Series: Madame X #2
Published by Berkley on 3/1/16
Genres: Romance, Erotica
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New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder presents the second darkly seductive novel starring the mysterious Madame X.
Everything Madame X has ever known is contained within the four walls of the penthouse owned by her lover, her keeper, the man who controls her every move and dominates her desires. While Caleb owns her body, someone else has touched her soul. X’s awakening at the hands of Logan’s raw, honest masculinity has led her down a new path, one that is as exciting as it is terrifying.
But Caleb’s need to own her completely knows no bounds, and he isn’t about to let her go. Not without a fight that could destroy them all…
“There’s a lioness in you, X, you just have to find it and become it.”
When I first met Madame X, I saw a steel-like woman, but upon learning about her life and her past it became clear that she wasn’t nearly as put-together as she projected. With Madame X, I was taken on a provocative and intriguing journey where I learned that much was hidden and that nothing in X’s world was as it seemed. When I reviewed Madame X, I was vague. I left out major plot points because I wanted the reader to experience all the sensual intrigue as I did, but I hated that I couldn’t talk about the major plot twist of the story. Well, now I can, and I have a bit to say, so brace yourselves.
I want to go to [him]. I want to bury my head in the sand. I want his arms around me. I want his eyes on mine, his hands on me, his lips. I want that, so badly. I want his truth. The ease of everything that is him. But what if he’s lying, too? What if I become addicted to him the way I’m addicted to you?
There’s a love triangle. I am not a fan of love triangles. I don’t like the angst of an indecisive heroine, because I’m never conflicted about who I like. I pick my choice early, it rarely changes (in fact, I don’t think it’s ever changed), and I hate having to suffer through scenes with the couple I’m not shipping (rooting for). Hate it. So, I went into Exposed prepared that I wasn’t going to completely love the experience, because based on “love-triangle trilogy timeline,” book two should involve more development for the couple that was featured less in book one. Unfortunately for me, in Exposed, that’s the couple I do NOT ship.
I am…unraveling, Caleb.
Exposed opens after X has made a choice regarding where she belongs, knowing that there are still many untold secrets and a whole lot of uncertainly. I was excited to delve into those secrets and to experience the peeling of the many layers of the story. These characters are pretty complex and I looked forward to learning more about them and their pasts. Not everything about them, of course, because this is a trilogy, but this was a highly anticipated read of mine this year because I absolutely loved the intrigue and morally ambiguous storyline of Madame X.
There’s plenty of intrigue in Exposed, but my impatient self couldn’t stand the back and forth romantic drama (see above for my views on love ▲s). There’s quite a bit revealed about that other guy, but seeing as how I can’t stand him and don’t trust him, I can’t say that I cared much about his character development or the progression of his relationship with X. I thought it was cheesy.
What I did care about while reading was what went on with X and my guy, and I can say that I gobbled it all up. It was just as intense as in Madame X, and I feel even more conflicted about this love story now because there were some times when I really hated my guy, raged against what he put X through, but I never abandoned him. There’s something about him, and I trust him, even though I probably shouldn’t. Though, I was expecting to learn more about him, and was pretty disappointed when the story ended and character remained stagnant.
Really, this trilogy is about X. It’s about her mysterious past, the sheltered present she’s been living, and her unknown future. I didn’t love X’s development in Exposed because it felt superficial. I do believe that she’s a lioness, but she isn’t fierce at the moment, she’s afraid, and I think most of the decisions she makes in Exposed are safe ones. But I might not be the most objective lens to look through, because as I mentioned before, I’m definitely playing favorites.
Generally, I liked Exposed. I didn’t love it, and there were some times when I couldn’t stand it, but overall I enjoyed reading it, and I am still very much invested in this story and excited for what comes next. I’m impatient to know more.
“You deserve to be worshipped, Isabel,” he says. “You deserve to be shown how perfect you are.”
I have to blink back a surprised wash of intense emotion: wonder, embarrassment, need, tenderness, raw lust.
I find my voice, and my own words surprise me. “Then worship me, Logan. Show me.”
He licks my nipple and plunges a middle finger into my cleft. “I’m going to.” A curl, a come-here motion with his finger, and I cannot stop a moan. “Be loud for me, Isabel. I want to hear every sound you make.”
Mouth latched onto my nipple, one hand between my thighs, he cups my breast with his other. Sucks, swirls his tongue around my nipple. And then pulls away. His finger slides out of my opening and brings my essence with it, smearing it onto my clitoris. I ache, oh I ache. I’m going to come again. Soon, and hard.
