Note: This ARC was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
"Yet, here we are..."
"Trapped at the most irritating children's restaurant in Las Vegas, while I'd rather be home without pants on?" I offered.
"I'd rather be at home with you without pants on, too."
"That's not an option."
"Shame. I think you'd rather me be there without pants on."
"Can we stop talking about pants?"
Oh my gawd. If this isn't my favorite Emma Hart read so far, it's definitely one of my top picks because hello, it had drama and comedy and balanced the love and the lust in equal measure. Oh, and did I mention the sexual tension and slow burn romance? Gah! Yes, Lust was everything I could ever want or hope for in a romance novel, and the fact that it actually surpassed the Vegas Nights series starter, Sin, was a bonus, considering I adored Dahlia Lloyd and Damien Fox's book. Single parents Perrie Fox and Adrian Potter--along with their precocious and precious kiddos, Lola and Zachary, respectively--stole my heart at every single turn, making book two one of 2017 favorites.
When Perrie Fox was cut off from the kind of life she had grown up with once her teenage pregnancy was seen as an abomination by her adoptive father and the half-brother who was once her best friend, she was left with very few options. In order to make sure she and her daughter Lola had a roof over their heads, she turned to the world's oldest profession. Coming from the family that she did, one would never think a Fox would stoop to prostitution, but Perrie didn't care all that much, not when she was able to keep her daughter fed and them from poverty. But when she's arrested by a hot, tatted up undercover detective on solicitation, Perrie's world then shifts.
Sure, Adrian Potter let Perrie go, but their paths would soon cross again and they would be spending more time together, thanks to the offer he makes her: help them spot other prostitutes to be arrested and she would remain scot-free while looking for another--a more legal--job. She's not exactly jumping for joy at being forced to do something she doesn't want to, but Adrian knows this will help her go on the straight and narrow while it helps him meet a quota. But when his attraction and the unexpected friendship between his son Zac and her Lola crosses the line between professional and personal, Adrian will have to figure out if this is all lust or a little more like love.
Perrie was such a fantastic heroine. Yes, she was a prostitute, but there was no way she was romanticizing the profession. She did what she had to for herself and her daughter. She pushes back when she feels Adrian gets a tad too close or pulls her in far too intimately than she's ready for. They bicker and banter, but they're never outright mean to each other, and I loved how their children becoming friends pushed them towards each other even more. They also have rather heartbreaking back stories--Perrie mostly with her family and Adrian with his ex--so there are complications with as far as whether their relationship is something that should move forward or if it's temporary.
As always, Emma Hart writes with humor and heart, and she's given her readers and fans a story that's more than the usual. There are lighthearted moments, but there's also quite a bit of angst (yes, yes, YES!). If you've read the first book, Sin, note that this second one does overlap with the events there, and while you can read either book as a standalone, I'm going to recommend that you read them in order. Perrie's relationship with her older brother Damien is an important one for her, and I was happy to have been able to finally see how everything played out between the two of them. The weekend's coming up and invite you to fall in lust and love with Lust. Five-plus stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Vegas Nights series:
Sin (book one) - five stars - My Review
Lust (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Date Read: 14 September 2017