Annabelle Elder is going to give herself one night of fun. From a bad relationship to a consuming business she has no time for herself. She decides to buy two tickets to the New Year’s Masquerade at Haven Hotel in Philadelphia. The party promises good food, dancing and yummy drinks. She will take her best friend Kate,they will have the time of their lives and then she will return to her business.
Jared Golden loved beautiful women, cold champagne, and the hum of a well-run party.
Not always in that order.
Jared and his brother are the owners of the Haven Hotel. He loves a good party. In fact, he lives for a good party or anything that will thumb the nose of his stuffy father. Since the day he saw his father cheating on his mother he has been angry and skeptical of relationships. Sure his mother with her mental health problems was no picnic to live with but that didn’t excuse his father hurting her.
When Jared first sees Belle he is captivated. Something about her is different from the other women in the room. She is natural, open and wonderfully sensual. He is drawn to her like a moth to a flame. After spending several hours with her he invites her to the after party or the Salon Games. The Salon Games are ten people who come together to enjoy any and all hedonistic pleasures. They sign confidentiality agreements so nobody can be outed. Belle decides to take a chance and attends the games with Jared. There she experiences pleasure beyond anything she has ever known but with the morning comes a misunderstanding between Belle and Jared. Belle feels used and leaves Jared to go back to her staid life.
Jared is unable to get Belle out of his thoughts so he uses one of his friends to find her. Because she has felt the sting of scandal Belle has changed her name and buried her identity deep making it hard for Jared to find her. Once he finally does he proposes a business deal. He has been looking for a location to build a new spa and her quiet hometown is the perfect place. If Belle will help him he will let her be the one to furnish the new spa. Belle’s business specializes in erotic art and antiquities so everything she has would be perfect for the look Jared is going for. Not to mention it will keep her close. And he has suddenly realized that he wants her close for more than just a short period of time.
By Private Invitation has so many layers to it. The main layer is the relationship between Jared and Belle. But beneath that is secret that Belle has hidden for most of her life. It is a secret that has kept her from getting close to anyone. Another layer to the story is the misconception Jared has about his parent’s relationship. Towards the end of the story we find out that things might not be as they seem with his father cheating on his mother. Jared has to face the fact that his contempt for his father may be unearned. Even another part of the story focuses on Jared’s grandmother and family jewelry they have had stolen. The jewelry is supposed to facilitate true love and Belle happens to be wearing it. Finally, I cannot leave out the wonderful secondary character in Dane, Jared’s brother and Kate. There is so much going on in the book and it is woven together so seamlessly that it flows like one lovely story.
Of course, I cannot forget to mention the overall hotness factor. The book is about Salon Games. Jared and Belle are smoking hot together. And if you throw in their temporary or possibly permanent? third, Dane, well let me say that there was no lack of creative and steamy parts for this book. While Dane is really the only person we are introduced to in the games I feel like there could be the potential for so many more stories.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I am looking forward to more from this series if we are lucky enough to get it. My one complaint would be the end. It happened too fast. That might be one of the reasons I hope for more books so maybe I can see more of Jared and Belle. Final grade- B+
Been there, done that, smacked that ass…