Expose Me

Expose Me

3.6 8
by Kate Hewitt
     
 

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TEN YEARS AGO ONE DEVASTATING NIGHT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR AUSTIN, HUNTER AND ALEX. NOW THEY MUST EACH PLAY THEIR PART IN THE REVENGE AGAINST THE ONE MAN WHO RUINED IT ALL.

With ruthless determination, Alex Diaz has risen up from his deprived roots to become the head of a global media empire. But he has one last thing to achieve…avenge his friend by

Overview

TEN YEARS AGO ONE DEVASTATING NIGHT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR AUSTIN, HUNTER AND ALEX. NOW THEY MUST EACH PLAY THEIR PART IN THE REVENGE AGAINST THE ONE MAN WHO RUINED IT ALL.

With ruthless determination, Alex Diaz has risen up from his deprived roots to become the head of a global media empire. But he has one last thing to achieve…avenge his friend by destroying the man responsible for her death, Jason Treffen. With stunning talk-show host Chelsea Maxwell about to interview Treffen live on TV, this is Alex's chance.

He'll use her show to exact a very public revenge—and seducing Chelsea, if needed, would certainly be no hardship. But he underestimates Chelsea and the attraction between them, and as their relationship deepens, Alex realizes that to annihilate Treffen could also shatter the life that Chelsea has built to protect herself….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/02/2014
The multi-author Fifth Avenue series reaches a satisfactory conclusion (following Caitlin Crews’s Scandalize Me) via a well-trod path. Super-wealthy, super-sexy Alex Diaz and his college friends are determined to bring utter ruin to Jason Treffen, whose high-class pimping lead to the death of Alex’s college friend, Sarah. To get his revenge, Alex enlists Chelsea Maxwell, a daytime TV host who wants to pursue a career in serious journalism, to blindside Jason on live TV. Alex is not quite willing to promise her a job in exchange for throwing her career away on air, but he’s willing to sleep with her to soften her up. While the plot moves quickly and the characters both exhibit vulnerability enough to make them sympathetic, it relies too much on the cliché of a strong, dominant woman who secretly needs a stronger, more dominant man to take charge of her. Nonetheless, the story closes the series in a thematically appropriate way and will appeal to readers who enjoyed the earlier books. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373430390
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
07/29/2014
Series:
Fifth Avenue Series , #4
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Alex Diaz leaned forward in his seat as the limo pulled to the curb of Seventy-Second Street and West End Avenue. The luxury high-rise building was all soaring modernity and tinted glass, and exactly the sort of place he'd expect Chelsea Maxwell to live in.

His lips curved in an ice-cold smile of anticipation as he pressed the intercom to speak to the driver. "Just wait a few minutes, please."

"Very good, sir."

His gaze flicked to his watch and he brushed a near-invisible speck of lint from the crisp sleeve of his tuxedo. Seven twenty-five. The party started in five minutes, but naturally Chelsea Maxwell would be fashionably late.

As would he, since he intended on giving her a lift.

Outside the lights of Manhattan gleamed in a wintry darkness and people hurried past on West End Avenue's wide pavements, heads bent against the cutting wind that funneled down the street. It was early February and New York was caught in a stranglehold of cold unrelieved by the softness of any snow.

The weather, bitter and relentless, suited Alex perfectly.

Tonight was the beginning of his personal revenge on Jason Treffen, much anticipated and long overdue. They said revenge was a dish best served cold and if so Jason was going to enjoy every icy mouthful.

And for that he needed Chelsea Maxwell. Or at least her television show.

Seven twenty-seven. Had she decided to skip the party? He let out his breath in an impatient hiss. Tonight's party was a birthday bash for Chelsea's boss Michael Agnello, and if rumor had it, the man with whom she'd slept her way to host of the number one daytime talk show. She had to be going.

Seven twenty-nine. Alex shifted in his seat, suppressing a flare of irritation. Where was she?

