When Raina Beck is given an invitation to The Players Club, all she wants is a night of decadence with a gorgeous, sexy stranger. The seductive, mysterious man she meets fulfills her deepest desires and most erotic fantasies, giving her a night she’ll never forget. But forgetting him isn’t quite so easy. Logan Cruz prefers his women submissive and compliant in the bedroom . . . everything the independent Raina is not. Yet from the first moment he lays eyes on her, he’s determined to make Raina his. Despite her resistance. When Logan is assigned to protect Raina from a stalker, everything between them changes. Sex becomes more than just physical, and emotions run deep. Falling in love was never on Raina’s agenda, but can she let go of the past and surrender the one thing he wants the most . . . her heart?
My Rating: 4½/5 stars
Though I haven’t reviewed Erika Wilde’s The Marriage Diaries novella series, I have been a follower and devoted reader since book one. Throughout the series, one sweet and somewhat sassy character, Raina Beck makes an appearance from time to time. In Playing with Temptation, Erika Wilde pulls her out of the shadows and gives Raina her own full-length novel and HEA.
As owner of Sugar and Spice, an adult boutique (don’t you dare say porn shop!) Raina Beck is used to helping others find the things they need to spice up their love lives. Her shop is upscale, her service is outstanding, her business is quite successful and, she has ceased caring about what others think of what she does for a living. Given her job and the large number of people she meets, one would think Raina’s love life would be full and exciting. Sadly, Raina’s love life is quite the opposite until she is given the opportunity to indulge in a single night of no-strings-attached debauchery at the Players Club. With just one night, Raina decides she is going to experience everything she wants with the man she feels an undeniable attraction to.
Logan Cruz doesn’t do long-term. Hell, Logan Cruz doesn’t do more than a night or two at the Players Club but when he has mind-blowing sex with one night with a delectable woman whose name he doesn’t know, Logan begins to consider more than one night. Now to find out the name of the only woman Logan Cruz has ever run after. Given his background and current position at Noble and Associates, Logan has no doubt he can track down his mystery woman and hopefully have more than a single night with her. Much to his great surprise, Logan walks into work on Monday morning to find his mystery woman is a new client in need of protection and Logan is just the man to provide help.
Logan sees protecting Raina as an opportunity to seduce her and Raina sees it as an opportunity to enjoy her bodyguard for the short amount of time their “relationship” will last. Raina has learned from several very painful experiences that men enjoy the novelty of dating an adult boutique owner but they aren’t interested in Raina for the long haul. As she has discovered, not too many men want to take her home to meet the family and so, Raina has learned to keep her emotions in check and only enjoy the physical aspect of relationships. Sexually, Logan is more than Raina could have ever hoped for. He is aggressive, inventive, selfless and, willing to concede (occasionally) to Raina’s need to be in control. Raina has never experienced the likes of Logan Cruz and it doesn’t take her long to figure out she is in way, way over head and if she isn’t careful, she is going to fall in love. Logan’s feeling toward Raina are unlike anything he has ever experienced and though he is somewhat unnerved by his emotions, he is willing to once again take a chance on love. He understands Raina is scared to become emotionally involved, she is freaked out by the threats to her well-being and, she is trying to let him in. Being by her side isn’t a hardship at all and with the exception of a few rocky moments, Logan thinks everything will work out until Raina pulls a runner and calls everything off.
The Bottom Line: I am a pretty big fan of Erika Wilde and was quite glad to see Raina Beck get her own novel. Raina has always come across as a nice girl who works hard but Playing with Temptation really gives the reader more insight into Raina’s life and her past. Raina’s life hasn’t been easy but she has overcome every obstacle and turned herself into a successful business owner. Though she is content with her career, Raina is missing a very significant piece to be truly happy, a partner to love and accept her and every aspect of her life. Sex with Logan was never meant to go beyond a one night stand but Logan’s persistence and presence as her bodyguard slowly dissolves some of the walls she has erected to protect herself. For as much as I like Raina, Logan is really the highlight of this read for me. Logan has long been wary of letting another woman close to his heart but he recognizes Raina as his mate almost immediately and accepts everything about her. Logan’s patience is commendable and due, in large part to his close observation of Raina and her behavior. Logan recognizes the fear in Raina and works to help her overcome it even when it overwhelms her and causes her to push him away. Another highlight of this read would be the naughty bits!! Erika Wilde writes some really fantastic sex scenes though she never allows the sex to overwhelm the characters or the story. Wilde writes erotica but she doesn’t write gratuitous sex; this story is about Raina and Logan and their HEA, a true romance.
P.S. Just a heads up for those of you who are chronological order readers like me, Playing with Him (Book #0.5: The Players Club Series) is just the first few chapters of this read but serves as a naughty teaser 🙂