Kidnapped by the Billionaire

Kidnapped by the Billionaire

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by Jackie Ashenden
     
 

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Get lost in the deeply passionate, darkly sensual new novel from Jackie Ashenden, Kidnapped by the Billionaire.
He kissed her the way he’d run her down, conquering her, taking her…

A priceless plan. An illicit attraction.
Seven years ago, billionaire-turned-bodyguard Elijah Hunt lost everything he had—his

Overview

Get lost in the deeply passionate, darkly sensual new novel from Jackie Ashenden, Kidnapped by the Billionaire.
He kissed her the way he’d run her down, conquering her, taking her…

A priceless plan. An illicit attraction.
Seven years ago, billionaire-turned-bodyguard Elijah Hunt lost everything he had—his family, his future—and now he wants revenge. But when he decides to kidnap the daughter of the man who ruined his life, Elijah gets a lot more than he bargained for. Violet Fitzgerald is nothing like her corrupt wealthy father. In fact, she’s so disarmingly independent—and irresistible—that she just might be dangerous…

And a love that’s too good to be true.
Violet never thought she’d feel a connection to her captor. But there’s something beneath Elijah’s steel-bodied exterior that makes her want to know him more deeply…and surrender to his every demand. But once Elijah’s erotic fantasies become a reality—and he and Violet develop a real romantic connection—he finds himself in a quandary: Is he still the one in control? Or has Violet imprisoned him—body and soul?

Jackie Ashenden's novels are:
"Sexy, emotional." -Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author
"Tantalizing . . . explosive."-Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Mine to Take
"Not to be missed."-RT Book Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/04/2016
The fourth Nine Circles romantic thriller (after You Are Mine) is as steamy, gritty, and explosive as the earlier installments. Elijah Hunt despises criminal kingpin Evelyn Fitzgerald, but he had to work for her while waiting seven long, hard years to take her down. When the Nine Circles Club gets to Evelyn first, Elijah still goes through with his plan to kidnap Violet, Evelyn’s daughter. His new goal is to use Violet to lure out and destroy a different crime boss, but the Nine Circles—which includes Violet’s best friend, Honor St. James, and Violet’s half-brother, Gabriel Woolf (featured in Mine to Take)—has problems with that scheme. Meanwhile, Violet and Elijah are growing closer. The sex has tones of domination and violence, but underneath is tenderness and sweetness. Elijah and Violet grow with every trial and torture thrown their way as they learn to let go of their reservations and fear. Happiness is tantalizingly within their reach, and they just need to take a leap of faith. The ending brings redemption for Elijah while setting the stage for the next installment. Agent: Helen Breitweiser, Cornerstone Literary. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

“With a distinct voice and fresh, complex characters, Mine To Take is a sexy, emotional read that gripped me from page one. I can't wait to see what Ashenden brings us next.” —Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author, on Mine to Take

"[Ashenden is] a master at crafting tension and desire...utterly compelling...dark, sizzling." - RT Book Reviews Top Pick on Kidnapped by the Billionaire.

"Steamy, gritty, and explosive." - PW on Kidnapped by the Billionaire

“Powerful and rewarding.” —RT Book Reviews Top Pick on You Are Mine

“Outstanding, unabashedly sexy...pulls out all the stops for emotional drama and exquisite passion.” —PW Starred Review on Make You Mine

“Powerfully suspenseful and, above all, sensual and meaningful...not to be missed” —Top Pick! RT Book Reviews on Make You Mine

“Intriguingly dark and intensely compelling...explosive.” —RT Book Reviews on Mine To Take, Top Pick!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250077851
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
03/01/2016
Series:
Nine Circles Series , #4
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
138,588
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Kidnapped by the Billionaire


By Jackie Ashenden

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2016 Jackie Ashenden
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-9017-6


CHAPTER 1

Seven years ago Elijah Hunt lost everything that gave his life meaning.

Now, he'd lost it again.

This fucking bullshit was starting to get old.

The subway car rattled through the dark tunnel as he sat there with his fingers curled around the Colt in the pocket of his overcoat, watching the woman who sat opposite and a couple of seats down the car from him.

