The New York Times bestselling authors of the Masters of Ménage series present the third scintillating novel featuring the privileged, wealthy, wild men of Creighton Academy—the Perfect Gentlemen.
Years ago, Naval officer Dax Spencer and NCIS agent Holland Kirk indulged in a steamy affair—until she betrayed him in the wake of his father’s death. Dax tried to put her behind him with a payback of his own. But he never forgot Holland…
Now, as Dax and his fellow Perfect Gentlemen unravel a web of lies, he discovers his family’s tragedy is part of a much larger conspiracy. Soon, all clues point him back to New Orleans…where Holland waits, protecting her deadly secret and holding a torch for the only man she’s ever loved.
Once reunited, they can’t fight the passion flaring hot and wild. But something sinister lurks around every corner, from the elegance of the Garden district to the beauty of the bayou. Dax and Holland may find their way back to each other—if they survive...
About the Author
Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances, including the Wicked Lovers series (Wicked for You, His to Take, and Theirs to Cherish). She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat.
Lexi Blake is the New York Times bestselling author of the Masters and Mercenaries series (You Only Love Twice, Cherished, A View to a Thrill). She lives in North Texas with her family.
Read an Excerpt
New Orleans, Louisiana
Three years ago
Holland Kirk sighed as she packed up her laptop. Another case closed. She liked the simple ones. Two enlisted sailors had gotten into a bar fight over a
If only all her cases were so easy.
She stood and stretched, trying not to think about the news she’d heard earlier today. Courtney had waltzed in with two chicken salad sandwiches and the
Captain Dax Spencer had taken a one-month training assignment right here in New Orleans. Could Holland believe it? One of the Perfect Gentlemen here in
Holland kind of wanted to hide.
Her cell phone trilled and she looked down to find a text from Courtney.
He’s even hotter than I imagined. I’m the writer assigned to him for this project! Squee! I need an entirely new wardrobe. And a mani pedi.
A flurry of emoticons followed, all conveying her excitement. Holland wasn’t sure what a couple of them were, but they definitely looked happy. Courtney
Sounds good! Hope you two have fun.
She sent the text, trying not to admit that her stomach dropped at the thought of pretty, curvy Courtney with Dax. Courtney looked like a swimsuit model.
Absolutely not her. Never Holland.
It had been years since she’d spoken to the gorgeous Dax Spencer, but she dreamed of him often. It wasn’t like she hadn’t dated, but she ended up comparing
She’d seen him at his father’s funeral. She’d shown up quietly and sat in the back. It had been a travesty how few people had been in attendance. Admiral
“Hey, I’ve heard we’re going to have trouble.” Jim Kellison leaned against the door to her office, his dark eyes grim. “Your friend was telling everyone
She was certain that had a couple of special agents thinking about early retirement, including the one in front of her. “Apparently he’s agreed to help
“Sure. That’s what every captain dreams of,” Jim shot back. “Spending several weeks writing training manuals. I’ve heard a rumor you run in his circle.”
She shook her head. “God, no. I’m friends with his sister. I was very close to the wife of one of his friends.”
Joy Hayes. It was hard to believe she was really gone, the victim of a single bullet from a lone shooter. Tears threatened. They did every single time she
Joy had been killed by a man who’d wanted to assassinate her husband. The news stories claimed the assassin was a mentally ill man who hated Zack and
Six weeks after that, the terrible scandal involving Admiral Spencer had blown up. In the thick of the gossip and media speculation, he’d killed himself.
So much pain in a short amount of time.
She would love Zack Hayes to the end of her days because while everyone else had abandoned the Spencer family, the man with the most political capital to
She might not always understand the ties that bound those men together, but she sometimes envied them.
Jim nodded sympathetically. “Yes, Mrs. Hayes was a gracious lady. We all mourn her loss.”
More tears burned her eyes. She blinked them back. “Has Captain Spencer been in touch with you? You and Bill closed the case on his father, if I recall.”
