NEW RELEASE!! Evidence of Desire by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

A fast-paced contemporary romance that sizzles from the New York Times bestselling author of Order of Protection where passion for the law isn’t the only thing heating up the courtroom.

Isla Shayne knows she’s in over her head. As former all-star linebacker Trey Adams’s personal lawyer, she’s used to handling his business dealings and private financial matters, not murder charges. She needs to find an experienced criminal attorney who speaks her client’s language. David Cormack of Garrison, Cormack and Lawless is exactly what she needs in the courtroom—and the only man she wants in the bedroom.

For David, taking on the Adams case means diving back into a world he thought he’d left behind and colliding head on with tragic possibilities he’s in no mood to face. There’s a reason professional football is in his past and no matter how close Isla gets to the truth he intends to leave it there.

But long days working on the case together lead to hot nights in each other’s arms. As their feelings grow, the case takes a deadly twist that could change the game between the two lovers forever.

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It’s no secret that I am in love with Lexi Blake’s writing. She always manages to captivate me and tell fascinating stories. She often includes incredibly delicate topics in her novels, and Evidence of Desire was a prime example of that. She weaved the devastating threads of degenerative mental disorders into an already enthralling suspense novel, making it feel more poignant than so many other novels in the same genre. This may be one of my favorite Lexi Blake stories, and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us in this world.

Evidence of Desire is simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, watching David’s fears manifested through his case was devastating. Watching Portia, Isla, and David’s mother show him that love wasn’t as fragile and mercurial as he’d previously experienced was EVERYTHING. I continually found myself completely consumed by both Isla and David’s love story, and Portia and Trey’s. Any time I can get my hands on a book that gives me a two-fer on romance, I’m in.

The suspense in Evidence of Desire was captivating and had me trying to piece together all the evidence until nearly the last second. All the clues were there, little nuggets of information that seemed unimportant at the time, but once everything came to light, I was able to finally take a step back and see the big picture Ms. Blake had been carefully weaving from the beginning. It was a wild and fascinating ride from beginning to end.

Evidence of Desire is the second book in Lexi Blake’s Courting Justice series. These books can be read as standalones. Characters from the first novel carry over into this book, and we also get a visit from some of our favorite Masters and Mercenaries, too. Evidence of Desire is written in limited third-person perspective, alternating between following Isla and David’s thoughts.

Isla couldn’t believe she was doing this, but the minute she got a good look at David Cormack without his suit on she knew there was no going back. She’d been ready to make a pot of tea and wait for him to come out of the shower when Erin Taggart had appeared in the kitchen.

“Not jumping his bones, then?” she’d asked as she dragged a bottle of water out of the fridge.

“He wants to take it slow.” She was aware of how disappointed she’d sounded.

“No man who looks at a woman the way that one looks at you wants to take things slow. He’s scared you’re too good for him or something stupid like that,” she said. “I should know. I held off my gorgeous hottie for way too long because he was a tiny bit younger than me. Don’t waste time. Take command. And then when he’s all in, give that control up. That always works for me. ’Night.”

There was something in the way the redhead smiled, something intimate and soft. Something Isla wanted for herself again. She’d had it as a girl with Austin. She wanted to know how it felt to have that connection as a woman.

So she’d made the decision. Maybe for the first time in her life, she’d genuinely made the decision to be brave, to go after what she wanted with a singular purpose, to put herself out there and see if she was bait enough to catch the one fish she wanted.

Though first she needed some fishing gear. According to Noah, that was in the nightstand drawer.

She’d stepped in and taken off her clothes. All in. Just like a poker game. If he refused to play, she would be devastated and potentially never be able to face the man again, but she’d felt almost compelled to undress and walk to the entry of that sexy natural stone shower. She’d stood there and looked, really looked at David Cormack. He’d been turned away from her, his back on full display. He was beautifully male, his muscles defined by years of athleticism. His back was strong, his butt practically perfect, and he was held up with strong legs. But his head hung low and she could swear she felt how lonely he was.

She hadn’t realized how lonely she was until she’d met him. “David?”

