The Surrender Gate by Christopher Rice…ARC Review

The Surrender Gate releases tomorrow!

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New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice’s first foray into erotic romance, The Flame, earned accolades from some of the genre’s most beloved authors. “Sensual, passionate and intelligent,” wrote Lexi Blake, “it’s everything an erotic romance should be.” J. Kenner called it “absolutely delicious,” Cherise Sinclair hailed it as “beautifully lyrical” and Loreli James announced, “I look forward to reading more!” Now, Christopher returns you to the world first introduced in The Flame with an all new novel of The Desire Exchange…

Emily Blaine’s life is about to change. Arthur Benoit, the kindly multi-millionaire who has acted as her surrogate father for years, has just told her he’s leaving her his entire estate, and he only has a few months to live. Soon Emily will go from being a restaurant manager with a useless English degree to the one of the richest and most powerful women in New Orleans. There’s just one price. Arthur has written a letter to his estranged son Ryan he hopes will mend the rift between them, and he wants Emily to deliver the letter before it’s too late. But finding Ryan won’t be easy. He’s been missing for years. He was recently linked to a mysterious organization called The Desire Exchange. But is The Desire Exchange just an urban legend? Or are the rumors true? Is it truly a secret club where the wealthy can live out their most private sexual fantasies?

It’s a task Emily can’t undertake alone. But there’s only one man qualified to help her, her gorgeous and confident best friend, Jonathan Claiborne. She’s suspected Jonathan of working as a high-priced escort for months now, and she’s willing to bet that while giving pleasure to some of the most powerful men in New Orleans, Jonathan has uncovered some possible leads to The Desire Exchange—and to Ryan Benoit. But Emily’s attempt to uncover Jonathan’s secret life lands the two of them in hot water. Literally. In order to escape the clutches of one of Jonathan’s most powerful and dangerous clients, they’re forced to act on long buried desires—for each other.

When Emily’s mission turns into an undercover operation, Jonathan insists on going with her. He also insists they continue to explore their impossible, reckless passion for each other. Enter Marcus Dylan, the hard-charging ex-NAVY Seal Arthur has hired to keep Emily safe. But Marcus has been hired for another reason. He, too, has a burning passion for Emily, a passion that might keep Emily from being distracted and confused by a best friend who claims he might be able to go straight just for her. But Marcus is as rough and controlling as Jonathan is sensual and reckless. As Emily searches for a place where the rich turn their fantasies into reality, she will be forced to decide which one of her own long-ignored fantasies should become her reality. But as Emily, Jonathan, and Marcus draw closer to The Desire Exchange itself, they find their destination isn’t just shrouded in mystery, but in magic as well.

My review:

The Surrender Gate is the first novel in The Desire Exchange series by author Christopher Rice, the second release for 1,001 Dark Nights this year, and follows the world introduced to us in The Flame. Where The Flame was a delicious amuse-bouche, The Surrender Gate is a wonderfully prepared first course. I devoured it on one sitting and was completely drawn in by the relationships between the characters and the promise of a peek into a secretive supernatural world. It was amazing.

In a short amount of time, Emily Blane’s life has gone from relatively normal to anything but. The best friend she thought she knew had a whole secret side to his life, they’ve shared a night she never thought would happen, and she’s been thrown into a world she never thought imaginable while undercover and looking for her father figure’s long lost son. A secret world where nothing is as it seems. Where people are asked to open up and speak their deepest desires. A world that very few people knew of and a world that Emily couldn’t believe was actually trying to become a part of. Luckily her best friend was with her along the way, also undercover, and trying to breach the secret walls of this society of sorts. She also had another person on her side…Marcus. The guard tasked with keeping her safe by the man she considered a father.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to fill a girl’s plate, she finds herself growing seriously attracted to Marcus and soon she realized the feelings are mutual. But this wasn’t the time nor place to start any kind of relationship…not when she isn’t even sure she will get out of this mess alive.

Navigating the next few weeks will certainly be a test for Emily. She will experience emotions and pleasure like never before and will question her resolve more than once during this experience. Does she have to strength to endure it? Something tells her that having Marcus there with her for every step of the way she can…

Truly amazing. I am a huge fan of Christopher Rice’s work and have read his thriller work but, by far, my favorite of his writing is in this erotic suspense genre. Mr. Rice has such a beautiful and tantalizing way with words that truly bring the reader into every moment and allow you to feel the emotions alongside of the characters. This story has so many wonderful elements. There is the taste of paranormal with The Desire Exchange itself, the sexiness of the bedroom scenes, and the mystery of what has happened in the disappearance of a young man. But, hands down, my favorite part of this story is the ever-changing and evolving of the relationships between Emily, her best friend, and Marcus. What starts out one way, ends in a different direction, and the beauty of Mr. Rice’s writing is that I never once was unhappy or unsatisfied with how things were going. Relationships are complicated and messy at times in real life, and we delve into that head-on a few times within the story. I loved how real it felt. It was amazing to read and to accompany these characters on their journey.

I love that this book can cross so many genre lines and appeal to many different readers.  I highly recommend it to fans of suspense, romance, paranormal, and of course, erotic romance. Thank you, Mr. Rice, for a beautiful and sensual story. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next!

5LovesRLBFive Loves


Book links:

Amazon  |  1.001 Dark Nights

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About the author:

By the age of 30, Christopher Rice had published four New York Times bestselling thrillers, received a Lambda Literary Award and been declared one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive. His latest novel is THE HEAVENS RISE, a supernatural thriller about a young woman who is exposed to a mysterious parasite in the Louisiana swamp that gives her the power to control minds and unleash living nightmares. THE HEAVENS RISE is currently a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel. Together with his best friend, bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, Christopher recently launched his own Internet radio show. An outrageous and irreverent comedy variety program, THE DINNER PARTY SHOW WITH CHRISTOPHER RICE & ERIC SHAW QUINN streams 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at TheDinnerPartyShow.com, with new live episodes premiering Sunday evenings at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific.

Christopher’s first novel, A DENSITY OF SOULS, was published when he was just 22. The controversial bestseller was greeted with a landslide of media attention, much of it due the fact that Rice’s mother is a legendary vampire chronicler who shares his last name. He served as a contributing columnist to The Advocate for many years and his additional criticisms and witticisms have been featured in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon.com and his own Facebook page, which currently hails over 100,000 subscribers. The members of the InsightOut Book Club selected his novel BLIND FALL as one of the best novels of 2008, and his noir thriller LIGHT BEFORE DAY was hailed as a “book of the year” by mega-best selling thriller novelist (and Jack Reacher creator), Lee Child. His short fiction has been featured in the anthologies Thriller and Los Angeles Noir. He recently served on the board of directors of the West Hollywood Library Fund, which was instrumental in securing private funds to build a brand new state-of-the-art library in the heart of the city he now calls home.

website | Twitter | Facebook | The Dinner Party Show

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