****4 ‘London Lovers’ STARS****

A hot dominating British royal and a smart vivacious American heat up the pages in Parker Swift’s sexy sensual debut tale of secret friends with benefits…and so much more.  Engaging, witty, hot as heck and a little angsty I thoroughly enjoyed each page and look forward to the continuing journey of the Royal Scandal Series.

“I was out of my element, but for the first time I didn’t mind.  In fact, I loved it.  It was like the moment when you are in the water and suddenly you can’t feel the sand beneath your feet.  You’re free.”

A British transfusion of life is Lydia Bell’s plan.  And in mere days she’s going to implement that plan when she moves to the UK and starts her new career.  Yearning to be closer to the parents she lost, London is the answer to her boring staid life.  When she meets the sexy brit that leaves her longing for more on one of her last days in the states she’s hot and bothered and for the first time she’s thinking about having a fling.

“I had no idea kissing could be like this.”

Dylan Hale (H) learned painful lessons years ago when it comes to the pressures of royal life and the effect it can have on his relationships.  Which is exactly why he does not do relationships.  Period.  But one sweet feisty American woman is causing problems with this policy.  His plan:  they’ll satisfy their attraction…but only ever in secret.  His rule:  no one can know about their relationship, or lack thereof, he’s not willing to pay the price of discovery.

“You had taken off those high heels, and you had those children running, playing, literally hanging off of you.  That pink sun was framing you.  I never get to see anyone – the women I’m around, especially – be so…unrestrained.  Open, real…You looked absolutely stunning.”

I seriously enjoyed this book.  While it’s been compared to other erotic works, I truly felt this was a different story and writing style.  Yes, we have the issue-laden rich guy who values control above all and doesn’t do commitment; however, this story is very much BDSM lite and there are no controversial bedroom scenes (there’s no playroom).  Furthermore, Lydia is no shrinking virgin and goes into their arrangement with her eyes wide open.  She realizes she may develop feelings for Dylan that are not reciprocated, but she wants to experience the sensual pleasure and freedom he offers.  Lydia also embraces her submission and clearly admits she loves his control – that is not an issue for her.  These dynamics differentiated the story line for me.

“It wasn’t that I was nervous, although I was a little; it was that I didn’t recognize this feeling, this pull, like a long-shut door was being pried open.”

When the inevitable feelings develop and emotions are hard to control Lydia struggles with what to do and how to move forward with or without Dylan.  I definitely could relate to her feelings when she felt used and humiliated and I wanted Dylan to realize his mistake.  With careful prodding he eventually opens up and shares some of his past.  You can relate to his reasons for eschewing public life but at the same time I wanted him to see what he was doing to the beautiful woman who didn’t know how to play the game.  It takes some time but Dylan earns his redemption and we get a manageable ending to what is book 1 of 3.  I say manageable because while cliffhangers are not my favorite, this one wraps up the story in a good place for our couple and leaves a teasing tidbit of the next story line, and I can live with that.

“The secrecy meant something different now than it had a week ago.”

Spicy shenanigans abound in this hot ticket to London.  I loved meeting Dylan and Lydia and look forward to picking up where we’ve left off when book 2, Royal Disaster, arrives in April.

“How did I not see you coming?”

K’s Category: 1st date, never read author previously

Characters: M/F

Sex: Yes, Descriptive

OM/OW: No

HEA: Yes, HFN

Standalone: First in a three part series.

GOODREADS

AMAZON US

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