Robert O'Connor is a unique man, an expert at reading people who works alone and finds the ways of others most often completely laughable and definitely worthy of his contempt, especially those who pay him exorbitantly to solve any variety of the "problems" they tend to repeatedly get themselves into. Being a genius among men has its perks, especially when it comes to women; and O'Connor enjoys those thoroughly.
Hired by the CEO of an international corporation to locate—and possibly cover up the sudden disappearance of—a group of visiting foreign businessmen, O'Connor is all business, commands absolute respect, and applies his keen, finely honed mind all men envy. He's all work and no play until his work inherently requires him to uncover the mystery of the disappeared men through interactions with beautiful, alluring women, each holding a key leading O'Connor closer to delivering the results his client has paid him so handsomely for.
As a true connoisseur and lover of women, O'Connor thoroughly enjoys where this particular investigation leads him, even as his sensual adventures and path of investigation direct him toward the most seductive female of all, the one with otherworldly appeal. Even Robert O'Connor can't possibly realize the true desires and intentions of this immanently beguiling femme fatale until it's much too late.
.... When O'Connor returned to the offices of Charter & Gallion, perhaps all too quietly, the slick CEO was leaning much too casually over the reception desk, oozing unsolicited drivel into the tender ears of the beautiful Delilah. O'Connor took the time to savor the compelling sight.
He couldn't help it. His computer-like mind caught every example of others' idiocy, especially when they believed they were cleverly concealing it. Completely unaware, Frank Jameson draped his arms over the top of the hideous, but gift-granting, glass desk, the toe of his one expensive shoe even drawing little circles in the neutral-hued carpet. He muttered something about his latest major purchase and the idea of dinner.
Meanwhile, Delilah was all the more attractive in her keen ability to graciously entertain such advances, accepting them in the most respectful and ladylike manner, as if educated by a quintessential mother of the 1950s. She continued to keep her attention on the matters typed out on papers across her desk while offering the occasional polite smile and flash of moving lashes. Still, the sum message of her body language would be clear enough to even the man of average intelligence and successfully dissuade him.
The CEO may have time to waste, but O'Connor never did.
O'Connor cleared his throat concisely, still standing just inside the entrance to the reception area. Jameson immediately jumped in his Armani suit, subconsciously contorting his body into a very unattractive stance, while Delilah was as warm and welcoming as ever with no bad behavior to be embarrassed by. A crisp white, tailored, button-down blouse created the most appetizing frame for her deep cleavage, precisely targeting O'Connor's gaze.
"Rob— O'Connor, sir, I... wasn't expecting you," Jameson fumbled, as was to be expected.
"Expecting no one at all, I'm sure." O'Connor couldn't help himself. He wondered what the role of CEO actually entailed within this corporation, whether any actual work was involved at all.
"Uh, Delilah, please hold all calls." Jameson still fidgeted with his suit jacket, composing himself in an absurdly slow fashion.
"Of course," the receptionist smiled dutifully. Her eyes then passed to O'Connor himself, catching his line of vision, and smiled at him in a much more mature and meaningful way. And so did her cleavage.
Caught slightly off guard, but always amiably accepting of any woman's advances, O'Connor granted Delilah only a hint of the gaze. Considering the environment, their relationship, and the situation, O'Connor gauged the perfectly professional—yet unforgettable—amount of his potent charm to reveal.
Delilah instantly blushed. In a way that any stranger would be able to deduce she'd never granted to Frank Jameson. Yet, this woman wasn't coy or the least bit submissive to O'Connor's masculinity. The way only the slightest tip of her tongue touched the visible space between her lips to wet them in that moment signaled the offer of a challenge.
"O'Connor, sir," Jameson called from the confines of his office.
O'Connor had to engage in the game at another time. But not before accepting the challenge, gentleman that he was, with the slightest squint of his dark eyes.
"Yes, I see. So, you think this woman, the one you haven't been in contact with yet, may be a link to the... what happened?" The CEO's overeagerness was practically jumping to conclusions all its own.
"I'll speak with her."
Jameson fidgeted in his seat like a man just returned from a colonoscopy. "So, you'll take care of it then? Lock her up... or charge her or something? No. Wait. That doesn't mean the men are... gone. They could... do you think they've been kidnapped?"
O'Connor wished he had never stopped by at all. So much easier when not reporting during an investigation. "I'll inform you when I have more information." He rose from his seat, signaling the end of their meeting.
"But... you didn't... yes, all right, I see. I..." Jameson finally sat still for a minimum of three seconds. "Thank you. I know you'll handle it."
O'Connor loved to let his clients have the last word. He, as a matter of usual necessity, generally didn't like speaking at all. That day, however, he was feeling a bit more pompous than usual. "That's what I do." And he exited the office.
Delilah was occupied by a phone call at her usual station. O'Connor considered waiting to speak with her, but decided to savor this dance that had commenced. The fuel it provided would be quite enjoyable throughout the long hours of his investigation.
Just as he reached to open the main door to leave, he heard Delilah call after him.
"Excuse me..." She was still on the phone, holding one thin hand over the receiver. She opened her mouth again to continue when O'Connor's cell phone vibrated in his jacket pocket.
