There is something delectable and exquisite about the way Ella Frank builds this imaginative universe, that hums with high tension and forbidden intimacy.
Gay Romance Novels are my guilty pleasure, my way to escape work stress. But I have my select favorite authors and Ella Frank is high on that list. So imagine my surprise when I read the blurb for her latest release “Bad Intentions” (Intentions Duet #1). Firstly I wasn’t expecting it to be another spin off (of Prime Time Series). Secondly, I was pleasantly surprised because the book focuses on Marcus St. James, whom we met in the Prime Time Series. Marcus is Alexander Thornton’s boss and he certainly drew my attention with his controlling nature. He is mysterious, seems introverted and yet his obvious worry for his colleague made this character utterly humane. So, what happens when the King of this universe (Marcus St.James) meets his flirtatious, insatiable opposite (Gabriel Romero)? Sparks fly, words are exchanged and we get a delicious serving of age-gap romance that delves deeper into their intellects. Although the book ended in a major cliffhanger (which seems to be a recurrent theme in Ella Frank’s book series) and left me jittery, this book is resplendent of Ella Frank’s classic writing style. Without further ado, let’s review this novel!
My name isn’t Logan Mitchell, but Marcus St. James doesn’t know that…
When I showed up at my roommate’s work party, the last thing I expected was to find a man straight out of my dreams. But when the crowd parted and the fates aligned, there he was, waiting for me. Marcus St. James, president of ENN WorldWide News.
Sexy and powerful, with a stare that could freeze you in place, Marcus was the perfect reward for securing a job at Mitchell & Madison, the best law firm in Chicago. To play with the big fish, however, one must become a big fish, and that’s where my little white lie began.
It was one night. I was never going to see him again, and from the second we spoke, I knew he was interested. It was there in his eyes, the same fire in my veins. It was there in his voice, whenever he said my name.
The only problem? It wasn’t my name, and now I wanted more—much more.
But how can anything good come out of something that started with such bad intentions?
This story is set in the same universe as “Temptation”, “Confession” and “Prime Time Series”, so I would highly recommend reading these book series before you dive into this novel. In “Bad Intentions” we delve deeper into Marcus St. James’ life and romance. While Marcus is the workaholic President of ENN Worldwide News, the most popular News Channel in Chicago, Gabriel Romero is the freshly recruited assistant at Mitchell & Madison, one of the top law firms in the country. When the two men meet at an office party, Gabe is drawn to the older man. In a misguided attempt to impress Marcus, Gabe introduces himself as Logan Mitchell (his boss) instead. This lie leads to a forbidden office tour where the men enjoy each other.
The tables are however turned, when Marcus visits Mitchell and Madison to discuss a lucrative deal and Gabe is caught unaware in his lie. To save his job, Gabe makes an imperious deal with Marcus to work as his assistant for one week. As the week draws closer, the two men learn more about each other. While Marcus begins to appreciate the finer things in life, Gabe starts to peel off the odd layers that build Marcus’s complex personality. Will this bittersweet romance survive Marcus’s strong ambitions and his inability to commit? Or will they fall apart?
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
Ella Frank has this distinct ability to tilt the very basis of your existence, by painting a sensuous world that leaves you shocked and highly strung on lust. Bad Intentions makes good on this promise and I couldn’t get myself to put the book down (until of course, the book ended on an unprecedented cliffhanger).
Being the President of the most popular new station in Chicago isn’t an easy task and as such Marcus is a workaholic. Behind the facade, lies a man who actually cares about others. But Magnus chooses to project a cold exterior and loves to stay aloof. He is sophisticated, hardworking and his work ethic would put most people to shame. At the same time, Marcus doesn’t know how to play and he is highly guarded about his private space.
That is until, Gabriel Romero storms into his life and turns it upside down. The gorgeous minx is an odd mix of infectious energy and sensuality. Even though Gabe lies about his true identity and Marcus doesn’t think much about it, his confidence is impressive. Marcus is drawn to his handsome looks and flirtatious nature which is like a fresh breath of air. Their first encounter in the office will leave you unsatisfied and I waited with bated breaths for their next meeting.
Of course, the second meeting led to major disagreements as Marcus surreptitiously discovers Gabe’s real identity. I really cringed thinking about Gabe’s lies, as the poor kid gets caught in his own web. Obviously the obnoxious bastard won’t back down from a challenge. And Marcus is certainly a delicious challenge that Gabe can’t resist. In the characteristic Ella Frank style, we have two characters who are polar opposites and yet they are sexually compatible. I just love Ella Frank’s honest caricatures because they portray diverse human natures.
Marcus represents the upper class society who are too busy to enjoy the mundane things in life. Gabe on the other hand is recuperating from a severe injury and has to give up on his lifelong dream. Marcus’s contract with ENN News Station is going to end and he is being headhunted by major news channels. Gabe on the other hand is trying to put his past life behind (he was a cello player in a popular symphony group, but had to drop out due to a serious wrist injury) and adjust to his new work schedules. These two individuals are at a turning point in their life and as such career choices become the stumbling blocks in their relationship.
The one-week deal gives Gabe an opportunity to understand this mysterious man with a dominant personality, while Marcus is left stunned with Gabe’s intriguing past life. As the week draws to a close, both are left confused about their feelings. Unable to give up on their connection, Gabe confesses his feelings and Marcus reluctantly accepts. I’m pretty amused with Marcus’s inability to form coherent thoughts when faced with Gabe’s abject honesty. Their intimacy oscillates from freaking HOT to sweet and you can’t help but swoon!
The cliffhanger has certainly left me on the edge, but I’m wondering if Marcus will forgo his ego and grovel to win Gabe’s affections. How will it affect their future and will they reconcile? Obviously, I’m in love with their audacious romance, it is flavorful and irresistible. Gabe is a delightful bundle of joy and Marcus certainly needs someone like that in his life!
If you are a fan of Ella Frank’s novels, then grab hold of this one. Trust me, you won’t regret reading it!
Rating- 4 out of 5