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Blindfolded Innocence
     

Blindfolded Innocence

4.1 88
by Alessandra Torre
 

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First in the fan—favorite trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre

"I'm not sure what you have been told about me, but I'm not nearly as bad as they make me out to be." His deliciously deep voice carried a little bit of ego.

I'm sure you are exactly as bad as they make you out to be....

Overview

First in the fan—favorite trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre

"I'm not sure what you have been told about me, but I'm not nearly as bad as they make me out to be." His deliciously deep voice carried a little bit of ego.

I'm sure you are exactly as bad as they make you out to be....

Brad De Luca is used to getting whatever and whomever he wants. The premier divorce attorney in town, he's a playboy who's bedded half the city--including his own clients. And when the newest intern at his firm poses a challenge, his seductive prowess goes into overdrive.

Pre-law student Julia Campbell is fresh off a failed engagement and happy with her new independence. Even if she weren't warned away from Brad at every turn, she'd know he was bad news. The last thing she needs is a man who could destroy her job prospects, not to mention her innocence. But before she knows it, the incorrigible charmer has her under his spell. His deviant tastes plunge her deep into a forbidden world of sexual exploration...but her heart may not survive the fall.

This is the second book in the Innocence trilogy. It does not end in a cliffhanger, and could be read as a standalone, though it is strongly suggested to read this series in order.

Reading order:

Blindfolded Innocence
Masked Innocence
The End of Innocence

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781460319642
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
01/28/2014
Series:
Innocence Series , #1
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
26,161
File size:
697 KB

Read an Excerpt



Four months earlier

I decided to break off my engagement on a Wednesday night at 2:20 a.m. I was drunk past the point of walking a straight line, but not yet to the point of slurring my speech. Drunk wasn't the best mind-set to be in to make a lifealtering decision, but a thin curtain had finally been ripped away and a truth that I had evaded for the past two years now stood front and center in the middle of my head, waving its arms and screaming.

Luke was not the one for me.

I met Luke as a sophomore in college. At the time I was emotionally vulnerable, recently dumped by the first "love of my life" two weeks after he took my virginity. That asshole ditched poor deflowered me to run off with a seventeen-year-old blonde, pink-toenailed California princess. Luke was different-quiet, brooding, a sensitive soul who seemed absolutely terrified of me. I was bubbly, beautiful and determined to get over my heartbreak the college way-partying myself into oblivion. I hunted Luke down the way a lioness would a defenseless baby antelope, making my sole occupation getting him to fall completely and hopelessly in love with me- which he did, putting me on a pedestal and worshipping daily at my whim.

I demanded a proposal within six months, which he gave me willingly-I think-and we began to plan a life together. This life plan was hampered slightly by the fact that Luke was a dreamer with high goals but little follow-through. He enjoyed spending time with me, and not much else. He worked in construction-not in a management capacity, as I had originally thought, but as a laborer. My bubbly persona started to turn into more of a nagging mother role. It wasn't long before my subconscious started poking me with a sharp, pointy stick. I ignored the annoying pokes for twelve months, then my subconscious had enough of waiting.

It is weird the things that enter your head during a breakup. I sat on my bed with Luke sitting next to me, and I wondered why I had never purchased a chair for my bedroom. I had a desk and the typical bedside table, but no chair. A chair would have made the situation easier. Sitting next to Luke on the bed was too intimate-his pain was too close-and I knew I would have to fight to keep from reaching over to comfort him.

I stood up, wobbled slightly and turned to face him. I took a deep breath and delivered the bad news. I think my dramatic breakup speech was hampered slightly by the fact that we were both drunk, but I tried my best to be compassionate, coherent and firm. I accomplished at least two of those objectives.

Luke turned out to have a streak of stalker in him. Despite all the poking and prodding that he had needed to bathe, balance a checkbook and show up for work, it turned out he needed little or no encouragement to spend every waking moment trying to convince me to come back to him. In retrospect, maybe I should have spent less effort trying to get him to fall in love with me. I might have overshot that objective.

After two weeks of avoiding my home, work and anyplace I had frequented during the past two years, I decided to leave my crappy apartment and even crappier job and start fresh. It was good timing. Intern season was starting.

My internship at Clarke, De Luca & Broward began on a Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. I sat in the Human Resources offices with eight other interns and waited for my attorney assignment. Our internships would last for one semester. During that time we would be assigned to an attorney and, for the most part, would be their personal bitch for the next ten weeks.

