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Blackstone Dynasty – Book 1
By Raine Miller
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Billionaire Caleb Blackstone lives in the glamorous world of wealth and success, with every material luxury. But the moment he sees Brooke Casterley, none of that matters. Caleb is filled with a raw, undeniable need that he can’t ignore…for a girl who is so completely different from everything and everyone he’s ever known.
Only Brooke isn’t looking for love. She knows all too well just how much damage the wrong guy can do. Still, what sane, broke British girl can resist the charms of an incredibly sexy, chivalrous billionaire? What starts as flirtation quickly turns into all-consuming passion. Nothing could have prepared her for the searing heat of Caleb’s touch—or just how much she craves him.
Their whirlwind romance is the stuff of high-society fantasy—but for every moment of pleasure, there is a cost. Past mistakes and tragedy shadow them both…and falling for him might be the kind of trouble she can’t afford.
I would give this thing two drinks max before I was outie.
Nodding and saying the right things, I shook hands with the colleagues who’d known my father and accepted condolences from others. I made a mental note of the people who’d made the effort to mention his name to me, and I would write them down with the event and date as soon as I got home.
I’d worked my way through the room, as I had been taught by my dad—by the best to ever work a roomful of potential deals—when I decided I’d accomplished what I’d set out to do tonight. It was time for me to go. After setting my glass down on an empty table, I started for the door . . . until I saw her.
Just like that. She appeared in my line of sight and I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
The beautiful girl from this morning at the Starbucks on Hereford Street.
I knew it was her because how could anyone forget those sexy boots? Her blonde hair wasn’t down like it had been this morning, though. She’d pulled it back into a sleek ponytail . . . but she was serving at this event? I’d seen her go into that design studio next to Starbucks. She probably had two jobs. Industrious . . . beautiful . . . sexy.
I quickly returned for my half-empty glass and snatched it up from the table. I suddenly felt like an appetizer or two.
She saw me approaching and moved closer with her tray. “What are these called?” I asked without sparing her tray a second glance. Bad move on my part, but I was too busy taking in her golden eyes and hair, and everything else I could now see up close. Perfect skin, dark lashes that framed spectacular eyes, and a scar along the hairline of the right side of her face. Something had hurt her at some point in the past, and I found it utterly insane that I was disturbed by it.
She rolled her pink lips together as if she was trying to suppress laughter. “Well, they’ve told me it’s something called a . . . meatball. Very unusual gourmet creation. You should try one. They’re said to be quite delicious.”
That voice of hers was . . . fucking beautiful.
“Okay.” I picked up a meatball and popped it in my mouth. Didn’t taste a thing. I could have been chewing slaughterhouse by-products and I wouldn’t have known. My brain had shut off everything except her beautiful voice.
“You are either messing with me or that blow to your head must have been devastating. I would wager you’ve had a meatball before.”
She lost her smile. “You are messing with me?”
“No, I am devastating—I mean devastated—by the blow to my head.” What in the mother fuck was I even saying to this girl? I sounded like Rain Man minus the IQ. I needed to stop talking.
“I’m sorry to hear that. It looks painful.”
“It doesn’t hurt me now.” I think I smiled and shook my head but couldn’t be sure. Just call me the village idiot because I knew I was acting like one. I did love the sound of her voice, though.
“Another rare and precious meatball?” She offered her tray and studied me this time. She had to be disgusted by my appearance and turned off by my behavior, but she didn’t show it if she was.
“Yes, please.” I took another meatball but I didn’t eat it. “You are British.”
“You are American,” she said with a fast wink, before turning away to serve other guests.
I watched her walk away from me and felt the pounding of my heart vibrating throughout my entire body.
Something had just happened to me.
I wasn’t completely sure what exactly, but I was crystal clear on the reason.
Caleb Blackstone is American royalty. Descended from that Blackstone, the one that founded a little city called Boston, Caleb is living the life. Money, women, he’s just what you’d expect of a wealthy, successful man. But something’s missing, and, although Caleb isn’t quite sure what it is, he feels it. Brooke Casterly has known life on the other side of the coin. Granddaughter to the former housekeeper of Blackwater, she’s known security and love at the hands of her Nan, but she’s no stranger to pain and fear, either. She’s vowed never to give over her power to a man, ever again, and love is the absolute last thing on her mind. But something is missing, and, although she doesn’t know quite what it is, she feels it.
I still remember finding a little book called NAKED by an author that I’d never read before. An unbelievably sexy alpha man, utterly consumed with a woman that he’d hardly met. Heady stuff, and I was immediately in love with Raine Miller, the lady that wrote the book, and all the subsequent books, about one Ethan Blackstone, and those that made up his world. Well, I have to tell you, Raine has gone and outdone herself with FILTHY RICH, her newest book, and the first in her Blackstone Dynasty series.
I started reading FILTHY RICH, and, y’all, I could not put it down. I was in love with both Caleb and Brooke from the beginning. Raine has a way with words, to be sure, and she has written another pair of lovers that people will adore.
There is always such a depth of feeling in Raine’s books, from yearning, to sweetness, to passion, and, as a reader, I was swept right along with it. Caleb’s desire for Brooke is immediate, and it’s visceral, but it quickly becomes so much more. I have to say that, given that I am not a fan of speedy relationships or insta-love in my books, the flow of feelings and the speed with which they developed here made perfect sense, and just made the relationship between Caleb and Brooke feel more like kismet.
As with her other heroines, Brooke has a painful past. She’s suffered loss, and she’s suffered violence and pain at the hand of the person that she should have felt the safest with, and she’s emerged the stronger and savvier for it. She’s not some ingenue looking for her Prince Charming, and I think that her sass and take-no-crap attitude are part of what Caleb finds so refreshing and attractive about her.
I’m so glad that FILTHY RICH is just the first in this new series, because there are a LOT of folks that I will be looking forward to seeing get their HEAs. And, as for Caleb and Brooke, their story is a lovely, poignant, emotional 4.5 stars for me, and I am highly recommending that you get to know them very soon.
***ARC generously provided for an honest review.***
Raine Miller has been reading romance novels since she picked up that first Barbara Cartland book at the tender age of thirteen. And it’s a safe bet she’ll never stop, because now she writes them too! Granted Raine’s stories are edgy enough to turn Ms. Cartland in her grave, but to her way of thinking, a hot, sexy hero never goes out of fashion. A former teacher, she’s now writing sexy romance stories full time. She has a handsome prince of a husband, two brilliant sons, and two bouncy Italian Greyhounds to pull her back into the real world if the writing takes her too far away. Her sons know she likes to write stories, but gratefully have never asked to read any, thank God! Raine loves to hear from readers and to chat about the characters in her books. You can contact her at email@example.com or visit www.RaineMiller.com to sign up for updates and her newsletter with links to upcoming books. Join us on Facebook at the Raine Miller Romance Readers group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/raine_miller
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