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Selling Scarlett (Love Inc. #1), by Ella James

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Elizabeth DeVille doesn’t belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.

Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail. 

When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter’s den of vices, she’s a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn’t have, and she’s come up with a foolproof way to get it.

Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she’ll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that’s not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil’s mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.

***RECOMMENDED FOR READERS 17+ DUE TO SEXUALITY AND MATURE LANGUAGE.***

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This book was on my TBR list for some time now but I don’t know why it was gathering dust. It’s probably that I was distracted with all the other books I have yet to read.
I was ruining myself on Amazon (yet again) when it flashed on my screen. I’d just finished another book so I thought why not start this one? The story seemed interesting enough. You have to admit, it’s not everyday you come across a book about a girl selling her V-card.

“This is good for you,” he tells me. Real good. You got a price I wouldn’t dream of and the bidder is a good guy. That’s a Disney ending.”

And even though I thought the story had more to it than just the V-card selling theme, I wasn’t expecting it to be just a small part of the story. In fact, I found myself wondering when the whole thing was going to come up, because, when you get to chapter seventeen of a book and what promised the blurb isn’t even mentioned yet, you start wondering if you’ve been reading the right book. And so for a big part of this book I thought the story was very slow to start. And I was wrong to think that because behind this controversial theme, the story was a lot more elaborated than I thought it would be.

Selling Scarlett is a lot more than a controversial theme and a love story. We are guided through a complicated investigation, lies, secrets, manipulation and a lot of other things.
Both the main characters have different pieces of the story and it took me some time to figure out how they fit together, since at first, they seem completely unrelated. So what I’m saying here is, this book was very well written.

“It’s a .38. You need it! Some escorts have been kidnapped and sold into slavery or murdered or eaten!”
“Really?” I pause, mid-chew. I’ve heard a lot of things about Las Vegas, but not that.
“Well, the cannibalism is just a pessimistic guess.”

You need to pay extra attention during the first few chapters because everything starts from there and if you don’t pay attention, you might get a little lost at first. I wasn’t expecting to get in the thick of it so soon and so I had to go back and check a few things to be able to piece everything together before continuing reading. I think it had to do with the fact that I was expecting a very different kind of story due to the synopsis.

I was very satisfied with this book. It kept me very interested and involved with the story. I really liked to get to know the characters gradually.
Hunter West is a mystery and we get to know him very slowly but with so much pleasure too. Every little piece of information we get about him is like a little reward and you can’t help but want to know more.

“Why did he leave the room without saying anything? Is he some kind of sex fiend? A bedroom Batman?”

I really liked Elizabeth’s character. She is her own person and stands for the things and the people she believes in and loves and the more you read about her the more you want to read about what will happen to her and what she’ll do next with the hand she’s been dealt.

“As she puts the earrings on me, I feel a sense of total peace. And okay, it evaporated as soon as they left the room and a little speaker on the bed told me I’d be live in two minutes. But before then, I felt valued and loved. Here in a brothel.”

You’ll also come to hate a handful of characters in this book. I know I did. I’m not a violent person, but some people and what they did in this book seriously made me feel like throttling them. You know they’re poison from the moment you meet them. They are like snakes, and you feel like you need to constantly watch them because you don’t know when they’ll strike but you know that when they do, things will get bad real quick.

This book has more up its sleeve than you would expect from the synopsis and it is very well done. I really recommend it.

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