Already a fan of Shelly Bell’s sexy stories after reading the Benediction and White Collared series, so when she asked me to read the first in her new series, AT HIS MERCY, a Forbidden Lovers novel, I didn’t even ask what it was about, I just said, ‘YES!’ and I am so glad I did. Not having had much time to read lately, I needed something that would whet my appetite for reading again, and that’s exactly what this wonderful erotic romance mystery did.
***eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Blurb for AT HIS MERCY:
Angel in his arms . . . Devil at her heels
One, last no-strings night of indulgence. That's all Tristan wants before he begins a much-needed new chapter in his life. Instead, he finds an innocent angel in pink who brings him to his knees.
Isabella is done hiding from the world. . .and her haunting memories. Discovering courage in the arms of a perfect stranger, she finally lets go and sheds her inhibitions.
To Isabella's shock, she soon learns that Tristan is more than her mystery man-he's her professor. But Tristan isn't the only person who's found Isabella on campus. A dark figure from her past has come back for her. Now Tristan will risk anything to protect Isabella. . .even if it costs him his life.
Isabella Lawson survived a terrifying encounter. She put her life back together as best she could, and now she’s heading off to college in an attempt to improve her life, prove she can stand on her own, and to take control of a life that has felt out of her control since her ex-boyfriend tried to kill her. Having discovered the world of BDSM, she accompanies her cousin to her first play party. All she wants is to experience the freedom, the excitement, and the anonymity that the BDSM world provides before heading off to college and years of concentration on her studies. What she never expected to find was a man who would awaken her body, her mind, and possibly her heart.
Tristan Kelley’s world is bordering on the lowest point it can reach with an ex-wife who threatens him constantly with accusations of abuse even though she’d been a willing BDSM partner…but then it’s all about money for her. Speaking of money, Tristan is in need of a loan to build his new business. However, with his ex-wife dogging him with false accusations, and his finances gone, he has no choice but to try to rebuild his reputation and earn some money by taking an old friend up on a teaching position upstate as the best course of action. One year - he’s going to give teaching one year and then move onto bigger things. He hadn’t planned to spend his last night in the arms of an intriguing, sexy young submissive but he couldn’t resist the beautiful red-haired girl once she walked through the door.
After a night of passion, neither Tristan nor Isabella thought they’d ever see each other again. On the first day of classes, Isabella walked into the lecture hall of the professor who she was to work for, and whom she hoped would be the edge she needed to get into the Business Program only to discover the instructor substituting in his place is the same man she’d spent an amazing night with losing her inhibitions. Now she and Tristan have to figure out how to stay away from each other even as they can’t stop thinking about each other. What to do when desires grow stronger than doing the smart thing and what happens when pasts collide putting everyone and everything between them in danger.
AT HER MERCY had me hooked from the first pages. I love a good mystery and Shelly Bell does them better than most. As usual, I had a few suspects in my head but the guilty party was the last person I expected. Well played, Shelly, you got me.
Intrigue, sexuality, and the world of BDSM are the background players in this love story between two broken people. Tristan feels he’s failed everyone in his life and Isabella is unable to trust or allow herself the freedom to experience life because someone who she thought loved her, instead tried to do her great harm. Shelly conjures up characters that make us feel their pain, their frustrations, and their fears but also allows us to watch them grow and fall in love. While Isabella learns to open her mind and horizons to new goals, new sensations, and trust, Tristan begins to recognize and inspect his life in retrospect allowing him to begin to trust and love too. When the private walls of their world begin to crack and break, we feel the heartache of Tristan doing what is best for Isabella more so than him, and Isabella trying desperately to make him understand that her trust in him is so great that together, they can fight the bigger fight. The story comes together in a tense, edge of the seat ending with great resolution, a wonderful happily ever after and in the process, we learn things that pull it all together for both of them, as well as their friends. I’m very much looking forward to the next installment of the Forbidden Lovers series.
I highly recommend AT HIS MERCY, book one in the Forbidden Lovers series by Shelly Bell to anyone who loves an angst filled love story that will also steam up the air around you while you’re reading.
Happy Reading Everyone!
And I’m hoping my next review isn’t so long in coming. Thanks for your patience. xox