He started, every muscle tensing, and then he turned, though he mostly moved his torso as though trying to keep his private parts private. His eyes latched onto her, but he didn’t say a word.

Oh, she wanted to run. He was far too gorgeous. She wasn’t in his league. She knew she was attractive, but she wasn’t even close to being in the same condition he was in. He’d been an elite athlete and he’d obviously never stopped working out. She could stand to lose a few pounds.

And if those pounds and the roundness of her hips ran him off, then so be it. She was done sitting around and hoping she got what she wanted. At least she would know. “I don’t want to go slow.”

For a second, she was almost sure he would tell her to go. Then he turned and he was standing there in his full glory, as though let- ting her see what he had to offer. When she simply stared, he crossed the space between them and, without a word, his hands cupped her face and his mouth was on hers.

The minute they touched, something sparked to life inside her, something wild she’d never felt before. It seemed to start in her toes, making them curl as the sensation rushed through her system. Heat and anticipation and pure joy.

It had been forever since a man kissed her like this. Maybe never. The only thing that compared was the sweet high school fumbling between her and Austin. He’d been eager, but he had no idea what he was doing.

David Cormack knew how to kiss. He mastered her mouth with his, soft when he needed to be and then rough, sending a thrill through her system that burned a path straight to her pussy. He brushed his lips against hers and then zeroed in on her lower lip, biting gently and sucking briefly before another soft kiss allowed her to breathe again. And then when she was ready to beg, his tongue surged in, rubbing soft velvet against her own.

“Tell me you’re sure,” he said against her mouth as his hands moved down.

“I’m sure,” she replied with a breathy whisper. He could throw her up against the side of the shower and take her then and there and she would be perfectly satisfied.

“Because there’s no going back. I’ve been a good boy up until this point. I’ve been civilized, Isla. I’ve played the gentleman around you, but if you let me in, I’ll invade and you’ll see the real man under- neath the suit. I’ll be demanding and overly protective and I’ll want you every fucking minute of the day.”

And that was bad, how? She’d been on the outside looking in for so long, the idea of being someone’s center, being the person for him, made her heart ache with longing. “Please touch me, David. I want the real you, every dirty, possessive part of you.”

His hands found her hips and he dragged her against him, their bodies coming together for the first time. He was warm, his skin soft over the steel of his muscular body.

She took a moment, letting her arms wrap around him, her breasts against his chest, that hard erection of his cradled to her belly. This was sweet intimacy. Yes, it would lead to something wild, but for a moment she basked in the comfort of another body against hers.

He stepped back, taking her with him and bringing them into the warmth of the shower. He seemed to understand she needed a moment, and he followed her lead perfectly. One hand held her to him while the other smoothed back her now-wet hair as he brushed light kisses over her forehead and down to her nose, lavishing her with affection she’d been starved without. He stood like that with her, learning her body with his hands and mouth.

“See,” he said with the sexiest chuckle as he leaned over and ran his tongue along the shell of her ear. “We’re still taking it slow. I could do this for hours and I haven’t even gotten to your tasty parts yet. You’re sweet, Isla. I could eat you up. Are you going to let me eat you up?”

She nodded.

One hand tangled in her hair, gently drawing her back and forc- ing her to look up at him. His eyes were hot, his jaw tight with arousal. “Talk to me. I won’t let you disconnect from me when we’re intimate. Tell me. ‘‘Yes, David, I want you to eat me up.’”

“Yes, David. I want you to eat me up.”

To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She’s soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She’s actually Taylor Winston-Hughes—born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win’s charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry.

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can’t reject the case. This case could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he’s not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together.

As the case takes a wild turn and Win’s entire life is upended, she must look to the people she’s closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves…

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NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Order of Protection by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She’s soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She’s actually Taylor Winston-Hughes—born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win’s charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry.

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can’t reject the case. This case could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he’s not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together.

As the case takes a wild turn and Win’s entire life is upended, she must look to the people she’s closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves…

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Just when I was sure I knew exactly what to expect from a Lexi Blake book, she released Order of Protection and completely blew all my assumptions to pieces.  The one thing that didn’t change at all was how addictive this story was, I was completely pulled in and couldn’t stop thinking about what was coming next for Win and Henry any time I had to put Order of Protection down.

