Here Ella Frank introduces us to Dr. Lena O’Donnell and Mason Langley, Smokin’ hot doctor and Chicago’s most eligible bachelor and renowned playboy.
Mason gets under Lena’s skin even before they come face to face. Lena is tough on the exterior, but really she is just guarded. She is hiding years of heartache, grief and harbouring a great deal of guilt. Lena was driving when she was involved in a car accident that tragically claimed the life of her sister. Now she can’t let anyone break down her walls. Mason is the owner of Chicago’s hottest restaurant – Exquisite.
Lena’s work is her life. She goes to work, goes home then goes to work again. She lives a lonely life but as far as she is concerned that’s all she deserves – after all her sister has no life at all. On the other hand Mason Langley has the life that he wants, at least he thought he did. While delivering a bunch of Flowers as a favour to his mother Mason barges into the life of Lena. The pair doesn’t exactly hit it off, in fact quite the opposite and if anything Lena may have been happy to hit HIM. However after a chance meeting later that night at Exquisite the pair come to a truce of sorts.
The pair are drawn together and they discover an explosive sexual relationship, and Mason is determined to know Lena – all of her. The good, bad and the utterly heartbreaking. Everything is going along nicely and the pair have an amazing relationship. Then the unthinkable happens and tragedy strikes again. Lena’s world, for the second time, is turned upside down , due to her love and loyalty to another person. She finds herself all alone again and comes to the conclusion that her heart is safer is things stay that way. Not so sure her heart feels the same way though…
I have been following Ella Frank on Twitter for quite some time, I have seen Exquisite come up in my feed countless times. So I decided the time had come, I was going to read it and see what all the hype was about. Well I must say, all the hype – was well justified. Exquisite was … well Exquisite. It is a fantastic story, but much more than that it was a story well told. It is possible to read a good book and appreciate it as such, but a fantastic book is the one you can’t put down. it sucks you in and the lines of reality start to blur. What do I mean by this? I mean when I turn around to my husband and start to tell him a story about a friend and then think ‘shit, no that’s that book I’m reading’. That was Exquisite for me.
I was quite emotional reading this book, some of the story hit close to home for me, and other parts really too close to home. I admired the way Ella Frank walked us through the story and especially with Lena’s grief and he vulnerability over her sister’s death. I loved the way she developed the relationship between Lena and Mason to be about more than just sex and how he helped Lena face her problems and understand that her sister’s death was not her fault and bring her to the point that she felt she could visit her sisters grave. As I said emotional reading and it certainly struck a chord with me.
No need to take only my word for it, I was browsing through some of the comments on Goodreads and I am most certainly not alone.
Karla said: “4 1/2 Shiny Debut Stars!! Ella Frank is in the house…watch out…she is a force to be reckoned with!! There are seasoned authors that don’t write this well…Impressive!”
Alyssa wrote: “Ella Frank’s debut novel Exquisite was masterfully written. This contemporary romance was anything but the usual run-of-the-mill, it was angsty, deeply moving, and incredibly sexy that had me pulling at so many different emotions, from literally bawling at one moment to laughing in the next.” Oh me too Alyssa, me too.
Entice picks up where Exquisite left off, though this time we are following the story of Lena’s best friend and fellow doctor, Dr Shelly Monroe and Mason’s Best friend Joshua Daniels. Shelly and Lena have been best friends since starting work in the same hospital years before. Shelly featured in Exquisite so she isn’t new to us. Joshua is Mason’s best friend who has recently moved home to Chicago following the break up of a relationship.
Shelly is used to getting what she wants. She is a beautiful woman who is highly successful in her career. That doesn’t come without a fair amount of confidence to back it up. She doesn’t however want Joshua Daniels. He is absolutely the farthest thing from what she wants. Now if she could get the organs below the neck to get on the same page as her, then she would be getting places. So far the only place her body wants to get is into Josh Daniels’ pants.
Shelly knows what she needs, a man with a good steady job, financially independent – she’s had enough losers sponging off her to last a life time. When she see’s Mason she see’s everything she is trying to avoid. He’s a contractor, he could be sent to work anywhere – she is looking for stability. She has made up her mind about him and she doesn’t know the half of it. She doesn’t know he is every bit as financially stable as she is, she also doesn’t know that he isn’t just working for the company – he owns it. Either way they can’t get out of each others heads and after yet another date that’s as dull as dishwater the two embark on a journey that see’s them become friends with benefits – no strings attached sex. Oh ya – in complete secrecy. After all they don’t want their respective best friends to find out.
Yeah as you can imagine, that doesn’t quite go as planned and we are brought through the highs and the lows of two people trying to find out if they can work as a couple. When Shelly uses him to try to make a point with her controlling over bearing father, who as far as she is concerned has treated her mother like dirt, things take an unfortunate turn.
Can the two get on the same page, work things out and each be what the other needs? Will they work through their problems, can Shelly finally find out whats been going on in the family home and lay some old ghosts to rest?
Will love conquer all?
