Review: Black Sheep by Zara Cox

Review: Black Sheep by Zara CoxBlack Sheep by Zara Cox
Series: Dark Desires #2
Published by Forever Romance March 14, 2017
Genres: Dark Romance, Erotica
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Porn Star (I #1)
Amazon US
Goodreads

In a family of cold-hearted black sheep,
I, Axel Rutherford, am the blackest.
My father has hated me since the day I was born. The feeling was mutual. In the shady underworld that was my legacy, Cleo McCarthy became my light. She was beautiful, passionate, and my whole world. So naturally my father had to destroy us. First he sent me away. Next he claimed Cleo as his own. But now I've returned, and nothing will stop me from taking back everything that is rightfully mine.

He was the love of my life - when my life was still my own.
We were young enough to believe we would last forever, Axel and I. But neither of us realized how cruel life - and our families - could be. Now I'm trapped in a gilded cage: desired by Axel, who must never know the full truth, and controlled by his father, who would sooner see me dead than free. And I wouldn't even care, except that it's no longer only my life at stake.

Black Sheep may be the second installment in Cox’s Dark Desires series, but it is so loosely related to the first book (I, Porn Star), that you do not have to read that title before jumping right into this one.

Jumping in is exactly what I suggest you do! Black Sheep mixes second chance romance, a dirty talking hero, and scandalous deceptions with an easy expertise.

Axel is the estranged son of a mob boss. His father is desperate to bring him back to the fold, by any means. Including tempting him with the love of his life, Cleo, who left Axel’s bed in the worst sort of betrayal.  Axel has plans of his own, however, and Cleo and his father sit in the center of them. You get a bit of a Romeo and Juliet – star crossed lovers – feel with the added danger of mobster lifestyles.

This story moves fairly quickly, but is full of twisty secrets. Cleo hates Axel for reasons he doesn’t know. Axel hates Cleo for reasons she doesn’t know. Neither has the full story, they’ve been fed lies and half truths for so many years. The hatred, though, only feeds the sexual tension that still sizzles between them, which leads to some steamy sex scenes. Even though the story is a bit rushed at times, you still feel the depth of the secrets and the hurt of the betrayals. I found it very easy to like both Axel and Cleo, right from the start.  Seriously, Axel’s dirty talk was an A+, for me!

The ending could have been fleshed out a little more to my liking, but overall Cox vastly improved in style and emotion from I, Porn Star to Black Sheep. Which has me eager for round three, Wicked S.O.B., due out this August.


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Review: Porn Star by Zara Cox

Review: Porn Star by Zara CoxPorn Star (I #1) by Zara Cox
Series: I #1
September 13, 2016
Genres: Romance, Erotica
Pages: 414
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Black Sheep
Amazon US
Goodreads

My name is Quinn Blackwood:

By day, I'm a billionaire CEO. Rich. Entitled.By night, I'm the exclusive porn star only known as Q.Why? Because I love women. If I believed in an almighty being, I'd thank him for creating them. They're by far his most perfect creation… especially when I'm fucking one of them.

Oh, did I mention I'm an asshole? Fuck yeah. According to my shrink, I'm one twisted motherfucker. And that's just the way I like it. Until she walks into my life…

My name is Elyse Gilbert, nicknamed ‘Lucky' because according to my dad, I'm the unluckiest person alive, and I'll die the same way I came into the world: naked, screaming, and dirt poor.

Yeah, my life is a twisted, seething mess. But that life changed the day I met HIM.He made me forget the cameras.He made me forget I was doing this for the money.He made me forget my shame.He made me forget everything. I was consumed by him. Only him.

But now my past has caught up with me

Let me start by saying the synopsis for Porn Star is a bit misleading, this is not a book full of some dude filming porn after porn after porn. A fact that I am most thankful for.

Not that I have a problem with a porn star making porns, I mean…if that’s your job, obviously it would be well covered. But Q isn’t your regular porn star. In fact, the title of this book is a bit misleading as well.  He does make porn, but it is not his career and it is with great purpose.  It’s also the catalyst for him meeting Lucky.

Quinn and Lucky are both extremely damaged people. Quinn more so, but they each carry more than enough baggage to fill a cargo train.  Cox did well at revealing their past dramas, just a little at a time. I rather enjoyed the element of suspense, there is quite a lot of it in Porn Star. Quinn is set on a path of ultimate revenge, dead set on tearing down all his enemies in one fail swoop – but it takes time to learn the how and the why.  On the flip side, Lucky is on the run and protecting a very important secret.

I would keep you, Lucky. If I didn’t need to do this. If my life wasn’t a fucked up wasteland, I would keep you. Make you mine forever.

That, along with the fragile trust and hint of love that grows between these characters, very much kept me invested in this story.

However, when the true conflict hit the pages and the subsequent resolution, the story lost it’s steam. The resolutions to all issues were far, far too easy. In my opinion. I needed it to be more difficult, most especially when rebuilding the lack of trust. I felt like issues were swept under the rug.  Furthermore, I’m not quite sure how or why Lucky was such an important part of Quinn’s revenge. He comments about how important it is, but in the end, it just seemed needless.

The thing is – I rather enjoyed Cox’s writing style. I loved the voice she gave to both main characters, Quinn especially.  So, even though the story is flawed and the plot line didn’t totally add to me, I’d absolutely pick up another of titles.  Oh, and…the sex is pretty hot.


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