Win was a force, she battled so much, been through so much, had so few people in her corner, but she never let any of that dim her light.  I admired her strength to fight to get her life back, to make Henry see they were more than he wanted to admit, to be more than what the world had labeled her as.  Henry was harder to love, he made it a battle for me to find his silver lining, but when I did, when I understood why he was so callous, my heart ached for him, and I wanted nothing more than for him to allow himself to find happiness.

My favorite part of this book was how Win and Henry understood each other.  It came from such a painful place and could have easily destroyed them alone, but they allowed their struggles to strengthen them and their bond.  I loved how, even when they were angry with one another, they did everything they could to ensure the demons that haunted them didn’t pull them under.

Order of Protection was quite a ride.  From Win and Henry’s meet-cute to the final nitty-gritty reveals in the end, I couldn’t get enough of this book.   There were so many different kinds of conflict in this novel, so many pitfalls the characters were trying to navigate; there seemed never to be a second where thing settled enough for me to find a comfortable place to rest.  Lexi Blake kept her characters – and her readers – on their toes throughout this novel.  It was a high-octane crime thriller with a beautiful love story mixed in.

My only wish for this book, and it’s a selfish one at that, would have been to have seen those first two weeks Win and Henry spent together.  The story wasn’t lacking for not having it, but I loved these two together so much I would have loved to have seen more of the initial stages of their relationship.

Order of Protection is the first book in Lexi Blake’s Courting Justice series.  This was a complete story and can be read as a standalone.  There are connections to a few of Ms. Blake’s other series, though reading them is completely unnecessary to enjoy and understand this book.  Order of Protection is written in third-person limited perspective, alternating between Win and Henry’s perspective.

Lexi Blake continues to impress me with her storytelling.  As much as I love her usual fair of the world of BDSM, it was nice to have this departure from that and lean more toward vanilla.  She did an excellent job of showing her versatility as an author by taking this foray into something her readers aren’t used to seeing from her, while still leaving her distinct voice in the pages and on the characters.

Henry glanced up at the clock. Two thirty p.m. Somehow he’d expected Win to show up bright and early this morning. He’d woken up and made a pot of coffee, and he’d gone over all the ways he would explain to her that this was a bad idea.

Because it was still a bad idea.

Alicia might have given in to Noah and Drew Lawless’s blackmail, but she would be back at some point. Then there was the fact that he dealt with unsavory clients on a daily basis. He took on high-profile cases and often got dragged through the mud along with the client.

There were plenty of people out there who hated him. Loathed him and despised the very fact that he existed and cheered if he failed. He was used to it. Sweet little Win was not and would be horrified.

So he was going to tell her how amazing their night together was and then turn her down gently.

Except she hadn’t shown up and that bugged the hell out of him.

She’d been the one to claim she would be here despite the fact that he’d told her not to come. She’d told him she didn’t care what he thought.

It was perverse, but if he’d had her number, he might have called and said a few things about setting expectations and then not meeting them.

He started another pot of coffee. This was completely foolish. She’d put some distance between the two of them and realized how little they had in common. At least one of them had some sense.

The scent of French roast hit the air and he realized he was pro-crastinating. He was putting off the moment when he had to step back into the city and face the music. He would have to work his ass off to find anyone who wanted to hire a lawyer with his tarnished reputation. It didn’t matter that his addiction issues had never cost a client a dime. The perception would be there, and perception was over half the battle in life.

He should pack up tonight and leave it all to the agent. It’s what he should have done yesterday, but he’d enjoyed spending time with David, showing him places on the island and telling him stories.

It was time to go home now. Time to forget about pretending to be someone he couldn’t afford to be anymore. Time to put away thoughts of quiet and peace and get back to being the Monster of Manhattan. That was the only way he was going to survive.

The Monster of Manhattan didn’t give in to urges. He plowed through all problems with a single-minded, ruthless intent. The Monster didn’t need attention, though he tended to get it. Attention didn’t matter to the Monster. Money mattered. Power mattered.

He would get them both back.

