The man was sinful. It wasn't just the looks that made him dangerous, it was the cocky confidence that dominated every move, every touch. And the frustrating yet ecstatic fact about the whole package was that he could back it all up… Julia Campbell never knows what to expect with win-at-all-costs Brad De Luca. And she's starting to like it that way. She gave up safe, conventional relationships when she let the elite divorce attorney seduce her into his world. Now that he's determined to strip her naked of every inhibition, she's in danger of falling too deep and too fast. But their affair begins to feel even more dangerous when a murder leaves a trail of suspicion that points straight to the mob…and Brad. Trusting a man with a bad reputation and a past full of secrets seems like a mistake. But when she's forced to make a choice, the consequences will take her further than she could ever have imagined.
“What, pray tell, could I already be in trouble for?” Sitting at a four-top in the brick-walled restaurant, Brad’s face could only be described as pained, as he ended a call and stood at my approach, stepping aside and pulling out my chair.
I sat, accepting the kiss he placed on my cheek, a kiss that moved, traveling down my neck before I pulled back with a squeal, a smile fighting me tooth and nail to reach my mouth. “What makes you think you are in trouble?” I purred, crossing my legs and reaching forward, dipping a carrot in some hummus and crunching down on it, Brad looking at me in barely contained disgust. “What?”
“That stuff. It looks disgusting.”
I snorted, all sexy purrs now gone. “Disgusting? You ordered it!”
“I ordered it because women everywhere seem to eat it, and I was trying to find something you’d like in this granolified tent that they call a restaurant.”
I smothered a smile, looking around. He had a point. Birkenstocks and deodorant-free patrons seemed to be the vibe this place was going for. It had been a recommendation from Alex, and was one of the few downtown restaurants that was avoided by the staff. Now I knew why. “No steaks on the menu?”
“Barely any meat on the menu. One free-range chicken dish, the rest is all vegetarian. I’ll eat at home, but you need something. Here.” He pushed a laminated menu across the small table, and I scanned it quickly, fighting my own urge to curl an upper lip. The items were all healthy, all organic, and all… unappetizing. I spotted vegetable soup and decided to go with that, setting the menu aside and looking at Brad.
The man was sinful. Tan skin, thick black hair, with bits of silver littering it. Dark brown eyes that held every emotion possible, with the tendency to smolder and cloud at just the moment when it drove me the craziest. Strong features that worked perfectly together to make every grin, grimace, and glare heartstoppingly gorgeous. But honestly, you could run his face through a blender, shave his head bald, and starve the man out of his amazing, too built for mortal men build, and he would still be stop-you-in-your-tracks sexy. Because it wasn’t the looks that really made him sizzle, it was the pure sex that reeked from his pores, the cocky confidence that dominated every move, every touch. And the horrible yet ecstatic fact about the whole package is that he could back it all up with mind-numbing sexual prowess. He knew what he rocked beneath those dress pants, and he knew that he knew exactly how to use the damn thing. It was, as I had thought a thousand times before, ridiculously unfair.
“Stop smirking at me.” I spoke through a half-eaten carrot, hoping that my mental droolfest hadn’t show in my face, which I fixed into an irritated scowl.
“I’ll smirk at you until you tell me what I have done wrong. I assure you, I have not fucked anybody since you left my house last night.” He leaned back, placing his hands in his pockets, his legs spread. He looked relaxed, which was the last thing I wanted him looking.
Our waitress, an overall-wearing blonde, swung by and I handed her the menu, requesting the soup and a glass of ice water. Then I took him out of his not-even-present misery and reached into my bag, pulling out the spreadsheet Rebecca had emailed me and slapping it onto the table.
He leaned forward, his hands still in his pocket and glanced at the document before leaning back and shrugging. “So?”
“So? That’s your response? Do you know what this is?”
“Yeah. It’s the questionnaire. Rebecca sends it to all of the important women in my life.” He gave me a grin that indicated that I should thank my lucky stars and dance around hugging myself, so grateful that he graced me with receiving his ridiculous spreadsheet. I wanted to take the hummus and shove it all over his face.
