In this novel, debts force a young woman to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder.
Avery James, 19, the beautiful daughter of a rich and powerful man, was slated for success: she was attending Smith College and would probably have married Justin, headed for a political career. But when her father is convicted of fraud, heavily fined, and badly beaten up, she’s desperate for money. She turns to the Den, ostensibly a gentlemen’s club but in fact a meeting place for Tanglewood’s most powerful and dangerous men. She has no collateral, though—except for her virginity. Loan shark Damon Scott proposes auctioning Avery for a month’s use, which is bad enough, but worse is Gabriel Miller’s enjoyment of her predicament. He’s her father’s enemy, the one who turned him in, and perhaps the most dangerous man in the Den as well as being amber-eyed, broad-shouldered, and disturbingly masculine. Gabriel wins Avery with a million-dollar bid and, though he warns her not to trust him, she can’t help responding to his confident skills and overwhelming sexuality. Meanwhile, she learns more about Gabriel and what drives him, but despite moments when he seems to care, he’s determined to treat her like a pawn in his game—at least until the next planned volume in this series. Warren (To the Ends of the Earth, 2016, etc.), a prolific writer of alpha-male romances, uses some standard tropes here, but lifts her story with good writing. Avery’s relationship with her dad intriguingly complicates the plot, for example, and Gabriel also has father issues that help make sense of his character. The erotic scenes are well described, and Warren makes full use of her settings (for example, a storage room during a play’s intermission) to highlight Gabriel’s control and Avery’s helpless response: “He doesn’t even have to hold me down. It’s only his fingers on my clit that keep me pinned to that sofa….he’s patient, endlessly patient, while my body winds tighter and tighter.”
A well-written piece of erotic fiction, starring a desperate heroine, for alpha-male fans.