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Priceless 2Priceless: House of Ebarron (Masters of Seduction, Book 5 Vol.2) by Lara Adrian

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Synopsis: Incubus Master Sorin Ebarron has an insatiable taste for fine things. So when a tantalizing platinum-haired Nephilim walks into his elite casino on the arm of a rival male, Sorin is determined to have the beauty at any cost. But Ashayla is waging her own high-stakes gamble, willing to risk breath and body to win the prize she seeks. Caught in a game of deception and desire, Sorin and Ashayla will discover a secret that may hold the power to shake the gates of both Heaven and Hell…

Review:  This was a cute and short story.  I enjoy Lara Adrian’s style of story telling, but this one just ended up being too short.  It was good, and had a good plot and character development, but the ending was just too abrupt and a bit corny. Up to the last half page, I was enjoying it, but it felt like she realized she had to suddenly end it and move on.  The whole last scene could have been perfect, if it hadn’t been the last scene.  I wanted Sorin to sweep her off, back to his Casino and I wanted to experience the mating and their relationship growing more naturally. I mean, they threw around the “I love you” after only really having one night together.  They didn’t even spend 24 hours together. I wanted and expected more.

Favorite Quote: This scene is between Sorin and Asha shortly after he won the wager at the gambling tables.  She tries to convince him to give her the necklace, and he sees a glimpse of her that shows that she might not be a scheming treasure seeker after all.  I call it “Please”

“Value is a relative thing. And if we forfeited every bit of treasure each time someone expressed regret over losing it to us, the House vaults would be empty.” He offered her the filled crystal flute, but instead of letting go when she reached for it, Sorin’s fingers closed over hers. His grasp was light, but firm. Startlingly possessive. “Why would I let go of something I won fair and square?”

Rattled by the contact as much as her body’s reaction to it, Ashayla pulled out of his hold and exhaled a short, frustrated sigh. “We’re not talking about priceless treasure. We’re talking about a simple, polished stone on a silver chain. It’s hardly worth anything beyond sentimental value and you know it.”

“I know no such thing. I know only what you’ve told me. That it’s a family heirloom supposedly sold by mistake a long time ago, and now a dying old Nephilim is suddenly desperate to have it back before she pushes out her last breath. Maybe the person I should be asking about all of this is her.”

“Don’t,” Ahayla murmured, wounded by his cold tone. “Don’t speak of my grandmother so dismissively. You don’t know anything about her. She raised me. She’s all the family I have in this world. You have no right to talk about her as if her life and the things that matter to her are not important.”

He’d gone silent as she berated him, solemn. When he finally spoke, his deep voice was quiet with sincerity. “Forgive me. I didn’t realize–”

“No, you wouldn’t have. But now you do, so leave her out of this.” Her tone was still bitter, her heart still stung and defensive.

She took a drink of her champagne, missing Gran like crazy now. Hoping she was okay back home without Ashayla to look after her.

Sorin moved his chair out and stood without speaking. As Ashayla took a larger sip from her glass, she felt, rather than saw, him come around to the other side of her.

As formally as the most meticulously trained server, he unfolded the crisp white linen napkin and gently placed it on her lap. Then he lifted the dome from her dinner plate, revealing a gourmet meal of roasted chicken, perfectly steamed vegetables and aromatic sauce.

“Please,” he said softly. “Relax and enjoy your meal, Ahsa.”

He returned to the head of the table, resuming his place without another word.

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