Despite the idealistic place from which she embarked, she's partial to writing realistic, flawed, multi-faceted characters, lush emotion, and the ever-possible happy ending.
While currently published in the sub-genre of "Romantica" with Ellora's Cave, she hopes to explore other literary horizons such as suspense, fantasy, and young adult romance in the future.
When not pecking away at the computer keyboard, Shelby enjoys creative projects such as portraiture and decorating, dabbles in Tarot, and lives a bucolic life with her own Prince Charming in North Florida.
The Fifth Favor
by Shelby Reed
Publication Date: 11/5/13
Synopsis:Imagine a world where a woman's every pleasure, every wish and wildest fantasy is granted by the man of her dreams. Such is Avalon, an elite, private club in Washington, D.C., that caters solely to female desires. There, magazine reporter Billie Cort meets Adrian, the club's most infamous companion, with the intent to interview him for an article on high-dollar male escorts. Billie can't foresee, however, how quickly Adrian will strip her defenses and expose her true desires and in the process, fulfill his own yearning for love.
*eARC received from the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This book is a heartbreaking tale of the shady world of gigolos and the women who seek them out. It's set in a very select club -Avalon- where affluent women seek out male company. Billie is a reporter for the magazine Illicit that has been granted an in-depth interview with one of their most experienced male companions, Adrian. She's unsure what to expect from their meeting, but from the outset is intrigued by the very suave and sinful escort.
Billie goes into her meeting with Adrian expecting something seedy and maybe even demeaning, but what she finds is a young man full of charm and guile. Adrian quickly turns the tables on Billie and proceeds to press buttons that she never knew she had. His almost incidental attempted seduction of her wakes her up to challenges she has never before encountered. Deeply attracted to Adrian and unsure just what his motives are, Billie finds herself becoming more then a little immersed in the sexy yet remote man. As they get to know each other Adrian takes charge more and it's apparent that his interest in her could reveal a part of himself that he tries to deny.
Tragedy strikes when Luke a fellow gigolo feels that his life of excess and debauchery is pointless. ,Feeling an unrequited love for his friend, he commits suicide whilst staying at Adrian's apartment. Suspicions run high, and Billie finds her new feelings for Adrian tested as he struggles to prove his innocence.
This is a book that surprised me. I expected it to be an erotic ride full of sex and thrills. Yes it is a sexy read, but the two main characters constantly keep each other at a distance in so many ways. It's a sensuous read full of hot interludes, but the author doesn't rush the pace. The build up between Adrian and Billie allows the reader to connect and care about them.
A thoroughly engaging read that keeps you on the edge as you wait for the young couple to hopefully find a way forward together.
Well done Ms.Reed on creating characters that actually grow as the book progresses! Recommended.
The Fifth Favor