Shayla Black’s Wicked Lovers series is one of my all-time favorites, but I have to admit, I wasn’t super excited to read Sweet Pea’s story. The bits we saw of her in Wicked For You, which was Axel and Mystery’s story, made me think she was going to be one of those needy, whiny heroines that I hate. Thankfully I was very wrong, and Falling in Deeper, the 11th book in the series, wound up near the top of my favorites overall.
Lily Taylor has been through some unimaginable things in her life. Desperate to save herself, she changes her name and starts over, working as the receptionist at Dominion and having a quasi-relationship with Axel Dillon. Once Axel meets Mystery, things between him and Sweet Pea are immediately terminated and she finds herself drifting, not sure what to do. She was never in love with Axel and is happy for him and Mystery, but he was the closest thing she had to a normal “relationship,” so she’s naturally sad.
Stone Sutter is under a deadline to persuade Lily to testify against the very powerful man that’s after her or return to jail. After being released to help out with his unique hacking skills in an earlier book, Stone is in no hurry to return to the big house. If he can convince Lily to come forward and put her enemy away, Stone’s sentence will be commuted and he can live a life of freedom. Should be easy enough, but he wasn’t counting on his growing fascination with the petite woman who trusts no one.
Before Stone has a chance to build up some trust with Lily, it becomes clear that her past has caught up with her. He narrowly saves her from a car bomb so out of options, he grabs her and they take off looking for somewhere to lay low. Jack Cole’s place in the swamp is the perfect place to hide out and come up with a plan, but Lily is still not revealing all of the truth to Stone and the pressure is mounting. Stone knows the only way she will ever be fully safe is if she puts away the man responsible for what happened to her when she was just a teenager, and deep down Lily knows that herself. But knowing and doing are two different things.
Like I said, I was worried Lily was going to be a simpering woman waiting for a man to save her, but she surprised me. She has a core of strength that has helped her survive some pretty horrible things, and she is a fighter. The issues she has are natural considering everything that she’s been through, and it’s actually surprising that she didn’t have even more.
The development of the relationship between Lily and Stone is very sweet, and it happens realistically instead of her miraculously getting over her issues right away. Despite the feds breathing down his neck, Stone’s concern and focus is Lily’s safety and not his get out of jail free card. He knows that people are looking for her and that time is running out, but he is still determined to get her trust him on her own.
There are a couple of surprising twists in the story, one of which is quite emotional. There are the usual Shayla Black crazy hot sex scenes, but there were far more scenes that made you really feel what both of them were feeling, and to me that made the book more enjoyable. We got to see more of Heath, the bodyguard that had been carrying a torch for Mystery, and it looks like his story is next – yay!! The “secondary” characters outside the core family unit have ended up being some of my favorite books, so I can’t wait to read Heath’s.
Overall, I loved this book. It had lots of action, twists, a sweet couple and the usual great supporting characters. Keeping up with some of these guys is one of the best parts to this series!
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Falling In Deeper
by Shayla Black
Release Date: July 5, 2016