Then the tinted glass doors of her building swooshed open, and she stepped out into the freezing night, her body swathed in a long, elegant coat of ivory cashmere. Her chestnut hair was pulled into an elaborate up-do, and diamond chandelier earrings sparkled and swung against her jawbone. Alex saw her gaze flick toward his limo, and then her face tightened in annoyance, and he knew she was irritated that the driver hadn't come out to open the door for her. She thought his limo was hers when in actuality hers hadn't arrived.

Because he'd called and canceled it.

His mouth curling in a smile of pure, predatory anticipation, Alex pressed a button to roll down the window. He leaned out, a blast of wintry air ruffling his hair, as Chelsea started toward the limo, all confident, glittering purpose.

"Ms. Maxwell?"

She stopped, eyes narrowing, as he leaned a little more forward so she could see him. "Alex Diaz," he said, though she had to know who he was. They'd only met at various media events a handful of times, but most people in the industry knew him and in any case, Chelsea Maxwell didn't seem like someone to forget a face. "Am I right in thinking we're both headed to the same place?"

"I suppose that depends where you're heading." Her voice was low and throaty, attractive yet decidedly cool, and her eyes were still narrowed. Curled up on one of her trademark pink velour sofas on her talk show, Chelsea Maxwell was all wide eyes and husky sweetness. In real life she was harder, sharper, but then Alex supposed you didn't get where Chelsea Maxwell had by being stupid or soft.

"Michael Agnello's fortieth birthday party?" he prompted, and she just cocked her head, waited.

Normally he wouldn't have bothered going to a party such as this one. He had no time or patience for the petty scheming and schmoozing that was the trademark of such industry events. But he'd known Chelsea would be going, and he needed to talk to her. Find out what she knew, what she planned on doing.

To use her, or at least use her show.

He opened the door of the limo just as another gust of icy wind blew Chelsea's coat around her long, slim legs. "May I offer you a lift?"

She hesitated and Alex waited, adrenaline and impatience rushing through him even though he remained completely still. He hadn't considered what he would do if she said no. He never thought about failure.

"Thank you," she finally said, and slid in next to him in the limo. Alex moved over a bit, but her thigh still nudged his and he inhaled the scent of her perfume, something expensive and understated.

He stretched one arm along the back of the seat as the limo pulled away from the curb, and she turned to him, a knowing little smile curving her lips. "So why did you steal my limo?"

He felt a flare of surprise, a glimmer of cool amusement. So she wanted to work a little flirt? Fine. He could play that way, too. He arched an eyebrow, smiled back. "Do I look like someone who would do that?"

She gave him a deliberately thorough once-over, her gaze sweeping him from head to foot and lingering un-apologetically on certain places. His body reacted to her assessment, groin tightening, gut plunging. There was, he acknowledged, something incredibly erotic about her confident perusal of him. "I'd say so."

He shook his head mockingly. "So suspicious."

"Isn't everyone in this business?" She dropped the light tone and leveled him with a hard look. "So, why the cloak-and-dagger routine? What do you want?"

He just smiled and arched an eyebrow. "What makes you think I want something?"

"I wasn't born yesterday, Mr. Diaz."

"Call me Alex."

"I'd be delighted to." Her smile was flirtatious and yet her eyes were cool. Amazing eyes, really. Gray-green fringed with thick, dark lashes. "So, Alex," she said, her voice dropping into a purr. "I hire a limo for tonight but I find you in one instead, offering me a lift. Coincidence?" She raised her eyebrows, two thin arcs of incredulity, that knowing smile curving her mouth—quite an amazing mouth, too, now that he was looking at it. Full and lush even when her lips had been pursed. "I don't think so."

Alex almost smiled, despite the fact that Chelsea Maxwell's ability to see straight through his paper-thin ploy should have alarmed, or at least annoyed, him. This wasn't going to be as simple as he thought. Not nearly. Good thing he enjoyed a challenge. And good thing he intended to publicly ruin Jason Treffen no matter what the cost, or who paid. The fact that he could do it on live television just made it all the sweeter.