That was an understatement. She knew exactly who had worked the case, but she’d tried to stay far from it. Being close to Augustine Spencer, Dax’s sister,
Harold Spencer, upright family man and naval officer, a beacon of New Orleans society, had been caught on camera in bed with an underage prostitute. She’d
And then, before he could be court-martialed, he’d been found with a bullet in his brain.
“We closed the case, but the captain made it very clear how unhappy he was about it.” Jim huffed. “We did a thorough investigation.”
Jim was one of the finest investigators she knew. He’d been a special agent for more than fifteen years. “I’m sure you did your best. These kinds of cases
The press had been like a pack of wolves. The office had been inundated with their calls. Once the salacious story hit the tabloids, reporters had written
NCIS had been forced to investigate each and every rumor. All of them had been proven false, except the original allegation.
God, she hoped the admiral hadn’t known the girl’s true age. Amber Taylor had been fifteen, but on camera she’d looked at least a half dozen years older.
“I have gray hair from that case,” Jim acknowledged. “And I swear Bill went bald after that last press conference. I’ve never seen a man look so terrified
It was probably for the best since Bill had a brilliant mind but a potbelly that wouldn’t look great on screen. “I remember. So I guess you’re afraid
“I’m not worried about the press.” Jim ran a hand over his hair. “I’m worried about him. I don’t need his harassment again. He was like a dog with
Holland had stayed away. She’d actually taken a couple of weeks off and gone to visit some friends because the temptation to interfere had been so great.
It would be a hard truth for a man like Dax to take.
Still, according to Gus, her brother was trying to move on. Holland liked Augustine Spencer. She was wild and smart and larger than life. She also worked
“Maybe the captain simply took the assignment to be close to his mother for a while,” Holland suggested. “I know this mess has been hard on her.”
Gus had offered to turn down the job with the Hayes administration and Dax had offered to leave the Navy, but Judith Spencer had insisted her children
“I don’t buy it.” Jim shook his head. “He’s been in the Gulf for six months. Lots of action there.”
“Maybe he’s ready for a change.” Holland shrugged.
“Does Captain Spencer strike you as a desk-job sort of man?”
She frowned and bit her lip.
“You know I’m right. He’s not a man who likes peace and quiet. And he didn’t choose a New Orleans training post for the gumbo.”
“You think he’s here to try to get the case reopened?” She really hoped not.
“I think he’s a son who loved his father and can’t handle knowing that the man who raised him wasn’t who he thought. I wouldn’t want to believe it of my
In an instant, Holland remembered him, so handsome and earnest, that day in the library.
At the time she’d thought he was naive. Having worked NCIS for the last few years, she’d figured out that for all of the captain’s connections, his father
“The Spencer I knew was a hard worker despite the fact that he could have coasted through,” she argued. “He’s honest and loyal. Just because he’s rich
“I’m glad to hear you say that, Holland.”
She stopped, her focus narrowing to that deep voice dredged up from the depths of her memory. Dax Spencer had the sexiest accent, having been raised right
“Speak of the devil. You could have knocked, Captain Spencer.” She turned, and the sight of him was like a punch to the solar plexus. She breathed through
Damn, but he looked good. The years had been kind to him, turning a beautiful boy into a gorgeous, powerful man. He filled out his khakis in a way most
He gave her a lopsided grin that threatened to stop her heart. “I didn’t want to interrupt.”
Jim had gone a nice shade of red. “Captain Spencer, it’s good to see you again.”
Dax didn’t seem fazed at all that he’d overheard them talking about him, but then he was likely used to it. He simply gave Jim a friendly grin. “Now I’m
“That’s understandable,” Jim allowed, holding out a hand. “Let me know if I can help you, and welcome back to New Orleans.”
Dax shook his hand with a nod. “Thank you, Agent Kellison. I promise I’m not going to make your life hell.” Jim left with a friendly wave, and Dax turned
“It seems so.” Why did she sound so breathy? She wasn’t the vampy type.
“You look good, Holland,” he said. “Did I ever thank you for coming to my father’s funeral?”
She shot him a startled glance. “I didn’t realize you’d seen me there.”
“Sweetheart, there were so few people I couldn’t have missed you. I truly appreciate it. I know my momma and Gus did as well.”