As he finds a circling rhythm, slow and soft touches of two fingers against my throbbing clit, he alternates kissing and suckling both of my breasts, one and the other, one and the other. Tension coils inside me, centered low in my belly. I tighten. Curl up, knees rising, and he does not speed up his rhythmic touching of my most sensitive flesh. I am moaning, I realize. Nonstop. Aching. Needing. Feeling his touch and needing more.
“Can I taste you, Isabel?” Logan asks.
“Please what? Tell me what you want, sweetheart, and I’ll give it to you.”
“Taste me. Make me come. Touch me. Let me touch you.”
He kisses his way down my body. Sternum. Belly. Hip. Thigh. Over and over, he kisses my body, not missing anywhere. He lifts my left leg and kisses the back of my knee, and I whimper at the soft warm touch of lips there, and then he’s flicking his tongue and sliding his mouth over my thigh, and I moan. A single flick of his tongue over my nether lips, and I’m writhing, gasping. But he doesn’t give me what I need, not yet. He transfers his kisses to my other thigh, kissing downward now, to my calf, lips feathering over my ankle.
“Logan . . .” I gasp.
“I know, honey. But I told you that you deserve to be worshipped. Let me worship you.” And he kisses the top of my foot.
Now his mouth travels back toward my core, over the top of my thigh, lips landing on the crease where hip meets leg, such an erogenous spot. Inward. To the mound just above my privates. To the very top of my core, and his tongue laps out, licks the very crest of my core, where my labia meet.
“Oh god. Logan, yes. Please. Please.” I am breathless, gasping each word. Begging. He makes me beg, just by the way he touches me, kisses me.
He fits two fingers into my opening, slides them deep. Curls them, withdraws, inserts. Starts a thrusting rhythm. His tongue lashes against my clit, and I writhe into his tongue, into his tongue, into his fingers. Move against him shamelessly. Bury my fingers in my hair, grip it, lift my hips.
“Can you come?” he murmurs.
I can only whimper wordlessly and arch off the bed and grind against his mouth and fingers. His mouth covers my core now, and he sucks my clitoris between his lips and creates a suction, flicking it with his tongue, sliding his fingers in and out, in and out, and his free hand reaches up to pinch my nipple.
“Now, Isabel. Come for me, right now. Let me feel you squeeze around my fingers, baby. Let me feel you come so hard you can’t breathe.” His words are the catalyst I need. “Ride my fingers, ride my mouth. Take it from me.”
I gasp, and lights flash behind my squeezed-shut eyes. The tension in my belly breaks apart, and I’m crying out loud. I bear down, clenching around his fingers with all the force I can muster, and then all control is gone as he matches my desperate rhythm with his mouth, with his tongue, with his fingers, taking me to the upper reaches of my climax and pushing me past it, to a place I didn’t know existed.
“Yeah, that’s right, just like that. Scream for me. Come for me.” He whispers against my flesh. “You are so fucking beautiful, Isabel, so sexy, so fucking sexy.”
I come down, and he’s kneeling upright. Watching me. I’m sweaty, gasping. My breasts sway with my heaving breaths, and he watches their motion openly.
I’m still shaking, trembling from the force of my orgasm.
“I want to touch you now, Logan.” I sit up. Reach for him.
He moves closer to me, kneels astride me. Gazes down at me. His erection is in front of my face, his hands on my shoulders. “Touch me then.”
I tear my eyes from his and allow my gaze to roam his body, tracing the wild profusion of his tattooed arms. There are pinup girls, playing cards, crossed assault rifles, Old English–style lettering, sparrows, spiders, skulls, handguns, characters that must be from movies, masks, all woven together and growing out of a tree trunk whose roots spread around his biceps and the crease of his elbow.
I look down then, down to his erection.
I wrap one hand around it, slide my palm down the soft flesh to the base, and then circle my other hand around him, spanning most of his length, although a bit of the head protrudes above my upper hand. I lick him there, flatten my tongue over the tip of him. He groans, and his grip tightens on my shoulders. I glide my palms up, and then down. Let go with one hand and stroke his length from tip to base, over and over, learning the feel of him, the way he fills my fist, the way his skin slides and stretches. How he moans, what makes him grunt. I squeeze gently, and he gasps. I have nothing within me but desire. Need. I want all of him.
I wrap my lips around him, fit my lips to the groove under the bulbous head. He moans, a long, sustained growl. “Isabel. Don’t.”
“I want to.”
He pulls back, sinks to sit on his heels. “Let me taste you again.”
I shake my head. “I want you, Logan. I want to touch you. I want to make you feel good. I want this.”
“But what happened—”
“Had nothing to do with you. Has nothing to do with how much I want you.” I lean into him, kiss his mouth. “Lie down and let me worship you too, Logan.”