He shrugged slightly, relaxed back in his seat. "Fair enough. I do want something, Ms. Maxwell."

She did not, he observed, tell him to call her Chelsea. She just waited, eyes still narrowed, that cool little smile playing about her mouth.

"How long have you been at AMI?" he asked, naming her network.

Surprise flashed so briefly across her features he almost missed it. Chelsea Maxwell was good at hiding her emotions, Alex suspected. Working on TV would do that to you. "Ten years."

"And you've had Chat with Chelsea for—"

"Nearly four." She cocked her head, one elegant eyebrow still arched. "And you're asking this because…?"

"I'm interested in your show."

She didn't so much as blink. "You don't seem like the type to watch celebrities spill their guts on afternoon television, but I suppose everyone has their secret vices."

He laughed softly, enjoying this unexpected repartee. He was used to people sucking up to him, and the respite was surprisingly pleasant. "It's the number one daytime talk show on any network," he pointed out, and that lush mouth curved just a little more. "I know."

"I'm not interested in your daytime talk show," Alex said after a second's pause. He needed to be careful now, needed to consider how much to reveal. How honest to be. He wasn't about to give Chelsea any more information than necessary—not until he knew what she'd do with it. "I'm interested in the hour-long interview you're doing with Jason Treffen on prime time in March."

"Really." She crossed her legs, the coat slipping open, and he saw the thigh-high slit in her silvery-gray gown, revealing a hell of a lot of slim, tanned leg. His libido stirred again and Alex gave it a hard shove back. He wasn't about to complicate this with sex. Not unless it served a purpose, anyway.

"Really," he answered.

She cocked her head, her gaze sweeping over him slowly, in that same thorough assessment that had his groin tightening again. So maybe he did want things to be complicated. Sometimes sex was a means to an end, and with Chelsea it would undoubtedly be an enjoyable one. He wondered what she was like in bed. Wild and unrestrained, or coolly controlled? He suspected the latter, but he'd like to see her certainty slip a bit, her coolness replaced by fire.

"Are you making me an offer?" she asked, and there was no mistaking the teasing innuendo in her voice, rich with laughter and full-bodied flirting. Was this what Michael Agnello hadn't been able to resist? Alex could certainly understand it.

He stretched the arm he had draped over the seat so his fingertips barely brushed her shoulder. The cashmere was cold and soft under his fingers. "No, just telling you I'm curious."

"You went to quite a lot of trouble for mere curiosity's sake, Mr. Diaz." She smiled, shaking her head slowly, her earrings sparkling as they moved. Even though she was acting friendly, flirtatious, Alex knew she was nobody's fool.

And neither was he.

"Waiting in a limo isn't that much trouble," he told her, and she tilted her head again, eyes bright, her mouth still curved in that smile he didn't know whether he wanted to kiss or wipe off her face. It both annoyed and intrigued him, how coolly certain she was about everything. How unfazed by him.

He realized he had been expecting a little breathless flattery, a little dazed gratitude. He didn't like anyone kissing his ass, but he'd assumed Chelsea would jump at the carrot he dangled in front of her: the possibility of working on Diaz News. But now that he'd spoken to her he didn't think Chelsea Maxwell jumped for anyone.

Except she obviously had for Michael Agnello. And damn it, she would for him.

"I'm in contract with AMI for the next three years," she said and he nodded.

"I know."

"So.?"

Alex glanced out the window; they were approaching Columbus Circle and would only have a few more minutes before they arrived at the party, and Chelsea was swept up into Michael Agnello's glittering circle of close friends.

"Let's talk over dinner."

She let out a soft, throaty laugh. "I wasn't aware there was anything to talk about."

"Don't play games with me, Chelsea." His voice came out hard as he turned to look directly into her eyes, but instead of seeing anger or annoyance or better yet, regret, in those hazel depths he saw something that jolted through him so he nearly rocked in his seat.

