Series: Club Babylon #1
Published by Harlequin on July 1st 2014
Genres: African American, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
Welcome to Club Babylon: where the A-list VIPs come to play Scoring a gig at Miami's Club Babylon is a fantasy come true for New York promoter Thandie Shaw. The hottest club on the strip is a magnet for major South Beach movers and shakers. And Thandie's about to meet the biggest player of them all. Babylon owner Elliot Richards is macho, arrogant, sexist—everything Thandie doesn't want in a boss or lover. Elliot is also the most erotic man who's ever wanted to take her to bed. But Thandie's no fool. Even as he tries to seduce her into a world of intense and shocking passion, she knows it's too good to last…especially after she uncovers Elliot's explosive secrets. Thandie's going down a dangerous road, and she's risking a lot more than her career. Torn between doubt and desire, will she have to pay the ultimate price? Darkly sensual and deeply moving, Beyond the Velvet Rope takes you into a world of uncontrollable desire and unexpected consequences.
I starting reading this book thinking it would be a quick read. From my kindle I can barely tell how long a book is, especially advance review copies, because they are usually devoid of a table of contents. By chapter two, I was completely ensnared. I couldn’t put this book down. Beyond the Velvet Rope is the story of a club marketer/promoter (Thandie), who takes a gig far away from the NYC where she works for a job in Miami. Club Babylon in Miami barely needs her help, but she agrees to go for three months and host VIPs to help the club gain fame. The club’s owner Elliot proves to be a problem in that he is a woman magnet and he has his eyes set on Thandie. Staying professional proves difficult for her.
This story is so much more than that. At 544 pages there is plenty of details and twists in this plot. The characters are rich, and getting to know their personalities and quirks was a real treat. I loved how Thandie was such a successful woman who knows how to carry herself. She is so much beyond a pretty face in that she was in charge of a small staff throughout the book and handled emergency after emergency like a professional. Elliot was the type A alpha male who takes what he wants without asking. Tall, dark, and sexy, Elliot made my mouth water. There were few morals evident in this man. He was hard to like but also hard to resist. Forget all about the issues of consent and you have a very sexy story here.
“Elliot had a certain appeal that was enchanting. And yet as strongly as he captivated her, he frightened her. She was leery of him, not daring to get too close and yet…she was fascinated all the same. Like a moth to a flame.”
“If she showed the slightest bit of weakness, there would be blood in the water. Elliot would attack like the shark he was. There was a high chance she would not come out unscathed next time.”
“Stop denying us, Thandie.”
“You give yourself a lot of credit, Mr. Richards.”
“I have the experience to back it up.” He grinned. “Trust me. I’m as good as they say.”
“You interest me.”
“What happens when I’m no longer interesting?”
Elliot shrugged. “I’ll find someone else.”
“This is all a game to you,” she whispered.
“Everything is a game, Thandie. And I play to win.”
The sex in this story was steamy. I noticed the author spared us the details a few times late in the book, by going right back to the drama that was going on in the background. You either love this or hate it. I can use my imagination and the first few fucks got me to use my imagination, I knew what happened next without being spoon fed. If she spelled out every single sex scene there would have been little else. There were plenty of sex scenes in this book for any erotica lover to be sated.
I actually forgot I was reading a romance. In fact, I can’t believe it is marketed as such. If it is actually suppose to be a romance, well then this is more of an acquired taste and may leave romance readers frustrated. A romance needs certain ingredients, and this book was lacking on the trust issue. I loved the book, though. This is erotica with a great story line. It was well written and certainly entertaining. It had some lovely romance-ish undertones, but I can’t endorse this as a romance. Know what you are in for, or at least don’t expect a typical romance out of this. I give Beyond the Relvet Rope 5/5 stars for being a book I couldn’t put down with a excellent cast of characters and an engaging story line, not to mention steamy sex!
About The Author
TIFFANY ASHLEY was born in Detroit, and her family relocated to Dallas when she was one. After graduating from the University of North Texas in 2002, Tiffany decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a novelist. Known for her steamy and sometimes emotionally exhausting interracial romances, Tiffany looks forward to a long and adventurous career. She lives in Dallas with her husband, where she continues to write her novels.