To his surprise, it was Bethany of Trusted Companions, offering to meet him on the other side of town to answer his questions. Her voice was cool, quite calm, and almost soothing. Her posh British accent darted for his loins.
Without acknowledging Delilah, O'Connor left the offices of Charter & Gallion. The tune of a new dance was playing in his head.
When he entered the quaint cafe, O'Connor immediately spotted the stunning brunette with impeccable posture at a table for two in the far corner. He offered himself the empty chair there and began questioning her immediately.
Bethany interrupted. "You may say 'hello' first. I won't bite," she taunted.
O'Connor wished that she would. "My apologies." He held out his hand to accept hers; he had no idea why he bothered to. Her hand was smooth as satin, a bit chilled, but very firm. And lingering. He watched it return gently to its place nestled atop her crossed legs. Her toes wiggled in her shoe poised to meet his view.
"Mr. O'Connor is it? I hope you don't presume my absence earlier makes me the least suspicious. Duty does call, so often spontaneously."
"Of course. Do you mind if I proceed." He had no idea why he was rushing. Perhaps because the part of him securely tucked within his trousers was beginning to awaken in the presence of a near-perfect woman.
Her toes wiggled again, pressing at the top of her pump. O'Connor imagined they preferred to be barefoot. Running through an open field or along a beach, perhaps. Carrying her totally nude body as she ran freely toward...
"Give me all you've got," she teased, interrupting his thoughts. "Isn't that something you Americans love to say?"
O'Connor was forced to clear his throat. He was doing that a lot lately. "I... let me just ask you a few—"
"Won't you have a drink with me?" Bethany's tightly pinned hair revealed the graceful slope of her neck offsetting the square neckline of her slender, black dress as she turned to flag a waiter. "I would love a glass of your best red. Surprise me. And he will..." She raised her eyebrows, cueing her table companion.
"You'll have me drink alone then?" Bethany provoked. "And the ladies suggested that you were such a perfect gentleman." She smiled then, flattering her high cheekbones with the naturally enticing shape of her mouth.
"I don't drink on the job."
"Oh, very well then," Bethany pouted. Then, she dared to apologize on his behalf. "I'm afraid he's a bit of a fuddy duddy. Just the wine then, and... we'll let the cranky one have his coffee." She also dared to giggle at him. With the waiter.
O'Connor ignored the unprofessional wait staff and thought he'd love to nibble that giggle right out of Ms. Bethany.
"I'm sorry," she surprised him with. "Just having a bit of fun, you know. My kind of work can really tire a lady out." She paused to smile charmingly. "Please. Continue." ....
Average Rating: 5.0/5.0 from 4 reviews
Sleazy corporation provides high-class hookers to sleazy Japanese clients: seven of the clients are missing. "Robert O'Connor", some sort of high-end PI or fixer, is on the case. I think Mr. Holt has a little fun with the character of O'Connor: "His own personal motto was to ask forgiveness, not permission, but, as a rule, he left forgiveness out of his life as well." Also: "Of course, O'Connor would mentally record endless details about every situation, environment, condition, and person around him, whether he was on a job or not." Pretty iceman for an Irishman. :) One imagines him, upon arriving home after a long day of being super-awesome, just sitting on his couch, face in hands, sobbing loud enough to rattle the windows of his icy penthouse on the 101st floor. Anyway, O'Connor must *thrust* himself into every cranny and crevice of the case, especially when it comes to the "Trusted Companions" escort service contracted by the miscreants at the corporation. Mr. Holt does have a penchant for piquant description: a security guard is a "doughnut-bloated, ruddy-faced baboon" with a "bright red, large-pored nose". The sex is described with more attention to detail than is common among male writers. Perhaps the sexiest scene is a sex-free one with O'Connor and a gorgeous brunette in a cafe: the former trying to remain Mr. Awesome All-Business Man, the latter breaking him down slowly with her feminine charms and wiles. Fun story with a wotta-way-to-go ending.
5 out of 5. Deserves a large audience. Mr. Holt is a talented writer.
I love a great, spooky tale, and... I try to claim that NOTHING scares me. I mean, NOTHING is taboo to me. Not in my reading (and writing) anyway. So, it was the mysterious description that got me on this one. I had a hunch that Amazon's criteria didn't allow much specifics for describing just what was secretly awaiting inside this erotic book... or maybe the author himself just prefers to be all mysterious? Either way, I had to find out.
Now, I have to admit, I'm still not quite sure what happened in the end, but I think that's the way it was intended. Email me and we'll exchange guesses! :) Whatever it is, it's serious, sexy, and fatale and... I'm just left wondering if we can expect a sequel.
Oh, because that was the other thing.... the infamous "Robert O'Connor" is now my FAVORITE protagonist ever and... if he existed in real life, I wouldn't turn away the chance to get to know him better. :) He sounds awesome! He's a super sleuth with a sixth sense, practically, and this way with women that makes any "hard case" totally fun. I don't want to spoil all the good stuff awaiting you!
I didn't actually know if I'd like this type of story. I kind of bought it on a whim. I love thrillers, and I heard about Liam Holt's writing in a forum online. I'm a fan for life now! A man that can write erotica that appeals to men or women... wow!
Phenomenal. I want to read it again and again for all the nuances and the clues to the mysterious ending. And the women. I think I'm learning to love them as much as O'Connor does!