Stripped Down (Stripped #2)
by Emma Hart
Release Date: August 30, 2016
4 SWOONING CROWNS
I can always count on Emma Hart’s books to be quick, dirty, and fun, and Stripped Down meets all of my expectations.
Beckett is everything I love in an alpha hero. He is dominant in the bedroom, but he is caring and sweet in all other aspects of his relationship with his woman. He listens attentively to verbal and nonverbal cues of Cassie, and he works hard to make her life better. Seeing him with her daughter CiCi is another reasons the reader will fall in love with him, and it will cause serious ovary explosions. I am going to be honest and say his interactions with the heroine’s daughter are some of my favorite parts of the book. These tiny scenes make me love him even more. Cassie is a single mother that is doing a job she hates in order to provide for her child. Readers will love this heroine because she sacrifices for her child’s happiness, and she isn’t bitter or angry about it. She does have fears that hold her back, and the reader will want to strangle her due to all the back and forth that goes on in her mind but it is understandable. She has been damaged pretty bad in the past, and so what motivates her as a character makes her behavior understandable. Her daughter, CiCi, becomes this little ray of sunshine in the book. She adds some comic relief and breaks some tense moments between Beck and Cassie, but Emma Hart uses her character to bring them together and help the reader fall in love with the two main characters not only individually but also as a couple.
I enjoyed the plot and pacing of the story. The progression of the story moves quickly, but Emma Hart pulls it off, because, although it is a short time span, there are days that they literally spend all day together. On top of that, they actually interact within one another versus just having sex everywhere and all the time (don’t worry, it is there and it is HOT), and they have real conversations. This allows the reader to almost forget about the short time span of the book, and she makes their development as a couple believable.
Emma Hart delivers once again with Stripped Down with likable characters, a fun and engaging plot, and hot and steamy moments. So if you are looking for a quick and dirty read, then this book is what you are looking for!
What do you get when you mix a bottle of tequila, a single mom moonlighting as a stripper, and her sinfully sexy boss with an impulsive side?
Married. You get married.
Rich. Demanding. Hot. Crazy.
That was Beckett Cruz in a nutshell.
Not to mention wild, determined, dangerous, and forbidden.
He was my boss—and, after a drunken moment of insanity, my new husband.
An annulment was impossible… so was keeping him.
I was taking my daughter and leaving, determined to give her a quieter life.
But Beckett Cruz had never taken no for an answer.
And he wasn’t about to take mine.
What happens in Vegas… might just keep you there.
“Yeah?” He spun back to face me, his dark eyes unreadable.
I turned my face to the side so I could see him fully. “You don’t have to go,” I said softly. “You can stay. Only if you want to though.”
He rubbed his hand down his face, his eyes never leaving mine, then walked back into the kitchen toward me. I stood up away from the fridge as he stopped right next to me.
Slowly, he touched his hand to my face, his fingertips teasing my hairline. His dark gaze searched mine, and my heart jumped into my throat as the usual tingles his touch sparked danced down my neck. Then, he slid his hand into my hair, allowing the blonde strands to fall away from his fingertips.
“Do I want to go home to my big-ass house with its cold emptiness?” he asked in a low voice. “Or go to the club where half the girls there still see me as a mountain to be conquered? Not particularly, Blondie. I’d rather stay here. Even if there will be a demand for movies and water and foot rubs from a tiny, sick person.”
“You can.” My voice was quiet, like his. Even if my internal screams from self-preservation and vulnerability were deafeningly loud as they told me I was a fool, that he had to go, that this would never be enough for him.
“Do you want me to?” His question was… honest.
Like he didn’t want me to answer.
“Do I want you to stay here in my tiny house so my daughter can fall more in love with you than she already is? Not really. But…” Don’t be a fool, Cassie. Don’t admit you want him to stay. He’s just going to hurt you. “I don’t exactly want you to go either.”
“For her, or for you?”
“I don’t want to answer that question.”
“If I kissed you right now, would you ram your knee into my cock?”
“I’d briefly consider it, but I probably wouldn’t do it.”
His lips twitched to the side. “You just answered the question.”
Then, of course, he cupped the back of my head, and he kissed me. It was slow, sweet, gentle. And I didn’t consider kneeing him in the balls for a single second.
Beck pulled back and trailed his hand down my arm before he finally let me go. “I’m going home to get changed and then come back. Do you need anything while I’m gone? For CiCi? You?”
“I don’t…” I sighed and chewed back my pride. “I meant to go to the store today after work to get some stuff like bread, milk… important stuff. But now I can’t.”
“I can get it. Just tell me what you need.”
I bit the inside of my lip, then nodded. “Okay. Let me write it down.” I walked through into the front room with him hot on my heels and grabbed the notebook and pen from under the coffee table. A few things were already scrawled down, so I added a couple more things, including more medicine. I tore the sheet off the notebook, stood, then gave it to Beck. “Let me get my wallet.”
He grabbed my wrist, stopping me. “I’m not taking your money.”
I lifted my gaze to his. “You can’t pay for my groceries.”
“I can and I will.”
“You can’t and you won’t.”
“I can and I will.”
“You can’t and you won’t.”
“I can do this all day, baby. I’m stubborn as fuck.” His eyes told me he wasn’t lying. “And we all know I’m a brat about the word no. So, I can, I will, and I’m going to. If I can’t help you by buying a measly eight items, I’m an asshole who shouldn’t be allowed around other people.”
“You can’t buy my groceries,” I repeated. It was a lame argument. I was going to lose, but I’d fight until I went down.
Beck’s eyes twinkled as he leaned in. “Don’t worry. If you really want to pay me back, I’ll take a blow job. I imagine your lips around my cock will be a pretty good thank you.”
My jaw dropped as he backed off with a wink.
“Mouth open already, Cassie? Enthusiasm. I like that.”
I snapped my jaw shut and glared at him. “You’re a dirty pig.”
“I know. But I’ve got fifty bucks that says you’ll be sucking my dick by bedtime. If you don’t agree…” He shrugged one shoulder, his lips curved in that dangerous smirk.
“If you’re lucky, I’ll bite it.”
“I’ll take that as I’m in for a good time.”
One more wink, complete with expanding grin, and he was gone.
About the Author:
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.