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Benediction #4

Black Listed

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She sacrificed everything to keep him safe…

Five years ago, con artist Lisa Smith broke the first rule of hustling when she fell in love with—and married—her mark, billionaire Sawyer Hayes. The erotic nights spent acting out her darkest fantasies with her husband and Master were the happiest of her life. But when her ruthless father demanded she kill him and take his money, she had no choice but to disappear without a trace…or lose him forever.

He’ll risk everything to have her again…

Now Sawyer has found her, and he has an indecent proposal: submit to him for seven nights and he’ll grant her the divorce she desires. Forced to pretend she no longer loves him, each night spent in his arms is exquisite torture as they reignite their intense passion through role play and ménage. But when a deranged killer out for revenge targets Lisa, she must finally trust Sawyer with the secrets of her past…or neither of them will live to see the future.

An Avon Romance

300 pages, Paperback

First published March 22, 2016

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About the author

Shelly Bell

29 books646 followers
Shelly Bell is the author of the popular Shelly Bell is the author of more than a dozen romances. Her novels have collected numerous awards and have received starred reviews from both Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal. An attorney for more than twenty-five years, Shelly lives with her family in southwest Florida. When she's not working, she enjoys teaching romance writing to aspiring authors, volunteering in her local community, and reading by the pool. To learn more about her books, visit www.ShellyBellBooks.com.

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Profile Image for Shelly Bell.
Author 29 books646 followers
March 3, 2016
Here's the first excerpt for the March 22nd release, Black Listed.

As long as Lisa had the ability to inherit Sawyer’s estate, he was in danger. Now that he was back in her life, there was one more thing she could do to ensure his safety.

She squared her shoulders. “If I did you a favor by leaving, then you won’t mind giving me a divorce.”

He flinched, the first crack in his armor that she’d witnessed tonight. “That’s what you want?”

Her breath stalled in her chest. “Y-yes.”

A divorce was the last thing she wanted, but it was what they needed. She should have done it years ago, but she couldn’t be the one to file since she would be required by law to give her address.

A slow grin appeared on his face. “What will you give me for the divorce?”

She’d gotten butterflies every time he’d smiled at her in the past, but this time, a lead weight filled her belly. “Give you?”

He toyed with the ends of her short brown hair, his fingers restless. “You took that money from me. Even though legally you had every right to it, you played me to get it. You owe me. And I’m here to collect.”

“I told you, I don’t have the money. You saw it yourself. I own nothing. There’s no way I can repay you.” She took a deep breath, trying not to let his nearness affect her.

His hands framed her face. “I don’t want money. There are other more pleasurable ways to collect on the debt you owe me.”

“What are you suggesting?” she asked, afraid of his answer.

“Seven nights. Same soft and hard limits from five years ago.”

Her heart sped up, making her breathless. Out of all the things she expected him to say, that wasn’t one of them. “So if I make love to you for seven nights, you’ll grant me a divorce and forgive the debt I owe you?”

He laughed. “What we’ll do could never be classified as ‘making love.’ We’ll fuck. I set the scenes. And you can do what you do best.” His expression turned cold once more, while his eyes seared into her. “Pretend.”

It shouldn’t hurt as much as it did. Like Sawyer had reached inside her chest cavity and squeezed her heart in his hand.

She could barely get the words off her tongue. “Role play. If you hate me so much, why do you want to fuck me again?” she asked. “I would think a divorce is exactly what you’d want. At Benediction, you have an entire sex club of women at your disposal.”

The idea of him with another woman twisted her insides, but it would be much harder to take him inside her body again and not show him how much she loved him.

She wasn’t that good of an actress.

“I already have an entire sex club of women at my disposal. Didn’t Rachel and Logan tell you about their time at Paradise Found?”

Rachel had mentioned she and Logan had hid at Paradise Found, Logan’s friend’s club in Las Vegas, and Rachel had described to her at length the sinful things she’d seen there. “You own a sex club?”

