Intoxicate, Book # 4 in the Explosive Series
Can be read as a standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Day: January 29, 2015
Marry me. Two words Kalli Montgomery never expected to say out loud to Xavier Cruz, even though she's been in love with the sexy, single father for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, she hasn't just been friend-zoned for the past ten years. No, even worse, he's treated her like a little sister, no matter how hard she tried to prove she could be so much more. When she agrees to spend the summer as the caregiver for his daughter, Lily, she knows it's her last chance to finally make him take notice. As unexpected circumstances threaten to disrupt his home life, Xavier's desperate to keep his family together. He'll do whatever it takes, even if it means marrying a woman he doesn't love. For Xavier and Lily, Kalli will do just about anything, even at the risk of getting her heart broken in the process. Little does she know, sometimes love isn't quite as unrequited as one may think. Xavier sees her-he always has. And the vow he made all those years ago never to go there with his best friend's little sister is wavering, and it's wavering fast. When they come up with a plan that leads to wedding bells, it's a no brainer. This marriage of convenience has one rule: absolutely no falling in love. Easier said than done. Throw together a girl who believes rules are meant to be broken, and a man whose whole career revolves around following orders and you get a recipe for disaster. What could possibly go wrong?
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Shooting a glare at him, I throw my hands up in exasperation. “Are you telling me that this whole anticipation thing is one-sided? Is it that easy for you to resist? I really need to step up my game.” Xavier’s eyes fall to my lips for a quick moment before he looks back up at me. I see the desire in his expression, and without him even saying a word, I know he wants this, too. So why is he making me wait? “You have no idea how much I want to kiss you right now. How many times I’ve thought of doing just that. Every time you were curled up against me on the couch, I wanted to kiss you. Every morning when you showed up, I wanted to kiss you. Every time you said goodnight to Lily and then slipped out my door? I wanted to kiss you before you left. It’s not a new development. The first time I ever saw you, Kalli, I wanted to kiss you. And I’ve wanted to ever since.” His admission floors me. He’s told me before that he “saw” me, but I had no clue it was from the very beginning. I’m not really sure how to process it. In fact, he beats me to the punch. “So now you know. This will be just as hard for me, but it will be so damn worth it. Because when you’ve wanted something for as long as I’ve wanted you? It’ll be the best feeling in the world when I finally get it.” “Our first kiss will be that epic?” “A first kiss to rival them all,” he quips, grinning at me. He holds his arms out wide. “Now, we’ll start with a hug and work our way up.” “I feel like I’m sixteen again,” I tell him as I wrap my arms around his waist. His hands come down to my back and he gives me a big squeeze, my head pressing against his firm chest. I love this feeling of being in his arms, him holding me close. There’s nowhere on the planet I’d rather be than right here with him. As much as I want him, I know he’s right. I don’t care when it comes. Because when it does, our first kiss will be unforgettable. His chest rumbles as he chuckles. He squeezes me tight one last time before letting me go. “And it’s only just the beginning,” he tells me. “Have a good night, crazy girl.”
I'm a twenty something book junkie who is also obsessed with sports. Bengals, Buckeyes, Reds are my teams! I work for the government during the day, hang out with Air National Guard on the weekends, and have been married to my own book boyfriend for over seven years. We currently live right outside of Dayton, OH with our two cats. If I’m not writing or looking through tons of photos of hot men, all in the name of research, then you can probably find me curled up with my Kindle, ignoring the rest of the world. I love my sports almost as much as I love my books. My other obsessions include red wine, hot men, country music, and all things Grace Potter.
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My 5 Star Review!!
"Plus, I’m pretty good with explosive things. I won’t allow anything to blow up.”
In the past few months I have binge read this series, then I started harassing Tessa about when we would finally get this book. This book hits a ton of my favorite types of reads: forbidden love, brother’s best friend, and a single dad. I knew there was no way I wouldn’t love this one, but I was blown away at just how happy this book made me.
We met Xavier Cruz in the prior books, the thing that stood out to me was what a fantastic father he is. Even being in the military and having to leave for extended period of times he still puts his daughter first. That is a huge deal to me. So often we hear about dad’s leaving, but in this situation Lily’s mom actually left her as a baby. Xavier could have easily passed Lily off on his mother, but it was important to him to be her dad and actively parent her. Now ten years later, Xavier is still making sure Lily’s needs are met.
Kalli Montgomery is one of Kale’s (from Inflame) sisters. Kalli is such a special person, she has such a giving heart and kind spirit, but she is also lively and fun. She first met Xavier when he came home with her brother when she was sixteen years old. I can totally relate to the sixteen year old Kalli, I can imagine the butterflies she felt and the excitement at seeing her brother’s hot best friend.
Kalli even as a young girl could see the value in a man that put is daughter first, so from that moment he was more then just a hot guy. When Xavier first met Kalli he thought she was beautiful and wanted to get to know her, that is until he realized she was underage. Xavier immediately moved Kalli into another category of off limits, but that didn’t mean he was blind to watching her grow into a successful, sexy woman.
Intoxicate starts off with a bang and I had a huge smile on my face when this bomb dropped:
"Because this girl, who’s been off limits for so damn long, she married me last night. Kalli Montgomery, my best friend’s little sister, is now my wife. And I know exactly what I was thinking.
Naturally I was hooked at this point, I wanted to know what happened and how we got here. First, I am so glad this isn’t a we were drunk and woke up married situation, no this was a planned Vegas wedding.
From here the story switches to six months prior and we learn how events unfolded.
Kalli has decided to move to Clarksville to be closer to her newborn nephew, and she is honest and admits Xavier and Lily may have been a little bit of an incentive too. Since Xavier’s mom is going to be visiting Kalli’s mom at the beach Xavier hires Kalli to watch Lily while he is at work. Of course, Kalli is up for this, but she is also putting herself in a position to be broken. Because it is just for the summer and then she will go back to living without being apart of their daily lives.
I will not go too into the plot because I don’t want to spoil the story, so I will leave you there and discuss the things I loved.
Xavier and Lily, I loved their relationship and how they interacted. Throughout the story Lily is growing up, while it is just six months she is at that preteen age, so there was plenty of comical relief and I loved her little moments of sass. My heart also broke for Lily and her desire to have a mom. Kalli and Lily’s relationship was perfect. Kalli never tried to insert herself into a mother’s position, but was there for Lily to help her through some girl moments. She also loved her like a daughter, and wanted to do anything she could for her. Kalli was completely selfless in her love.
"Kalli, I love that you love my daughter, but she had you all summer. Now its my turn.
Xavier and Kalli, oh I can’t begin to describe how much I loved these two. Xavier was completely unprepared for a relationship. He hasn’t dated in years, then throw in dating Kalli a girl he sees as perfect he was a mess. Things weren’t always pretty, but in the same respect I could completely understand his blunders and how things were handled just made me love him more. Xavier gave it his all and wanted to be perfect, and that is quality is so sexy in a hero.
This story is definitely one of my favorites, it had all the elements I love with none of the unnecessary drama that drives me insane. Now don’t get me wrong this isn’t one of the quick sweet stories, there were definitely moments of anger and angst, but they kept me engaged and made the connection and love more real. Life isn’t perfect no one knows that better then Xavier, but in Kalli he found his perfect partner.
I highly recommend this story, it is beautifully written, the characters are relatable and lovable. Intoxicate had me guessing, laughing, swooning, and it definitely brought the sexy.
ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review.