Vi Keeland is back and swinging for the fences with Throb, a sexy and fast-paced read centered on reality TV, one hot and compassionate contestant and, two brothers who have been at odds with one another for the majority of their lives.
Kate Monroe is stunning and the moment Cooper Montgomery lays eyes on her, he knows she will be his no matter the cost. Their first encounter is light and fun with Kate taking every penny Cooper (and the others) have in a night of poker. Turns out, Kate isn’t just a girl who can play cards but a card dealer and the daughter of a world champion poker player. Though the odds were certainly in her favor to win, Cooper doesn’t mind handing her every penny he has in the hopes of another meeting and the opportunity to win back his losses. Cooper isn’t used to being turned down by the women he is interested in so when Kate shoots him down he sees it as a challenge more than a rejection.
Kate Monroe has given up everything she wants in order to protect and provide for her family. Though her father was a world class card player he was also a gambler who always chased the next win. When her father died, Kate’s mother was left with huge debts and a son who requires costly treatments as a result of devastating car wreck. When the bills aren’t getting paid and her brother’s treatments are threatened, Kate quits school, starts dealing cards and, signs up as a contestant on a reality show. If Kate can make it to the final four, she will be able to reduce some her family’s burden. If Kate can win the competition she will be able to wipe out all of the debt and ensure her brother’s continued care. All Kate has to do is convince the bachelor that she is the woman among many for him. The rules of the game are quite simple and as soon as Kate signs the contract, she is bound to the rules.
Kate never counted on meeting Cooper Montgomery and she certainly never counted on her intense attraction to him. Jeopardizing her participation in the show by seeing Cooper is risky but the attraction they have to one another is undeniable. Cooper has no idea why Kate is participating in the show and with every ounce of his being, he wants her uninvolved immediately. To make matters far, far worse Cooper’s loser brother, Miles is the producer of the reality show and he is desperate on many levels to see the show succeed. Kate is an audience favorite and so, Miles takes every opportunity available to put her into a position of enticement. It certainly helps that the bachelor (not-so-affectionately known as Dickhead) is totally into Kate and relishes every moment he can be near her and touching her. Kate is stuck between a huge rock and a hard place and every encounter with Cooper draws her closer to him and away from her goals. Achieving her goals is paramount and eventually Kate is forced to fess up to Cooper about her involvement in the show. Though Cooper understands her motivation, he is not happy with it or her decision to stay the course. Cooper is man used to getting what he wants, Kate wants Cooper and the prize money and so, they two devise a series of personal rules that will allow Kate to care for her family on her terms and be with Cooper. The situation is certainly not ideal and though Cooper is on edge constantly, he supports Kate. The two have wicked sexual chemistry and every time they are together Cooper all but brands Kate so she won’t forget who it is she belongs with. As fate would have it, Cooper’s brother really is a totally loser and when he figures out that Kate is not only violating the rules of her contract but seeing his brother, he endeavors to ruin them both.
The Bottom Line: Throb is all kinds of sexy and exciting and Cooper is already one of my favorite leading men for 2015. The premise of Throb just begs for all kinds of drama and it is delivered in spades (HA!) Kate is so strong and adamant about helping her family that she is nearly blinded by her determination. Cooper is equally strong and determined and does everything within his power to make Kate his. Cooper is blindsided by his brother’s betrayal and the fallout from that betrayal is nearly the end of everything Cooper holds dear. He is such a good man and fine partner for Kate that is heartbreaking to see the two of them split apart. Getting to their HEA is dramatic and somewhat wretched but the end is worth the wait.
As much as I loved this read (and I did!), I do have a few issues with the ending. Miles digs up some pretty damaging dirt on Kate and though he is eventually shut down, I never found out what happened to that information. Furthermore, even though I found out that Miles and Cooper’s relationship goes from bad to worse, there is really no resolution to their story. Since the book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger at all, I found myself frustrated by the few loose ends I was left with. Overall, these loose ends didn’t kill the read for me but they did leave me wondering.
Every girl needs three things:
1. A flutter in her belly when she meets him for the first time.
Meet Cooper: My lips brush the top of her hand lightly, my tongue sneaking out to fleetingly touch her skin. The brief contact stirs an ache inside me. This woman tugs at something—more than arousal—something that makes me want to slow down time just to spend a few more minutes standing here.
“Did you just…” she stammers a bit.
“Did I just what?”
She squints at me. “You know.”
“I felt your tongue on my hand. You…you licked me.”
I’d been dying to run my tongue along her neck all evening, although I hadn’t really meant to be so crude about it. It just sort of …happened. “I wouldn’t say licked, maybe just a little taste.”
“So you tasted me?”
My entire body suddenly has interest in this conversation. “I suppose I did. But it wasn’t nearly enough. That brings us back to my invitation for dinner. Tomorrow night?”
“The day after then?”
She laughs and shakes her head. The sound makes me smile.
“Good night, Cooper.” She pulls the driver’s side door shut and leaves me standing there…for a full five minutes after she’s gone.
2. A best friend to talk about him to.
Meet Sadie: “And?”
“And I kissed him when we were in his office.”
“How was his office?”
“Really? That’s what you want to know. Not how was the kiss or aren’t you in breach of your contract? How was his office?”
“You can tell a lot about a man by his office.”
I gulp another unladylike sip from my wine glass. “His office was beautiful. Sleek, overlooking the city. It oozed power.”
“Nice. Bet he fucks like he owns you.”
The thought of what he’s like in bed is enough to make me lose my train of thought.
“Go on,” Sadie prods.
I don’t continue immediately.
“You forgot what you were up to because you were thinking of him fucking you like he owns you, didn’t you?” My best friend smirks knowingly.
“Shut up.” I pause. “Anyway, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“Well, him. Obviously.”
“I wish it were that easy.”
3. A gentleman that turns into a bossy dirty talker in the bedroom.
Cooper – behind closed doors.: “You haven’t even begun to see bossy yet. Tonight I’m going to tell you to do things, and you’re going to do them. When I tell you to open wider, or take my cock deeper, you’re going to listen. You know why? Because since the moment we met, all I’ve wanted to do is make you feel good. Hell, I don’t even need to get off physically. Because I’m going to get off watching you every minute. So, yeah, I’m going to be bossy. Now let’s put the rest of this behind us. Do you want to be with me tonight?”
After that prelude, I nod my head fast. I’m no fool. Who wouldn’t?
Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work. She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!