“Why does that surprise you? You know better than anyone how much I enjoy a good fuck. Once you left, I considered myself a free agent.” His lips tightened into a straight line, his eyes flat. “You didn’t actually think I’d wait for you, did you?”

“No,” she whispered. “Why would you? You were right. Our marriage vows meant nothing. You had every right to sleep with as many women as you wanted.” She looked him straight in the eyes.

“And I had the right to sleep with anyone I wanted as well.”

He didn’t give her a warning before slamming her up against the bookshelf. If there had been any change in his eyes, anything other than the coldness still lingering, she would’ve believed he was jealous.

His scent and heat wrapped her in an embrace even as she tried to resist the spell he held over her.
She thought about what Rachel had told her about Paradise Found. She’d mentioned that Logan’s friends were into ménage. Did that include Sawyer? While she had remained faithful, had he been indulging in wild sex parties and threesomes?

Sawyer braced a hand over her head, looming over her as he boxed her in. “For the next seven nights, you belong to me. You don’t fuck anyone else. You don’t even think about fucking someone else. Your nights are mine. Your body is mine. Do it and I’ll grant you a divorce and forgive your debt. You won’t ever have to worry about me again.”

Seven nights. It should be so easy to get him out of her system. But despite what he thought, she’d worry about him for the rest of her life. For the next week, the pleasure he’d bestow would be a living hell for her. It was punishment for her sins. It was no less than what she deserved.

She gave a sigh of resignation. “It’s a deal.”

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Profile Image for Jessica Alcazar.
3,928 reviews448 followers
August 30, 2018
Talk about nail biting, panty soaking, seat of your pants ridiculously good book! YES, Black Listed was all that and so much more!
OK, so this was not only my first read in the series, but also my first read by the author. When I finished reading it, not only did I one-click the first three in the series, but I've also marked Shelly Bell as a go-to author! The book took no time to read, which is an excellent sign. It kept me interested. I was intrigued by the twists and enthralled by the ridiculously sexy sexy!! This woman can write a scorching hot sex scene #TRUST
The journey of Lisa Smith and Sawyer Hayes was action packed, engaging, nail biting and had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through to the end! I couldn't put this story down! Their chemistry was palpable from the start. It was intense and passionate and ridiculously delicious! My girlie parts were singing Soprano quite a few times! :)
I have to say, this book was a perfectly blended story of romantic passion with suspenseful passion. Both elements were woven into the story very well and not a beat was missed in the story-line.
Really high rec from this reader!

ARC provided by Give Me Books Promotions for blog tour review
Profile Image for The Book Junkie Reads . . ..
4,864 reviews138 followers
March 29, 2016
I got what I was expecting from this read a thrill, a few chills, and lots of red hot making up. There was suspense. A second chance that was not quite earned but given. Lisa/Annalise had a hard choice to make to let the love of her life live or die. Family loyalty can be a bitch and take a lot out of you when you make the wrong choice. For five years she had to make that wrong choice the right one to keep the man she loved more than anything alive.

The fluff of frill romance has left the building. Benediction has returned full force with no obstacle in place. Seven days of delicious, dark, decadent fantasies with no commitment when it is all over. Sawyer knew this to be a lie when it left his lips. Will she fall for the bait?

Shelly Bell has given a BDSM ride with thrills, intrigue, and suspense wrapped in pleasure. This may not be everyone's particular brand of romantic suspense but it is one of mine. Enjoy the ride and let it take you where you may.

**This ARC was provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Talk Supe.
1,264 reviews91 followers
March 30, 2016
3.5 stars
I love the plot, the theme of reconciliation, criminal pasts, stalkers, terrorizing the MC's, it all added to the thrill. What felt inconsistent with me is how forgiveness was so easily given. Not that I want Sawyer to hold grudges, but the catharsis was almost not there. A few rounds of kinky sex and POOF!, all's well in paradise. It's not realistic especially as the conflict affected the romantic relationship between Sawyer and Lisa.

