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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eastern Ambitions by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon

Eastern Ambitions by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (151 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M/M/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Exhibitionism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Foxglove

He’s lost everything. Can he win her heart?

Compass Brothers, Book 3

Sam Compton never liked getting his hands dirty, at least not on Compass Ranch. Armed with a business degree, he’s about to become the youngest VP at an illustrious Wall Street investment firm. Until his partner in an office romance turns into an ultra-refined snake in the grass.

Staggering from the punch of betrayal, another blow threatens to level him. His father is dying. He races home to lend his brain to his brothers’ backs at the ranch, and finds something he never expected. A sophisticated yet playful woman stimulates his mind…and parts below the belt.

Compass Ranch gave Cindi Middleton’s wounded soul everything it needs: a home, acceptance, and respect—not to mention unlimited sex—from the ranch’s sexy cowboys. Despite their instant and intense sparks, Sam’s defection to the bright city lights she left behind is a big red flag. She’s been there, done that, burned the T-shirt.

Yet the heat of their attraction brings them circling back to each other’s arms…until a certain snake reappears, threatening to endanger the acquisition of the one thing Sam has realized is truly priceless.

Eastern Ambitions is the third installment of the Compass Brothers books, and the most intensely emotional so far.

As each Compton brother turns eighteen, they leave home to follow their dreams. First Silas, then Seth, and now the twins are about to embark on their own adventures. While Sawyer has opted for a military career, Sam is determined to go to college back east. He wants all the things not available on the ranch, and he believes he will find it all in New York.

Fast-forward seven years, and Sam is where he has worked hard to be: a successful trader in a prestigious investment firm in the city, with a chance to become the youngest vice president in the history of the firm. He just has to succeed with one presentation and he is in. Then there is Belinda, the woman he has been seeing, and the night before his big day, she finally takes the relationship to the next level with a wild night in Sam’s bed. But things aren’t what they seem, and the next day, Sam is not only not given the promotion, he is fired for ‘stealing’ her proposal, and for harassment. Seems she set him up for a major fall.

Sam decides to head back to Wyoming to lick his wounds, but when he calls home to let them know, he is blindsided with news that knocks the situation he is in right out of his head. Going home becomes more important, and he leaves immediately.

Life is much the same as ever at the ranch, but as Sam comes to terms with all that is happening, he meets Cindi Middleton, the ranch office manager, and sparks strike between them. Cindi is wounded, not physically, but inside there are scars and secrets. With so much going on, can they help each other through the tough times ahead at Compass Ranch? Can they trust each other enough to reveal their innermost secrets, secrets that are very much the same? Can Sam learn to not judge without all the facts before opening his mouth?

I love the world and the characters that Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon have so marvelously crafted. There is an electricity flowing through this story, a sense of things flowing just below the surface about to erupt, that draws the reader in with the first words. This story grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go until the final sentence.

Sam Compton is the image of the successful young businessman, and he has achieved what he wanted. But when it all goes down the drain, the only consolation he can think of is home. Sam has matured, and has picked up some decidedly kinky habits in the big city, and he knows those things will be put aside when he goes home, and he is okay with it. I like Sam and his ability to realize what is really important in life. I enjoyed watching as he kept messing up what could be the best thing to ever cross his path.

Cindi Middleton works and lives at Compton Ranch, and she also plays there. She is strong and smart, and determined to not be hurt ever again. She has her ways of coping, and if those ways include playing with the ranch hands to everyone’s mutual pleasure, well she’s fine with it. I loved Cindi’s honesty with all the men in her life, and her ability to be exactly who she is. When she meets Sam, I liked that she finally met someone she could relate to on a special level, if he can just accept her secrets and not walk away.

This story is deeper and more emotional than the first two books, and there are many secrets that need to come out. The connections between the main and secondary characters in this story are expertly intertwined, with everyone filling some need in another. But this is definitely Sam and Cindi’s story, and they have some major barriers to get through to get to their happy ending. There are several hot spots in this, and the scene in the yard with Cindi and the men is one of the hottest things I have read in a while. That was the moment when Cindi and Sam realized they were perfect for each other, and it was written to perfection.

This is one very hot romance, but bring a huge box of tissues, because this one will bring the tears, both from laughter and from sadness.

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