I had heard the stories. Liz Renfield, one of the junior partners, once made an intern cover her gynecology appointment. The intern had to sit in the cold stirrups and undergo a full exam just so Renfield could make a deposition and continue her birth control uninterrupted. Hugo Clarke was apparently the dream assignment. He was known to take interns under his wing and pretty much guaranteed them a salaried position after graduation. Brad De Luca was a skirt chaser, Robert Handler a drunk, and Kent Broward drowned interns in work. There were a few new attorneys that hadn't yet built up reputations, but I was sure that they would have them soon enough.

"Miss Campbell," the throaty-voiced receptionist barked, waving her hand, beckoning me. I stood, smoothed my skirt and strode to the front. I was nervous, but tried to appear calm and collected. I came to a stop in front of her and waited. "You will be assisting Attorney Kent Broward," she stated. "After orientation, report to his office, fourth floor." She dismissed me by turning back to her stack of forms and calling the next victim, Jennifer Hutchinson. I turned and walked back to my seat, passing Jennifer on the way. She gave me a tight, nervous smile, which I returned.

I sat down on the plastic-wrapped seat and exhaled, releasing the breath that I had not been aware I was holding. Attorney Kent Broward. I could have gotten worse. Broward worked long hours and expected his interns to do the same, but at least I would get good, solid training. If I impressed Broward, I should have no problem getting a strong recommendation for law school. Word was that Broward was tough, but not unreasonable, and fair. I heard Jennifer's assignment called out in the background. She received Liz Renfield. Tough break.

Orientation passed slowly, a boring drone of questionnaires, forms and informational videos on topics such as equal opportunity and sexual harassment in the workplace. We had a catered lunch in an empty conference room-cold ham-and-turkey sandwiches with chips. I munched on a Frito and listened to the idle chat. The conversation seemed to center around drinks after work and where everyone wanted to go.

"Hops Grill. Julia, that work for you?" Trevor, a lanky redhead, leaned toward me as he asked the question.

I shrugged noncommittally. "Hops works for me, if Broward lets me out in time," I said. I didn't expect to make many happy-hour events, at least not for the next ten weeks. I could probably cross off any social events, period, until my internship was over.

"I'm sure Broward will let you off early today. It is the first day, after all." The optimism came from Todd Appleton, a handsome, athletic type, as he stared into my eyes from across the table.

I smiled at him, trying not to stare at his perfect grin. Hmm…that view will help the next few months pass quickly. "Maybe. Who'd you get?"

"De Luca," he responded breezily. "Should be fine. The guy apparently parties more than he works."

I glanced at Jennifer. She was typing furiously into her phone, probably updating her boyfriend on her day. "Jennifer, you going for drinks?" She glanced up, nodded and resumed her texting.

Jane, the Human Resources receptionist, a petite white-haired woman, who would have seemed motherly if not for her piercing stare and gravelly smoker's voice, strode into the room. "Okay, interns, let's move!" she commanded, clapping her hands. "Report to your attorneys and bring all of your things with you!" She clapped her hands again and began herding us out. Todd caught up with me on the way out and held the door for me, pressing his hand gently on my back to guide me through the door. I tried not to smile, but felt a flush hit my face. I headed for the stairs and prepared myself for the fourth floor, and Broward.

Broward was in his forties, tall and bald-shaved bald, in an obvious attempt to hide a receding hairline. He looked like a runner, thin and in shape. He had his jacket on and was seated behind his desk when I came in. He stood as I entered and came around the desk to shake my hand. "Julia." He beamed, pumping my hand. "Nice to meet you." I liked him immediately. He seemed intelligent, approachable and trustworthy. Plus, it appeared he had excellent taste in interns. Looking around, he grabbed a set of keys and a stack of files. "Come with me. I'll show you your office and start you working."

* * *

Four hours later, I paused in my typing and leaned back in my chair. I stretched my arms and legs and rolled my head, trying to get the kinks out of my neck. I looked around my office, taking my first real appraisal of the space. It was a nice office, more than I had expected as an intern. Dark wood-paneled walls, plush cream carpet and expensive, heavy furniture- the room had a definite masculine sense, a cigar bartype feel. I didn't mind. Girlie, flowery and pink don't exactly inspire fear in the courtroom.

My desk was filled with legal briefs, all covered with Bro-ward's handwritten notes. They all needed to be summarized and to have his notes implemented. I sighed. Long nights were going to be the norm, mostly filled with menial work that would do nothing to further my work experience. Welcome to the world of internship. I leaned back over the desk and started in again.

