Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance

Review + Excerpt: Strictly Confidential | The Boardroom Series by Lynda Aicher

STRICTLY CONFIFIDENTALWhat’s your pleasure?From Lynda Aicher, author of the bestselling Wicked Play books, comes an exclusive invitation to the Boardroom–where working late has its rewards.

Life is about power–who has it, who doesn’t.Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t spent time in Kennedy Keller’s business-casual two-point-five-inch heels. A woman in a world very much run by men, Kennedy does whatever it takes to keep her power, in the office and outside of it.Until she lets her guard down and decides to submit to a man for just one night.

He’s everything she doesn’t usually let herself have: sexy, strong…dominant.Matt Hamilton said goodbye to the Dom life years ago–power games and the delectable push/pull of dominance and submission might start in the bedroom, but it never stays there. Reunited in the Boardroom, Matt and Kennedy test their desires and boundaries…and learn that one night is never just one night.One-click with confidence.

This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!This book is approximately 73,000 wordsEdited by Stephanie Doig.

Adult Fiction | Romance | Erotica | Contemporary

***Received an Advanced Readers Copy during a blog tour with TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review***

Have I mentioned yet recently how much I really enjoy romantic erotica where the fictional female lead isn’t some inferior twatwaffle of a damsel? Man do I love a good strong, powerful female force who leads the novel just as much as the male character and comrades I can admit to you know, Strictly Confidential delivered. 

I LOVED the main characters. Kennedy was a breath of fresh air in the erotic romance world. She was ballsy my furry friends. I liked her take charge personality, the exterior that she showed was rough yet she owned her sex appeal – I liked this about a female character. Plus she had a little spicy secret, one that I can definitely get on board with – She liked being watched. It was a thrill. Granted I know what you are thinking, this isn’t reinventing the wheel or anything but honestly it was how Kennedy was presented as both a corporate level female lead while also utilizing her sexual nature as a multitude of outlets. 

Then we have Matt. I honestly could not get enough of him. His personality wasn’t overbearing, overpowering but rather stern yet charming. I liked how he handled himself as well as everyone in his surroundings. I honestly think that Matt and Kennedy had such an amazing chemistry from start to finish that it really just blew me away. I loved how there wasn’t pointless drama, there was just a simple understanding, an insta-respect or trust rather towards one another that really reflected in their sexual encounters. It was delicious. 

Admittedly with that said, I would have really enjoyed getting more of their backstory, their history but honestly, who needs all those whistles and tizzles when you have the most scrumptious sex scenes that light up not only my pages. 

Now in the midst of all this gooey awesome things that I loved about the novel, I have to admit some counters that honestly didn’t fully deter my enjoyment but for a better lack of a term just didn’t hold my interest. 

For starters, most erotica has an exaggerated setting, if you ever go into a genre of this spectrum and you are expecting anything less than that, you will be surprised to find out the dynamics are played a little more dramatic than most. Its like Gone with the Wind but on a porn site… My problem however with Strictly Confidential is that there were some moments that presented as key elements to the drama or the development of the characters but for me seemed pointless. For one example, without giving away too much, there is a scene between Kennedy, Matt, and her father; Because Kennedy is a woman in a man’s business world she has to show a certain exterior – I get it, I love it, however there was just some points, like that scene, where this played on the storyline only to have a certain level of additive to help enhance that character’s trait but really the scene itself was awkward and quite frankly wasted space. 

Secondly, speaking on awkward and wasted space, I would have much rather had more steam-filled action between Kennedy and Matt more than what was delivered. Again, what I got was delicious, but it wasn’t enough. 

Bottom line, I enjoyed Strictly Confidential a massive amount. There was a certain level of depth, character development, chemistry that was steaming off the pages without drowning out the erotic expectations but not over doing them. Regardless of my slight tidbits about the over-exaggerated flowness of the drama, which if I am being honest, in what erotica world are things not scaled up a smidge, I still can say this was a great read. 

It was quick, solid read that kept me intrigued with the chemistry, the romantic development between Kennedy and Matt and honestly by the end of each encounter, I was sitting there drooling for more! Super great. I definitely plan on adding more Lynda to my TBR in the near future! 

EXCERPT

Normally, he would pay his tab and leave without a backward glance. But he didn’t now, not when his desire dug at him in ways he’d thought long gone. Ways that’d been pushing more and more since he’d exchanged his work shirts for suits. Ways that had him craving things better left untouched.

Her thumbs tapped in quick succession as she typed out a message, her lips pursing and releasing in an unin­tentional tease. A soft glow tinted her cheeks and drew him to the faint smattering of freckles that trailed over her nose. The little imperfections softened her appear­ance and added an innocence that didn’t match the con­fidence she projected.

“I thought you were relaxing,” he commented, un­able to hold back.

She looked to him, going still. Her lips curled in a slow crawl upward as she lowered her phone. “Appar­ently, I’m not very good at that.” She hitched her brow in an insinuation of a shrug.

“Maybe you should try harder.” He lifted his own brow, enjoying the banter. She was a nice distraction on an otherwise bland evening, that was all. Just a sim­ple conversation. Yet her short chuckle hummed inside him, mocking his lies as it drew his interest forward.

She set her phone on the bar. “There.” She folded her hands on her lap. “No more work.” The challenge was leveled back at him in her tone, the “what now?” included in her expression.

“That’s a start.” He indicated her phone but didn’t expand even though she clearly expected him to.

Calculation marched through her eyes before she shook her head, looking to the TV. Her thoughts and emotions were masked behind her blank expression, a skill he recognized. Where had she learned it? Why? Eight years as an Army officer had honed it into him, but her…

A couple of men took the seats next to her, their at­tention lingering as they sat. He stared at them, annoy­ance building until the closest one noticed. The man’s knowing smirk contained a silent apology before he turned away.

She twisted in her seat, turning her back to the two men. “Kennedy,” she stated, hand extended, waiting.

He grasped her hand, welcoming her firm grip that said assertive but not aggressive. “Matt.” The foreign knot in his chest loosened as he shoved back the pro­tective rush that’d had him staking a claim where he had no right.

“Nice to meet you, Matt.”

“Likewise.”

She released his hand, yet her touch lingered with an impression of warmth. His stomach tightened, desire spreading in a slow build that buzzed over his skin and teased him with possibilities.

“What do you do?” she asked, reaching into her suit pocket.

He stalled her hand at the first sign of her business card. “Nope,” he said. “No work.” She hesitated. “We’re relaxing, remember?” He could’ve—should’ve—moved his hand away, but he left it resting on hers, almost dar­ing her to object.

She didn’t. And that set off a whole different reaction tied to behavior he’d long abandoned—for good reasons.

That tempting smile of hers returned as she slid her card back into her pocket. “All right. I’ll play.”

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