Series: Masters of Manhattan by Jane Henry & Maisy Archer Includes- Knave 📖Review📖, Hustler 📖Review📖
Sabrina: Good guys save the day and criminals go to jail. It’s not rocket science, people.
But then my father’s killed, I’m rescued by a thief, and my worldview is shattered. He takes me to his penthouse. His bed. I don’t have to like it but I can’t help it. His touch is everything a good girl like me shouldn’t want.
Anson: Good and bad mean nothing to a master thief. I take what I want, and what I want is vengeance. No more, no less.
Maybe the girl can help, so I’ll hide her. Protect her. And if I have to manhandle her to keep her quiet, she’ll deal. Hell, she might even like it. But she’ll learn fast that I make the rules.
I loved this story. It has mystery, hot men, a strong independent woman, bad guys, and a little rough sex. I mean what more can you ask for?
Five men are asked to become something they never thought they could, brings you to the start of this book. In this book, we meet all five of them Ethan, Caelan, Xavier, Walker, and our main guy Anson. All of these guys have their own special talent that is needed to go forward with their mission, but none of them expected a woman to get in the way.
Sabrina’s father ends up being murdered in jail. While she is at her father’s office she finds herself locked in a closet and when someone finds her it ends up being Anson. These two are like oil and water. Nothing is right between them unless they are in the bedroom. It takes time for them to find a rhythm. But once they do, they are music.
This is a great story and I was happy to have read it for my honest review. I will say it does hang on a cliffhanger for the story, but not for the love story. I can’t wait to see where we go next.
“At the door,” I whispered.
“Standard electronic lock?” Walker confirmed.
“Yep. It’s so cute. I haven’t seen one of these since I was a kid.” I pulled a tiny, battery-powered device from my pocket and plugged it into the port at the bottom of the door handle. Most people never noticed that such a port even existed, to their detriment, but they’d been a thief’s wet dream back when they were popular. People had assumed that because a thing was electronic and highly technological, it was superior to a good, old-fashioned deadbolt. They’d been proven wrong so often that these models were hardly used anymore.
“I’m in,” I said, detaching the device and turning to close the door so it rested on the latch. “Laptop’s on the desk. It’s an older model, looks like. Just like you guessed.”
“Lord have mercy. Did he leave you a fruit basket and a bottle of wine?” Walker wanted to know. “An engraved invitation?”
I snorted softly. “Pretty much. The fucker.”
I looked around the office once, noting the details. The way the blinds were mostly closed, the arrangements of pillows on the sofas and papers on the desk. I wouldn’t disturb a single thing, not a molecule of dust if I could help it.
I removed a second device – this one just a super-charged thumb drive – from my other pocket, and slid it into a port on the computer. The drive would transmit a mirror image of the hard drive to Walker’s machine. “Drive’s in. Ready to boot it up.”
“Excellent.” I could hear Walker cracking his knuckles enthusiastically as he got ready to make magic at the keyboard. “Let Daddy take control, my precious.”
“Wow. Anyone else uncomfortable right now?” Ethan asked. “I mean, no shade but you and your computers have a really unique relationship, Walk.”
“I dunno,” Caelan defended. “I’m actually kind of aroused.”
I snorted softly as Caelan, Walker, and Ethan cracked up.
“Enough!” X snapped. “Jesus. I ran a multi-million-dollar company, and I took a leave of absence to become babysitter to a bunch of overgrown toddlers.”
“Parental leave,” Walker said solemnly. “You should look into that.”
I couldn’t see what happened next, sadly, but there was a scuffle on the other end of the comms, and a second later, Walker exclaimed, “Alright, alright! Jesus! No violence around my babies.”
“Is he holding out his arms to protect his monitors again?” I breathed.
“You know it,” Ethan agreed. “After Xavier slapped the back of his head.”
“Jesus. And I missed it?” Figured.
“It’s working,” Walker said, all professional now that the link was established. “I’m copying the directories. You’ve got… One hundred twenty-eight seconds until you’re free.”