The Monster certainly didn’t need some do-gooder in his bed. He would select a woman, rationally discuss his needs with her, and pay her for her services, whether they be as a plus-one to gatherings or as a body in bed. That was how he would view it. Transactional.

Transactional was safe.

So he was going to stop being such a whiny asshole and be grateful that Win had some sense.

A knock broke through the quiet of the house.

He practically ran for the door.


He opened it and there was Win, standing in the soft light of the afternoon, her hair up in a ponytail. She was wearing denim shorts and a blousy, feminine shirt. She had a bag of groceries in one hand and what looked like a duffel in the other.

“I know you said I shouldn’t come back, but you’re wrong and I’m going to give you all my reasons why.”

He didn’t care. She was here. He walked straight up to her and cupped that pretty face in his hands and kissed her for all he was worth.

Fuck transactional. He wanted something real for once in his damn life.

When he came back up, he was rewarded with a soft look in her eyes, her lips curving into a small smile.

“No arguing with me?”

He did have some problems they should discuss. “You’re late.”

Her smile went brilliant. “I had some things to clear up. I thought if you didn’t mind, I might stay with you for a few nights.”

He took the bag of groceries out of her hand and led her inside. “I think that sounds like a great idea.”

“This is way easier than I thought it would be,” she admitted. “Have you had lunch? I could whip up some sandwiches and we could have a picnic.”

He stashed the grocery bag in the fridge. She set down her duffel, and that made it much easier to scoop her up and into his arms. “I know exactly what I want for lunch.”

Her eyes went wide, but she didn’t struggle at all. Her arms went around his shoulders as he carried her to the big bedroom.

It had been cozy in his old room, but he needed more space if she was going to live here with him for a few weeks.

He stopped at the edge of the big bed he’d had brought in after he’d inherited the place. It was the only room he’d redone, with the thought of spending long weekends with his friends up here. He never had managed the time, but now he was happy he’d spent the cash to do it because he could share it with her.

The last few weeks of being Henry before going back to the real world.

He set her down on the bed and pulled his shirt over his head. He wasn’t playing around this time. That was for later. It had been entirely too long since he’d had her.

He needed her.

He knew it was something he should question, even be slightly afraid of, but he didn’t care in the moment. All that mattered was she was here and he could put off any thoughts of letting her go for a few days. He could sink into her.

She was his reward for every crappy thing he’d been through in the last couple of years.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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NOW LIVE!! Order of Protection by Lexi Blake

To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She’s soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She’s actually Taylor Winston-Hughes—born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win’s charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry.

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can’t reject the case. This case could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he’s not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together.

As the case takes a wild turn and Win’s entire life is upended, she must look to the people she’s closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves…

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

If Henry gave her a minute, they would be back to polite. He wouldn’t find out if she could want him in an honest way. “Win, I’m an alcoholic. I’m divorced, and it wasn’t some thoughtful conscious uncoupling. It was nasty and ugly. I’m a lawyer who doesn’t give a shit if his clients are guilty or not as long as they have the money to pay me. I have gotten off people who probably went back out into the world to do terrible things, and I’ll probably do it again because I believe in this system. It’s imperfect, but it’s better than anything else. And I’m too old for you.”

She snorted, an oddly amusing sound. “I’m not some shrinking virgin. I’m twenty-nine, and I’ve been around the block a couple of times and with some men I wish I hadn’t ever gotten into the car with. How old are you? Forty?”

He winced. “Thirty-seven.”

Her lips curled up, and it was worth the blow to his ego. “Well, you don’t look a day over forty, and that’s a pretty nice age for a man. You think you don’t deserve such a young, hot chick?”

Thank god she was teasing him again. He’d hated the way her shoulders had slumped when she’d thought he’d rejected her. But still, he had to be honest. If he was going to do this, she would get the new Henry. “I think I could hurt a woman like you if I’m not careful.”

“Then be careful with me, Henry Garrison,” she said, moving closer to him. “And I’m a big girl. I can make my own decisions and live with them. I would like to spend the night with you. It doesn’t have to last beyond tomorrow. I’m not asking to be your girlfriend. I’m asking you to help me get through the night, to help me get that nightmare out of my head, so I can feel safe for the first time in months. It’s been a long time since I felt safe.”