As Holland’s heart continued to race, she thanked goodness the office door stood open and she could see people moving out in the hallway. She wasn’t sure
Sometimes she could still feel the way his tongue had moved against hers, sliding in a silky dance. She could feel his hands on her body. He’d been subtle,
“Why are you here, Captain?”
“Can’t you call me Dax? You have dinner with my mother twice a month. You see my sister every time she’s in town. Can’t we at least be on a first-name
Her reticence sounded ridiculous when he put it that way. They actually did run in the same small circle. She simply avoided him at all costs and had since
He cast her a sidelong glance. “Well, Holland. I’m in the Navy and I was recently stationed at the Joint Reserve Base New Orleans in a training capacity.
“Yes, because Captain Awesome really wants to spend a month writing training manuals.” That was the moniker the sailors had given him after his wartime
Dax’s eyes widened in surprise. “Captain Awesome? Are you serious?”
As a heart attack
His gorgeous mouth turned down. “That was supposed to be classified.”
He wasn’t that naive. “Nothing that cool is classified, Captain. Dax.”
“Captain Awesome might be the worst call sign I’ve ever heard.” He shook his head woefully. “I’m back in New Orleans because I was asked to spend a couple
She didn’t believe that for a second. “And that’s the only reason you’re here?”
He sent her an unreadable smile. “I have some other things to accomplish while I’m here.”
“You want us to look into your father’s case again.” Nothing else made sense to her.
“I’m here for numerous reasons. One, my mother’s birthday is soon. Two, Gus is taking a little time off. So I came to be with my family. After everything
She understood. “I’m glad. I think your mom is lonely. I’m pretty sure Gus isn’t.”
Dax shuddered, proving he’d heard about Gus’s proclivities. “I do not need to know what my sister is doing. Or who. I came back to make sure my mother is
Finally they were getting to the point. “Did you come to see Jim or Bill?”
His eyes pinned her. “I came to see you, sweetheart.”
Damn, but she was in trouble. “Why? I can’t help you.”
“Oh, I think you can. Holland, have dinner with me. Give me a chance.”
She shook her head because even if the Spencer name wasn’t as shiny as it had once been, they still came from different worlds. “I don’t think that’s a
Besides, Holland wasn’t entirely sure what he was after. He might be asking for her to reopen his father’s case. Or he might be asking her for a date.
“Holland, listen. Please. You’re the only one who might give me a shot, the only one who might hear what I have to say.” His jaw hardened to a stubborn
“Or?” There was always an “or” in these types of conversations.
“I spend the rest of my life knowing I didn’t do everything I could to honor my father.”
Shit. What was she supposed to do with that plea? He’d given her the one argument that guaranteed she wouldn’t turn him away. “All right. My place. Eight
He flashed dimples, sending her into a tailspin. “I’ll bring the wine.”
He turned and strode out, leaving her watching his amazingly hot backside and wondering what the hell she’d agreed to. She’d known she couldn’t handle him
She wanted more for herself.
Yes, she was stronger now. More mature. She’d had more experience with the opposite sex. Could she handle him? Ready or not, it seemed she was going to
Excerpted from "Big Easy Temptation"
Copyright © 2016 Shayla Black.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Love these series. Can't wait for the next one.
Not going to lie, Dax and Holland's epic end to their relationship years ago gutted me. The moment Dax figures out what really happened, teary eyed city again. Dax's actions after the break-up staying with Holland, ugly crying. But for all of that, this really was a feel good love story that I loved! Dax and Holland were so happy when they were together years ago, which is why what happened hurt so much. And even when they were thrown back together, they both knew it was meant to be. The past was there, yes, but while Dax just wanted it forgotten, Holland needed to know why. On top of all that, there is a huge mystery to solve. It was there in the past, it is there now. It puts them in danger, it makes them question what they knew, the family they have, the family they've made This is also the book where the perfect gentlemen realize the women they have chosen to be in their lives hold all the power. They will do what they can, but those 5 ladies are a force to be reckoned with!
So many twist and turns! I love it!
