Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Exquisite by Ella Frank

(The Exquisite series, book 1)
Her heart was guarded...

Tormented by self-imposed guilt, Dr. Lena O'Donnell has spent the last nine years in survival mode. Struggling through days that seem to blend together and battling her way through each horrifying night, she's determined that this is what she deserves...

Until he tore down the walls.

Mason Langley's life is going exactly the way he planned it, until her. A confirmed bachelor and the successful owner of the hottest restaurant in Chicago, he never expects to be blindsided by an angry woman in a pair of scrubs. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to shake the doctor, and finds himself liking the way she makes him feel. 

Almost over night Lena finds her world turned upside down by Mason and the sexual desire they discover together. Slowly, she lowers her guard and invites him inside but when tragedy strikes she begins to believe that sometime it's better to be alone and safe than to love and lose. 

Well, it's official. I have a new book boyfriend...and his name is Mason Langley. 

This book was incredible - throw together an emotionally guarded doctor and a modern day "Casanova-esque" restaurant owner, then mix in angst, adorableness, and some panty-dropping sex scenes, and you have Exquisite. Seriously, tell me you aren't interested in that. You can't do it! 

Lena has lived with self-imposed guilt for the past nine years of her life. She put mile high walls up around her, and uses an icy exterior to keep people at a distance. Every day she submerges herself into her work in pediatrics at a Chicago hospital, and every night she wakes up from the same recurring nightmare. But she had accepted the fact that she deserved this life of loneliness. Until he waltzed into her life and saved her by showing her how to live...not just survive. 

"I didn't want anyone in my life until you fought your way into it and I miss hearing from you, even if it is just to argue. And Mason? I want to be number thirty-four. So pick me, not the stunning redhead."

Mason has nothing to complain about; he is the owner of Exquisite, the most popular restaurant in Chicago and can wrap any woman around his finger with his quick charm and a flash of those adorable dimples. He's perfectly fine with living the playboy "love 'em and leave 'em" lifestyle...that is, until a prickly doctor gets under his skin and has him not only intrigued by her, but doing something he's never done before - chasing after a woman. 

"I'm going to walk out this door right now. This isn't done, though. Whatever it is you're thinking, don't even think about it. I'm here to stay; you don't get to kick me out yet."

Through Mason's persistence, Lena starts seeing the walls she's so carefully built up begin to crumble around her and for the first time in nine years, she's happy...and in love. But when tragedy rears its ugly head and causes Mason to question everything between them, Lena refuses to let the man who stole her heart walk away. She finally has something in her life worth fighting for; and now it's her turn to save him. 

There was not one thing about this novel that I didn't positively love! Lena and Mason are quite possibly one of my favorite book couples of all time. The story spans over a broad time, so you really get to see the evolution of their relationship and believe me, it's a beautiful journey. Their banter back and forth made me laugh out loud at times, and Mason's flirtatious quips won me over right away. Oh, and the smoking hot scenes between them?! HOLY. SHIT. I mean, I had to actually stop reading a few times just to get myself under control! Ella definitely knows how to write scenes that make your lady parts tingle...and I'm a-okay with that! Not to mention, I'll never look at peaches and cream the same again....

While the novel centers around Lena and Mason's relationship, the secondary characters were just as great in my opinion. Rachel, Shelley, Mason's mom - I adored each and every one of them! I love that there are such strong women in this book. These aren't pushovers or peons; these are smart, independent women and that's so refreshing. Way to represent women, Ella!! :-) 

I could go on and on about the wonderfulness that is this story, but if I do, we'll be here for daaaays. Just read this book. Seriously. Right now. Ella's writing is flawless and the story line is superb. It will have you grinning like the Cheshire cat, crying tears of heartbreak, and quite possibly changing into a new pair of panties. Exquisite gets 5, deliciously juicy stars from me!!


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