Tempted; Masters and Mercenaries #26.5
(#26.5 within a series)
Publication Date: June 27, 2023
Genre/Tropes: 1001 Dark Nights Novella/Intrigue/Bodyguard Romance
Author: Lexi Blake
Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars
This novella has a great mixture of sweet moments intermixed with mystery and hints of danger.
West Rycroft is a blend of sweet, intense, and yet he’s also a little bit lost. He’s the youngest Rycroft, well he and his twin brother Rand, by ten years, and where his oldest brothers run the family ranch, Wade Rycroft works for McKay-Taggart (you might remember him from his own book). When West saw an opportunity to help his twin brother move from their small home town, he took the opportunity to work with Wade at McKay-Taggart. In moving, Rand found the perfect job and the love of his life, and while West is happy for him, because he’d do anything for his family, working at McKay-Taggart isn’t exactly his dream job.
West doesn’t know exactly what he wants to do, especially when the next assignment lands across his desk-Allyson Pearson a Hollywood star, but staying is what he does, although he isn’t keen on taking on another pampered Hollywood princess. West is aware that being a bodyguard is mostly about guarding the rich and entitled, but it doesn’t make him like it any more. While West comes across a bit gruff right in the beginning-making judgments before getting to know Ally he does turn it around and I fell completely in love with the huge heart I knew he was hiding under his grumpy exterior.
Allyson Pearson has a stalker that seems to have escalated to the point where she needs full time protection. She’s moving from reality TV star into a more Oscar worthy role, and this change seems to have attracted a psycho. Hiring McKay-Taggart seems to be the only way to make her dream possible even when she and West don’t hit it off right away. While Ally is used to people judging her for her on screen personas, it still hurts when she knows this particular man will be by her side twenty-four seven. Ally is more than she lets people see and it doesn’t take long for West to realize his first impression was way off base. She’s a hard worker and West soon respects her, while being highly attracted to her. Bring on the steam!
As parents we know our kids, but to see our children through someone else’s eyes is, I’ll say enlightening. Ally has a moment with Kala, Ian and Charlotte’s daughter, and it’s both insightful (especially given where the series is headed) and a very touching moment between the two. That moment opens up a great conversation between Ally and Ian later on in the book that brought tears to my eyes. Ian, as a dad is a lot of times comic relief, but he also has one of the biggest hearts given his pension for the huge found family he has surrounding him. This sweet moment between him and Allyson is him showing that huge heart as a father vs. the one he always has for everyone else around him and while I love comic relief Ian, this soft side was perfection 🥰
This novella is a quick read, but did deliver some twists I didn’t see coming while at the same time delivering some very sweet moments from within the McKay-Taggart family. Of course there are the beloved character mentions and quick updates, but for the most part this story is all about Ally and West.
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters and Mercenaries series…
When West Rycroft left his family’s ranch to work in the big city, he never dreamed he would find himself surrounded by celebrities and politicians. Working at McKay-Taggart as a bodyguard and security expert quickly taught him how to navigate the sometimes shark-infested waters of the elite. While some would come to love that world, West has seen enough to know it’s not for him, preferring to keep his distance from his clients—until the day he meets Ally Pearson.
Growing up in the entertainment world, Ally was always in the shadow of others, but now she has broken out from behind the scenes for her own day in the spotlight. The paparazzi isn’t fun, but she knows all too well that it’s part of the gig. She has a good life and lots of fans, but someone has been getting too close for comfort and making threats. To be safe, she hires her own personal knight in shining armor, a cowboy hottie by the name of West. They clash in the beginning, but the minute they fall into bed together something magical happens.
Just as everything seems too good to be true, they are both reminded that there was a reason Ally needed a bodyguard. Her problems have found her again, and this time West will have to put his life on the line or lose everything they’ve found.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
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