Desire. Lust. It was gone as soon as he'd locked his gaze with hers, but he still felt its aftershock reverberate through him. Felt the desire he'd seen in her eyes harden his groin.

He wanted, suddenly and quite fiercely, to sweep his hand up that long, lovely expanse of leg. To slip his fingers under the silvery, slippery folds of her dress and see just what it was hiding. And it seemed like Chelsea wanted it, too.

Well, wasn't that interesting. Complicated, perhaps, but definitely interesting. Maybe he didn't need to pretend he wanted Chelsea on his network. Maybe he could just show that he wanted her in his bed.

And maybe complicated could become simple.

"You think I'm playing games?" she queried, her expression completely veiled now. "You're the one hiding out in a limo, acting like you're James Bond." She shook her head, laughed softly. "When you want to talk straight with me, Diaz, I'll listen." Her smile curved deeper and she gave him another up-and-down, her gaze resting briefly on the bulge in his trousers. "Maybe."

Alex nearly swore. He felt like a horny teenager, unable to control himself, and the absurdity of it annoyed him. When had he lost control with a woman, with anyone?

The limo pulled up to the curb of The Mandarin Hotel. A doorman stepped forward to open the door and Chelsea fluttered her fingers. "But thanks for the lift," she added, and then she was gone.

Alex leaned back against the seat, furious, frustrated and yet still buzzing a little bit from the conversation. So Chelsea Maxwell was going to be a little bit more of a challenge than he'd anticipated.

Although if the awareness he'd seen in her eyes was anything to go by, maybe not. Maybe he could play this differently than he'd planned.

His plan, or so he'd told Hunter and Austin when they'd brainstormed together how to bring Treffen down for good, was to dangle the possibility of a show on Diaz News so Chelsea let him work with her on the interview with Treffen. It had seemed simple; she clearly wanted to prove herself as a serious journalist, and as CEO of the country's top news network he could make that happen. He'd tell her the truth about Treffen when he could be sure what she'd do with it.

Whether he actually offered Chelsea something on Diaz News was another matter entirely.

Revenge was a costly business. A price had to be paid. He'd certainly paid his.

Even now the memory of the last time he'd seen Sarah made his insides freeze with icy determination. He would avenge her, and every other woman Jason Treffen had used and abused. And he'd do whatever it took to accomplish it, Chelsea Maxwell be damned.

"Sir?" The driver peered into the dark interior of the limo and with a nod Alex climbed out.

He didn't give up that easily. He wasn't done with Chelsea Maxwell. He'd promised Hunter and Austin; they'd done their part, and it was time for him to do his, whatever it took. Smiling grimly, he headed into the hotel.

Meet the Author

Kate Hewitt has worked a variety of different jobs, from drama teacher to editorial assistant to youth worker, but writing romance is the best one yet. She also writes women's fiction and all her stories celebrate the healing and redemptive power of love. Kate lives in a tiny village in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

