Imagine a world where a woman’s every pleasure, every wish and wildest fantasy is granted by the man of her dreams
Such a world exists inside the walls of Avalon, an elite private club that caters to women’s deepest desires. Billie Cort, a reporter from the raunchy magazine Illicit, has come to Avalon to interview the club’s most popular escort, the breathtakingly sexy Adrian.
Expecting nothing less from a place like Avalon, Billie is still stunned at how effortlessly Adrian brings out her sexual side. Adrian, too, is surprised to find himself thinking about Billie long after their interview is over. Adrian, of course, is irresistible, but Billie isn’t accustomed to being pursued by outrageously attractive male escorts. Adrian wants her, but soon realizes that she can fill a role in his life that’s more than just physical .
At the age of ten, Shelby Reed wrote her first romance with Prince Charming — literally! — as the hero, and it’s been non-stop story spinning ever since.
Despite the idealistic place from which she embarked, she’s partial to writing realistic, flawed, multi-faceted characters, lush emotion, and the ever-possible happy ending.
While currently published in the sub-genre of “Romantica” with Ellora’s Cave, she hopes to explore other literary horizons such as suspense, fantasy, and young adult romance in the future.
When not pecking away at the computer keyboard, Shelby enjoys creative projects such as portraiture and decorating, dabbles in Tarot, and lives a bucolic life with her own Prince Charming in North Florida.
The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4.5 stars rounding up to 5
Billie Cort, a reporter, has been granted entrance into a world that some people can only imagine. Avalon is a very private club that caters to very private women, providing them with the best of the best and granting their deepest and darkest desires.
She’s writing an article on the clubs most popular escort, Adrian. Billie is surprised by the immediate reaction she has to the sensual man and try as she might, she struggles to get the real answers she’s looking for.
Adrian’s life may seem like he has it all, but he’s been hiding who he is for years. The money and the women were enough when he started, but he sees all the things he’s missing in his life once he starts talking to Billie. And he’s drawn to her like no one else.
”Maybe I need this.” The fierce words rushed between his lips, flavored with sudden desperation. “Maybe I need it with you, right here, tonight. You’re so damn innocent, Billie. It sets me on fire.”
I’m not going to lie… I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to love this book. Mostly because, well there’s no getting around it… Adrian, our hero is a male escort. And there is no denying he’s good at his job.
But there is more to him than what he does and I found him immediately intriguing. The push and pull between Billie and Adrian was interesting to me because for a much as you want them together as a couple, you can’t help but question how his profession would get in the middle of it. Despite the attempts at normality, dates and meeting his family, it always seems to be the one thing that can’t and shouldn’t be forgotten.
”Why did you invite me tonight, Adrian?”
He glanced at her then back at the road. “You remind me that there’s still a world out there,” he said simply.
It’s absolutely things like this, dialogue like this, that pulled me in and made me fall for Adrian. He’s such a dichotomy that you can’t help but wonder about the man underneath this façade he portrays for the women who pay for him.
For a man whose life encompassed the raw, emotionless aspect of base human urges, he was unequivocally inclined toward gentleness.
As it goes, Billie and Adrian exchange favor for favor and suddenly they’re in deeper with each other than they’d ever planned or expected.
But there is another part of this story… that of his friend Lucien. And unfortunately his is not a happy or pleasant story. But it’s also where I felt the story was kind of forced. I didn’t believe for one bit that the police would have pursued anything with Adrian and I find it hard to believe that Azure could have hidden all proof of where Adrian was the evening Lucian died.
That said, I didn’t feel as if it took away from the actual story. The characters that Reed has created are well developed and full of life. The story pacing is perfectly done and thankfully (for me) we don’t get much detail in the way of his professional appointments. The chemistry between Billie and Adrian is really well done and the tension and interactions between the two so believable and the steam…*fans self*.
If you’re looking for a story of redemption and forgiveness filled with emotion and interesting characters look no further. The Fifth Favor will fill each of those requirements.
Thank you to Berkley Trade for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
When Jaime asked me if I wanted to read The Fifth Favor, I automatically told her yes. I generally enjoy most of the Berkley books I read, but once I started, I was unsure what I would think of this book. I remember texting to ask her if it was “sad porn.” And she assured me that it wasn’t.
I guess I should preface this review by telling you a little bit about the premise. When we meet the heroine, Billie, we find out that she’s a journalist who’s writing a story on a high-end escort service. And that’s where she meets Adrian. Yes, the hero is a male prostitute. I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.
A male prostitute.
This is the stuff that really bad fanfiction or Lifetime movies are made of, right?
Well, let me just say this – I freaking loved this book!
It was so much more than just a shocking premise. And that is simply because Shelby Reed wrote these two amazing, layered characters that captivated me the entire time I was reading.
Adrian was so much more than a whore. And Billie – just like me – was completely fascinated by him. And as she discovered more and more about him, she found that she was, in fact falling in love. And I loved the heroine in this book. I loved how she never once backed down, and she always fought for what she was feeling. And ultimately fought for the man for whom she was falling in love.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I really loved this book, though I hope that the five star review will give you a good estimation. I literally couldn’t put the book down once I started reading. There is nothing really sugar-coated about this story. And props to author for that because the life that Adrian is living isn’t a perfect one. Oh, he’s definitely pretty and glossy, like a package presented in the shiniest paper and perfectly tied ribbon. But what was underneath was the real gift.
This is contemporary romance at its finest. A story that makes you feel the emotions the characters are feeling. A story that makes you hope for their happy ending, even when you can’t possibly see how anything could end happily for them at all.
If you love romance, drama, mystery and some of the best erotica I’ve read in a while…this is the book for you. Definitely check it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And you’ll love Billie and Adrian as much as I did.