She hadn't seen him, hadn't recognized him. But then he'd made damn sure she wouldn't.

She looked like she was in her own little world anyway, staring down at the fringed leather purse she held tightly in her hands as if it contained the secrets of the universe.

Violet Fiztgerald. Daughter of the biggest prick God had ever put on this earth. The prick he'd spent the last seven years serving.

Not anymore. That prick was now dead and so was everything Elijah had worked toward.

He wasn't just pissed. He'd gotten beyond that. Way, way beyond it.

He was now in the cold zone, the dead place. Where only one thing had any meaning anymore: Take them down. Take them all down.

There was just one thing he needed in order to make that happen. Violet. His handy little backup plan.

She shifted in her seat, glancing distractedly at the drunk sitting a couple of seats away, an expression of distaste flickering across small, precise features heavily masked by the makeup she wore. Thick black eyeliner and dark blue mascara. Full red mouth. Her long blonde hair in its ridiculous dreadlocks was pulled back in a ponytail, and as she changed her hold on her battered-looking purse, the many silver bracelets she wore around her wrist made chiming sounds.

She was wrapped in a long and completely over-the-top dark blue coat of worn velvet, belted tightly around her waist. The boots on her feet were black and scuffed, lacing right up under the bright fall of her Indian silk skirt. In addition to the bracelets around her wrists, she wore heavy silver hoops in her ears and a little blue sapphire that glittered in her nose.

Ever since he'd become Fitzgerald's right-hand man, Violet had been dressing like she'd stumbled over a box of theater costumes and just put them all on.

She looked ridiculous. A poor little rich kid trying rebellion on for size. When he'd first met her, she'd just come back from college after studying psychology against the express wishes of her parents. Then, not a couple of months after being back, she'd left again to pursue yet more study. She was one of those perpetual students, without a goal or purpose, substituting academia for a proper job. He despised her. Especially when not long after she'd come back with her master's degree, she'd then taken off to India and Europe, claiming she needed some "me time." And all on her father's dime.

Spoiled, that's what she was. Unfortunately for her though, the days of swanning around doing whatever the hell she wanted were now at an end.

The lights flickered as the train went around a corner, then began to slow as it approached the station.

Keeping an eye on her and her mother had been one of his jobs, so he had an idea where she was going. And if he was right, she'd be getting off here.

Sure enough, as the train drew up to the platform, Violet got to her feet.

Time to go.

People were beginning to crowd around the doors, but he had no problem making sure they moved out of the way as he came up behind her. She was a full head shorter than he was and smelled faintly of some kind of hippie shit perfume. Sandalwood possibly.

Filing the observation automatically away, he brought the Colt out discreetly and bent his head so his mouth was near her ear. Then he jammed the muzzle against her back and said coldly, "Scream and I'll kill you."

She stiffened, jerking around to face him, shock written all over her pretty features.

He allowed her a glance, since one look into his eyes would be all she needed to know he meant business, and gave her an icy smile. "You don't want to die, do you, Violet?"

Eyes the color of fine turquoise widened, her pupils dilating. Her gaze flickered all over his face, probably taking in the bruises and cuts left by fucking Zac Rutherford's fists. He probably looked like he'd gone ten rounds with Muhammad Ali, but that was a good thing. The more terrified she was, the less likely she'd fight him — and he really couldn't be bothered with yet another fight right now. He'd rather shoot her and be done with it.

Elijah pressed the gun firmly into her back. "Eyes front. We're getting out right here."

A visible tremble shook her, and for a minute he wondered if she'd be stupid enough or afraid enough to ignore him and scream. Which would put a major fucking wrench in the works.

He cocked the gun. Kept the cold smile on his face. "Make the right decision, princess."

She paled. Her gaze flickered again, then abruptly she turned back to the doors.

Excellent. At least one thing was going right for him today.

The train stopped and the doors opened, and Violet got out with him close behind her. "Head for the exit," he murmured as they moved through the crowded platform. "Nod if you understand."

She didn't turn this time, but gave a jerky nod.