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Expose Me 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending to this Fifth Avenue series left much to be desired. It just seemed to end rather abruptly.
PureJonel More than 1 year ago
Hewitt develops the world surrounding her characters in exquisite detail. She does assume that readers have read the past instalments in the series but it is also a complete story in and of itself. When this series started it was fantastic, but now I’m finding it to be rather formulaic. Don’t get me wrong, this was an enjoyable read but very little new happens. I found that the overall plot of this series got lost in this novel. It did, however, reappear with a vengeance right at the end.  The main character is way too worried about what he wants while the female lead is obsessed with what she should and shouldn’t do. The male lead was rather aggravating at times. He seemed to think the world should just bend for him. Yes, he’s there for those that matter to him but sometimes he just made me want to ram my head into the wall. The secrecy is astounding.  As a whole this was a fluffy, enjoyable read with just enough to keep you on your toes. It did leave me wondering what happens to Treffen, but I’m sure we’ll find out eventually. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Megan_BedroomBookworms More than 1 year ago
3.5 to 4 Stars It took me a while to get into Expose Me. The beginning just seemed to drag a bit for me, there was so much of the story being determined in their heads. The constant back and forth became too much for me to grab my attention. Yet, once the story had the chance to get going again I was excited to see the conclusion to how things would end. This story has been going on for three books now, with each hero getting their own piece of the puzzle to complete. Alex was our last hero to get his chance and he needed the help of Chelsea. I liked Alex, he was a good hero, but the constant yap yap in Chelsea’s head was exhausting. She’s constantly over thinking every. single. thing. I wanted to yell at her to just get on with it. Because it took Chelsea so long to ‘come to terms’ with her feelings these two never really have a real relationship. We as readers don’t get to see how they act as a unit. There was a lot of time spent thinking about their feelings, but I can’t really tell you I ‘know’ the characters. Or what their relationship dynamic is. The book is in the 90% before these two actually come together as a couple and it just wasn’t enough time to see them in action. Expose Me received the highest rating for me out of the series and I did enjoy it the most. I definitely like Kate Hewitt’s writing style the most and I think I will check out some of her other work, but overall the story just left me a bit underwhelmed. I received an arc of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
HumorMyWay More than 1 year ago
This is final installment in the Fifth Avenue, what an ending to a wonderful series. I have totally enjoy this series of bring down Jason Treffen. It seems they all have secrets that they do not want out even Chelsea but she is willing to let hers out if it means to bring down Jason and show the world who he really is. To the world Jason is a man who takes women who wouldn’t have a chance in the world under his wing and gives them jobs. He is well known for his charities and helping not only abused women but low income women get ahead. The side he shows the world isn’t his true side, as you saw in the last book he has lost just about everything, his business, and his family. Most people would think that was enough but for Hunter, Austin and Alex it wasn’t enough, they want him to pay with his life for what he did to their friend Sarah. Sarah was pulled into Jason world of prostitution and blackmail, she couldn’t live with herself and what she had become. She saw no way out but to take her own life, which she did at one of Jason’s parties. She jumped of his office building and fell to her death, as time went on the three men couldn’t forgive themselves for not reaching out to her. They found out just want Jason really was, his own son turned against him and together they spent their years bring him down one stone at a time. Chelsea is a talk show host, Alex knows she is doing a interview with Jason. He sees this as a means to finally break Jason in a way that he can never hurt another women. This show is live and will be shown to millions of people, there is no taking back once it is said and done. Alex must talk Chelsea into doing the show and bring Jason down. Chelsea has her own secrets that she has hidden, can Alex bring her not only the freedom to live again but put Jason in his place. This was a wonderful story of Chelsea and Alex finding their way, while they bring down a blackmailer and break up a prostitution ring. It is also about Chelsea coming out and getting over a very hurtful past, letting people back into her life and world. Learning to trust and love again. For Alex is about finally forgiving himself for not being there for Sarah and letting love back in. It is a very touching story of lost, love, and learning to live again. The author tells a very powerful story with a wonderful plot and story line. I would have loved to have seen Jason go to jail and see him get what he deserved. This series is a wonderful story of how friends bring down a very bad man and find true love along the way. They learn to forgive themselves for letting a very special down. If you haven’t read the Fifth Avenue Trilogy you should pick it up and give it a read, it is well worth the time and a really wonderful read.