This was the hardest part of any operation – the waiting.
Careful not to touch the desk chair or even move a paperclip, I surveyed the papers on his desk. Nothing of any interest, as far as I could tell. Certainly nothing that said “Re: Your Friend’s Criminal Activities.”
My eyes skimmed to the bookcase behind the desk. There were pictures of his wedding to Emma – which seemed to be within the last few years. A picture of him with another woman – two decades ago, judging by the fashions – was perched on a lower shelf. Probably the first wife.
There was a cardboard box on the floor by the bookcase, filled with a jumble of papers and mugs. They looked like someone’s personal effects – the kind the recently-fired guy always carried out with him when he made his walk of shame – and I wondered what the hell Pederson was doing with them… And then I looked more closely at the picture frame on the top of the box.
It was a picture of a little girl sitting on an older guy’s lap in the captain’s chair of a boat. They were both smiling at the camera like they’d been caught in the middle of laughter. The sun glinted off the shining wood of the boat’s wheel behind them and the little white-capped waves of the ocean beyond. The girl’s hair was flaming red- almost orange.
Sabrina. This was the picture she’d been talking about earlier.
I carefully moved the frame aside to peer at the next layer and found exactly what I’d expected: a wood and brass name-plate, the kind that sat on fancy folks’ desks, bearing the name Stuart Fowler.
These were her father’s personal effects, I realized. Why the hell had they been given to Pederson, even if they were friends, during an office cleanout, when clearly they should have been sent directly to Sabrina? I could imagine Pederson wanted to hand-deliver them later, the lecherous asshole.
“We’re clear.” Walker’s voice in my ear brought me back to exactly where I was. “I’m out of the system. Just remove the drive, shut it down, and it will be as though we were never here.” He whistled a few notes of the X-files theme song.
I was a little horrified that I recognized the X-files theme song, but then again I’d been living with this computer geek twenty-four-seven for half a year now.
I pulled the drive from the system and shut it down, then shut the laptop.
“Job well done, boys,” I whispered as I walked across the room.
I paused by the sofa and looked back at the picture frame. Something about it was calling to me. I knew Sabrina wanted it, and I wanted to give it to her.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. You didn’t last long in this line of work if you were a magpie, distracted by every shiny thing. You came in to get what you were contracted to get – or what you thought you could reasonably fence. You never took personal shit if you could help it. Get in, get out, move on.
But I remembered her eyes this morning when she’d talked about her dad, about wondering if it was still okay for her to remember him as a decent person even though he’d done shitty things. Back when that picture was taken, he’d been her hero. It was clear on her face. And I wanted to give her back just a tiny bit of that.
Even if it wasn’t for me to do.
I hesitated half a second too long.
“Is that you, Mr. Peder-. Hey!” Gwendolyn walked in, hands on her hips and eyes narrowed on me. “What are you doing in here, Sonny?”
Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.
You’d think that I’d have been good at making shit up, given that getting caught was always a possibility in my line of work. But I wasn’t. God’s honest truth, I’d never been caught before.
“Anson?” X’s voice was in my ear, quiet and controlled. “What’s going on?”
“I’m, uh, I’m so sorry!” I told her, all affable smile, hands spread wide. “It’s just, the door was open, and…well…”
“Oh, Sonny, baby!” Sabrina’s cheerful voice called from the hallway. “Are you ready?”
Ready? Jesus, no!
I was not a praying man, but I prayed right then that Sabrina was not doing anything as foolish as walking into this room right now.
But apparently sinners don’t have a lot of capital to burn with the man upstairs, because Sabrina walked in, right then and there.
And she was buck-fucking-naked from the waist up.
For a second, all I could do was stare. I mean, this woman was hotter by far than Emma Pederson could ever hope to be, even if she did her fucking yoga from dawn til’ dusk. The body that I hadn’t really had a chance to appreciate the night before was on display for me – all pale skin, dusted with golden freckles, smooth stomach and rounded limbs, and perfect lush breasts topped with light pink nipples – and my cock had zero respect for the complete inopportunity of this timing as it stirred in my jeans.