I just can't get enough of the perfect gentlemen.
Awesome story ! loved all the charactors cant wait to read tne 2nd one. (disappointed that there was not a lot of heat between the sheets but the parts that were was totally freak&^ hot) ,,,!!!
I really had a hard time getting into this story.was disappointed with it .I agree with one of the other post to much back story .normally I love these author's work not so much this time.
If you haven't read this book yet, run to the nearest retailer and grab yourself a copy because this book is brimming with explosive passion, destructive secrets and gut-twisting emotions, and will take you on the ride of your life! As the story unfolds, you can see the wave of pain and heartbreak coming, but you know you'll have no choice but to ride it to get to the beauty on the other side! Dax Spencer thought his father's alleged suicide and the scandal preceding it were the lowest points of his life, until the woman he loved betrayed him and left him, but he got his payback in the cruelest way possible and put her behind him. Or tried to. Now, new information has surfaced that supports his belief that his father was framed and killed as part of a conspiracy bigger than they ever imagined, one that has already taken the lives of their loved ones and has the potential to do great damage to lives and legacies. Dax is determined to clear his father's name and then get to the bottom of this plot, but first he must face to woman who broke his heart years ago. Caught in a sticky web, Holland Kirk gave up her chance for happiness with Dax to protect him and for that, he paid her back by breaking her trust in the worst way. Now he's back to re-open the investigation into his father's death and she has no choice but to work with him again. I love Dax and Holland so much. Holland is confident and tough, except when it comes to Dax. Dax is alpha to the core, protective about his loved ones and really sweet, but I especially love that he didn't play games with his feelings for Holland and put himself out there, even after he hurt her so badly. They bring out the worst and best in each other and their tumultuous relationship was heartbreaking, especially because of the manipulation of external forces that led to stupid decisions that cost them their happiness. I love everything about this book: the characters, the dialogue, the emotions, the bonds among them and the unending mystery. Just when you think that the authors have given you the best they have to offer, they top it with this. There are more questions than answers at the moment and I can't wait for the next book to see how Gus wreaks havoc on the emotions of an unprepared Perfect Gentleman! Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
✦Spotlight & Review: BIG EASY TEMPTATION: The Perfect Gentlemen Series by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-57u Publication Date: May 3, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Cori Rated: 5 Stars REVIEW: Big Easy Temptation is my new series favorite! I loved it! It's one of those books you end up staying up all night reading because you can't put it down and that's exactly what I did. Big Easy Temptation is the third book in Shayla Black and Lexi Blake's Perfect Gentlemen series and I recommend reading the first two books before picking up this one. While they can be read as standalones each book is about a different gentleman in a group of powerful men that met in boarding school. I love all of Shayla Black and Lexi Blake's Perfect Gentlemen in this series but Dax *fans face* is the perfect man. He's ultimate alpha male hero material. Holland Kirk and Dax Spencer's story is a second chance romance full of hot romance and page turning suspense. I recommend this book for romantic suspense lovers that want a hot love story with the thrills of a great suspense story. I can't wait to read the rest of the Perfect Gentlemen's stories. This series is on my favorites list and I can't wait to see what happens next in the next release. *Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.
Shayla Black and Lexi Blake have done it again with an amazing plot driven with twists and turns no one could predict book. I loved see Dax Spencer fall for Holland Kirk and be a true guy aka idiot who makes mistakes. The book does spend time leading up to the main portion going back several years and see them grow together. Black and Blake are known for their steamy make you blush romance, this wasn't it to me. I felt the plot was a huge driving force and they kept it going, yes we see some sexy times but not overly done. Besides, who wouldn't want a Perfect Gentleman of their own?
I have loved this series so far each of these men have been unique.
