Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance

Review: Devils & Rye | Top Shelf Series by Alta Hensley


Forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.

It had been years since I had seen her.
Years since I last saw those eyes with pure, raw innocence.
So much time had passed since I lusted after what I knew I should resist.

But she was so right.
And I was so wrong.

To claim her as mine was breaking the rules. Boundaries should not be broken. But temptation weakens my resolve.
With the pull of my dark desires…
I know that I can’t hide from my sinful thoughts—and actions—forever.

5 stars

Romance | Adult Fiction | Erotica/BDSM | Contemporary

Totes my goats…

Before I dive in, I am going to do it – I’m flipping going to say it! Even though I sound like a broken record I have to be honest with you comrades… here be the disclaimer, though if you don’t read this series, I will still say you are missing out on the jilling inspiration. Just putting to you straight. But alas, be aware that if you do pick up the Top Shelf Series (which I recommend you do) is a dark romance. It is jammed packed with mouth watering taboo, sexual experimentation that would make a grown woman blush, and steamy violence that only encompasses the questionable moments I find myself turned on when I should probably be a little scared. So I say this as always, if you aren’t ready to sit at the bar with me, I understand; but if you opened this, I promise that cocktail shot will be smooth as fuck.

Whew – safety words established, lets get cracking.

I got my wish – thank you Hensley. You are a goddess, you are my everything. I wanted Alec and I got him. After the short mention of him in Scoundrels & Scotch, with his ‘not really’ niece applying for a job at the lustrous Spiked Roses, I had to know where this would lead. I mean, were they really related? And if so, how turned on weird would I be if this was incest? I mean, lets be serious, I have read VC Andrews, nothing scares me at this point of the possibilities. Seriously, I HAD TO KNOW! 

Alec is Makaylas father’s best friend, he watched her grow up for many years until losing touch, not coming face to face with the most taboo of situations he wants to admit he lusted for – queue the beaver drool. God did I flipping love Alec. He was different than the others so far. He was a closet sweet heart with a kink to add to the drool worthy sex appeal. Not only was he basically a closet sweet heart, but his compassion and romancing skills was five by five ladies. Southern gentlemen, which was strange after getting the first three men.

Makayla on the other point was just a naive, very much innocent female lead. Up until this point, I feel like all the female leads have had this already established kinky side to them, yet Makayla developed as the story developed. She wasn’t afraid to be upfront with her feelings but also her innocence never took a back seat to the romance growth. That is probably why the chemistry worked so well, in my opinion, this time around. Aside from my obsession with the chemistry in Bastards & Whiskey, I haven’t felt that the other two books had the flare connection that made the situation so believable. 

Let me explain…

Though in book one there was definitely an insta-love/lust connection occurring, the build was beautifully flowed. As for the next following two, I felt the insta-love/lust was more or less overly established too quickly without enough development to the characters themselves. Not that I didn’t enjoy in the least bit, just would have preferred more. Now rearing our lustful dirty minds back to Devils & Rye, the chemistry was off the pages sexy as hell. The romance definitely happens steadfast once introduced but there is already an established connection that makes the scenario more believable to the feelings developing. I loved it.

Strictly speaking in terms of the sexual encounters…. from the tension of the wrong verses right conflicts until the point of giving in – I wanted to dive myself into the pages and watch it. Call me a porn lover if you must, but all I could do was sweat myself off the chair and think “Well hot damn…” because it was delicious. 

Something else that I have started to notice, which really has no reason nor rhyme of mention to the rating, but the covers! I have every physical copy of this series and I love the covers. I love the rough, rugged bar aged look, the characters plastered on the covers that really convey what might be expected from the personality. I love it. Amazing covers.

Overall, I love this series. I honestly think Alec was just the sweetest version of the owners up until now, and it was a nice change of pace. I highly recommend checking out the Top Shelf Series, you are missing out if you do not start this now!And though you could read them out of order, I will ask to steer away from doing it, read them in order. I promise it makes the evolution of these powerful men working at Spiked Roses so much more, just more delicious. Speaking of which… who do I think might be next? Please give me Roman.


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