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars- EXPOSE ME is the third and final instalment in the Fifth Avenue contemporary, erotic trilogy. Each of the three instalments has been written by a different author focusing on a new couple whose connection to the storyline is personal and heartbreaking. Expose Me is Alex Diaz and Chelsea Maxwell’s story- written by Kate Hewitt.  As our trio of friends-Austin Treffen, Hunter Grant and Alex Diaz make the final preparations to destroy billionaire lawyer and philanthropist Justin Treffen, Alex goes in search of the perfect person to complete the final stage of Jason’s personal and public demise.   Chelsea Maxwell is a popular daytime TV talk show host whose reputation for getting her interviewees to talk will place her on the direct path to bring all of the players together. Alex Diaz knows that Chelsea is the only person who has the ability to bring Jason to his knees but in doing so Alex will lose his heart to a woman whose past is secreted away behind physical and emotional scars. If Chelsea agrees to play along, she knows Jason Treffen will ruin her career and expose the truth about her own past. AVENGE ME (Book 1) saw Austin Treffen (Jason’s son) and Katy Michaels begin the take down of a man whose family had to come to the realization that the man they called husband and father had lied to them his entire life. SCANDALIZE ME (Book 2) brought together PR consultant Zoe Brook-a survivor of Jason’s sordid life; and Hunter Grant –a man whose connections to Jason’s past have destroyed his own life and his career. We watch as Hunter’s world is shattered once again when Zoe reveals that she knows they whys and what fors as it pertains to Hunter’s self-sabotage and how she wants to be play a role in the destruction of Jason Treffen.  EXPOSE ME is the culmination of three connecting storylines where each instalment will see the slow destruction of a once powerful and sadistic man. Jason Treffen is a man who has ruined countless lives; shattered many dreams; and stands poised to have his well ordered life crumble and fall. Chelsea Maxwell will take Jason to the mat but in doing so will destroy her own career in the process. The Fifth Avenue Trilogy is a series that looks at the destructive nature of too much power and too much control; the shattered lives of everyone it has touched; and how three men found love with women who had been touched by the control and abuse.   Again, my only complaint is the slow build up of each of the storylines. The premise focused on the growing relationships between each of our couples and the destruction of Jason Treffen took a back seat until the final chapters of each instalment. There is a wealth of information not imparted to the reader-Jason Treffen’s sins and illegal activities were revealed on a need to know basis only and focused on the devastated life of Sarah Michaels. Each of our heroines is a strong, independent and broken woman while our heroes have suffered silently for a decade with the knowledge that they were unable to save someone they loved then lost.
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
Holy moly, the first two books in this mini series were good. This one was fantabulous! This book really caps off the series in a spectacular function and you FINALLY get to see Jason Treffen exposed and humiliated in a way he thoroughly deserved. Of course the main story is the romance and Alex and Chelsea make a great couple to finalize the destruction of Jason. They're both strong and determined. Chelsea doesn't let anyone, not even her producers, stop her from digging into and discovering the truth, even though she goes into the book expecting to laud Jason. Alex ... oh, Alex. Delicious man and devoted to avenging the friend he lost at Jason's hands. I cannot say enough ... READ. THIS. BOOK! So glad I read this to its conclusion. Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
Expose Me, 5th Avenue Trilogy, Kate Hewitt Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Final book of the trilogy. This was a fun read, ties up all the lose ends from the earlier books and features the last man in the trio, Alex, and popular talk show host Chelsea. Alex needs Chelsea's help to take down Treffen. She has an hour long, live special programmed in with him, and Alex and his friends want the final take down to be live TV. They've already dealt with his family, and are in the proceeds of closing his business, but they don't want him to get away with anything, and need Chelsea's help. Trouble is convincing her, she needs proof before she'll believe he's anything but the altruistic perfect man his publicity portrays. Those who have the proof are either dead or too scarred from the experience to come forward publicly. Add in the problems both Alex and Chelsea have with their hidden pasts, and the fact they both have a searing attraction to each other but Never do dating, relationships, sleepovers...anything that may hack at their tightly controlled emotions, and there's a problems before they even start to talk about the programme. Its another slick story, neatly tied up, and full of emotion and erotic, sensual heat. The course of true love, and taking down Jason Treffen never lies smooth...and this books shows just how hard it is for both. What's also interesting is that I hadn't realised til now that each part has a different author – they've clearly co-ordinated well as the writing style feels very consistent through each novel. A great read. Stars: four Arc supplied via netgalley and publishers