Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: April 30, 2016
House of Payne
5. Steele - Kindle
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Raped. Tortured. Beaten. Essie Santiago’s life fell apart when she was sixteen, and it’s taken eight years to put it back together. There are some pieces that can never be mended; it would take a miracle for her to get pregnant, and physical closeness is something that makes her shudder. Only her love of creating beauty in the form of fashion gets her through the worst of the darkness.Thoughts on House of Payne: Steele: This series continues to blow my mind. Not a little bit. A lot. It's equal parts sweet and sexy and empowering and so incredibly emotional and it makes me feel all the feels. Yes, I might have teared up once or twice. IT HAPPENS. (Although I usually deny that part. My cold, black heart must be finally unthawing. Or something.)
When a mortar attack destroyed half his face and all of his life as he knew it, something vital died inside of former Marine, Ezekiel Steele. For years he’s felt nothing… until he sees Essie trying her best to be invisible. But the feisty spark inside the lovely fashion designer is too bright to be concealed, and like a moth to a flame, he’s helpless to resist her.
Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is taking the world of fashion by storm, holding a contest to find the best designer the city has to offer. Competition is fierce, but all Essie can concentrate on are Steele’s dirty-talking lessons in sex. But when the student surpasses the master when it comes to love, Steele’s inner demons get the better of him. If he can't face them down, he’ll lose Essie forever.
Essie is amazing. We learned her story in Twist and she's fought hard to be where she is now. I mean, she's FOUGHT. I didn't know if Steele's issues could match hers, but...they did. The guy has as much baggage as she does and watching them navigate their way through the bumps and chasms of their relationship was GLORIOUS.
Honestly, who doesn't like a dirty talkin' man who unwittingly bares his soul to someone who's just as damaged as he is? And a lady who figures out that she has steel in her spine after said man takes the time to coax her out of her shell?
LOVE LOVE LOVE!
This series is five books strong and every installment has seriously rocked my socks off. Payne and those who orbit around him make me giddy and I'd be hard pressed to choose a favorite couple among those we've already met. I'm VERY happy to know we're going to get more of the explosive relationships and temperamental shenanigans that go hand in hand with this house.