Book review: Into the Fire ~ E.L. Todd

Posted February 1, 2016 in Reviews by Marieke/ 0 Comments

Book review: Into the Fire ~ E.L. ToddTitle: Into The Fire
Author: E.L. Todd
Series: Gorgeous Entourage #1
Release date: January 30, 2016
(Sub)genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 365
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
Rating: four-stars

Despite everything I've done for my parents, I'll never be good enough for them. Instead of seeing a man to be proud of, they just see an embarrassment. I served four tours in Afghanistan but that doesn't mean anything to them. They only see the ink, the party life, and my short stint in jail.

And nothing else.

When they were in trouble, I handed over my life savings. I didn't think twice about it because they're my family, my blood. They raised me to be my own man and gave me everything I needed. It didn't matter that it was every penny I had. It didn't matter that the money was set aside for my future. My dreams.Because they needed me.

But now they refuse to pay me back until I become the man they think I should be.

I have an unusual professional.

I escort men, acting as their date to family functions or work parties. It's my job to act deeply in love with my client. And I always nail it.
But it's not what you think.

I'm not a prostitute.
I'm not a call girl.
I'm an actress.
Get it right.

There are strict rules when it comes to my profession. There is no touching, kissing, or anything but hand-holding. Those who choose not to comply will get a swift kick in the nuts.

But all this goes to hell when Ash walks into my life.

Into the Fire is my first book by E.L. Todd. After having read the excerpt, I just had to read the whole book, I wanted to know more about Alessandra and Ash. This book is the first in the ‘Gorgeous Entourage Series’, which is a spinoff from the earlier published ‘Beautiful Entourage series’. Although I had some issues, the book as a whole surprised me in a good way.

“I was already anti-girlfriend but I definitely wouldn’t be with someone who didn’t accept me for who I was. So, their plan was stupid. But I didn’t see any way around it. If I just did as they asked, I’d get their money and pursue my dream. Then I wouldn’t be at their mercy like this. I could finally do what I wanted.”

Alessandra is working as a professional escort at the agency of her friends. She accompanies men to social events, or helps them out with bothersome families. She refers to herself as an actress, who acts to be in love with the man she escorts, but besides holding hands or the occasional peck on the cheek, nothing else happens. Although Alessandra has an unusual profession, she’s looking for the right man, the man to settle down with and have children. Falling for a client isn’t on her agenda, but the tattooed, very confident Ash is very hard to resist.

“There was no way he was my client. That would be a dream come true. He looked around the shop like he was searching for something—or someone. I opened the folder and flipped through the pages until I found a copy of his driver’s license. Shit, it was him.”

Ash is a former soldier bad boy turned tattoo artist, he’s cocky, over confident and knows his way with the ladies. Although he has served his country, his parents aren’t his biggest fans due to some misbehaving in his younger years. When their company is in financial trouble, Ash reaches out and loans them the much needed money. Wanting to opening his own tattoo shop, Ash needs his money back, but his parents are only willing to give it with conditions; get his act together, settle down and date a respectable girl. Don’t want to lead on a girl by pretending to date her, Ash decides to hire a fake girlfriend. He knows everything needs to stay professional between them, but Alessandra tempts him like no other.

“Day-um.” Her cheeks reddened instantly and she tried to cover it up with a smile. “You clean up good.” She didn’t look bad before, completely to the contrary, but she didn’t dress up and make herself look like a supermodel either. “You’re lucky that contract is in place otherwise you’d be another one of my victims.” “I doubt that.”

From the moment they meet, Ash and Alessandra are very attracted to each other. While it is against company policies, they spend quite some time together, being fake boy- and girlfriend. Giving into their feelings for another is inevitable. While Alessandra wants to keep it casual – tattooed bad boy Ash isn’t the type she sees herself settling down with – Ash is really into her and wants to give them a shot at something real. Due to assumptions and not communicating Alessandra’s trust in Ash is broken, making her break things off. When Alessandra finally confronts Ash and learns the truth, the couple has a chance at their Happily Ever After.

As already said, Into the Fire is my first book by E.L. Todd. The book’s writing is entertaining, and I like the characters, to see both their point of view. However, I did have a few issues with this book. While Ash is an open book – the reader gets to know a lot about his past and what drives him – Alessandra remains a bit of a mystery. Hints are dropped she isn’t on speaking terms with her parents, but no further explanation is being given. And the nickname Ash has for her, it’s probably the worst one I’ve come across in a while..

“I know I’ve felt that way for a long time but I was too afraid to say it to anyone, including myself. And the way I’m behaving right now only confirms it. I’ve never been so obsessed with one person before. You’re constantly on my mind, and the idea of you being unsafe makes me insane. I have no idea what I’m doing or why I’m doing it, but I’m just doing it.”

I’ve enjoyed reading this book and I will definitely pick up further books in this series. I give it 4 stars.

~~ Into the Fire was provided in exchange for an honest review ~~

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