An hour later, there was a soft knock on my door and Todd Appleton stuck his gorgeous blond head in. "We're heading out for drinks," he said. "Still room for you, if you're interested." He looked carefree and relaxed, happily done for the day, his tie already loosened.

"I think I'll be here awhile," I said from behind the stack of briefs. "But thanks for checking."

His gaze traveled from my full desk to the crammed cardboard file box on the side of my desk. His smile faded slightly. "All right…I'll take a rain check." He tapped his hand on the door frame twice and then left, closing the door behind him.

I rubbed my eyes and focused again on Britley v. Russell Properties, an exciting legal battle regarding a dispute over water rights on a condominium project. Thrilling. At least Broward was still there also. I could hear him on the phone, his seat creaking occasionally when he stood up, usually to pace. I bet a track had been worn on his plush carpet from the constant pacing. My stomach growled. The next day I would know to pack a dinner. Damn Todd and the other interns, with their light workloads and happy-hour drinks. I grumbled a little longer and then tried to refocus my mind.

At 10:00 p.m. Broward knocked on my office door and entered. Tie undone, shirt rumpled, he looked at my exhausted face with a gentle smile. "Come on, Julia. Let's go. You've put in a good first day."

I smiled at him wearily. I was so hungry I was ready to start chewing on a Post-it note; I was certain my butt had officially fused to the leather seat, and my hands were cramping from the nonstop typing. I wanted to come across as a road-hardened legal warrior, but I was too tired to keep up the facade. Besides, he looked tired also.

"All right, boss," I said, grabbing my jacket and shrugging into it. "I won't argue with you, seeing it's my first day." I picked up my purse and followed him down the hall, waving to the quiet, round, Hispanic housekeeper who waited at the entrance to Broward's office armed with disinfectant and a trash bag. She smiled at me and waited until we passed before scurrying into the office.

"I'll walk you to your car," Broward said-a statement rather than a question. "You don't need to be in the parking garage alone." I nodded my thanks and tried to walk without stumbling.

We got on the elevator. Muted music filled the car. I tried to think of something moderately intelligent to say.

Broward broke the silence. "I buried you in files today. I didn't give you a proper introduction to the office. Tomorrow I will give you a tour and the basic background information on everything that you will need. Week after next I will be in Fort Lauderdale, so I want to get you as acclimated and self-sufficient as possible."

"Sounds great," I said. Thank God, a week of normal hours. I gestured to the ten-year-old gray Toyota Camry, my mom's old car, now one of two cars in the parking lot, the other a shiny black Lexus, which I assumed was his. "This is mine," I said a bit unnecessarily. "Thank you for walking me." I awkwardly stuck out my hand and he shook it.

"See you tomorrow, Ms. Campbell." Broward smiled and released my hand.

"Good night, Mr. Broward." I nodded, and headed for my car.

Six in the morning came way too freaking early. The day before, I had bounded out of bed, excited about my internship, but today it took two snooze cycles before I lifted my head. My alarm still sounding, I fumbled to turn it offjust as pounding started on the wall beside my bed. "It's off!" I shouted. Zack, my stoner of a roommate, stopped beating on the wall, probably already halfway back to sleep. He'd had friends over till past 3:00 a.m., and they had made no effort to be quiet. I had no doubt there would be plenty of fights in the upcoming months over our sleep routines.

After breakfast and a shower, I grabbed a blue sweater-dress out of the closet and pulled it over my head, cinching a brown belt around my waist. Grabbing small faux diamond stud earrings and a purse, I surveyed my shoe options. All sexy and over three inches tall. Seeing long hours ahead, I realized I would need to buy some shoes that emphasized comfort over fashion. For now, I grabbed some gorgeous leather-and-gold stilettos and slid them on.

I arrived at the office at 7:30 a.m. Pulling open the heavy teak doors, I entered the lobby, nodding to Dorothy, the ancient receptionist. "Good morning, Miss Campbell," she said creakily. "Here late last night?" Her bemused expression had no trace of pity.

"Not too late," I replied breezily. She grinned at me, her wrinkles accentuated by the motion.

"Have a good day," I heard her call as I pressed the door to the stairs and headed for the fourth floor.

The fourth floor-or power floor, as the staff referred to it-was divided into three different wings, one for each partner. Each partner had two secretaries, two paralegals and one intern. Brad De Luca was the exception, with four secretaries and three paralegals. I remembered from orientation that his caseload was double that of any other attorney, including the other two partners. Broward's secretaries were Sheila and Beverly, neither of whom, judging by their empty desks, arrived till 8:00 a.m.

