Bridget from The Men with the Golden Cuffs (Masters and Mercenaries, #2) and Will from Dungeon Games (Masters and Mercenaries, #6.5) get their very own romance.
The Good, The Bad and Everything in Between
-I do like this ‘verse: full disclosure, I am a Lexi Blake fan and I’ve enjoyed her Masters & Mercenaries series for a good long while. When this pre-order showed up on my kindle, I rushed to finish up what I was reading to get to this one. I love the glimpse of previous couples living their own HEAs and this one is no exception.
-Great chemistry and hot sex: something Ms. Blake does well is steamy sex scenes and considering this is a novella, there was a good balance between sex and story development and I never felt as if there was too much or too little.
-Likeable characters: I haven’t loved all the novellas, but the last couple have been fun to read, with slightly different takes on the Alpha Dom. Will has a need for control, but he’s a stealth Top, helping Bridget without being so domineering that she completely ignores him. Bridget is only submissive in the bedroom, and is pretty bratty, which I enjoyed. Bridget is a funny heroine and I loved the way her brain would take off and start plotting different scenarios for her characters.
-Well paced novella: It’s not a full length novel, but the plot progresses at a good pace, and I learned much more about these two than I had ever glimpsed of them before in earlier books.
-Not quite a Standalone HEA: I think you could read this without the earlier books, BUT there are alot of characters and it could be overwhelming. That said, it’s a HEA with enough of a tease (no cliffhanger) for future story that kept me interested.
-Smart, but emotionally stupid characters: Will and Bridget are likeable, flawed characters who have been unlucky in love. While at times frustrating, I enjoyed the fact that they weren’t just dummies who I’ve been told are smart, but they do some smart maneuvering - of each other and other characters, when the situation calls for it. It’s only emotionally that they’re stunted and dense, yet somehow Ms. Blake managed to make me not want to smack them upside the head...well, not too much.
My main issue with the romance was Bridget’s need to lock down a relationship and a HEA within a week of being with Will. I understand condensed timelines are something that happens in a romance novel, but I side-eyed her intense need to be forever, when they barely knew each other.
The Bottom Line The M&M formula felt fresher this time around and even when frustrated, I still liked the story. If you haven’t read this series and you’re into, I’d encourage you to start from the beginning, then dive into these novellas.