That he could do. She moved in close, right between his legs, and he reached up and cupped her face, holding her still as he looked into her eyes. So much fucking innocence. He didn’t care what she’d been through. She was way too young for him, but she’d said yes and he wasn’t a saint. Not even close. “Be sure. I might want more than one night. I’m here for a few weeks. I could use this. I could use some time with you.”

It wouldn’t work long-term. When he finished up and got back to the city, he wouldn’t have time to spend with her, and she deserved that. He would be knee-deep in the sewer again. It wasn’t a place he would take her, but he could be what she needed here.

“I could use some time with you,” she replied. “You’re right about a few things. I haven’t ever been around a man like you. The men I’ve been with have been boys who cared more about their images than they did about pleasing me. I think it might be different with you. I know you’re trying to scare me off with all that ‘I screwed up my life’ stuff, but I get that. You can’t make me run, or I would run away from myself. Tell me if you can make me forget about everything except what you’re doing to my body because tonight that’s all I want.”

Oh, he could do that. He might not be able to feed her soul, but he could work her body all fucking night long.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Order of Protection by Lexi Blake ~ Except Reveal

To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She’s soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She’s actually Taylor Winston-Hughes—born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win’s charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry.

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can’t reject the case. This case could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he’s not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together.

As the case takes a wild turn and Win’s entire life is upended, she must look to the people she’s closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves…

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES JUNE 5, 2018  ***
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If Henry gave her a minute, they would be back to polite. He wouldn’t find out if she could want him in an honest way. “Win, I’m an alcoholic. I’m divorced, and it wasn’t some thoughtful conscious uncoupling. It was nasty and ugly. I’m a lawyer who doesn’t give a shit if his clients are guilty or not as long as they have the money to pay me. I have gotten off people who probably went back out into the world to do terrible things, and I’ll probably do it again because I believe in this system. It’s imperfect, but it’s better than anything else. And I’m too old for you.”

She snorted, an oddly amusing sound. “I’m not some shrinking virgin. I’m twenty-nine, and I’ve been around the block a couple of times and with some men I wish I hadn’t ever gotten into the car with. How old are you? Forty?”

He winced. “Thirty-seven.”

Her lips curled up, and it was worth the blow to his ego. “Well, you don’t look a day over forty, and that’s a pretty nice age for a man. You think you don’t deserve such a young, hot chick?”

Thank god she was teasing him again. He’d hated the way her shoulders had slumped when she’d thought he’d rejected her. But still, he had to be honest. If he was going to do this, she would get the new Henry. “I think I could hurt a woman like you if I’m not careful.”

“Then be careful with me, Henry Garrison,” she said, moving closer to him. “And I’m a big girl. I can make my own decisions and live with them. I would like to spend the night with you. It doesn’t have to last beyond tomorrow. I’m not asking to be your girlfriend. I’m asking you to help me get through the night, to help me get that nightmare out of my head, so I can feel safe for the first time in months. It’s been a long time since I felt safe.”

That he could do. She moved in close, right between his legs, and he reached up and cupped her face, holding her still as he looked into her eyes. So much fucking innocence. He didn’t care what she’d been through. She was way too young for him, but she’d said yes and he wasn’t a saint. Not even close. “Be sure. I might want more than one night. I’m here for a few weeks. I could use this. I could use some time with you.”

It wouldn’t work long-term. When he finished up and got back to the city, he wouldn’t have time to spend with her, and she deserved that. He would be knee-deep in the sewer again. It wasn’t a place he would take her, but he could be what she needed here.

“I could use some time with you,” she replied. “You’re right about a few things. I haven’t ever been around a man like you. The men I’ve been with have been boys who cared more about their images than they did about pleasing me. I think it might be different with you. I know you’re trying to scare me off with all that ‘I screwed up my life’ stuff, but I get that. You can’t make me run, or I would run away from myself. Tell me if you can make me forget about everything except what you’re doing to my body because tonight that’s all I want.”

Oh, he could do that. He might not be able to feed her soul, but he could work her body all fucking night long.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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