3.5 Stars Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog The intrigue in this series always keeps me interested and this book seemed like it could’ve moved things along quite nicely. Instead, it was more of a tease. BIG EASY TEMPTATION features Dax Spencer and his one and only love, NCIS agent Holland Kirk. He’s been in love with her as long as he can remember but he’s also been badly betrayed by her. Or so he thought. This book goes back and forth in time just a bit to give us a good glimpse of what that betrayal was and how it affects their relationship today. But personally, I wish that past would’ve been glossed over more and that we had gotten more in terms of moving forward in the present. Both for the relationship between Dax and Holland and for the overall answers we want in the series plot. As far as the heat? Dax and Holland sizzled! He’s very alpha and she’s a tough chick and when these two head strong characters crash, there’s definitely lots of sparks flying. It was so easy to see and believe that they were IT for each other and that love was what kept them from finding other people to be happy with even in the years they were apart. This book definitely leaves us with lots of questions and anxious to continue reading to get to the bottom of this whole conspiracy. And of course to see Zach and Roman get their HEAs. As it’s obvious the President will be last, I hope Roman’s book is next so Dax’s sister can shake up his perfect world.
There was too much backstory, not enough present time Dax/Holland.. it felt like you were taking pity on us readers and decided to give us a taste of what we have waited months for. Quite disappointing, actually,.For future reference, less backstory, more substance.
5 Star review of Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen #3) by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake This is Naval officer Dax Spencer and NCIS agent Holland Kirk story. These two have history together, a hot and steamy affair that ended when Holland “betrayed” Dax after his father died. Although this can be read as a stand-alone, I personally would recommend you read the first two books. It will give you a better understanding and background to what is happening as there is a continuing storyline in the background of the books. Big Easy Temptation is the third instalment of The Perfect Gentlemen and is just as action packed as the previous books. This is a hard review to write as I do not want to give away any spoilers. I love a military man, add in a feisty heroine and I am there. The action is fast paced, I was on the edge of my seat and I read this book in almost one read. I just didn’t want to put it down; I had to know what happened! The suspense, drama, plot twists and turns have you on the edge of your seat. I just kept saying to myself, one more chapter and then I’ll stop. The chemistry between Dax and Holland is obvious and even though there are issues from the past, it is certainly clear that their feelings towards each other have not been resolved. Far from it! Danger lurks around every corner as Dax and his fellow members of the Perfect Gentlemen Club continue their investigations. All around them the people they love are being put in danger and as we found out in the last book, some have died. Dax is fighting an unseen enemy and once he and Holland re-unite she is then in the firing line. Can they survive the dangers awaiting them? The continuity between the authors was seamless. I have no idea who wrote which part and honestly, it doesn’t matter. It was brilliant from start to finish. A great addition to the series.
Big Easy Temptation (Perfect Gentlemen #3) by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake is an equal balance of intrigue and romance. The series and the authors are new to me, however, I had no problem pick up the rich storyline. After powering through is fabulously gripping book, I’m definitely going back for more of the Perfect Gentlemen series! New readers are easily caught up with the story enough to appreciate Big Easy Temptation; Black and Blake creatively tell the backstory with the use of a converging timeline. Once the story setup is done, the novel is action-packed and zips along at mach speed. I loved Holland and Dax both individually and as a couple. Dax is sinfully delicious. He oozes class and Southern charm. Holland is independent, confident and competent. The conspiracy, intrigue and suspense in this story are off-the-charts intense. I was hooked on page one and couldn’t put the book down until I finished. The fast-paced, complex plot and richly developed characters make Big Easy Temptation a riveting book.