Keeping the gun pressed firmly into her back, he stayed close as they made their way to the escalators, people oblivious around them, all the while keeping an eye out for anyone tailing them. He wasn't fool enough to believe that just because he'd lost the men Rutherford had sent out after him, he was safe. No, not after the fight the other man had put up back at Fitzgerald's apartment.

His shoulder ached at the memory, but Elijah ignored the pain. Focused instead on the massive, black, volcanic rage that filled him. Rage at seeing the man he'd been chasing for seven years die from a gunshot wound to the head.

Everything he'd done, everything he'd worked for, gone in the blink of an eye.

Because that fucking bitch Eva King had taken his revenge from him.

He should have killed her up in that apartment, but he hadn't. He'd let her go to catch Fitzgerald off guard, to break the impasse Rutherford and King had gotten themselves into.

He'd expected Rutherford to go for Eva to protect her, but none of them had done what they were supposed to do. Eva wasn't supposed to shoot Fitzgerald in the head. She was supposed to collapse in a heap of fear and Rutherford was supposed to protect her while Elijah took the shot at Fitzgerald instead.

But none of it had gone to plan. Eva had taken up the gun and shot Fitzgerald, and then Rutherford had turned on him. Then Rutherford had shot him.

Fucking prick.

The bullet had gone through his shoulder and it hurt like a bastard, but Elijah was used to ignoring pain. After picking up the Colt from the dead body of the security guard on his way out of the building, he'd found an alley to hide in, ripping his shirt apart to use as a makeshift bandage while he put his coat on over the top. Then he'd had to think on the fly, try to remember what his backup plan was supposed to be if everything turned to shit.

He'd had to work fast, find Violet quickly, because once her father's death was discovered, the police would be all over it and not only would his element of surprise be gone, but she'd be protected. And not only by the police.

Violet Fitzgerald's best friend was Honor St. James, a member of the group who'd fucked up his revenge plans, and once Honor knew Fitzgerald was dead, she'd be running to her friend to make sure she was okay.

Which wasn't going to happen. At least not now at any rate.

As they came up out of the subway station, the icy wind of a late New York winter crawled under the overcoat he wore, sending tendrils of cold over the bare skin of his torso. He considered the sensation, then discarded it. He would have to get inside and out of the wind to deal with his wound soon enough, but he could manage for now. It wasn't as if his hostage was any danger to him.

Almost as soon as the thought crossed his mind, Violet made a sudden lunge to the left.

Stupid girl. Even with a gunshot wound his reflexes were better than most Navy SEALs.

He shot out a hand and grabbed her arm, hauling her back against him while jamming the muzzle of the Colt hard into her side.

"Bad move, princess," he hissed in her ear. "Do it again and I'll shoot you right here and now."

She was trembling, he could feel it. "W-W-Why are you doing this?" she stammered, her voice hoarse and ragged with fear. "W-What did I do?"

"Just shut up and do as you're told and you won't get hurt." Keeping a hold on her arm, he forced her to walk to the edge of the sidewalk near the street. "Now, flag down a cab. We're going for a little drive."

"My father will —"

"Your father, Violet, is dead. And if you want to live, you'll do whatever the fuck I say, understand?"

She'd gone totally still at that. "No ..." It was a quiet, almost inaudible whisper.

But he had no time for her grief or her shock or her pain. He knew Fitzgerald had loved his daughter in his own twisted way and that Violet had no idea what her father was. That this news would come as a complete shock to her.

Too fucking bad. Life was short, then you died. And she was going to find that out the hard way.

"Get. A. Cab." He made each word as hard and as cold as a bullet. He'd let her collapse once they'd gotten back to the apartment he'd maintained for this very purpose. An apartment that no one knew about, that no one would find. The perfect bolt-hole he could disappear into while he formulated his escape route.

Or at least that had been the old plan, for after he'd taken his revenge and killed Fitzgerald.

Now, though, he'd have to think of something else. A use for his little bargaining chip, a way to bring it all down.

He wasn't going to let the past seven years all be for nothing. He fucking refused.

