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Lauren Smith
The Darkest Hour
Lauren Smith, author
Royce Devereaux isn’t your average sexy professor. He has a lot of rules in his professional and personal life. He keeps both worlds separated. He has to. He’s somewhat of a public figure—and yes, he’s made enemies climbing to the top. Being a world-famous paleontology professor doesn’t mix well with his romantic life. He likes his sex rough, and a whole lot of naughty. Which means his students are 100% off limits. One problem. His new graduate student assistant, Kenzie. She looks at him like a kid looks at birthday cake, and he doesn’t like it. Except, he does. He likes it too much. She’s feisty and smart—which only makes him want to tie her up and master her body. And her buttoned-up librarian look—it makes him want to strip her naked…slowly. He has to find a way to ignore her. It’s only one semester. Right? But when an enemy decides to use Kenzie to force his hand, Royce has no choice but to keep her close. Very, very close. His two worlds have just collided. He just hopes he can let her go once the danger is over…
Fossil smuggling, BDSM, and heart-stopping run-ins with the Russian mob power Smith’s taut, well-characterized fourth Surrender novel (after The Gilded Chain). Teaching assistant MacKenzie Martin is grading papers for her sexy mentor and boss, paleontologist Dr. Royce Devereaux, at Long Island’s Hampstead University when thugs break into the office. They threaten her, hoping to use her as leverage to force Royce to authenticate a valuable velociraptor fossil. After Kenzie makes a daring escape, Royce directs her to meet him at the BDSM club where he spends his Saturday nights. He whisks her first to his mansion and then to Russia to keep her safe from the thugs’ boss, soulless human trafficker and fossil smuggler Vadym Andreikiv. In between bouts of great, kinky sex, mayhem ensues, making long-term survival somewhat unlikely. But when all seems lost, Smith cleverly brings in the cavalry. Although some scenes of graphic violence are unpleasant to read, they make it clear that Andreikiv is thoroughly evil, making it easy for readers to cheer for his downfall. At the end, Smith tantalizingly whets the reader’s appetite for the next book, which promises to be every bit as gripping as this satisfying installment. (BookLife)