Review: The Long Game by BJ Bentley
The Long Game is book 3 in the Syndicate series by the ever so talented BJ Bentley. You do not have to read books 1 and 2 in order to understand what's going on in book 3. They are helpful, but not required. With that being said, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about Rafe's story. Books 1 and 2 had me glaring at him with my arms crossed over my chest in defiance. But dang it, this book made me love him. Love him so much that his story is definitely one of my favorites for 2018.
Story Line: Rafe has a couple legit businesses and a couple not so legitimate ones. Lacey sets her sights on this sexy beast not for her good looks or phenomenal laundry skills, but to exploit his walks on the illegal side. But the joke is on her since she wasn't planning on falling for this Italian stallion. Rafe and Lacey's love story is absolutely beautiful. But its beauty is well beyond the surface of good looks and dahlia flowers. The beauty of it is found in their despair, their heartache and even in their distrust. If you're looking for a story about two perfect people who fall in love and have the white picket fence with 2.5 kids, you're looking the wrong way. But if you're looking for a story about two damaged souls learning to heal through time, intimacy and pushing boundaries, then strap yourself in. You're in for an incredible journey.
Interaction: One of the things I love most about Rafe is how he never freaking asks. He always tells his Fragolina what she's going to do. He never asks her if she wants to do something. She finds it irritating. I find it sexy and a total turn on. Of course if my hubby pulled that with me, I'd probably knee him in the family jewels. Anyways, if you're like me, you read "fragolina" and thought what in the world does that mean. Well, I'll save you the google search - it means little strawberry. Lacey has red hair so it's a super adorable nickname. And who doesn't love being spoken to in Italian? So hot.
Laundry: Rafe and Lacey waste no time getting to know one another in the laundry department. There's a scene in the beginning before their first time together that literally made me laugh out loud. I won't give anything away, let's just say Lacey tries to sound like she knows what she's talking about and fails miserably and it's funny and adorable. But of course, glorious Rafe sets her straight. And these two light up the sheets like the forth of July. The laundry department solidified my thoughts on Rafe. He's one of my favorite book boyfriends to date. I mean, he spends a lot of time south of the border and yeah. He's on my laminated list. For sure.
Depth: When I said that Rafe and Lacey are damaged, I wasn't kidding. Their pasts - some distant and some not-so-distant, are brutal. I shed many tears for both of their characters. Rafe's pain comes from deep guilt. It's as though Lacey recognizes that guilt since she too carries so much on her heart. And when these two finally pour their hearts out to one another? Breathtakingly beautiful. Their hurt. Their agony. And that impossible weight on their hearts. I felt it all. And that's what sets this love story ahead of the rest. It's a story about love conquering all and teaches us that we are not alone. Take a chance, let someone in and get your HEA just like Rafe and Lacey.