I honestly cannot decide which book I enjoyed more! I read the two books in three days so I suppose one rolled into the other for me. While Exquisite dealt with some deep and emotional story lines, Entice had its own heart-rending stories. The girl who seems to have it all, but really that heartbroken girl is still in there, trying to deal with ‘the sins of the father’. She thinks she knows things about her mother and fathers relationship while she doesn’t really know what is going on and it’s not until she has a bust up with her father and then a heart to heart with her mother that she finds out whats really been going on for all of these years.
It’s really interesting to read the story of a woman who keeps going after a particular type of man because that is the type of man she should be with, instead of looking for the man who makes her feel the way she should. It’s also refreshing to read about a man who knows what he wants and prepared to get it, without all the whips and flogger 😉 (not that we haven’t enjoyed all of that too).
What I really can’t wait for is Rachel’s story. I think she is a little firecracker. I’m sure there will be a few surprises in her story too, and I can’t help but think a certain lawyer is going to feature in there somewhere!
Again let’s see a few quotes from others:
Becky *Must have HEA* writes: “This book has…
Renee says: Who is ready to read some smexy and minxy stuff about realistic people with relatable issues?
Again I have been very privileged to have an interview with the author of the books I am reviewing. Ella Frank fabulously well thought out, detailed and honest answers and I would like to take the opportunity to thank her for this, so Thank you so very much xx
While I hope you enjoy the interview I am off to open page one of Ella’s new book, Blind Obsession which is out now!
Who is Ella Frank?
Hmm let’s see. Ella Frank is a happily married Australian who currently lives in the USA with her loving husband. She is the youngest daughter to two wonderful parents and little sister to her big sis KT.
When did you know you were a writer?
I’ve loved writing ever since I could start reading. I really started when I was around sixteen though. I would write love stories and make my friends read them.
I have just read and loved Exquisite and Entice, when can your readers expect Edible?
Thank you so much for that, I’m glad you enjoyed them. Edible should be ready to release this Summer.
Mason was desirable but then in Entice you introduced Josh. Which of the men would you have a softer spot for?
That’s a really hard question, only because I love both of the men in their own way. These guys both play a large role in book three and although we know a lot about Mason, we get to find out more about the relationships between Josh, Mason and Rachel – being that they grew up together – and I love that.
This is the second time I have been made hungry by books. The first being Elizabeth Reyes’ Moreno Brothers series. Do you have a love of food or was it just a story line?
I love food! I really love to eat, actually I have been told I get mean when I am hungry (shh don’t tell anyone). In all honesty, I took two years in a culinary course and was thinking about working in a restaurant for a while. Obviously that changed but my love of food stuck around.
Entice had me in tears by page 55. Though it did strike close to home, so am I just a sap or have you heard of it making other people emotional?
It’s funny you say that about Entice because most people tell me that Exquisite is the book that made them cry. I always want to try and make my characters complex and usually that means they have flaws, and for Shelly her flaws developed due to her family situation. While it wasn’t death it was painful and difficult just the same. I don’t think you’re a sap, I think you related and that’s what you hope to achieve with at least one reader and I am glad I accomplished that with you.
I of course got my question wrong and it was indeed Exquisite that had me a blubbering mess!
I thought you approached and dealt with the issue of Lena not visiting her sister’s grave extremely well, do you think you may have helped others cope who face a similar dilemma?
Honestly I am not sure. I did receive a beautiful letter from a reader who expressed to me how moved she was by the way Lena was portrayed in dealing with her guilt and the scenes in the cemetery. She went on to explain that she had experienced the same kind of guilt after the loss of a person very near and dear to her. Everyone reacts differently to grief, for Lena it was guilt, for Mason it was anger.
Rachel seems like a little firecracker, are you having fun writing her story?
Yes! Oh my gosh. I love writing this story. I think a lot of people think they know Rachel but I feel like she will surprise them. She ended up a little lost in Entice, trying new things. She just needs someone to set her straight and I think I have the perfect man that will do just that.
I giggled like a school girl reading both books but I found with Entice that I was sitting in a cafe with a Latte with people looking at me sideways. Do people tell you how refreshing it is to have a bit of humor laced through the story?
Yes I have heard that they love the relationships between the characters especially the sarcasm and snark. It’s funny because I don’t particularly see myself as funny, but I am sarcastic. It may be the lowest form of humor but hey, it’s still humor right?
What was your favorite book of last year?
Hands down it was Slammed and the irony of that is I don’t usually read YA/NA and had that book for months and when I finally read it, I like everyone devoured it and then cried like a blubbering idiot.
I have a list of books that I am waiting on to be released this year, with Edible been added to the list, are there any books that you are holding out for?
The only one I was really holding out for was definitely Lover at Last – but I have since got my BDB fix and I am now waiting patiently for the next installment next year.
What three luxuries can you not live without?
My ipad, I never thought I would say this (my phone), the internet!
Do you have a life motto?
Never settle for what you think is the only way. If there is something you want to do, something that makes you happy you should try and do it. We only get one go around in this life.
What would you describe as your best and worst qualities?
Best quality? I am a very happy, positive person. Worst quality? I can be too impulsive.
Who is your favorite book boy?
I really love the men from the Black Dagger Brotherhood – JR Ward
Finally, what book would you recommend that people HAVE to read?
It’s a toss up between the Outlander Series by Diana Gabalden and The Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward