I super excited to be part of the Blog Tour for Madame X by Jasinda Wilder because the story is thrilling and different, and I'm seriously dying to continue the series! For my tour stop I have my review, an excerpt sure to leave you wanting more, and a chance to win a SIGNED Copy of Madame X along with swag!
Publication Date: October 6th 2015 by Berkley
About the book:
My name is Madame X.
I’m the best at what I do.
And you’d do well to follow my rules...
Hired to transform the uncultured, inept sons of the wealthy and powerful into decisive, confident men, Madame X is a master of the art of control. With a single glance she can cut you down to nothing, or make you feel like a king.
But there is only one man who can claim her body—and her soul.
Undone time and again by his exquisite dominance, X craves and fears his desire in equal measure. And while she longs for a different path, X has never known anything or anyone else—until now...
Madame X is good at her job training the young rich how to be capable, confident men instead of arrogant and spoiled twits. As confident as she seems, Madame X doesn’t know her real name, or much at all about herself. Six years ago she woke up in a hospital broken after an attack, but not alone. Caleb was by her side and he took her in while she healed, gave her a home and a job. As benevolent as that seems it’s quickly apparent that X lives in a gilded cage, at Caleb’s beck and call and for his use only. He holds a strange allure and power over Madame X. She doesn’t go out, have a cell phone and isn’t allowed to form any relationship with her clients, and there’s hell to pay if any lines are crossed. Caleb comes and goes as he pleases without explanation and I couldn’t STAND him!
“You are Madame X, and you…are…mine.”
I swear, I wanted to STRANGLE X more than a few times for allowing Caleb to treat her like a possession, and for some of her decisions! I wanted to strangle Caleb even more, though! Also, what about (Highlight for spoiler) CONDOMS?!! I’m disgusted that she would even let Caleb touch her after everything X discovered. (End of spoiler) But I know that Caleb’s manipulated her, and fed her his version of events for so long it’s going to take time before X can truly stand up on her own and up to him:
I feel shame, embarrassment, revulsion. Hatred. I fell for the sorcery again. Caleb has some way of weaving a spell over me, of making me forget all my objections and all my thoughts and everything that is logical or rational.
The spell that Caleb has cast is slowly fading, though, when one of X’s clients causes a change in her thinking and expectations. X does start to demand more, and I was pleased by some of the backbone she finally started showing. She comes awake even more after meeting the irresistible Logan. He’s a man of power, resources, and the ability to get answers. I loved their connection, because it was shared, both swept away by their intense feelings.
All the world ceases to exist. Fades. Flickers and gutters, a candle flame extinguished.
Oh, this kiss.
It is all.
Logan didn’t treat X as property, he made her feel “treasured” and X knew more about Logan in the short time they know each other than Caleb in the last six years.
Going into this story I knew it would be a trilogy, and I was incredibly hesitant, because I usually hate it when a romance is dragged through three books. To me, a romance can usually be wrapped up nicely, and with far less frustration with one book. However, Madame X has several layers, much to uncover, and I can see how three books would be necessary. There is a great deal X doesn’t know about herself, and doesn’t realize (or doesn’t want to realize) about her situation, and it’s going to take time for her to get past Caleb’s brainwashing, because that IS what he’s done to her. Yes, he saved her, well according to him, anyhow. Who knows what actually happened? I look forward to finding out, because I don’t think things are what they seem. I don’t believe it’s as simple as Caleb swooping in as the knight and shining armor.
Madame X was addictive and riveting! I finished the book in one sitting going through a range of emotions, but by the end I was left wanting more. Knowing that I have to wait not just until March for the second story, but months (hopefully not a full year) after for the third/final installment has left me a little twitchy, because I’m dying to know how this all plays out!
A knock on the door, the silent swing of hinges, and then heat and hardness behind me, a faint but intoxicating hint of cologne, the creak of leather. Hands on my waist, lips at my neck. Breath on my skin.
I don’t dare tense, don’t dare suck in a sharp breath of fear. I don’t dare pull away.
Strong, hard, powerful hands twist me in place, and an index finger touches my chin, lifts my face, tilts my gaze. I cannot breathe, don’t dare, haven’t been given permission.
“You are lovelier than ever, X.” A deep, smooth, cultured voice, like the purr of a finely tuned engine.
“Thank you, Caleb.” My own voice is quiet, careful, my words chosen and precise.
“Scotch.” The command is a murmur, barely audible.
I know how to prepare it: a cut-crystal tumbler, a single ice cube, thick amber liquid an inch from the top. I offer the tumbler and wait, keep my eyes downcast, hands behind my back.
“You were too harsh on Jonathan.”
“I must respectfully disagree.”
“His father expects results.”
I bristle, and it does not go unnoticed. “Have I ever failed to produce results?”
“You sent him away after less than an hour.”
“He wasn’t ready. He needed to be shown his faults. He needs to understand how much he has to learn.”
“Perhaps you’re right.” Ice clinks, and I take the empty tumbler, set it aside, and force myself to remain in place, force myself to keep breathing and remind myself that I must obey. “I didn’t come here to discuss Jonathan Cartwright, however.”
“I suppose not.” I shouldn’t have said that. I regret it as soon as the words tumble free.
My wrist bones scrape together under a crushing grip. Hard dark eyes find mine, piercing and frightening. “You suppose not?”
I should beg forgiveness, but I know better. I lift my chin and meet those cold, cruel, intelligent dark eyes. “You know I will fulfill the contract. That’s all I meant.”
“No, that isn’t all you meant.” A hand passes through artfully messy black hair. “Tell me what you really meant, X.”
I swallow hard. “You’re here for what you always want when you visit me.”
“Which is?” A warm finger touches my breastbone, slides into the valley of my cleavage. “Tell me what I want.”
“Me.” I whisper it, so not even the walls can hear.
“All too true.” My skin burns where that strong finger with its manicured nail traces a cutting line up to my shoulder. “You test my patience, at times.”
I stand stock-still, not even breathing. Breath whispers across my neck, huffs hot on my nape, and fingers toy with the zipper of my dress.
“I know,” I say.
And then, just when I expect to feel the zipper slide down my spine, body heat recedes and that hot breath now laced with hints of scotch is gone, and a single word sears my soul:
My tongue scrapes over dry lips, and my lungs constrict, protesting my inability to breathe. My hands tremble. I know this is expected of me, and I cannot, dare not resist, or protest. And . . . part of me doesn’t want to. But I wish . . . I wish for the freedom to choose what I want.
I have hesitated too long.
“X. I said . . . strip.” The zipper slides down to between my shoulder blades. “Show me your skin.”
Reaching behind my back, I lower the zipper to its nesting place at the base of my spine. Hard, insistent hands assist me in brushing the sleeves from my shoulders, down my arms, and then the dress is floating to the floor at my feet. That’s all the help I’ll get. I know from long experience that I must make a show of what comes next.
I turn my head, and see tanned skin and the perpetual two-day stubble on a refined, powerful jawline, sharp cheekbones, firm, thin lips, black eyes like voids, eyes that drip desire. My hair drapes over one shoulder. I lift one knee so my now-bare toes touch the gleaming teak, curl my shoulders in, let my gaze show my vulnerability. With a deep breath, I unhook my bra, let the garment fall away.
I reach for my underwear.
“No,” comes the purr, “leave them. Let me.”
I let my fingers graze my thighs, wait. My underwear slides down slowly, and where fingers touch, so too do lips, hot and damp, touching my skin, and I cannot flinch, cannot pull away or express how badly I want only to be alone, to even once have the right to want something else.
But I do not have that right.
About the author:
Jasinda Wilder is a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and international bestselling author. She is a Michigan native and currently lives there with her family. Visit her official website at jasindawilder.com.
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