I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.House of Payne: Steele by Stacy Gail
on May 1, 2016
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subjects of surviving rape, trauma suffered during combat, child abuse, and possible sterility. If you have issues with these elements, this book might not be for you.
Raped. Tortured. Beaten. Essie Santiago’s life fell apart when she was sixteen, and it’s taken eight years to put it back together. There are some pieces that can never be mended; it would take a miracle for her to get pregnant, and physical closeness is something that makes her shudder. Only her love of creating beauty in the form of fashion gets her through the worst of the darkness.
When a mortar attack destroyed half his face and all of his life as he knew it, something vital died inside of former Marine, Ezekiel Steele. For years he’s felt nothing… until he sees Essie trying her best to be invisible. But the feisty spark inside the lovely fashion designer is too bright to be concealed, and like a moth to a flame, he’s helpless to resist her.
Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is taking the world of fashion by storm, holding a contest to find the best designer the city has to offer. Competition is fierce, but all Essie can concentrate on are Steele’s dirty-talking lessons in sex. But when the student surpasses the master when it comes to love, Steele’s inner demons get the better of him. If he can't face them down, he’ll lose Essie forever.
***This standalone, mildly erotic contemporary romance contains a dirty-talking Alpha with a penchant for having sex in public places. No cheating, no love triangles and no cliffhangers. Fairy tale HEA guaranteed. Due to adult language and sexual content, this book is not intended for people under the age of 18***
If you haven’t picked up this series yet I would advise you… GET MOVING.. BUY BUY BUY!! Ok now that this little bit of business has been completed let’s look at this story.
This was not an easy story in some respects as Essie has a lot to work thru after her attack when she was just a teenager. She’s so strong though and seeing her let down the walls with a man who is anything but easy to handle was wonderful to watch. She’s thinking she’s made a mistake coming back to her hometown but what she finds as she struggles thru a competition that could make her fashion career is the life she never thought she’d have. I loved her strength, her weakness and the fact that even as broken as she believes she is she’s not willing to accept anything but what she deserves. She’s not a person who will accept less than everything and this causes some moments where, once again, I wanted to hurt a Stacy Gail hero *she does this on purpose I just know it* . Essie will have you laughing with her, cheering for her and crying at times as you see her finally emerge from the shadows to become exactly who she should be. I loved seeing her transformation in this book.
Steele was something else. He’s got demons of his own to exorcise and dammit if I didn’t want to strangle him as much as I wanted to cuddle him. He’s drawn to Essie in a way I won’t spoil but they are perfect for one another. There is something gentle about the man even as he is not someone to be trifled with. You’ll melt as he works his magic on Essie and really wish you were in her shoes. I have to admit there are some things he does that makes me think about a man currently in my life who has helped me open up more than I ever have been able to before. There is something freeing about having someone that really does seem to see you… not the persona… but the real you and pushes you to let that side free. Steele is this person for Essie and it turns out Essie is this person for Steele.
This was not an easy read but it is worth getting to see two damaged people finally find what they need to truly live life again. You’ll definitely be cheering for them to figure things out so run away and pick this up.
Thanks again to Stacy for sending this my way… I’m sorry I ran so late on getting this up but you know I love ya!