I’m continuing with my three days of Zoe and her hot, hunky, totally tripped out (as in triplets!) Outlaw series, so be sure to check out Saturday’s post on A Perfect Mess and yesterday’s for A Perfect Mistake, her second book
A Perfect Dilemma is finally here with Braxton Outlaw, angry, closed, and aching for the princess he could never touch, River Pearl Sutton. Swearing never to subject her to his heartbreaking ways, River has a different plan for this emotionally unavailable rebel. One that’s going to bring him to his knees and make him beg. He’s going delve into the deepest part of his heart, discover what he’s really made of. Could he give in to the tantalizing beauty who has haunted him for years waking and sleeping. Powerless to say no to her, he gives in to her plea for help. She stumbles on a buried secret that could either save or destroy them.
The one secret she can’t stand to keep is the one she can’t afford to tell.
The perfect little rich girl, River Pearl Sutton has always done what her family expected of her. She’d become the perfect little beauty queen, the perfect child model and now her global success locks her into a life she never really chose.
Coming home for the summer to prepare for the Founder’s Day Festival, a celebration of her lauded ancestor, she is tasked by her father to write a speech to be delivered at the end of the party.
Returning to Hope Parish brings her back into close proximity with sweet-talking, skirt-chasing Braxton Outlaw, the boy who always seemed immune to her charms in high school. But now he looks at her with those challenging blue eyes, both intimidating and seductive at the same time. Using research of her family lineage and his as way to get close to this bad boy, they fall into a hot, torrid affair.
She stumbles across a terrible secret that could bring to ruin not only her reputation, but the reputation and standing of her family. But when her infatuation with Brax grows into something that she can’t live without, she must decide what to do. Keep the secret and lose Brax or destroy her family and lose them.
It’s an awful, heartrending perfect dilemma.
With each of the A Perfect Secret series reads I have fallen a little more in love with the Outlaw boys and A Perfect Dilemma did nothing but increase my love of those beautiful boys. Braxton Outlaw may not have Boone’s swoon but he has a sexy all his own and for better or worse that sexy is reserved for River Pearl Sutton, the one girl in the world he has promised himself he can never have.
Of all the Outlaw boys, Brax is the most sensitive to his family’s reputation. Brax is almost hyper-aware of what people think of him and his family and though he is tough he is also concerned that his presence in any worthy woman’s life will bring her nothing but shame, the same shame his mother has lived with for years. As far as Brax is concerned his life will be satisfying enough with the occasional one night stand, his restaurant and, his brother’s and their mates. It doesn’t matter one bit to Braxton how much he wants River Pearl, he can’t ruin her reputation which means he just simply can’t have her. Needless to say, Braxton Outlaw has a lot of anger constantly bubbling just underneath the surface.
River Pearl Sutton is a woman of means. In addition to being from a very wealthy Hope Parish family she is also an accomplished model with an internationally known face and body. Her life is exciting and glamorous but it isn’t exactly satisfying. As beautiful as River Pearl is, even she can’t seem to land the one man in the world she wants above all others. For years she has harbored a strong crush on Braxton Outlaw and now that she is back in Hope Parish she is determined to make Braxton hers no matter what it takes. Thank goodness River Pearl is just as stubborn as Braxton because it is going to take every weapon in her considerable arsenal to change that man’s mind.
As Braxton and River Pearl fight and make-up and fight some more they also work toward a common goal of solving a mystery. River Pearl is convinced there is more to the legend of the Outlaws than what everyone has believed for decades. Hell bent on discovering the truth, River Pearl enlists Braxton’s help and when all is said and done, no one can believe what River Pearl uncovers. Not only does she solve one mystery but she solves two and in one fell swoop she flips Hope Parish ass over teakettle. In a totally classy and River Pearl kind of way, of course 🙂
The Bottom Line: A Perfect Dilemma is the perfect ending to the initial Hope Parish trilogy. Yes, the series is going to move forward but the Outlaw boys aren’t going to be the main characters. YAY and BOO!! 🙂 Dilemma is not only an excellent story for Braxton and River Pearl but it is also an excellent read as far as tying up loose ends goes. Dawson dots all the i’s and crosses all t’s and no question is left unanswered. I absolutely loved how every aspect of the entire trilogy came together in this read. Everything is tied into Braxton and River Pearl’s story in a logical and believable way. There’s no reaching here, it all works together in a seamless and totally interesting way. In all,the A Perfect Secret series is a prime example of why I love trilogies so very, very much! The Unholy Trinity are the right type of bad boys – totally hot, mostly well-mannered (their momma tried!), honorable and, unconditionally devoted to one another. For me, this series would have been just as good if didn’t have the added bonus of the romances and HEAs. Seriously, the girls – as awesome as they are – are an added bonus! In all honesty, this is a series that has worked its way into my pile of favorites and is something I can see myself returning to again and again. I loves me some Outlaws!!
He looked over his shoulder, shooting me a sultry, annoyed look. I took a step forward, and my stupid high-heeled sandal hit a patch of something and my foot went out from under me. Braxton moved fast and caught me around the middle, his arm a thick band across my back.
His features were finely formed, true of all three of the trips. Booker and Boone were equally gorgeous, but there was something about Braxton’s face that always drew me to him in particular. Tantalizing angles and planes I wanted to study and absorb. Rugged, chiseled, and strong. I never had trouble telling him apart from his brothers. It was as if my brain and body knew him instinctually. There was a wildness in those eyes, and something nameless which always intrigued me. I only glimpsed it every so often, but it was always there when he looked at me. As if I was a prize he couldn’t have.
It pissed me off.
His unbearably blue eyes, fringed with thick, black lashes were the clearest, deepest color, eyes a girl could get lost in, and plenty had. Anger spiked, although I had no excuse for it. Braxton had never promised me anything. In fact, he’d never even so much as touched me until this summer.
He was all of those. His reputation was legendary. I was a fool to think I could control him in any way. The wildness of Braxton couldn’t truly be tamed, although maybe harnessed. But never broken.
Other than that kiss I’d planted on him at the barbeque only weeks ago, when he’d been such a complete ass, was the closest I’ve ever been to him. My mouth tingled at his nearness.
I ached to touch him. It was an intense, physical pain, even more pronounced now than when I was younger. Now I knew what it was like to be with a man. I’d tried in vain to get him out of my system, and there were always willing men who made it clear they thought I was just perfect.
That was the problem. I wasn’t.
But no one had ever eclipsed my stupid infatuation with Braxton Outlaw. I wanted to have him and get it over with. But he was such a jerk about it, and I couldn’t understand why. I was probably, other than Verity or Aubree, one of the few women in this town Braxton hadn’t touched.
So we sniped, teased, and name-called in our frustration.
Because there was one thing I was sure about. Braxton wanted me. A woman knows that.
“Carrie,” he said in his soft, enticing Southern drawl, “get a cloth and wipe up the spill.”
One of the waitresses scurried away to search for a towel.
“What are you doing in my kitchen, sugar pie?” Braxton always looked contrary, like he was plotting and planning how he was going to get his hand in the cookie jar.
“This isn’t your kitchen. In fact, you don’t even have a membership here!”
His eyes went cold and he stiffened.
He whirled me back on my feet so fast I had to catch my balance all over again. Shoot. I’d done it again.
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.