - the billionaire and the broke (as in poor) woman is not my favorite plotline.  However, Vice also offers romance by the way of enemies-to-lovers, which I love.   There are also some pretty heavy subjects explored in Vice, so I was a happy reader.

Kate struck me as a fiery woman.  She headed up New Horizons, which was for loved ones of gambling addicts.  She also stuck up for herself quite brazenly against a mega-sleezeball.  So when she found her way to the sidewalk outside of Vegas' newest casino, Vice, with a picket sign - I was excited.  I loved how she stood up for herself, all the while winning the hearts of Liam, Wade (more about him in a second!) and me!

Liam is the owner of Vice.  And normally he is a character type that I don't care for.  But deeper into the story, you find out Liam's backstory, and it is really quite tragic.  It really helped flesh him out as a real human being to me.  On the flipside, he is a driven man with Dom tendencies, which is also very sexy!

Wade - he definitely served as a bit of comic relief, and I found myself smiling whenever he showed up on the page.  He's Liam's head of security, and he is quite a funny and endearing character.  I'm pretty sure everyone else will love him as much as I do.

Gambling addiction is dealt with quite a bit in this book.  In Vegas, how could it not be?  Now, this is nothing I've ever experienced, nor do I know anyone who has.  So while I couldn't identify with that on a personal level, Rosanna Leo painted a great picture for me of just how bad it can get for some of the people who deal with this addiction.

And of course, sex and romance.  There is plenty!  I was so moved by all of the gambling addiction storylines, that for me, it kind of overshadowed the romance.  When Kate and Liam get together finally, it's like they are addicted to each other.  I found this to be a very intelligent and clever way to introduce addiction in otherways into the plot.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  While the billionaire thing isn't really my "thing", it proved to be a small part of the whole story.  As always, I can't recommend Rosanna Leo enough.

He meandered toward her and forced a smile. “You seem to have had a busy day.”

She whipped around and her eyes widened. He saw her give him a quick once-over. Did she like what she saw? Interesting. There was some perverse satisfaction in that.

“It has been busy.” She narrowed her hazel eyes at him. “Do you work here?”

So, she didn’t recognize him. Good. “Yes, ma’am, I do.” He crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, noting how her gaze dropped to his exposed forearms. Her lips parted. Clearly, working out had its merits. “And word inside is you’ve upset the big boss.”

Her nostrils flared as she dragged her gaze away from his arms. “About time.” She put her sign down and picked up her purse. “Do you know Liam Doyle?”

“I’ve heard one or two things about him.”

She stepped closer and her lips did the most amazing thing, curling into a flirtatious semi-smile. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to share them with me? The other guy kept on sucking up about him as if he was wearing a wire.” She paused. “You’re not wearing a wire, are you?”

He laughed out loud. He couldn’t help it. This was way too much fun. He sidled close to her, leaned in conspiratorially, and put a hand on her elbow. Her very soft elbow. “I’m not wearing a wire. But are you sure you want to know the truth about Doyle? I don’t know if you can handle it.”

She gawked at him and then at his lips. Her voice came out in a whisper. “Try me.”

He murmured in her ear, taking note of her lilac scent. “Well, I hear at midnight he sprouts black wings and horns. And he’s always searching for innocent maidens to add to his coven.” He bit on his bottom lip, suddenly wishing he was gnawing on hers.

At first, her eyelids did this fluttery thing that made his imported pants spring to life. But then she blinked and began to laugh. “And here I thought I was dealing with a mere businessman. I didn’t realize Doyle was cousins with Lucifer.”

“What’s your name?”

She regarded him from out of the side of her eye, her mouth still bearing the same flirty grin. “What’s yours?”

“Consider me a friend who wants to give you some advice.”

The smile disappeared from her face. “And what would that be?”

“Don’t mess with Liam Doyle. He doesn’t take to it kindly.”

The coquettish shine in her eyes hardened. “Is that a threat?”

“No, sugar. That’s not my style.”

“What exactly do you do here? Are you in security?”

“Never mind that.” He waved his hand. “Look, you’ve had your fun. Why don’t you run along home now?”

She reached for her sign and tucked it under her arm. “I will go where I damn well please. And you can tell your friend Mr. Doyle to expect me tomorrow. Maybe next time he’ll be brave enough to confront me himself.” She turned on her heel and walked down the manicured pathway leading to the taxi bay.

Liam stared at her ass as she walked away. Brave?

Game on, sugar. He’d show her brave.

Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.

From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.

A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance.

Vice on Goodreads
Rosanna Leo on Goodreads

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