It took Violet a while to flag down a cab, and when one finally stopped, Elijah could feel the cold starting to settle down through his skin, going deeper. The gunshot wound ached and so did his hands, and his face was no doubt bruised as well; Zac Rutherford was a mean bastard who knew how to throw a punch.

Shit. He was probably going into shock, which he sure as hell didn't need right now.

Jerking open the cab door, he pushed Violet inside, following in closely behind her. The driver did a double take — probably due to the bruising on Elijah's face — but one hard look soon had the man turning right back to the front again. Just as well. Elijah didn't need any questions at this particular point in time.

He gave the driver the address then leaned back against the seat, keeping the gun jammed against Violet's side. She sat beside him, unmoving, her head turned away, her attention on the street outside. Her hands still clutched her silly little fringed purse, knuckles white.

He'd probably just shattered her entire world. Well, welcome to the club.

Seven years ago he'd have felt bad about that. Would have regretted giving her the news and would have delivered it at a better time, in a more appropriate setting. He would have comforted her. Certainly he wouldn't have kidnapped her at gunpoint.

But Marie was dead, and since then nothing mattered much to him anymore.

Except for Evelyn Fitzgerald's death. The death that he should have taken for himself.

The volcanic rage inside him shifted and he tightened his grip on it, letting its icy heat warm him, using it to combat the effects of physical shock.

Violet remained silent and he didn't bother to speak either, concentrating all his energy on merely staying upright and keeping that gun right where it was.

New York traffic being what it was, it took them longer than he wanted to get to the West Village address he'd given the cabbie. When they finally stopped and he got out, dragging an unresisting Violet with him, he found the ground unsteady beneath his feet, shivers starting to wrack him.

Fuck. He did not need this. Not now.

Throwing some money at the cabdriver, he tugged his overcoat more firmly around him then pulled Violet close. That musky perfume of hers made his head cloudy and the warmth of her body far more attractive than it had any right to be. But only because he was cold.

He hadn't wanted a woman in seven years and he had no intention of wanting one now.

Revenge was more important. Revenge had always been more important.

Hustling her down the sidewalk, he debated about whether this was wise, bringing her to his personal little bolt-hole. If he hadn't been shot and had to grab her on the fly, he'd have brought a blindfold or knocked her out or something so she wouldn't know where they were. But obviously he couldn't do that now.

It won't matter. It's not like you're going to be letting her go anytime soon.

Excellent point.

It wasn't far to the old brick factory that sat next to the river. It had been converted to apartments years ago, and Elijah had bought the entire building back before his world had fallen apart. Back when he'd been the owner of a very successful venture capital company and making shitloads of cash. When he'd been married and desperately in love with his wife.

Christ, he couldn't even remember what that feeling was like anymore. Being happy. Being in love. Not that he wanted to of course; the more you cared about something, the more it hurt when you lost it. Life was full of interesting little lessons like that.

He'd jettisoned nearly everything of that life after Marie had disappeared, but he'd kept the old factory building. Not because he liked having a big fuck-off apartment all to himself, but because he'd needed somewhere safe to go that no one — especially not Fitzgerald and his operations — knew about.

To keep up appearances, he'd leased out the first couple of floors, but the top floor he'd kept entirely empty so he could come and go as he pleased without any neighbors being nosy.

He got Violet to the front of the apartment building and keyed in his code to unlock the door before pushing her inside.

Her face was a mask as he pulled her over to the elevators and punched the button, her wide, generous mouth gone tight with some kind of suppressed emotion. Grief and shock probably.

The doors opened and he made her go in first then hit the button to the top floor. He resisted the urge to lean against the back wall of the elevator because if he did that, he wasn't sure he'd be able to stand upright again.

Violet stared rigidly at the doors in front of her, making no move to speak or to do anything else. She looked turned to stone.

Excellent. That would make his life a shitload easier.

As the doors opened, he urged her across the hallway to his apartment door, keeping his gun pressed to her back as he keyed in another code.

The door unlocked and he pushed her inside, kicking it shut.