Sabrina gasped and grabbed her shirt, holding it up to cover her chest and staring wide-eyed at Gwendolyn. “Oh, my God,” she wailed. “Oh, my God!”
“Sa-breee-na!” Gwendolyn was clearly scandalized. “What on earth? Why are you naked?”
“Sabrina’s naked?” Walker demanded in my ear. “From now on, we use cameras on ops! I mean… Hey, ow!” It sounded like Xavier had hit him again, and for once I gave thanks for our fearless leader’s high-handedness.
Mistake number one: falling in love with a man who betrayed me. Showing up on his doorstep years later asking for his help? Also not brilliant.
Haven: Naive. Foolish. Call it what you like, but I let myself get conned by a man who claimed he loved me. Nine years later, he’s as sexy and compelling as ever. I find myself wanting to believe he’s changed, wanting to believe I’m his, him to touch me. But how the hell am I supposed to trust a con?
Ethan: Grifter. Master manipulator. Hustler. Call it what you like, but I’m damn good at what I do. I earn trust, I break it, and I never make mistakes. Then Haven knocks on my door, every bit as gorgeous and brilliant and impossible as I remember, with her curves and wholesome innocence. I’ll protect her. Earn her trust. Make her mine.
I am so in love with Jane and Maisy’s series! Masters of Manhatten is so wonderful and I can’t put these books down.
Haven is sent to the penthouse to represent Max Pedersen who is being charged with murdering his wife. But when she sees Ethan (whom she knew as Tad) she figures there is more going on then meets the eye.
Ethan will do anything to help his friend. The Masters have become a group of friends and they need each other, and the women are making them better men.
Again I am loving these stories, and I am loving that I have no idea where they will take me next. I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy for my honest review.
“Oh, yeah,” he confirmed. “See, while I was in here, my thoughts were occupied by all the things I couldn’t wait to do when I got out of here. I decided, I want steak for dinner from La Marque.”
“The one on Fifty-Fourth?”
He nodded. “And I want the longest, hottest shower known to man.”
“Oh, I bet,” I said, putting my elbows on the metal table and leaning forward to rest my chin on my hands. I couldn’t imagine the culture shock of having your showers regimented.
“But before I do any of those things, Haven?” His voice had changed tone and I was startled by the intensity.
“Y-yeah? What do you need, Ethan? Anything you want.”
He smiled, slow and hot. “I want you. In my bed.”
I swallowed again. I’d already decided in favor of that, of course. He’d paid his debt to me – both by giving me back the money he’d taken from my parents, and by showing me just how much he’d changed by stepping into this hellhole voluntarily to free Max and Luis.
But Ethan didn’t know that. If the man had been making assumptions, I wasn’t going to make this easy for him.
“Is that right?” I said, folding my arms over my chest. “What makes you think I’d go?”
His voice shifted even lower, deeper, the rasp of his voice sliding over my skin. “Because you know I can make you scream my name.”
My breath caught, a tell-tale hitch that belied my stiff posture. The words were a bold challenge, an honest, straightforward claiming. They were proof that we’d moved way beyond deceit and trickery, and that my faith in him was justified.
“I’ve thought a lot about how sweet your pussy was the other night,” he continued conversationally. “I closed my eyes and I swear to God, I could practically taste it. It was fucking delicious.”
Oh. Dear. God.
“I imagined I was sitting on my bed at home, and you were standing in front of me in that hot little black and white dress of yours, giving me that little teasing smile I love. And while I watched, you pulled the dress up, just an inch at a time, and bared your skin and those sexy-as-fuck panties to me.”
Oh, God. I could see it too, like he was painting a picture in the air with his words. My mouth was hanging open and I tried my best to summon a cool, snarky response, but all that came out was, “Guh.”