Broward was already in his office, phone to his ear, when I passed his closed door. I waved at him through the glass and entered my office. Setting my purse by the door, I switched my cell to Silent and then started in on the pile stacked on my desk. I was halfway through the first brief when Broward appeared in the doorway.

"Good morning," he said distractedly.

"Good morning."

"Did you make coffee?" His question caused me to look up from my computer.

"Coffee?" I stalled. Is that part of my duties?

"Yes, the kitchen with the coffeepot is on the third floor. I'm sorry I didn't give you the proper tour, but I thought they might have covered that in orientation." A phone began ringing in his office, and he glanced back at me with agitation.

"Yes, I'll get it now." I stood quickly and smoothed down my dress. He disappeared, and I heard him answer his phone a few seconds later.

Coffee. Okay, I can do this. Are Trevor and Todd brewing freaking coffee?

Meet the Author

Alessandra Torre is a stay-at-home wife and mom in the southeast United States. Blindfolded Innocence is her first novel. When not writing, Alessandra enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.



You can find out more about Alessandra and her upcoming books at www.alessandratorre.com, or through her Facebook page.

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Blindfolded Innocence 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 88 reviews.
AmandaF28 More than 1 year ago
I am one of those freaks of nature that thinks reading is more important than breathing. That being said, I read a crapload of books. You know those rare reads that makes you want to run outside and tell each and every person you come in contact with to drop everything and buy this book? This is and isn't that book. It is just that freaking awesome. It isn't something I want my mother, piano teacher, or postman to read. :) A plot that sound basic (innocent intern, older rich alpha) - but it is so unique and funny and HOT. The alpha makes me swoon, their dialogue is so rich and witty, and THANK GOD there is no BDSM in this book. I am so sick of BDSM I could scream. This is an intelligent, sensual read that strays from the norm while being freaking awesome. I stalked this book on Goodreads for three weeks while it was Number 1 in Erotica on Kindle - thank GOD this author finally got with the program and put it on B&N. 5 stars - if I could give it more I would!!!!!
Susie5 More than 1 year ago
I read about ithis book in Goodreads and was determined to take my time and savor every page.....well, forget it. I was captivated by the strong female vs. strong male ego tension, character twists, and hints at possible resolutions, but, but, but, the witty dialogue, unpredictable situations, and MFM left me just wanting more. ... all pretty classy, nothing degrading, and boy, that ending threw me for a loop, didn't see it coming at all...... ...can't wait to read the sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not as open minded as the characters are in this book, so I really didn't care for it. The characters were not likeable or relateable and that had nothing to do with their..... preferences. That being said, I think my dislike had nothing to do with the author, or even the book. I think the book was definitely put in the wrong genre. Its not a romance book at all. I thought it was heading there, but it didn't . Its an erotica book, and I couldn't even find a hint of romance.
Laura_Downside_Vamp More than 1 year ago
* I was given a copy of this book courtesy of Harlequin, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review* 5 stars In BI we meet a slue of interesting characters but the story focuses on our main characters Julia Campbell and Brad De Luca. Julia is an pre- law intern at the best law firm in town and she's determined to make the most of it. Assigned to the work heavy lawyer Kent Broward she knows she's in for long days but it could be worse, she could have been assigned to notorious playboy Brad De Luca. The rumor mill is heavy that he's a womanizer and enjoys his status as the most sought after divorce lawyer, and he often spends more than billable hours with his female clients. Even Broward warns her strongly against De Luca. He makes it clear that she is not to go anywhere ever near the East Wing. So when she finds herself returning a misplaced file and meets the man that should go around with a warning label, she wasn't expecting to be attracted to him, nor was she expecting him to show interest in her. Her world ends up being turned upside down as a man who isn't quite the reputation takes her on a wild ride that leaves her questioning her views on the world around her. Blindfolded Innocence was not what I expected. I thought I could predict the twists and turns in a time where the genre has become fad heavy. I figured this would turn out to be a typical "surprise I'm a Dom and you're secretly a submissive" story. I admit, I was wrong and quite happy about it. And as much as I'm a huge fan of BDSM I loved that Brad's "sexual secret" was of the kinkier and adventurous side of life, but he didn't turn into Sir. I regret no sleep lost while reading this book! Both characters really grew throughout the pages in their own way. I've read a lot of negatives about Brad De Luca in other reviews and I can see where he's not for everyone but I loved him. He was confident to the point of cocky but with more than swagger to back it up. He wasn't damaged, just honest that he wasn't traditional. There was only once scene that bothered me and that was the Saffire scene, but I think it allowed us to see his flaws more clearly when it's easy to start painting a main character with rose colored glasses when we start to develop a connection with them. It kept him realistic and on point. There were moments of vulnerability while still staying true to the character that had developed to that point. Julia was one of the better contemporary erotica female characters. Strong willed but willing to consider valid points, she wasn't a push over and had goals and her own ideas. When those ideas were challenged throughout the book we got to see her grow so much and by the end of the book I loved the woman she had become. There was steam factor and a chemistry between the two that came alive. The sex scenes had variation and were timed appropriately into the story, keeping it from becoming the dreaded porn on paper with a weak storyline thrown in to call it erotica. The ending wasn't a cliffhanger but left the reader ready for the next book. This book was the first one I picked up lately that I could not put down regardless of the early morning hour. I can't wait to continue the journey!