Desert Isle Keeper
Angelina M. Lopez’ Filthy Rich series continues to take traditional romance tropes and turn them upside down. Serving Sin, her third book about mega-rich folks and the romantic misadventures they get up to, is the best one of the series, spicy, delicious, and a twist on the ordinary.
Roman Sheppard – an American-born prince from a small Mexican kingdom – is a decorated ex-Army Ranger and war hero who has retired to Spain to run a security firm, and is also a partner in a successful winery business with the heroes from the previous books in the series. Cenobia – Cen – (guess how that one’s pronounced) Trujillo was the teenage heiress Roman rescued from certain doom during a breathtaking kidnapping that made international headlines. Cen is now the CEO of her father’s manufacturing company, and she’s a grown woman unsure if the torch she carries for Roman is just a teenager’s hero-worship or a woman’s need.
Cen secretly loaned Roman and his winery partners the cash they needed to float their venture back in the day, which in turn yanked his tiny principality (which makes most of its cash in wine sales) out of poverty, so Cen turns to Roman’s security firm for help after she starts receiving death threats on the eve of the opening of a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. Things are a little awkward at first, but their instinctive loyalty is always there. Naturally they both lust after one another, but Roman is trying to act in an official capacity, and Cen has a son as well as a company to take care of. Can they resist the temptation of being together with the only person they’ve ever felt safe with?
Well, of course not, but that’s the fun part! And Cen and Roman have a hell of a lot of fun getting back together, and while the story is quite serious – dealing honestly with Cen’s PTSD over her kidnapping and the rape which resulted in her son, and the pulse-pounding death threat plot – it’s also very romantic.
Cen grows from longing fairytale princess to a self-rescuer through the course of her story – combining therapy with honesty and a need for protection with a sense of all-too-human warmth. Roman is a sturdy but sexy hero; mature and controlled but fallible.
Other characters from the Filthy Rich series pop in to support the romance here, but Cen and Roman take center stage, as well they should. Roman and Cen have a hot yet understanding romance that is grown and mature, though it does take Roman a while to see Cen as a fully-grown woman with her own opinions.
As always, Lopez’ work is one dash Jackie Collins, two dashes something wholly her own. If you’re looking for a hot contemporary romance that’s moored in real-life issues with a romance that’s worth loving, Serving Sin is just the ticket.
Note: There are explicit flashbacks to Cen’s rape in this story.
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier