I’m excited to be spotlighting Shelly Bell and her latest book, Red Handed, here today! Learn more about the book, read my review and a guest post from Shelly while you’re here.
Thanks for stopping by!
Red Handed by Shelly Bell
Series: A Benediction Novel
Publication date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Avon Red Impulse
Format: eARC, 300 pages
How I got it: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Shelly Bell returns with another steamy and suspenseful thriller set at the exclusive sex club Benediction …
An exhibitionist who's waited her whole life to be seen …
After her stepmother is abducted, Danielle Walker has no choice but to follow the kidnapper's cryptic instructions. Under the guise of a sex slave trainee, she must infiltrate Cole DeMarco's BDSM club and find evidence of his offshore bank account … or she'll never see her stepmother alive again. But Master Cole is no stranger, and despite the dark past they share, Danielle cannot resist his magnetic pull.
The voyeur who's always been watching …
As Danielle begins uncovering Cole's secrets, the artistic voyeur arouses her deepest desires, and she surrenders to a fiery passion she never expected. But with time running out to save her stepmother, Danielle and Cole will face off against an evil growing more ruthless by the day … and discover a twisted web of lies, betrayal, and murder that neither saw coming.
Not only had I never read a book by Shelly Bell before Red Handed, I had never read anything from Avon’s Red Impulse imprint. I went into this one a bit blind, but hoping for a good solid, sexy read. That’s exactly what I got. (Oh, and it was a good bit dirtier than I expected… and I am more than ok with that.) Shelly definitely brought the heat. 🙂
I loved having Shelly’s dreamcast for Cole and Danielle when I began this book. Cole was a tough guy to get a read on at first, but picturing Jason Mamoa as I read definitely didn’t hurt. (Rawr.) Danielle was a little easier to relate to in a lot of ways. I felt I better understood her motivations and what was driving her. Cole was mysterious. Sexy as hell, obviously interested in Danielle, but guarded and full of secrets. Which, given his line of work, made sense.
This book is as much about Danielle’s growth as it is the abduction of her stepmother and the relationship between her and Cole. In the midst of everything else, Danielle is given the opportunity to discover who she really is and embrace some of her darker desires during her time at Benediction. There’s a certain freedom to being able to fully explore your sexuality without judgement or recourse. Danielle definitely found that here. She also found a real connection with Cole, a man she’s had a crush on since she was a teen.
I already mentioned Red Handed brought the heat, but it also brought the suspense. A little dark at times, it kept me guessing at what would happen next and who was ultimately behind everything. There are some unexpected twists that I enjoyed too. I’d not read the White Collared serial before beginning this book, but I didn’t feel that was a problem. The Benediction books stand on their own. I do think I’ll go back and read it though, just because I enjoy Shelly’s style and her characters.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
RED HANDED CASTING COUCH
I’m not sure there’s a writer out there that doesn’t cast the characters of her book. The people in my Benediction series are as real to me as my best friends (sorry Melanie and Miriam), and yet, they don’t really exist outside my imagination. I can picture them in my head as clear as day, but there’s no one out there who look exactly like them. That doesn’t mean I don’t scour Pinterest for the perfect photo to represent my characters.
(my god I approve of this)
I create a board for every one of my books. They not only contain photos of my hero and heroine, but details found in the book. For example, in Red Handed, Danielle wears a locket that belonged to her deceased mother and is searching Benediction for a box. I knew exactly what both looked like when I wrote about them and as it turns out, Tiffany & Co. made both.
If you visit my board at https://www.pinterest.com/shellybell987/red-handed/, you’ll many more photos, some of them definitely Not Safe For Work like the one of Cole’s kinky bed. Trust me, you want to see it!
Until Hollywood comes calling (in my dreams), I’m going to be my own casting agent. Tell me, do you cast the hero and heroine with stars when you read a book or do you draw on your imagination?