For a second he allowed himself a moment to relax, lowering the gun and leaning back against the closed door, the pain and the cold starting to bite deep. He'd probably lost more blood than he'd thought. This could be a bitch to recover from if he wasn't careful.

It was only when he heard movement that he realized he'd closed his eyes for a moment.

Opening them with a start, he was just in time to see Violet's fist heading straight for his face.

* * *

She knew she had no chance, that she'd never win against a man like Elijah Hunt. But dammit, she had to do something because sitting back and taking it had never been her style.

He'd closed his eyes and sagged against the door, and she'd managed to shake off her shock enough to launch the heel of her palm up against his chin the way she'd learned to do in the self-defense classes she'd taken at college.

Unfortunately his head did not snap back the way it was supposed to.

Instead his hand came up — far quicker than it had any business doing — and fingers like iron clamped her wrist in a vice. Then before she quite knew what was happening, her arm was being twisted around and her body along with it, until she was jerked hard against him, her arm pulled up behind her and pinned agonizingly between her shoulder blades.

She tried struggling, unwilling to let the moment go where she might have, in a different universe, had a chance at fighting him and perhaps winning. But her struggles made no difference at all to the iron hold he had on her and when something even harder than the body up against her back pushed into her side, she knew the moment had gone utterly.

Violet stilled, panting. Fear sat in her chest, so large and sharp she could barely deal with that let alone the other thing he'd whispered in her ear back out on the sidewalk outside the subway station.

Your father is dead.

The words echoed in her head, meaningless syllables all jumbling together.

Her father. Evelyn Fitzgerald. She didn't even begin to comprehend it. He'd always seemed invulnerable, untouchable. A cool, clever man who prized control in all things. A cool, distant parent.

Now he wasn't either of those things. He wasn't anything.

How did Elijah Hunt know? And did he have something to do with it? Was he even telling the truth?

Okay. So. First things first. Pull yourself the fuck together.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Kidnapped by the Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden. Copyright © 2016 Jackie Ashenden. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Jackie Ashenden lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr. Jax, and their two kids and two cats. When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.

Jackie writes dark, sexy contemporary romance for St Martin’s Press, the titles Mine To Take, Make You Mine, and You Are Mine.

