Title: Holding Aces (The Kingdom #1)
Author: Nikki Groom
Release Date: May 29th 2014
Genre: Adult contemporary romance
They say that time heals all wounds.
But mine are set in so deeply, they’ve taken on a life of their own, lurking in the shadows at every turn and haunting my thoughts.
The girl I once was has been replaced by a stranger.
I don’t even know who I am anymore.
And I hide.
Pretending to be someone I’m not…
Until I meet Denham King.
My burst of color in an otherwise grey world.
And for the first time in my life, I find myself running towards someone instead of running away.
But fate can be cruel,
and I can’t escape my past.
**Holding Aces is part one of a two part Adult Contemporary Romance series that contains mature sexual content and language and is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**
Reviewed by Joanne
*An E-ARC was supplied to me in exchange for review*
I was hooked from the first chapter of this book, the description of Arianna’s life when we first meet her intrigued me and also had me fearing for her. I felt her fear, I felt her desperation, and that was within the first few lines of the book so I knew I was in for a good read. Arianna is quite an enigma though, the reader doesn’t know anything about her, only that she is fleeing an abusive relationship. There is virtually no background information, a tiny mention of her mother and her best friend, and you don’t get to know her real name until around a third of the way into the book. I think that all added to the atmosphere of the book, however it made it hard to relate to Arianna, because I didn’t feel anything towards her. Yes, I felt for the situation she was in, but I couldn’t really say that I felt any attachment to her.
I feel a bit conflicted over this book – the writing style of Nikki Groom had me hooked, she was able to draw out the emotions in the story and had me glued to the edge of my seat. The chemistry between Arianna and Denham was electric, and the sex scenes were smoking hot. On the other hand I couldn’t help thinking that Arianna had jumped into a relationship a little too quickly. She has had two successive abusive relationships and although Denham is sexy, attentive, generous and a perfect gentleman, he also likes to be the one calling the shots. I would have liked to see her learn to stand on her own two feet first, she just seems to be swapping one controlling man for another. That being said, after the way this book ended, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next!
“Don’t run,” he says before releasing my hands slowly, and I instinctively move to tangle my fingers in his thick dark hair. Both his hands move to my ass, squeezing and pulling me closer as he kisses me with a fierce tenderness I can’t explain. I vaguely register him flicking the lock on the door as he walks us backwards, never breaking contact.
He turns me as we reach his desk, and I hear paperwork flutter to the floor and glass smash as he sends everything on the desk flying before lying me down on the cold, hard surface, his body pressed tightly against mine. I have a desperate need to touch him, to taste him, to feel every inch of this man. I slide my hands in the waistband of his trousers and pull out his shirt. I let my hands roam freely over his torso, realizing I’ve wanted to do this since the very first time I saw him at the elevator.
He runs his hands down the length of my body and pushes them back up again, skimming my thighs and taking my skirt with them, exposing my lace underwear. “Stunning,” he says before bringing his mouth to mine.
Our teeth crash together as the desire grows, and we both know it’s impossible to stop this now. “Arianna,” he says breathlessly. His chest is heaving and there are little beads of sweat gathering on his brow.
“Yes…” I can barely form the word. I haven’t answered to my real name for a very long time, but it feels natural coming from him.
“Tell me you want this…”
It’s a command, but I don’t feel threatened. I want this as much as he does. I nod my answer.
“Tell me, Ari. I won’t touch you until you tell me.”
“Yes, yes I want you…”
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About the Author
Nikki Groom is a hopeless romantic, lover of all things happily ever after and firm believer that love makes the world go around.
In her spare time, you will find Nikki laughing with her very treasured family, walking with her beloved dog in the hundred acre wood or curled up in a cosy corner with words and wine.
She lives in East Sussex with her husband and two children. Having turned her hand to many things over the years, Nikki is now proud to add ‘author’ to that list.
Having always been a dreamer, Nikki’s imagination stretches far and wide, which enables her to get lost in faraway places and imaginary people.
Nikki loves to chat, especially about books! You can find her here…