been a long wait for those of us who became fans of Ms. Ashley after
reading her debut novel, LOVE SCRIPT. This book isn’t the one that is
featured on the author’s blog as the next book to be released,
but anything with this author’s name attached has me panting in anticipation. BEYOND THE VELVET ROPE
is certainly a page turner - its hot, sexy and a really, really good read. The character of Elliot Richards, like Nick
Sinclair from LOVE SCRIPT, is similar in that he is a handsome, frighteningly intelligent man whose business acumen is often eclipsed by his
extremely good looks, his natural charisma, his appetite for women, yes,
he’s another man-whore, and in addition he is manipulative and controlling. Frankly, Elliot’s only redeeming
feature is that he’s good to his mother. I really disliked him and
wanted to wallop a good amount of self-preservation into Thandie, who
failed to heed the multiple warnings to not fall for
Elliot. Since women tend to react to Elliot like she-cats
in heat, I wanted to see Thandie at least put up a good fight. I
thought that she fell prey to her hormones so easily
that it was as like Elliot was the lead singer in a boyband and she was a
teenaged girl. There was one scene in a restaurant where she behaved as
though she had no defenses against
him, this was when I thought she should have made judicious use of her fork.
BEYOND THE VELVET ROPE is a really superlative read, even though I wanted to boo Elliot off the pages since he
is more of a villain than a hero. I was gripped by the plot, the sexual tension and the
characters that enticed me to devour every line. Nick Sinclair and Laney from LOVE SCRIPT make an appearance in this book, too, but as a reader I’m not happy about the differences between the Laney of LOVE SCRIPT and the Laney
who made the brief appearance in this book.
Thandie is portrayed
as being good at her job, so why does she hire assistants who either
misbehave like unruly teens or fall apart when given the opportunity to
prove themselves? I would have loved for Thandie
to have been too enamored with her job and proving herself in Miami, and not falling under Elliot’s spell until much later in the book.
This book is the first in a series, and I have a suspicion about the identity of the next two main characters who will be featured
in the next book. As
I've said before, Ms. Ashley succeeds in creating an unput-downable
novel. I will devour any book with Ms. Ashley's name on it. If only
she would write faster!