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Kidnapped by the Billionaire 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I absolutely hate stories with dead wives!!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous 12 months ago
I really loved this story and I am looking forward to the next book. Happy that Elijah was able to find forgiveness and move on with help from Violet. I enjoyed all the characters from the previous books as well. A great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
Elijah has been living in rage induced pain for the past 7 years as he extracts his revenge against the men who stole his wife from him. They destroyed his life and now he will destroy theirs except someone has put a bullet through the head of the man he wanted to kill. So he kidnaps the guys innocent daughter to use as a bargaining chip to take down the rest of the organization. Then life gets interesting. Violet is innocent and doesn’t react as she should. She turns Elijah inside out and upside down. She makes him feel things he hasn’t felt in 7 years. Things he’d trained himself not to feel. Now he has to choose between his revenge and a future. Elijah is an anti-hero whose pain is palpable. Violet is the willingly obtuse daughter of a gangster. She is smart but isolated and stronger than she lets on. While the story is predictable the characters are not. This is an intense, fast paced, dark romance. A good read.
greekgoddess422 More than 1 year ago
This is the fifth story in the Series . Hero is Elijah Hunt . Heroine is Violet Fitzgerald . This story picks off where the end of the other book ends. We will be calling Eijah Mr Hunt . Hunt is leaving the Crime Sean . He was after Fitzgerald for his wife being murdered . Hunt was playing his bodyguard also to get close to him . Once Fitzgerald gets killed Hunt has another plan . Hunt is on a subway keeping track of Violet who is Fitzgerald daughter. Hunt is right behind Violet and Kidnapped her . Hunt takes her to his place . Violet is confused why she was kidnapped by Hunt . All she knows is Hunt is her fathers bodyguard. Once Hunt tells her her father is dead and the crimes her father did ... Violet doesn't believe it . Violet is trying to find a way out of the apartment. Violet was on her way to a locker to see about her dead brother who is not dead . She has a plan how to get out but it backfires on Violet. The end of the story has you twisting and turning. There are suprises all round . One expecially for Violet.
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
He MUST get his revenge but someone has stolen it. Elijah's waited on this for seven years. There are two men who deserve his wrath. One is dead and he must kidnap the dead man's daughter to flush out the remaining man. Only he wasn't prepared for his reaction to the woman he thought he already knew. Action packed romantic suspense! I could feel the cold fury running through Elijah. His anger felt alive, especially after Eva killed his mark. As angry as he was, I was taken by surprise by his eventual reaction to Violet. There's a HUGE plot twist that again, took me totally by surprise. The story line is magnificent! Very emotional and VERY sexy! I love the writing style of this author. Received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
Kryska14 More than 1 year ago
Hot Sexy Romance! I really enjoyed the story with it's alternating POV. It's got suspense, action, drama and an incredible hot sexy romance between Violet & Elijah. A real roller coaster read that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the end! An ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in an exchange for an honest review.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Elijah lives a life relegated to the shadows. He thrives on the darkness that lurks in soul, stuck with only his memories to keep him warm. There is no other way to describe Violet other than clueless. The people she trusted were not what they seemed and now she is faced with the consequences. Or is she? Jackie Ashenden is known for her wickedly sensual stories. Her romances are right on that edge between naughty and sweet. Kidnapped by the Billionaire is full of surprising twists and anguish but it is also a redemption story. In Violet, Ms. Ashenden brings Elijah that light of hope loss to him in his dark quest for revenge. In Elijah, she brings Violet a savior and protector from all the untrustworthiness she experienced in her life. I requested a copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Kidnapped by the Billionaire is a story of hope built in a world of hopelessness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Jackie's books! This one is exceptional!
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
He kissed her the way he'd run her down, conquering her, taking her... A priceless plan. An illicit attraction. Seven years ago, billionaire-turned-bodyguard Elijah Hunt lost everything he had-his family, his future-and now he wants revenge. But when he decides to kidnap the daughter of the man who ruined his life, Elijah gets a lot more than he bargained for. Violet Fitzgerald is nothing like her corrupt wealthy father. In fact, she's so disarmingly independent-and irresistible-that she just might be dangerous... And a love that's too good to be true. Violet never thought she'd feel a connection to her captor. But there's something beneath Elijah's steel-bodied exterior that makes her want to know him more deeply...and surrender to his every demand. But once Elijah's erotic fantasies become a reality-and he and Violet develop a real romantic connection-he finds himself in a quandary: Is he still the one in control? Or has Violet imprisoned him-body and soul? Review: There is a lot of dysfunction going on in these two peoples lives... I was not sure what to make of this story at first. The intrigue started immediately with Elijah thinking over what had just happened and him stalking Violet. I have to admit I was confused at the very beginning, I think if I had read book #3 in the series first it would have made a little more sense. There were names