Sunday, January 17, 2010

Review -- Back in Black

Back in Black
By Lori Foster
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 2, 2010

Blunt, brash and brutally honest, Drew Black is nobody's fool.  With his business acumen and "man's man" attitude, he has built the SBC into the premier MMA (mixed martial arts) organization in the country. The best fighters and most beautiful women are his for the taking. Drew is at the top of his game, a man in charge of his destiny...or so he thinks.

PR expert, Gillian Noode is the best at what she does. When the owners of the SBC hire her to smooth the rough edges of their President she is confident of her ability to get the job done. But that's before she meets Drew Black, witnesses his overt sexuality and crude behavior first-hand and, unbelievably, finds herself attracted to the man!  Has she bitten off more than she can chew or is she the one woman with the ability to tame the beast?

Drew knows he doesn't have to submit to Gillian's coaching.  He's rich enough, and confident enough, to walk away from the SBC and start over somewhere else,  But Gillian intrigues him, it's obvious that the attraction is mutual, and Drew's not above using that to turn the situation to his advantage.

"Yeah, I like sex as  much as the next guy.  If you gave it a chance, you might like it, too."

"I like it fine!"

Now he did chuckle.  "Well, that's good, because here's our deal."  He released the necklace to slide his hand around her nape.  "You tell me the first image-improving gig you want me to do , and I'll give it my best shot."

She stared at his mouth and replied in a whisper.  "Perfect.  I have a appearance set up for you with -"

"After I get to kiss you."  He brushed his thumb on the side of her throat.  "No tongues or anything.  Yet.  I'll just kiss"

"You...what?"  She strained away from him, not so much to escape, but to stare up into his face with utter disbelief.  

As if explaining it, he said, "I want to kiss you.  Just here, on your throat."  Again, he brushed his thumb over her racing pulse.  "Three seconds.  I'll let you count, okay?  After that, you tell me what it is you want me to do - for the image, I mean, not sexually.  Today it's only a kiss.  No more.  I insist."

I loved Drew!  Yes, he's arrogant and has an overwhelming fondness for four letter words but he's much more than the outer trappings, as Gillian discovers.  Though he tries to keep it quiet, he gives back to the community in many ways and is fiercely loyal to his fighters and friends.  He loves sex, consensual sex, a lot, but also has a profound respect for women.  When he finally loses his heart to that one special woman, she'll never have to question his love or his loyalty.  He'll never lose that rough edge but, the more time Gillian spends with him the more she wonders if she doesn't prefer the tiger he is to the pussycat she was hired to turn him into.

A secondary romance between aspiring fighter, Brett Bullman and inexperienced, somewhat naive Audrey Porter brings a heartwarming sweetness to the story.  But Audrey is the leader of WAVS (Women Against Violent Sports) and when Drew begins to receive threats, Audrey and her group are the leading suspects, jeopardizing her relationship with Brett.  When those threats escalate to actual attacks, for Brett, Audrey, Gillian and Drew, it's not just their relationships that are at risk but their very lives.

Back in Black has everything I love in a contemporary romance:  A sexy, alpha hero; a smart, sassy heroine, fast-paced action; sizzling hot love scenes; likeable secondary characters who add to, rather than detract from, the story and a happy ending.  The banter between Drew and Gillian is smart and snappy and the love scenes are smokin'!  These are two intelligent, confident people who know what they want and make one heck of a great team.  I highly recommend this book!


  1. PJ, I do like the sound of this book. I've never read a Lori Foster book. Guess I need to try this one!

  2. I can't wait for Drew's story. I just finished My Man, Michael and it really was such a satisfying read. Neat paranormal/futuristic twist to the whole story. The SBC series is not to be missed.

    Nice review.

  3. You should give her a try, Buffie. I think you'd like her stories.

  4. Armenia, up to this point my favorite SBC story had been Havoc's but I think Drew's may have moved into the lead.

    My Man, Michael is in my tbr but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I need to do that.

  5. Hi Drew! Nice cover, eh? Very inspiring! :)

  6. Cha-ching! That's the sound of another book going in my TBB pile! :)

    Great review, PJ! And I'm really loving the cover. Yummy!