Her heart was guarded…
Tormented by self-imposed guilt, Dr. Lena O’Donnell has spent the last nine years in survival mode. Struggling through days that seem to blend together and battling her way through each horrifying night, she’s determined that this is what she deserves…
Until he tore down the walls…
Mason Langley’s life is going exactly the way he planned it, until her. A confirmed bachelor and the successful owner of the hottest restaurant to hit Chicago, he never expects to be blindsided by an angry woman in a pair of scrubs. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to shake the doctor, and he finds himself liking the way she makes him feel.
Almost over night Lena finds her world turned upside down by Mason and the sexual desire they discover together. Slowly, she lowers her guard and invites him inside but when tragedy strikes she begins to believe that sometimes it’s better to be alone and safe than to love and lose.
Purchase the EXQUISITE SERIES BOXED SET Below
4 Stars Reviewed by Gitte and Jenny
Gitte: So Jenny I thought this was a fab debut novel by Ella Frank. The story line didn’t immediately grab me the reasons for which I will come back to in a minute; more like it slowly grew on me, then suddenly it had me all warm and fuzzy…much like an unripe peach left out in the hot sun..*wink wink*
Jenny: haha Gitte! Love it! Great way to describe how this story unfolded! It did take a little while for me as well and I’m guessing the same reasons as you but then…….. it had the peaches, and then it definitely brought the cream…*wink, wink* indeed
Gitte: Hahahaha yeah sure did! I thought Exquisite was written really well, it came across real and was an authentic portrayal of human emotions. The story flowed really well and the changes in point of view between Lena and Mason were effortless and not once was I confused as to who was speaking and it definitely made this story so much more emotional having both voices. It also made me fully connect with Mason!
Jenny: Have to agree with you there. I thought it was really well written and I connected with Mason immediately. I’m a fan of dual pov’s so I really did love hearing from Mason and thought his voice added so much to the flow of the story. Then there was this one scene… …I think you know the one I’m talking about……..go on, try and read my mind!
Gitte: Let me guess…….it has to be the shower scene! OMG Jenny how HOT was that shower scene….the visuals wow…That…is….all…!!!
Jenny: That was beyond hot! We do love a good shower scene don’t we Gitte and this one was up with the best of them. Wow! In fact there were quite a few sizzling moments in this gem of a book!
Gitte: Overall, to me this was a really refreshing romance because our hero and heroine didn’t immediately fall into bed with each other with instant attraction instead they almost kind of “hated” each other on sight. Mason found Lena to be bad-tempered and harsh and she thought he was an infuriating Casanova. But despite that, the attraction was there.
Jenny: Yes, Lena definitely had a preconceived notion of whom and what Mason was and she was a cranky piece of work but somehow they “clicked”. The sexual tension was palpable that’s for sure.
Gitte: The banter between them was great, the drama was fab and once we got to the sexy time…umm yeah NICE ONE!! Though Jenny; I have to say what the effing hell was the hair/cock thing all about? I just did not get or understand that one…I re-read it a few times and nope don’t get it and I kind of want to shout eeewwww!!! What was that?
Jenny: Oh yeah, the sexy times were very sexy indeed, but OMG! Haha! Gitte – when you rang me asking: “have you got to the cock/hair thing yet”? I thought you were joking – ummm no you weren’t and that part had me perplexed to say the least.
Gitte: Right, so we have Mason….our Hero. I loved him! He is a celebrity chef, owner of Exquisite, with a Casanova reputation. He is funny, gorgeous, vulnerable, loving and has an endearing cockiness about him. He was one of the most personable male hero’s I have met in a while, because he was almost attainable if that makes sense? Mason is still looking for “The One”…
“My dad once told me that one day I’d meet someone who drives me so crazy I want to strangle her and yet never would because I can’t bear for her to be gone. Well, that’s when I’ll know I’ve met a woman worth keeping.”
So our serial dating bachelor Mason is not only a cocky hottie, he has such a huge heart for his family and friends. He melted my heart so many times I lost count…..so our serial dater met Dr. Lena O’Donnell.
Jenny: I can’t add much else to that GG. I loved Mason Langley!!! He was confident, hot, successful, warm, tender, handsome, funny and smart, with an amazing body and had a great ass (what?? well, he did!) And yes, he had room in his heart for everyone. Really, what’s not to love? I did enjoy him standing up to Lena.
“So suck it up princess. Easy, relaxed Mason is gone”……….(go Mason!)
Gitte: Our heroine Lena is a Paediatric Doctor who has still not come to terms with a tragedy from her past. Since then she has functioned in life, but you couldn’t say she has been ‘living’ it. She has had no real romance or fun. She is an intelligent, lovely girl with a big heart which sadly is covered in armour so thick that she lets nothing in and nothing out in return.
Now Jenny, I think this is where I had a few problems with the story grabbing me at first. I have to be honest here; I didn’t like Lena much to begin with. I understood why she cut herself off, guilt and the pain of bereavement affects us all in different ways. I got that this girl had a heart of gold and the way she was with her friend, her patients made her come across as a funny, loving and a spirited girl at heart. Therefore, to me, her almost icy personality that surfaced at times did not make sense to me and almost put me off her completely. It was downright rude, not a reaction to a situation. I don’t know how to explain it really Jenny but I just didn’t get the intense hot/cold thing she had going at first. Did she redeem herself to me…absolutely!! Her strength and her love and determination won me over.
Jenny: Yep, I know Lena was also the reason I had a hard time connecting with this book at first. I did feel sorry for her because of the guilt she was carrying around and the blame she put on herself for her past but she just seemed to be downright mean at times. Her personality swings were like watching ping pong. I kept telling Mason (via my Kindle) to run for the hills – she just seemed awful to him..
She definitely did redeem herself and I really warmed to her but have to say that had it not been for Mason being such a great character, she could have stopped me in my tracks at the start of this story because I really wasn’t connecting with her at all, but Ella Frank turned that around she became warmer and more relatable, even sexy and sensual.
Lena: “I think I just came from just looking at you”
Gitte: Oh Jenny how amazing was Mason in helping her deal…he is so determined to knock down that armour of hers, and show her what love and life is all about! LOVE HIM!!! Oh Lena did her best to scare Mason off and push him away but our Mason is nothing but persistent and ummm thorough!!!
Jenny: Gitte, how many times did we say “I love Mason Langley” (GG: quite a few actually!) when we were discussing this book? Mason was a persistent man and he saw something in Lena that she didn’t even see in herself. How he got her to face her problems and was there for her – oh that man melted my heart. When he was dealing with his demons? Oh Mason I wanted to hug you and make it all go away.
Gitte: So yeah, this story got to me, slow start then suddenly I was hooked and I have to say I loved all the supporting characters too.
It was an emotional journey of love, strength, pain and fighting for the one you love by saving them and showing them how to love and live life again.
Jenny: Having just returned from Chicago this book was a trip down memory lane for me and I loved relating to the places mentioned in the book.
It really was a good story and had everything you could want …. wonderful characters, a story of fate, hope, love, loss, sorrow and finding the one, your missing other half. Oh, and the heat factor was way up there! Yes Gitte, I did love this one.