being thrown about and I had no idea who they were and why Violet's father had been killed. I quickly caught up and the story took a edgy, gritty turn. Elijah and Violet are complex people and because of this their actions are pushing the edge. Even though he had kidnapped her, Violet is drawn to Elijah and pushes what we might find acceptable or normal. The Author did a good job of taking a not very endearing character (Elijah) and showing his depth and in turn him into a more likable hero. Violet is a fighter and does everything she can to escape and as the story goes on to help Elijah get his revenge. They both fight the chemistry that is between them for their own reasons but they give in to their cravings and little by little they fall deeper and things get steamy. I would recommend reading these books in order to get the most enjoyment out of the series. I have enjoyed this Author's other books and found this one different from the others I had read, it is a gritty story full of action, intrigue, mystery and sexy forbidden love. 4Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth book in the Nine Circles series, best read in order as there is a story arc that continues from book 1, though each in the series has a standalone couple romance. It's an exciting, erotic, suspenseful series, and the trend is definitely continued with this one! I can always count on Ms. Ashenden to bring her A game into everything she writes, and that's the case here. She is somehow able to make the cold and ruthless character of Elijah (a secondary character in previous books clearly following his own agenda) into an empathetic hero. Of course, that's because until now, we didn't know Elijah's motivation for working for a man we knew to be a monster. But now that the truth has been revealed, that his wife was murdered and he has been on this path of revenge for years, it makes his actions much more palatable. I really liked seeing underneath his icy surface, to the heart of him, the one that only Violet has been able to expose. So while Elijah initially comes across as cold and unfeeling, it's not long before we see the truth - that those are the aspects of his personality that are visible to the naked eye. He's a tough, physically scarred man, with an equally scarred heart, and it was very emotionally satisfying to see Violet repairing some of that damage. Violet herself knows what it's like to wear a mask of indifference. She's played up the role of spoiled society girl as a way of masking the hurt of never feeling accepted or loved by her parents. The death of her father, and her subsequent kidnapping barely ripple the surface of her mother's concern, and Violet's fear of no-one even realizing she's gone missing causes her to look inward for strength. Her attempts at escape don't work, but they do succeed in making Elijah take a closer look at her - a look that reveals his desire to subdue this woman in any way he can, even if it means using their attraction against her. What results are some steamy erotic scenes between them as they connect physically, leading to an emotional connection that angers Elijah as it threatens to wreck all his plans. But Violet won't be subdued, and as the story plays out, she becomes no longer a captive but an accomplice. The characters from the first three books are integral here as well, as Honor is one of Violet's few friends (and contrary to Violet's concerns, realizes that she is missing and is looking for her), and there are more surprising connections between the Nine Circles members and Violet herself. Violet must make some tough decisions when faced with the choice of whose side to choose, and in turn Elijah must do the same. It's an exciting and suspenseful read, full of action and sex, and a fabulous addition to the series. We do get a happy ending for Violet and Elijah, but we are left with some unanswered questions that will lead into the next story. 5 stars!
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Elijah Hunt lost a part of himself seven years ago that he is certain he will never find again, losing his wife and the life they had begun to build together completely devastated him and left him a broken man. A broken man, now on a mission to punish the man responsible for stealing his life and leaving him with nothing. He figures the best way to get even is to take the man's daughter, and put him through the same agony he went through seven years ago, but carrying out his plan maybe a whole lot harder than he expected. His plan to exact revenge seemed to be foolproof, and kidnapping Violet was suppose to be easy, but he the one thing he didn't plan for was falling for her... now he must decide how far he wants to go to get his revenge, and if it's worth losing another person who means so much to him? Violet Fitzgerald may come from a wealthy family, but she doesn't necessarily act the part, and she has become very good at putting on a brave face to keep others from seeing her real self. She knows her family isn't perfect and there are secrets being kept, but to her that comes with the territory in every family. The problem is those secrets are far more dangerous than she ever expected, and now those secrets have gotten her kidnapped by a man seeking revenge against her father. It's hard for her to believe the things he is telling her about her father, and even harder to believe that he killed this man's wife, she begins to wonder if she ever really new him at all... and what else he has been hiding from her? No one does romantic suspense quite like Ms. Ashenden, she has a way of creating these highly addictive story lines that instantly pull you in and have so hooked that you can't put the book down until you have devoured it in one sitting!! I have read some of the other books in the series, and I have to say this one is probably my favorite so far, Violet and Elijah pulled me right into their world and had me in their corner the whole way through!! While their relationship may have started off a little unconventional, they still managed to make me feel like they were truly meant for one another, and the intensity of their situation help to create a undeniable chemistry between them that could not be ignored. I truly enjoyed my time with these two, and have a feeling that their story will be lingering with me for a while. If you have not had the pleasure of reading this series yet, I highly encourage you to give it a try, because not only are you missing out on some truly exceptional reading, but also missing out on the opportunity to meet some really amazing characters!! I guarantee the minute you start reading you will be left with an insatiable need to know more, and a incessant urge to not stop until you have completely devoured each one of them!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by St. Martin's Press in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
