OURS TO LOVE - Shayla Black
Wicked Lovers , Book 7
Berkley Heat
ISBN: 978-0-425-25339-7
May 2013
Erotic Contemporary Romance

Lafayette, Louisiana - Present Day

Xander Santiago has tried everything he can think of to pull his brother out of his downward spiral.  Since the murder of his wife a year ago, Javier has lost himself in countless bottles of vodka, and alternates between rage and episodes where he completely falls apart.  The family company has started to suffer, and Javier has never let Xander be a part of the business, which has caused Xander to devote his life to women and sex.  As a last ditch effort to save Javier from self-destruction, Xander drugs Javier and drives him to Lafayette, Louisiana, hoping that his friends will be able to help.  If Javier tries to leave, Xander will go public with Javier's troubles, ruining the company's image.  The fight that follows may have destroyed their relationship forever, but if Javier starts to live again, Xander is willing to pay that price.

A car accident at fifteen robbed London McLane of her adolescence, and she feels as if her overprotective mother is smothering her adulthood, so London has moved from Los Angeles to her cousin's home in Lafayette.  Still needing exercise for physical therapy and to lose some of the extra weight she's gained, London has found that she enjoys dancing in her cousin Alyssa's club during off hours.  For a scarred woman who's never had an adult relationship, dancing in the privacy of a closed strip club gives London a chance to feel sexy and normal.  Having a sexy man straight out of her fantasies applaud at the end of her “performance” is mortifying, but when she learns that the man is Xander, Alyssa's friend, she feels safe.  Sure he's devastatingly gorgeous, but London knows his reputation and figures that there's no way a playboy like Xander is going to be interested in her.  She couldn't have been more wrong.

Then another friend sets up a job interview for London, and she finds herself employed by Javier.  She's just as attracted to Javier as she is to Xander, and she quickly sees that Javier needs more than an assistant.  Meeting with Xander again shows a vulnerable side to him that most don't see behind the playboy persona, and London knows that both men need her.  But just what can an insecure virgin do to help two Dominant men?

Two brothers who have been at odds for years find themselves falling for the same woman and discover that sharing her opens new doors in their relationship in OURS TO LOVE.  Javier inherited the business, and neither he nor his parents ever truly allowed Xander to have anything to do with it.  The business was always to be Javier's, and in spite of Xander's MBA, nobody expects him to have any insight on the business.  So, he becomes the billionaire playboy, seemingly without a care in the world.  Anyone who's read Ms. Black's previous Wicked Lovers books may recognize Xander from his appearances in some of those books.  Now we get to see the man behind the carefree playboy—a man who's been rejected by the people who are supposed to love him the most.  Javier is guilt-stricken over the murder of his wife—the marriage was more of a business merger than anything else, and if he had at least tried to make his wife happy, she may not have had an affair with a man who later murdered her.  With London's entrance into their lives, the brothers slowly find their way back to being brothers again.  London has pretty much no experience with men and is a bit out of her depth with two Dominant men, but she quickly finds her way.

Fans will recognize the couples from the previous stories and enjoy the chance to catch up.  Xander was a secondary character in both BELONG TO ME and MINE TO HOLD, while London is cousin to Alyssa, from DELICIOUS.  In addition to revisiting these characters, they do their best to help Xander and Javier, while also being fiercely protective of the somewhat fragile London.  The sizzling sex scenes blend with the family issues and the mystery surrounding the business to create a fascinating erotic tale.  Whether you've read the previous stories or not, OURS TO LOVE is a treat to read, and I highly recommend it.

Jennifer Bishop