The Autumn Review
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Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: 11/5/13
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 5 stars
Imagine a world where a woman’s every pleasure, every wish and wildest fantasy is granted by the man of her dreams
Such a world exists inside the walls of Avalon, an elite private club that caters to women’s deepest desires. Billie Cort, a reporter from the raunchy magazine Illicit, has come to Avalon to interview the club’s most popular escort, the breathtakingly sexy Adrian.
Expecting nothing less from a place like Avalon, Billie is still stunned at how effortlessly Adrian brings out her sexual side. Adrian, too, is surprised to find himself thinking about Billie long after their interview is over. Adrian, of course, is irresistible, but Billie isn’t accustomed to being pursued by outrageously attractive male escorts. Adrian wants her, but soon realizes that she can fill a role in his life that’s more than just physical.
What an interesting, mysterious and sexy story! The Fifth Favor is a book that I was curious to read, because after reading Price of a Kiss (by Linda Kage), I've realized that apparently, I love (fictional) gigolos and escorts. So in that respect, I was more than interested. But, I got more than I anticipated with The Fifth Favor, and that made me a beyond happy reader.
The Fifth Favor is more than the blurb indicates. This is more than the story of an escort and the writer who wants to expose his lifestyle. This is the story of a lost man, so withdrawn from the world that he only feels "safe" behind the mask of Adrian, protected by the world of Avalon. Billie enters to see and expose the world of Avalon, and its most famous escort. She finds a man who's centered around the control he creates. Billie finds a man who can see her for a passionate and closed-off woman behind the cool exterior. This is a love story, begun with hesitation, but over the time spent together, becomes one built on faith and trust. It will lead the two on an unimaginable path, full of passion, intrigue, broken barriers, and angst.
The Fifth Favor is an erotic romance, so it might seem weird that I haven't gotten into the steam. This is definitely a sexy book. The sex does not drive the story or characters, but is a by-product of the intense chemistry that surrounds them. It is full of passion ,and the promise of more passion to come. It was exceedingly sensual and gorgeous.
I'm a low-drama person, in my life and in my reading preferences. I tend to avoid situations and people who will cause me angst, and I choose a lot of my books in the same manner. The Fifth Favor made me rethink this. And by that I mean, I actually do like angst, when it is so brilliantly done as it was here. Nothing is contrived or overdone, the angst is spot-on and precise. Everything Billie and Adrian experience and feel felt organic, completely true to their situation. This is a story that not only appealed to the physical side of passion, but also the emotional. A good friend of mine is also asking our book group to recommend a book that will "grab her by the balls". The Fifth Favor is a book that will most definitely grab you by the bits, and will not release you until the last page.
It wasn't until she looked into his eyes at such close proximity that she understood. Promises of ecstasy glittered there, diamonds in an obsidian sea. In that instant, all his youthful exuberance slid away and exposed the wild, worldly creature she'd expected. He was Avalon's favorite son for a reason, and the reason was written in that black, black gaze. ~pg. 4
He was a stranger, an alien creature, impossible to reach or understand. And she still wanted to try. "Tell me what you need."
"This," he whispered, watching her lips move against his palm. "Just this." ~pg. 91
"Billie," he whispered.
Nothing more. But a million emotions crossed between them, riding on the back of that one breathless word, and then he pushed his fingers through her hair, sought her gaze in the darkness and lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her in desperate gratitude until she felt bruised. Until she held no thoughts except one: she would never be the same. ~ pg. 126
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