Alpha-licious in the most unexpected ways, Kaden Barnes always gets what he wants. Enigmatic and exacting, he's unable to keep an assistant for long. Until Lexie Parker arrives. She's no-nonsense, efficient and all business… She’s also hot as sin and soon starring in Kaden's dirtiest fantasies. When their passion for each other reaches a boiling point, Kaden may think he’s calling the shots, but for this billionaire bad boy, going down easy has never felt so good.
Some books are just good. They are the kind of books you finish and you wouldn't change a thing about them; the ones where you reach out to the author (and jump up and down with excitement because she replied) to tell them that the book was THAT GOOD.
Romance novels get earmarked into what is expected and so many of them stay within those boundaries. And, this is ok. I enjoy the genre even with it's rules and expected story lines. Part of what I love about the genre is the knowledge you will get a HEA at the end. But, every once in a while, one not only hits all the expected points but goes deeper, gives you more than you expect, and Going Down Easy did exactly this.
It was perfect, it was better than THAT GOOD. The characters were so well rounded, the writing was wonderful, the plotting was paced so the balance of the romance between Kaden and Lexie and their own lives was spot on. I never felt that one was being ignored to explore the other. The romance was developed, who they are within that relationship was well developed, and who they are within their previously separate personal lives was also perfect. The depth of character in each of the areas really allowed you to relate to the characters as you read, so the book had even more "feels" than you often find in the genre.
Carly Phillips has been a favorite of mine for longer than I would like to admit. Her stories are always enjoyable, her characters relatable, the chemistry is always hot. but there was just something about this one that sets it above all of the others of hers that I have read.
Maybe it was Kaden, the struggles that he deals with, that made this top the list for me. I know it made him relatable in a way that you often don't find in books. I was drawn to his strength and his ability to overcome. So many people in his situation would have given up, would not have pushed on.
I was drawn to his loyalty to his friends, to the things that he was willing to give up in order to make sure those he care about were not hurt by things in his past. I can't really say more without a spoiler, but lets just say there was a part of this where his strength and his willingness to do anything for his friends came together in such a way that I was teary. And the watch. Oh my, the watch. Again, more would be a spoiler, but oh my, the strength the forgiveness took there? Oh my...so much deeper than just the surface. But the whole book was so much deeper than what was on the surface.
I was also drawn to Lexie and how deeply she loves those she cares about. How willing she is to take them as they are, to love them with their faults and flaws. You can't help but like someone who is this accepting and willing to allow the people around her to be who they are and to just accept them. This is what draws Kaden to her, this knowledge that she will accept him, that she does and already knows the dark pieces of him, but is there anyway.
I could go on. In fact, I already have and at this point, I have run out of ways to say it was perfect, so I am going to stop by saying that you need to read this. If you are a fan of Phillps, you are going to LOVE this. If you are new to her work, know you will be starting at the very best she has ever written.
Kade ignored them and strode onto the wooden dance floor, headed straight for Lexie. Just as he reached her, the song changed to one with a faster beat. She squealed in delight, looking up at the ceiling and lifting her arms in the air, swaying to song. Before her partner could grab her around the waist, Kade stepped between them. “Kade!” Lexie exclaimed, her eyes lighting up at the sight of him. Things had been strained between them all week, so between the exuberant greeting and the glassy look in her eyes, Kade figured she’d been drinking. Which gave him a legitimate reason to get her off the dance floor and away from this guy. “Let’s go,” he said to her. “Hey!” Surfer dude folded his arms across his chest, taking a stand. Too bad for him, Kade was bigger, bulkier, and had more invested to back down easily. “Casey, meet Kade, my big old mean boss,” Lexie said, oblivious to the pissing contest about to take place, Yep, she was drunk, Kade thought, amused despite himself. “She’s not going anywhere,” surfer dude informed him. Lexie looked up at Kade with big blue eyes. “What are you doing here?” she asked, her hips still moving in time to the music, her generous breasts swaying to the beat. His cock couldn’t help responding and he grew hard in an instant. “I’m taking you home,” he informed her. “Hey.” Surfer dude shoved him hard. “Don’t you listen? I said she’s – “ “With me,” Kade said, getting into the guy’s personal space. “And don’t fucking touch me.” He glared at the other man with a look that had most people cowering. One he’d perfected as he’d learned to box and worked out enough to overcome the geekiness of youth. “Now unless you want trouble, as in your teeth all over this floor, walk away now.” “Kade!” Lexie said, outraged. Casey raised both hands in defeat. “Fine. She’s not worth it,” he muttered, before turning and disappearing into the crowd. “I lost my dance partner,” Lexie said, pouting, her pretty hot pink lips turned downward in a frown. Kade wanted to seal his mouth over hers and nibble on those plump lips until she opened for him and he could taste her sweetness. Before he could do just that, she grabbed him around the waist. “Dance with me!” She moved to the music, her soft body pressed sweetly against his, her belly flush against his now raging erection. Kade was many things, but a dancer wasn’t one of them. The crowds were getting to him. The noise was causing a beat throughout his system that was ramping up his nerves. And the lights were causing him to feel out of control. None of which he liked. All of which had caused him problems in the past. He needed to get the hell off the dance floor and find a quiet corner to calm the fuck down. He needed to be alone with Lexie. “Come on.” He grabbed her hand and pulled her along with him, off the wooden floor, past Derek and Luke, who’d gotten themselves drinks and had been enjoying the show he put on. He continued on beyond the crowded bar to a hallway that had a line of people waiting for the restrooms. Shit. A big, red, EXIT sign beckoned at the far end and when he reached it, the door was propped open with a milk crate, letting fresh air into the packed area. “Thank God,” he muttered. “Where are we going?” she asked, pressing herself up against his back, whether on purpose or because of the many people, he didn’t know or care. “Outside for air,” he said over his shoulder. Never letting go of her hand, he stepped outside and walked down a small alley until the music faded enough for him to be able to hear again, which in turn, enabled him to start to calm down. “Oh it feels good out here,” Lexie said. Lifting her long hair up, she leaned forward, letting air blow against her damp neck. “Whew!” She shook out her hair, which had the effect of wriggling her ass. Kade let out a low groan. The woman was going to be the death of him. He leaned against the brick façade of a building and took in the cool night air. Closing his eyes, he breathed in and out slowly, counting upward by four and down by four, until his heartrate slowed to a comfortable beat. He opened his eyes to find Lexie staring at him in silence. Her makeup had smudged beneath her eyes and she’d twisted her hair back into some sort of messy knot, but she’d never looked more beautiful. “Are you okay?” she asked, that perceptiveness he loved about her returning now that they’d had a few minutes of quiet. “I am now.” She stepped closer. “Why, Kade?” He figured she was asking why he was here. “Luke and Derek wanted to come out after dinner.” She shook her head. “No, why not just leave me alone? You could be having drinks with your friends but instead you’re interrupting my night. Why?” She’d inched into his personal space, was pushing for answers he didn’t want to face, let alone give.
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Meet Carly Phillips:
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.
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