Series: Mafia Moguls (Book 1)
One snowbound night with the boss…
Braden O'Shea needs access to Zara Perkins -- to her life, to her house. So he hires the stunning event planner to keep her close. But after one magical dance, he finds himself driving her home in a snowstorm -- only to be stranded by her side. And now that he's had a taste of her, seduction is his only goal… Zara stirs his blood like no woman he's ever known.
But the commitment-shy beauty knows she must keep her distance from a man with such a risky reputation. He's her boss! He's off-limits. Now if only she can keep her hands to herself until the snow melts…
Very good story about a man who gets more than he expects when he schemes to get close to a woman, and the woman who discovers that love really does exist. Braden became the head of his family after the death of his father. The O'Sheas have been known to be ruthless in business, and not always on the side of the law, but Braden is determined that things will be different now. One thing that he promised his father was that he would find the set of scrolls that once belonged to the family but went missing years ago. Their last known location was in the house that Zara now owns.
Zara owns a party planning business that is just starting to take off. She was thrilled to be hired by Braden to plan their holiday party, knowing that if she did well it could open doors for her. Being attracted to her boss is not something she wants, but she can't deny its existence. She's determined to resist because sleeping with the boss is a bad idea all around.
I loved seeing the relationship develop between Braden and Zara. Braden was attracted to her from the moment he met her, which made his goal of getting close to her that much easier. Actually getting his hands on her during the dance was more intense than he expected, but he was sure that he could handle it. He thought that luck was really with him when, after driving her home during a snowstorm, he ended up getting stranded in her house with her. It's just the opportunity he needs to look for the missing scrolls. Zara is very nervous about having Braden staying at her house. She's not sure she can resist the temptation he offers for very long.
As the hours went on, Braden found himself more and more drawn to Zara and feeling more and more guilty about his deception. Zara is no longer just a means to an end. I loved how he learned more about her past and how that made him want to protect her and take care of her. Zara has never witnessed the kind of love and caring that Braden shares with his family. The closest she came was her relationship with her grandmother. Though she tries to resist his advances, Braden slowly wears her down. She tries to convince herself that she can give in to his advances without risking her heart, but the connection between them is too strong.
The pain that both experience when the truth is revealed just about destroys them. Braden had hoped that his love would be enough for her to forgive him. Zara is devastated by her feelings of betrayal when she finds out what he did. She had started to believe in him and the feelings she thought they shared. I ached for her, but also loved seeing her stand up to him and blast him for his actions. I liked the ending, especially seeing Braden have to grovel a bit to get back in Zara's good graces.
The mystery of the scrolls is not answered in this book, so I can only assume that it will be a theme in the series. I loved seeing how the determination to find them shows how important family and tradition is to the O'Sheas. I loved seeing how they are always there for each other, though they also have their moments of disagreement. I especially liked Braden's protectiveness toward his sister, and how that was woven into this story. I have a suspicion about who she is going to end up with, and I can't wait to see if I'm right. There was also a hint of what will be going on with Braden's brother Mac. I'm looking forward to his fall after the way he gave Braden a hard time over his.