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New Release Review: BLACKMAILED BY THE HERO by Julie Particka (Gone Hollywood #2)

Brother’s best friend? Yes, please!

Blackmailed By The Hero
by Julie Particka


The wrong bed. The wrong guy.

Party planner Vicky Stone is on a post-divorce mission. Not only does she intend to land her dream promotion, she’s going to indulge in a night of hot hook-up sex. Preferably with the hunky actor she just met at a work function, no-fraternization rules be damned. Fortunately, his drunken directions included a right that should have been a left, landing her in bed with her brother’s extra-hot, extra-off-limits best friend instead of the unemployment line.

And, oh, he feels good. Too good.

Bad boy Dante Palladino’s forbidden fantasies are about to come true…until Vicky realizes who she’s feeling up. And to find out she risked her job for sex with some loser? Not on his watch. Dante throws down the ultimate, albeit self-serving, blackmail. Vicky will date him-and only him-and her secret will be safe. But Vicky swore never to fall for another guy who could break her heart…and Dante’s on course to do just that.



Darn it, I completely spaced out and haven’t yet read book one in this series, Tempting Her Fake Fiancé. I have no excuse–I own it, for pete’s sake; fortunately, it didn’t matter at all where book two in the series is concerned. I really enjoyed the author’s voice here and the snippets we saw of Evan, Vicky’s brother and the hero of Tempting, sparked my interest, so I’ll definitely be fixing that issue–soon.

Dante “Inferno” Palladino is a classic good-guy hero–he’s Evan’s best friend, and back when he and Vicky first met there were some serious sparks going on, but she was about to be married so nothing actually happened. Oh, and her brother warned her off of him, saying his bestie was “bad news”. (Which he’s not, BTW. Note the first sentence of this paragraph. It’s totally true. But it takes Vicky a while to clue in on that.)

But now it’s five years later, and Vicky’s divorce from her no-good, abusive husband is finally over. She’s making a new life for herself on her own and on her own terms and things are going well except, well, she’s been in a bit of a dry spell sexually speaking. So her best friend Jade (who will hopefully get her own book soon, because she made a big deal here about not believing in forever love and all that jazz, so clearly she’s got it coming…) has dared her to have a one-night stand following the Hollywood party that Vicky’s working at as the novel opens.

And so that’s her plan.

Except it goes very wrong. Or very right, depending on your POV of the situation. 😉

From the start Dante’s the consummate good-guy hero; except for the blackmail bit (which ended up making a lot more sense in the story than I initially thought it could have–though honestly, he should have copped to his motivation there way before he did) and Evan’s so-called warning, he’s constantly thinking of others before himself. Come to think of it, the “blackmail” isn’t even an exception to that. Vicky has a hard time reconciling the thoughtful and considerate guy he is 99% of the time with the man who threatens her job in order to make him go out with her. Did I mention he should have confessed all to her earlier? But really his “bad boy” label seems a total misnomer here, from start to finish…other than his tats and a really interesting piercing.

Vicky was definitely a sympathetic character with her difficult psst and her determination to do things on her own, but at times it felt like she was causing unnecessary drama. She tended to jump to conclusions rashly and then lash out based on them, especially toward the end, and her insistence on not wanting to be “rescued” felt a bit over the top after a while. She eventually got over her hangup there, but it was a conclusion she should have reached earlier in the book. Still, she was essentially an enjoyable heroine.

The ending felt a bit heavy-handed, but it was cute.

Overall, this was a great weekend read, and I’m looking forward to more from this series.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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