By Tqwana B.
4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
Ever since Bell’s mother died while serving time for a murder she didn’t commit, Bell’s been focused on one thing: revenge. She knows her mother was set up by Edmund Gable, the head of both the powerful Gable family and an international banking corporation. Now she’s determined to take him down—from the inside.
Bell needs access to the Gable home and offices, so she poses as a bartender to seduce her way into the bed—and life—of Edmund’s rebellious youngest son, Lander. He’s not a typical Gable, spending more time in the dive bars of Harlem than the posh cocktail lounges of the Upper East Side. He has an attraction to danger, a vulnerability Bell isn’t shy about exploiting. It should be easy to uncover the secrets she needs to destroy his family and clear her mother’s name.
But it turns out Lander is much more complicated than she ever imagined. He’s enticing, intelligent, mysterious—plus their sexual chemistry is off the charts. Even though Bell knows he’s the enemy, she can’t help but be moved, both physically and emotionally, by the man she swore was just a target. When he finds out the truth she’s sure both their hearts and her plan will be crushed…until she begins to realize that Lander might be hiding his own secrets, darker than she ever imagined.
The beautiful, angry Bell has revenge in her heart and Lander Gable in her sights. She’s seduced her way into his arms with the intent to destroy his wealthy family. But now that she’s there, lust and passion have begun squeezing out that desire for vengeance. It’s a dangerous game Bell is playing, and sex, mystery, and lies are the most intriguing game pieces of all.
I’m not sure we’ve ever reviewed 2 books at once, but the Pure Sin series reads like one long book. I really could not put them down, so in a rush to find out the truth. Kyra Davis is a master at creating tension, both of the suspenseful and erotic varieties. Davis also creates phenomenal, complex characters, no caricatures of good and evil. All of the players in Deceptive Innocence and Dangerous Alliance are nuanced. Bell Dantés (even that name has layers) may seem like the cold femme fatale, but the conscience she thinks she no longer has keeps coming back when she least wants it to. Lander isn’t simply the perfect guy either. He’s a Gable in many ways like the ones Bell has come to hate, with ambitions and plans of his own. You never know if you or Bell can really trust him.
Even the real villain, Travis, has weaknesses of the heart when you’d think a man like that has no heart at all. But, Jessica, Travis’ wife is probably the most complex of all – a liar, a loving mother, a social climber, but smarter than the drunk, socialite wife persona she allows the world to see.
Bell’s plot to avenge her mother at times feels like a metaphor for bringing down the 1%, Wall Street, and gentrifiers that the Gables, even Lander, represent. And unfortunately, the bad guys may get knocked down, but not out. A lesson our heroine Bell had to learn the hard way, and one that parallels the real world of bail outs and ponzie schemers.