4.5 stars---BIG EASY TEMPTATON is the third installment in Shayla Black and Lexi Blake’s adult, contemporary The Perfect Gentlemen erotic, romantic suspense series focusing on six friends –Gabe, Connor, Dax, Zach, Roman and Maddox. This is Naval Officer Daxton ‘Dax’ Spencer, and NCIS agent Holland Kirk’s story line. BIG EASY TEMPTATION should not be read as a standalone as the continuing series focuses on the death of several people close to the Perfect Gentlemen, and the search for the truth. SOME BACKGROUND: Following the mysterious airplane crash and subsequent death of their friend Maddox Crawford, the remaining friends Gabe Bond, Dax Spencer, Connor Sparks, Roman and US president Zach Hayes finds themselves searching for the truth that somehow involves the Russian mob and the deaths of a number of people connected to their group known as The Perfect Gentlemen. THE PERFECT GENTLEMEN series are their stories Told from dual third person perspectives (Dax and Holland), following three different timelines, BIG EASY TEMPTATION focuses on the rekindling of the relationship between Dax and Holland once destroyed by secrets and lies. With the mysterious death of his father, ruled a suicide, and the subsequent reopening of the investigation, Dax Spencer finds himself in the Big Easy-New Orleans-working with the woman who has stolen his heart. Holland Kirk is an investigator with the NCIS, and the death of Dax’s father was a closed case as far as the service was concerned. But Dax has never been able to let go of the past, and believes his father’s death was something more. What ensues is the further investigation into the elder Spencer’s death, and the threats aimed at Holland and Dax as they get too close to the truth. The relationship between Dax and Holland is one of second and third chances. Years before Dax immediately fell for Holland Kirk-a woman on the fast track to joining the Navy’s NCIS but a woman who knew the history and tabloid ramblings about the Perfect Gentlemen and their conquest of lovers and scandals. Fast forward several years wherein our couple will work together investigating the suicide of Dax’s father only to fall victim to betrayals and lies. Present day will find our couple, once again, joining forces to uncover the truth, but a truth that will threaten everyone that they love. The sizzling chemistry and burning attraction between our leading couple is palpable but the elephant in the room may be too much to overcome. The $ex scenes are intimate, intense and seductive. The world building continues to focus on the conspiracy and investigation into a series of unexplained deaths surrounding the Perfect Gentlemen and the people they love. From Washington DC to New Orleans to Russia, the Perfect Gentlemen search for the truth, and the connection to their friend- US president Zach Hayes-and the Russian mob. We get up close and personal into the private lives of six friends whose life of privilege is tainted by scandal and deceit. BIG EASY TEMPTATION is a fantastic read; a suspense filled story where life long friends have been targeted in a game involving cold war enemies, and the potential fall out of betrayal and revenge. Long buried secrets and lies have come to the surface, and the Perfect Gentlemen have been caught in the battle of their lives. The premise is thrilling and enticing; the characters are engaging and dynamic; the romance is a second chance at a happily ever after. Shayla Black and Lexi Blake a
Years ago, Naval officer Dax Spencer and NCIS agent Holland Kirk indulged in a steamy affair—until she betrayed him in the wake of his father’s death. Dax tried to put her behind him with a payback of his own. But he never forgot Holland… Now, as Dax and his fellow Perfect Gentlemen unravel a web of lies, he discovers his family’s tragedy is part of a much larger conspiracy. Soon, all clues point him back to New Orleans…where Holland waits, protecting her deadly secret and holding a torch for the only man she’s ever loved. Once reunited, they can’t fight the passion flaring hot and wild. But something sinister lurks around every corner, from the elegance of the Garden district to the beauty of the bayou. Dax and Holland may find their way back to each other—if they survive... Review: This is my favorite of the series so far! I don't want to spoil this for those who will not read until release date, so I will keep this spoiler free. Let me just say that if you have read any other Black/Blake stories you will not be disappointed. This book was sexy, emotional , intriguing and excellently written, just as I come to expect from these two. This time around it is Dax's story and he really does come off as the perfect gentleman and so darn romantic! Love, love, love him!!!! Dax and Holland together are perfect, until it shatters and I was crying so hard when that happened. Theirs is a love torn apart. I really loved the range of emotions in this story. I could feel where both Dax and Holland were coming from and really felt their ups and downs. I also liked the on-going mystery to this series and how it was tied to this story. They did a really good job at keeping me guessing on who is in on the mystery and trying to keep it under wraps and who is not. Now, this is the third book in the series and because of events and mystery that threads its way through all three books, I would definitely recommend reading them in order. I know this was a really vague review, but I don't want to give anything away or spoil things for others. Again, I will say this is my new favorite from these two Authors and I highly recommend this book and series. 5Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
I do disagree with the previous reviewer's comment. The backstory was necessary for Dax and Holland's time line to make sense. It also fills in gaps for us. This is not a stand alone book in my opinion. Keep writing ladies.