Title: Holding Aces (The Kingdom #1)
Author: Nikki Groom
Release Date: May 29th 2014
Genre: Adult contemporary romance
They say that time heals all wounds.
But mine are set in so deeply, they’ve taken on a life of their own, lurking in the shadows at every turn and haunting my thoughts.
The girl I once was has been replaced by a stranger.
I don’t even know who I am anymore.
And I hide.
Pretending to be someone I’m not…
Until I meet Denham King.
My burst of color in an otherwise grey world.
And for the first time in my life, I find myself running towards someone instead of running away.
But fate can be cruel,
and I can’t escape my past.
**Holding Aces is part one of a two part Adult Contemporary Romance series that contains mature sexual content and language and is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**
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“Don’t run,” he says before releasing my hands slowly, and I instinctively move to tangle my fingers in his thick dark hair. Both his hands move to my ass, squeezing and pulling me closer as he kisses me with a fierce tenderness I can’t explain. I vaguely register him flicking the lock on the door as he walks us backwards, never breaking contact.
He turns me as we reach his desk, and I hear paperwork flutter to the floor and glass smash as he sends everything on the desk flying before lying me down on the cold, hard surface, his body pressed tightly against mine. I have a desperate need to touch him, to taste him, to feel every inch of this man. I slide my hands in the waistband of his trousers and pull out his shirt. I let my hands roam freely over his torso, realizing I’ve wanted to do this since the very first time I saw him at the elevator.
He runs his hands down the length of my body and pushes them back up again, skimming my thighs and taking my skirt with them, exposing my lace underwear. “Stunning,” he says before bringing his mouth to mine.
Our teeth crash together as the desire grows, and we both know it’s impossible to stop this now. “Arianna,” he says breathlessly. His chest is heaving and there are little beads of sweat gathering on his brow.
“Yes…” I can barely form the word. I haven’t answered to my real name for a very long time, but it feels natural coming from him.
“Tell me you want this…”
It’s a command, but I don’t feel threatened. I want this as much as he does.I nod my answer.
“Tell me, Ari. I won’t touch you until you tell me.”
“Yes, yes I want you…”
Arianna has had more than her share of heartache. She deals with the latest turmoil in her life the only way she knows how. She makes her way to Vegas determined to change the pattern of events that has begun to define her. However, she is not prepared for the depth of feelings a complete stranger exposes her to, nor can she fathom the gentle and caring way he tends to her without expecting anything in return. As she struggles to find some semblance of normalcy, she must also rediscover herself behind the façade she has been living.
I’m sick of this. Running. Fighting. Always looking over my shoulder and having to think before I speak for fear of revealing who I really am. This is my life, and I’m taking it back.
Denham is all business. He does not have time for the nuances of relationships, but rather settles for the conveniences afforded him through his business relationships. When Arianna shows up at his hotel, he finds himself wanting to know more about this delicate and complex woman that makes him feel things like never before. Chemistry morphs into more and Denham finds himself wanting to break down the walls Arianna has built around her heart.
I feel you, Arianna. There is no explanation for it. I feel when you’re happy and I feel when you’re sad. That faraway look that you had in your eyes is nearly gone. I’ve watched you come to life.
Just when Arianna thinks her life is taking a turn for the better, things get interesting…
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Denham King exemplified patience yet he was diligent in his efforts to get Arianna to open up and trust him. He was all the things Arianna needed in her life and I admire how his persistence never wavered. He was sweet and sexy and I adored his endearments for Arianna. I enjoyed watching Arianna open herself up to the pleasures of life at the Kingdom and I am looking forward to what is next for her and Denham. It should be noted this is the first book of a two part series. Accordingly, the story ends with a cliffhanger.
This was a great debut novel by Nikki Groom. There was plenty of drama, angst, steamy sex and a hint of suspense lurking in the pages.
Overall Rating: 3.5-4 Stars
About the Author
Nikki Groom is a hopeless romantic, lover of all things happily ever after and firm believer that love makes the world go around.
In her spare time, you will find Nikki laughing with her very treasured family, walking with her beloved dog in the hundred acre wood or curled up in a cosy corner with words and wine.
She lives in East Sussex with her husband and two children. Having turned her hand to many things over the years, Nikki is now proud to add ‘author’ to that list.
Having always been a dreamer, Nikki’s imagination stretches far and wide, which enables her to get lost in faraway places and imaginary people.
Nikki loves to chat, especially about books! You can find her here…