Doing it at: 47%
Catnip: Alpha Hero; MMA Fighter; Strong Female Lead; Bros; Tattoos; Hate to Love You; Roof Sex; Boob Stuff; Dual Narrative
Shame Scale: Mild shame, but only for the best reasons, this book was a delightful guilty pleasure
Fantasy Cast: Jay Ryan; Emma Roberts
I don’t even know if love is real. After running from the bastard who brutalized me, I limped back to Arizona, choosing a vibrant college town in the hopes of starting over. I never expected to find him there.
He and his brothers were tough, lusty forces of nature I’d known since childhood. Years ago, Cord seduced me as a sick game. I’ve hated him ever since. Now here he is again, a man who beats other men bloody for money.
Cord has always been heartless, dangerous, not to be trusted.
And I want him so much I can’t think.
They called us ‘those white trash Gentry boys’ until we believed that’s what we were. Our people squatted at the edge of a hellhole prison town for generations. The childhood we endured was the stuff of nightmares. I’d learned early on that my brothers, Chase and Creed, were the only people on earth worth my time.
They all told us we were bad, that we’d always be bad.
The horrors of the past have scarred my soul.
But now I need to be better.
This is going to sound like a back-handed compliment, but I mean it ONLY as a real compliment: Draw was way better than I thought it was going to be when I picked it for my post- Karina Halle binge read. Draw is exactly all the things that I want in a trashy romance and I inhaled the book in under 24 hours, with much sending of screenshots to Mary and PP because of how much I liked it.
Saylor and Cord grew up in the same small Arizona town, she was a nerdy kid from a safe but unhappy home, and he was one of the triplet brothers born to the town’s trashiest family. Cord, Creed, and Chase grew up essentially feral because their mom was a drugged up mess and their dad was an abusive bastard. Luckily for them they grew up to be three HOT messes, and escaped their small town for better things in Phoenix. Saylor went off to college in California and would be happy to never see Cord again because he dispatched her of her hymen on the floor of her father’s garage and then told the whole school about it. Not cool teenage Cordero* Gentry, not cool.
Things aren’t peachy keen for Saylor in Cali though, she fell in love with a spoiled, pretty, daddy’s boy (I will use that link ANYTIME its applicable and to be honest sometimes when it isn’t) who likes to smack her in the face for fun. Saylor has been making some really creative excuses for him — ran into a parking garage wall while drunken skateboarding — but is reaching her limit. She’s smart enough to know he’s not just going to stop doing it and after a very scary incident she throws a few things into a duffel bag and flees. Straight to her cousin Brayden, Say and Bray guys, at the University of Phoenix. You know where those Gentry boys live now, and where Cord and Bray have become buddies. Cord’s not taking classes but he’s racking up a lot of coed miles
I’d boned from here to the sky with a huge collection of girls and I’d rarely given them much thought.
BONED FROM HERE TO THE SKY. I love that so much, I can’t even do it justice, good work Ms. Brent.
When Saylor rolls into the university, exhausted and bruised, Bray isn’t home so she decides to try to break into his house. This probably wasn’t the best logic but it’s EXACTLY what I would have done, Saylor is a great heroine and guilty of zero DBB (dumb book behavior) offenses. Cord was also looking for Bray, and is lying on the roof looking at the stars cause he’s romantic and hot and likes to do that guys, when he sees and tackles what he thinks is an intruder.
Cord is immediately “Whoa, What the Fuck, and Who did that to your face?” Saylor isn’t thrilled to see him but she knows sleeping on Brayden’s porch isn’t her best option, and she agrees to let him help her out by sleeping on his couch for the night. Thus begins the slow un-thawing that will eventually lead to hot sexing.
I want to get a little spoiler-y, so scroll real fast from hot guy to hot guy if you want things to be a surprise:
Cord and his brothers live in a three bedroom apartment in the same campus apartment complex as Brayden, even though they aren’t students, they make their money rotating in on underground fights. Its good money and the guys have a lot of unresolved anger over their shitty childhoods which makes them well suited to beat the crap out of people for cash. It also makes Cord the perfect person to go with Saylor to get her things out of abusive ex’s apartment. The two have been circling around each other, obviously attracted, and Cord is protective of Saylor while lusting after her. Like most of the alpha’s in our books, he’ll beat the face off anything with a penis but would never hurt a woman. This is one of the reasons book alphas beat real life alphas.
The ex gets shitty with Saylor, and Cord, who is waiting on the other side of the door, LITERALLY breaks down the door and tries to punch asshole’s face into hamburger. Saylor is terrified and then says some really mean things to Cord on the ride back to Arizona. He figures she still thinks he’s the trashy kid from the trailer park, and he leaves her at her cousin’s apartment to go fight some guy for money. It wasn’t even supposed to be his fight but now he’s so pissed he needs an outlet somewhere. He is really into Say, and can’t believe that he’s ruined any chance to be with her.
Saylor meanwhile is crying to Brayden’s girlfriend Millie (who used to be a guy?! I need to see if this is covered in a previous Cora Brent book because if so I am VERY interested), who basically tells her suck it up buttercup, if you like this guy go get it. So she does. And then they have all the sex.
He was also immense, rigid and erect. My insides convulsed with the desire to be battered by the hard pulse of him.
“I’m gonna fuck you good as you deserve and this’ll be one hell of a night. Just trust me.”
I didn’t want mercy though. I urged him to go harder, not caring about the noise I was making. It was reckless, wild, just like Cord himself. There were no rules here, nothing but the frenzied pounding he gave me.
Saylor tells Cord she loves him for the first time while he’s tit f’ing her on a rooftop under the stars. It’s all so good. They’re in hard-core insta-book love and basically living together within a day of their first time. The other 2/3rds of the triplets are OK with this because they can tell Saylor makes their brother happy. Its pretty adorable.
I’m giving Draw a hearty B, the relationship between the three brothers is really sweet. They aren’t sharing a woman close, but they are a tight unit and clearly love each other. The character banter is sharp and funny:
He swiveled slightly and appraised me. “You look pretty.”
I didn’t flinch. “So do you.”
He glanced down at himself and grinned. “Cool. That’s just the look I was going for.”
I shoved him lightly. “Shut up. You know you’re hot as shit.”
Cord looked pleased. “You think so?”
I crossed my arms. “Is there a reputable female who doesn’t?”
“What about the disreputable ones?”
“They’re not real choosy to begin with.”
The third act conflict was handled in a way that never made me roll my eyes heavenward and consider throwing my kindle at the wall. Saylor is sweet without being a door mat and once she decides to forgive and love Cord she does it with her whole heart. And her whole body, there is a lot of enthusiastic sex in this one. Creed and Chase’s books are now required reading and I hope you go buy this trilogy, too.
*Cordero is named after Cord Roberts from One Life to Live, a book detail that gave me much joy.