He smiled, dark and predatory. “I told you to remove your panties. Slowly. And do you know what happened next?”
I shook my head. I could guess. Hell, I was practically ready to do it right here and now, cameras and guards be damned. But I wanted to hear the words from his lips.
“You said no,” he whispered, and I blinked. Wow. His fantasy-Haven was pretty badass and had way more control than the real me had.
“But that was fine,” he said, his eyes burning into mine. “That was fucking perfect.”
“Mmm. Because I turned you around, put you over my knee, and spanked your ass for your disobedience.” He bit his lip, the first physical sign he’d shown that he was as affected by his words as I was. “And Haven? You wanted me to. So, so badly.”
I raised my hands to press my cold palms to my suddenly burning cheeks. I would want that. I hadn’t confessed it to anyone, ever, not even to him nine years ago, but I did want it. I craved it.
He didn’t move from the wall, but his eyes stalked me, cataloging my every movement, my every response. Ethan knew how to read people, and I knew he could read me right now.
Did he know that my panties were damp? Could he sense the way my nipples were beading beneath my blouse? Did he realize how badly I wanted him? Suddenly, I wanted him to know.
“Then what happened?” I demanded breathlessly.
“After that? After your ass was red, you mean? After you’d writhed on my lap until your pussy was dripping for me?” He smiled, innocent as an angel except for his wicked, wicked eyes. “Then I forced you to your knees on the floor.”
I was nearly hyperventilating, aching with want, and I could barely see him across the room, since my vision was turned inward, imagining the scene he projected.
“You took my cock in your mouth,” he said hoarsely. “Licked it like a popsicle that might melt at any minute, and then sucked me down the back of your throat. Jesus Christ, I was so hard. So, so hard. And I didn’t want to hurt you, I would never want to hurt you, but you grabbed my hands and put them on your head to let me know you loved it every bit as much as I did, that you wanted me to use you that way.”
I gripped the table so I could hold myself to earth when the stunned arousal in my blood made me feel buoyant. I did want it. I did, I did, I did.
“I fucked your mouth,” he whispered, like the world’s most erotic confession, but the look in his eyes said he wasn’t repentant. Not for one single second. “You made the sweetest little noises, just like the noises you made when I ate you out the other night. You remember, Haven?”
I didn’t respond fast enough, apparently, because he repeated himself, his voice harder this time. “Do you, Haven?”
I nodded jerkily. God, of course I did. I’d deliberately tried not to think about it while he’d been away, knowing it would only make me miss him more, but his voice was a spell, an incantation, that conjured up that evening with perfect clarity. I could feel his mouth on my most intimate areas, could feel the powerful thrust of his tongue.
“Ethan,” I breathed.
“I want to do that again, Haven. Right now. Tonight. Over and over.” His hands were flat against the wall behind him now. And though they were still cuffed behind his back, it seemed like he was hanging onto the cinder-block surface for support. In a rush I realized that he was standing that far away because distance was the only way he could control himself.
Jane has been writing since her early teens, dabbling in short stories and poetry. When she married and began having children, her pen was laid to rest for several years, until the National Novel Writing Challenge (NaNoWriMo) in 2010 awakened in her the desire to write again. That year, she wrote her first novel, and has been writing ever since. With a houseful of children, she finds time to write in the early hours of the morning, squirreled away with a laptop, blanket, and cup of hot coffee. Years ago, she heard the wise advice, “Write the book you want to read,” and has taken it to heart. She sincerely hopes you also enjoy the books she likes to read.
Maisy is an unabashed book nerd who has been in love with romance since reading her first Julie Garwood novel at the tender age of 12. After a decade as a technical writer, she finally made the leap into writing fiction several years ago and has never looked back. Like her other great loves – coffee, caramel, beach vacations, yoga pants, and her amazing family – her love of words has only continued to grow… in a manner inversely proportional to her love of exercise, house cleaning, and large social gatherings. She loves to hear from fellow romance lovers, and is always on the hunt for her next great read.