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great plot and a refreshing and unusual story line. It is not romance in the usual sense but a story about sexual chemistry and exploration. Still you feel attached to the two characters, Brad and Julia, and look forward to them being happy together. The sequel will hopefully give us that. Having said that, the editing could have been much better, there the 4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite book of 2012 - loved every single second of it! I've only left a handful of reviews in my lifetime, call it laziness, but had to leave one for this. Can't believe this is her first book, will be waiting in line for whatever comes out next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pros: great writing, unique situations, gret characters and chemistry. A strong independent h, who doesn't snivel or have self esteem issues. A hot Alpha who is honest about who he is and what he likes. He's a slut- and fine with it. I loved every ounce of him Cons: some typos that could easily be fixed. Ending was a little abrupt, but it was an ending- there is no requirement to read the sequel, but I will count every day till it comes out. Awesome book. Will read whatever this author writes next.
coachd1 More than 1 year ago
I can't believe people like this guy. DeLuca is a jerk. The female lead is weak. I can't even imagine finishing this series. So disappointed.
Daydream-Books More than 1 year ago
Plot 3.5 Chars 3.5 Writing 3.5 Pacing 3.5 Cover 4.5 Heat 4 I had high hopes for this book in the beginning as I enjoyed the first 40% of the book, but Vegas made it go downhill fast for me. It felt inconsistent and even mediocre at times. I don't need books to be all romance or even a HEA to be interesting, but this lacked the spark I had experienced with Alessandra Torre's writing when I have read her work before. This book may be a perfectly good read for someone else but unfortunately on this occasion just wasn't for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sexy page-turner! Could not put it down. Can't wait for Torre's next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved every page
Dee Martinez More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars - great, fun read. It is 300+ pages, but I zipped through it in one night, staying up till 3:30am to finish it. The story moves quickly, and in an interesting fashion - The characters are realistic, interesting, and relatable. It didn't have as much sex as I expected, from the cover - but for me it was just the right amount. Last scene was freaking HOT - please please please let Brad De Luca show up and try and whisk me away!!!!
MargoH More than 1 year ago
Steam value = 9/10, but literary value = 2/10. But for the steam, I found the story to be quite boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, I enjoyed reading this book. Brad is a dog but so sexy. He didn't hide anything and I guess that's what made me like him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I REALLY enjoyed this book. It had everything I loved and the last part was not what I was anticipating but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am so going to buy the rest of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sissie2 More than 1 year ago
Book was good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes for this book, and it could have been so good.  Instead we are left with a leading man who is not worthy of the phrase.  He acts more like a hormonal teenager than a strong alpha male.  Ick.  There is nothing remotely hot or sexy about this book.  The leading female is gets her kicks teasing men.  The leading male is just plain slimy.  Do not waste your money!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I happen to find this one by accident and so glad that I did. I am a picky reader don't like forcing myself to read a book that is slow or feels its trying to force its way. I wanted to read very chance I had. Im happy to have a new Author to follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one book I would definitely buy the paperback in. It's an unusual type of thing brad is into, far from what I've been reading. But, I loved it all the same. I can't wait to read the next one. I am absolutely in love with Julia's feisty attitude and the way she gives it to brad. I love that in a book. I would definitely recommend this!!!
chelleq More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that this book was not what I was expecting and that is what I liked about it. I kept thinking that Brad was into the BDSM lifestyle and when I found out what type of lifestyle he was really in, I was caught by surprise. I liked how Julia kept telling him no and I wished she would have held out a little bit longer than what she did. Even though Brad told her what he had done with Alexis, I think she would have felt differently about him if she would have actually caught him in the act. I am very curious as to see where this series is going to go but Brad is definitely an arrogant manwhore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good