KIDNAPPED BY THE BILLIONAIRE is the fourth installment in Jackie Ashenden’s contemporary, adult NINE CIRCLES romantic, suspense series. This is billionaire/bodyguard Elijah Hunt, and heiress Violet Fitzgerald’s story line. KIDNAPPED BY THE BILLIONAIRE can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as the NINE CIRLES series focuses on taking down the Nine Circles, and an elite corruption ring of sex traffickers, dealers and underground crime. Told from several third person perspectives KIDNAPPED BY THE BILLIONAIRE finds our heroine in a precarious position as the victim of a kidnapping as part of a revenge plot against her father, and the corruption underground he controls. Violet in an innocent in that she never knew about her father’s ties to crime, and the horrendous cost of life he has inflicted on the people with whom he does business. Violet is a woman who has been searching for her brother-a man, who for the last sixteen years, she believes died by his own hands, but for one reason or another she believes is still alive. Enter Elijah Hunt, her father’s bodyguard, and a man who seeks revenge against Violet’s father for the loss of everything and everyone he loved. Violet Fitzgerald is a strong woman capable of holding her own against anyone including the family that continues to keeps our heroine at a distance. And now…Violet is Elijah’s captive; a woman Elijah needs to take down the people that destroyed his life….but Violet is also the woman who calls to his soul, and that places both of them in a dangerous situation. As the story line builds, so too does the attraction of want and need between a predator and his prey. Elijah thought his heart had died seven years before, but something about Violet stirs the dying embers of a fire long thought vanished. The $ex scenes are aggressive, provocative and intense. All of the previous story line couples play secondary and supporting roles, as their overlapping and continuing story lines blend with each successive installment. Although Jackie Ashenden reveals important information, from previous story lines, where necessary, and reflects on some of the history between the characters, I recommend reading the series in order. There is so much information in each installment that may be necessary for continuity for each successive story. KIDNAPPED BY THE BILLIONAIRE is a fast paced, suspense-filled mystery of betrayal, revenge, and falling in love. The premise is cleverly written and remarkably intense; the characters are impassioned, dynamic and strong; the romance is acceptance of what was, and what can be. Now, I have to go back to the beginning for my own sanity to read what happened to get up to this point.
BookFidelity More than 1 year ago
Well. Hm. I don't know how I feel about this book. This is going to be a semi spoiler review. I won't giveaway the end or anything...but I have some things to say. You've been warned. The writing was great - wonderfully detailed between the chemistry between characters, even down to what they're wearing. I had a clear picture in my mind of what was going on throughout the whole story - it was very easy to fall into. And there is no doubt about it - the chemistry between Violet and Elijah is crackling and hot. Seriously. But then I think about the other things...like the fact that Violet was a virgin before Elijah and Elijah had all the intention to use Violet as bait to someone. Not just any someone...but someone Elijah hates...and he has no idea why he (Jericho) wants Violet. These and other things just made me really think about how I felt about this story. It is not just some love story where the two characters hate each other and then love each other... It's more complicated than that. It just seemed odd to me that Violet would fall for her captor...which is funny because that has happened (Stockholm Syndrome anyone?). Plus, I was able to rationalize it enough because Violet and Elijah were not complete strangers...they did know each other. I also found myself being bored with the Honor and Gabe sections. Maybe this book is part of a series? I'm not entirely sure. Those sections are quite detailed, but I was mainly interested in what was happening between Violet and Elijah. All in all, however, even though I was able to rationalize it enough to get through the story...I never stopped feeling uneasy about what was actually happening in the story. But, reader, that is just me - maybe this is just your kind of read.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
A captivating story of revenge, forbidden love, and best laid plans getting completely blown up. This fourth book in the Circle of Nines series is easily read standalone while it is still connected with the other books in the series, the characters are not as entwined as they were in the prior books. Once Zane "Elijah" Hunter had it all. A beautiful loving wife and a life full of promise. That was all stripped away from him and after seven long years revenge is within reach. After kidnapping the daughter of the man responsible for the ruin of his life, Elijah quickly discovers she's not exactly what he was expecting and revenge may not be as sweet as he once thought. Elijah and Violet have a connection that is intense, powerful, and erotic. Who will have the ultimate revenge?? Definitely a book I recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!!!