“Stupid. Beautiful. Girl. How did you ever think you could be free?”
The last words I heard before the darkness took me and my dreams were shattered. I was on my way to having it all. Friends, family and a future. Everything I had wished for but never thought possible. Denham King showed me just how good life could be. A life where love and happiness were within reach. Almost.
I should have known it would never last. My past is a dark, damp cloud, that has seeped into my skin and left a cold promise. A promise of hurt and pain. A promise of a long, hard fight, where the stakes are high and the risks threaten lives.
When your world gets thrown in all directions, and your dreams for the future are torn from your grasp; how do you go on?
Can I fight the demons that haunt me?
Can love save me from fate’s cruel path?
“Arianna, dear. It’s nice to see you again.” Amy pushes past my shoulder, inviting herself in and taking ownership of the air around us. “Although, I wasn’t expecting to see so much,” she sneers, letting her eyes drift down the length of my legs. I stand tall, trying not to be intimidated by her, trying to stand my ground in my apartment, but instantly feeling threatened by the way her body reacts to me, and the way her gaze makes me feel cold and uncomfortable. She lifts her hand toward me, and tucks a long, red, predatory nail under the collar of the white shirt I am wearing, lifting it between her fingertips and gently brushing against my collarbone through the fabric as she does. It sends chills through me. She’s cold. Her aura, her demeanor, and her intentions are all icy and it radiates from her in steady pulses. “I bet he likes you in this. I bet he asked you to wear it, am I wrong?” Of course, she’s not wrong. She’s pretty much as correct as can fucking be. I swallow hard. Shards of her persona stick into me like little icy pins. Her words, like little needles of reality, stab into my veins. She knows him better than I do. She knows what he likes, and what he doesn’t. Has he asked her to wear his shirt for him? Has he told her to dress in nothing but heels and diamonds for him? The thoughts make me feel sick. But, I know that she’s playing me. I've seen Denham’s reaction to her. I’ve seen the contempt in his eyes when her name is mentioned, and I’ve felt the tension radiate from him when he encounters her. She’s a bitch. Pure and simple.
OK, so after wanting to cut a bitch with the cliff hanger ending in Holding Aces, I could not wait for this book and all credit to the author she didn’t keep us waiting too long, it was definitely worth the time I waited in any event.
High Stakes picks up at the exact same time as book 1 finishes (I love this) though Arianna has no idea what’s happened to her and that ramps up the angst and intrigue in this book tenfold, all the way through there are twists and turns and you get whiplash wondering what on earth can happen next.
What stood out for me in this book is how a very damaged girl is cocooned by everything she needs, even though she isn’t really aware that she needs it, safety, protection, friends, family and a kind of normal she’s never been allowed to have.
Denham is all alpha but he does compromise to a certain degree and he want’s Arianna to grow and gives as much as he can to make that happen. He’s one hot motherfu**er and this book does HAWT as good as the next, panty & kindle melting moments galore *fans self*.
I love how sweet he is with Arianna, in fact how sweet they are with each other “sigh” every girl needs a Denham in their life.
As in book one Ms Groom intertwines her secondary characters beautifully and they add something that you can’t get from main mc’s however hard you try. So for me Mrs King, Lottie, Spike & even Beth all contribute to Denham & Ariannas story and the book is all the richer with them in it.
It all finally comes together in the last few chapters and without putting too fine a point on it, it’s gripping stuff, I love & hate when an author takes risks but in this case it pays off, you can’t deal with a character like Jonny without some fall out & the fallout here is huge……Sob fest inducing HUGE!!!
I have spoken to Ms Groom since reading this book so it’s no secret that I hated the ending, not because it’s a CH (it’s not) it’s not even a TBC but there’s so so SO much more that needs to be told, the last few chapters blow Ariannas & Denhams joint world apart at the seams and if Ms Groom does not take that further it would be a damn shame!
4 Books Knocked Off!
Holding Aces (The Kingdom, #1)
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…