“Let me read this shit to you, Brad. Birthday, Time of Monthly Cycle, Favorite Authors, Favorite Clothing Store, Shoe Size, Bra Size, Name of four closest friends, Favorite Band –”
“Where are you going with this, Julia?” he interrupted my rant, which was too bad, because I was just getting to the good stuff.
“I’m not telling her – or you – all this shit! This is Lazy Boyfriend 101. This is her cheat sheet so that she can buy all the right presents at all of the appropriate times! Text you during social events, reminding you of my friends’ names. This is the stuff we are supposed to discover about each other during dates – things that you are supposed to care enough to find out, and then remember!” I slammed my hand on the table, the noise loud in the small restaurant.
He didn’t move, studying me from his seat, his head tilted as his eyes burned through me. “Okay.”
He shrugged. “Okay. I’ll tell her to throw away the list, as far as you are concerned. You’re right.”
My mouth threatened to drop open again. That was easy. From the man whom I had expected to fight me tooth and nail, on principle and stubbornness alone.
My astonishment must have shown; he gave a quick laugh and leaned forward. “Rebecca doesn’t know, okay? I told her I was dating someone, and she probably assumed you are like the other girls. I don’t need that list, I know half the shit on it already, and will know the rest soon enough. Forget it. I’ll talk to Rebecca and make sure she leaves you alone from here on out.” He grinned at me, reaching across the table and grabbing my arm. “Now, am I forgiven?”
I tried to glare at him, but my anger had abandoned me somewhere around his admittance of fault. My face contorted in a variety of expressions before I finally returned his grin, accepting the tug of his hands and meeting him across the table for a quick, panty-melting kiss.
I have to say that i really enjoyed Blindfolded Innocence, but this, Masked Innocence....I LOVED it! For my fellow erotica lovers that aren't familiar with Alessandra Torre's work, you need to rectify that immediately. She had me hooked in book one and I have been anxiously awaiting Masked Innocence for a while now.
Masked Innocence picks up right where Blindfolded Innocence (book 1) left off. Julia Campbell and Brad DeLuca take their relationship to the next level when Julia opens up to the idea of including others in their sexual relationship that Brad has proposed to her. Never did she imagine things going this way but in order to have Brad, this is a compromise she has to make. Luckily enough, she finds herself enjoying everything about his proposal.
Julia becomes increasingly aware of her sexual desires and is basically consumed by everything Brad. She fears she is falling too hard too fast while Brad is confused by his growing feelings for Julia. "I fell for the feisty, smart-ass Julia that calls me on my shit. But i'm owned by the vixen that you become behind closed doors."
While Blindfolded Innocence was loaded with sexual tension, Masked Innocence is slightly different. It is still full of steamy, change-your-panties sex scenes, but it is also very suspenseful. I love that Alessandra used the element of suspense because it really kept the reader engaged. We learn a lot about Brad in this book and his secrets will surprise you! When his big secret is exposed, i couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see how this would play out and what effect it would have on Julia and Brad's relationship.
The dialogue between Brad and Julia is some of my favorite to date. Brad comes across as serious and mysterious yet with Julia he is fun and light-hearted. And Julia....I just love her. She has grown stronger emotionally and knows when to put her foot down. “Why are you so certain I will fall in love with you?” His voice was low, irritated. I smiled patiently at him. “You just met me. I’ve had over twenty years to get to know me. Trust me, you will. You’re too smart not to.”
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. After the ending of this book I will be not-so-patiently waiting for the final installment of Brad and Julia's story. But have no fear my friends, book 3 is right around the corner!
Alessandra Torre is a new author who focuses on contemporary erotica. Her first book, Blindfolded Innocence, was published in July 2012, and was an Erotica #1 Bestseller for two weeks. The sequel to Blindfolded, Masked Innocence, will be released in February 2014.
Alessandra lives in the Southern United States and is married, with one young child. She enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and playing with her dogs. Her favorite authors include Lisa Gardner, Gillian Flynn, and Jennifer Crusie. Learn more about Alessandra on her website at www.alessandratorre.com, or you can find her on Twitter (@ReadAlessandra) or her Facebook fanpage.
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