Review: The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed


The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
Berkley (November 5, 2013)

Rating: B+
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Billie Cort – Journalist, Tenacious 
Hero: Adrian Antolis – High-class Prostitute, Beautifully Broken






Well, of course, I had to read this book where the hero is a gigolo. I’m completely intrigued and drawn to heroes that are paid escorts. But, lo and behold, I got so much more with this story. It’s passionate and provocative and loaded with emotion. Adrian is like chocolate. I could never get enough of him. He’s the type of hero that will melt your heart into mush he’s so beautifully broken.

Adrian Antolis is a male prostitute whose been working at Avalon, a high-class male escort service, for eight years. He’s gorgeous, mysterious, well-mannered, fascinating, and a master seducer; he’s the quintessential Prince of Avalon. He’s mastered every devilish grin, every sensual touch, and every sultry word to the point that women simply cannot resist him. He is every woman’s fantasy and these women pay high dollar to have him fulfill their every desire and pleasure. Their wish is his command. He’s been in this profession for so long, he lost his true self a long time ago. He barely knows who he outside of being a gigolo. He’s a man who doesn’t think he’s good enough to be loved, for more than just giving women pleasure, until he meets Billie Cort.

Being that Adrian is Avalon’s most desired male escort, he’s been selected to do an interview with the magazine Illicit, where Billie is the reporter conducting the interview. The moment Billie meets Adrian is when she realizes she completely underestimated him; thinking he would be demeaning. She understood completely why this man is the most requested escort at Avalon. Every little thing he does is seductive and fascinating and charming. She’s drawn to him like a moth to a burning flame.

While conducting the interview, Billie is faced with many of Adrian’s privacy walls when it comes to his personal life. Adrian attempts to avoid the personal topics by seducing Billie. To Billie’s surprise, she wants this man that has awakened her passionate side. She’s never encountered someone who could challenge her sexually and make her feel so deeply attracted to them so quickly. Needless to say, the interview was not completed. But Adrian offers Billie another chance for her to finish the interview.

They both become a little more immersed in each other as they get to know one another. With the strong connection between them, Adrian slowly reveals more of himself that he’s hidden and denied for so long. Adrian is a complex man who has everything and nothing at all. But a horrible loss causes him to analyze the lies and secrets he’s built his life on. And meeting Billie further changes everything for him. She’s the one woman who could strip his defenses bare. It was obvious he craved normalcy and genuine love and passion, which Billie could give him. Billie helps him put things into perspective for him and accepted him – flaws and all. Billie taught Adrian how to love, which scared him at the same time.

Billie knew falling for Adrian could be the best and worst mistake in her life. She wanted him to be honest with her; show her his true self. If he couldn’t do that, then they could never be anything more than just the prostitute and the journalist. I loved Billie’s strength and tenacity when it came to Adrian. She never pushed him, yet she never gave up either. But can Adrian give up his lifestyle for love? Is Billie’s love enough to save him?

Oh, yeah. This story is loaded with heat and the passion is tangible. While the sexy times come much later in the book, there are a lot of provocative foreplay scenes between Adrian and Billie that oozes sensuality. I love how Billie changed the roles on Adrian. She made him beg and plead for an orgasm when he usually has more self-control. If there is any man that can make me melt when he begs, it would be Adrian. And reading when Adrian makes love for the first time… simply took my breath away.

It came to him then, permeated his disjointed thoughts. Billie was teaching him—him—how to make love. With a jolt of surprise at the crashing irony, Adrian realized he hadn’t known how until now. He, the consummate lover, so renowned for his sexual skill, so proficient and controlled and practiced, had only played at making love, where Billie…God. Clearly, it was all she knew. Pretense just wasn’t in her.

Fifth Favor is about love, heartbreak, acceptance, and, ultimately, choices. While this is Adrian and Billie’s story, it’s mostly about Adrian freeing himself from a life that makes him feel unfulfilled. Shelby Reed has created a character driven story where every word felt elegant and lovely. This story flows so smoothly that it was easy to get caught up in this forbidden love affair. Though I do wish an epilogue had been included, I still found the ending satisfying. Do yourself a favor and read this arousing, captivating story that is beautifully written.


Comments moderated on posts older than 8 days.