As for the erotica side, I'm person ally tired of BDSM and iI admit to skimming a lot of the sex scenes, but that's a personal and subjective choice on my part. I'm sure fans of the genre will enjoy this aspect far better than I did.

I wish SBell would write a good ol fashioned thriller. She's really good at writing suspense and I'd love to see what she can offer for the genre. I'm thinking/hoping for something dark and twisted a la GFlynn. I believe she can pull it off spectacularly.
1,357 reviews32 followers
March 2, 2016
Lisa Smith was raised by con artists, and before she even knew that what she was doing was wrong, she was a part of their scams; it was the only life she knew. When her father told her to con, and marry, young billionaire Sawyer Hayes, things went awry. Lisa fell in love with Sawyer, for the first time of her life, she was really happy; she had found someone who cared deeply about her. But when Lisa’s father asked that she kill Sawyer, Lisa vanished to spare her husband’s life, however she took Sawyer’s money with her. After four years, Sawyer finds her, and he tells her that if she accepts to do all his sexual bidding for seven days, he will grant her the divorce she asked for. What Lisa fears is, that since she has never stopped loving Sawyer, that her heart will be broken again. But when Lisa’s life is also in danger, Sawyer and Lisa must do everything to survive…

I was a bit apprehensive, given the warning about serious BSDM and ménage, but Ms. Bell handles everything extremely well. When she was married, Lisa was a collared slave to her Master Sawyer, and I never once felt it was degrading; it was what made Lisa happy, it was her choice, and surprisingly enough, I felt comfortable with the whole thing. Sawyer is really a great guy, and I really liked Lisa. I don’t like thieves and liars as heroes, and again the author makes it work: I understood where Lisa was coming from, and I had no problem with. Both characters have very interesting background stories; everything was totally believable. BLACK LISTED is as expected scorching hot, and all the sex scenes are very tasteful. Better yet, all this naughtiness is perfectly integrated with the suspense story, and the story is very solid. There are suspense elements on several levels: there are threats on Lisa’s life, are Lisa and Sawyer heading towards a reconciliation, who wants to harm them, and I didn’t have a clue. With BLACK LISTED, Shelly Bell strikes a perfect balance between a captivating suspense novel, a realistic love story, and BDSM that feels totally authentic. BLACK LISTED kept me riveted until the very satisfying conclusion.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cara.
844 reviews9 followers
March 22, 2016
I'm so thrilled that Shelly Bell has released another Benediction book and finally! We will discover the secret between Lisa and Sawyer that was alluded to in at the end of Blue Blooded.

Lisa Smith aka Annaliese Hayes turned her back on the only person she has every loved, in order to protect him from…her! You see Annaliese family is full of con artists and they made Annaliese one from the moment she realized that they were not normal. After so many years Annaliese's father sets his sights on Sawyer Hayes and like the dutiful daughter Annaliese complies. But to Annaliese, Sawyer is so much more! He became the first person who ever knew her real name. But in Annaliese's case all good things must come to an end when Sawyers life is threatened, so in order to protect him, she does the one thing she always knows what to do, so she runs away taking a million dollars with her.

Five years later Annaliese in on the straight and narrow and has her own PR company and finally a group of friends; whom know nothing about about her past. That is until Sawyer walks back into her life and demands repayment! But then Annaliese's past rears its ugly head and someone is out to kill her! But you are left wondering who it is and Sawyer will actually be able to let her go at the end of the 7 days.

OH MY GOD!!! This series can never end!! Because I will literally be heartbroken! Now I will warn you that Shelly Bell books are not from the faint of heart! They are hardcore books, just like life is!! But the stories are beautifully written with no fluff or fillers. Just grab you by the seat of your pants romantic suspense, which I have fallen in love with…thanks to this author.

As I said before; the plot was without fluff or fillers. The writing was smooth and the characters divine! I am seriously addicted to this series! To these characters, to everything! I am seriously hoping that the next story is OZ's story *hint hint*

I give Black Listed 5 stars!
Profile Image for lisa.
2,071 reviews300 followers
March 23, 2016
I wasn't supposed to be reading because I had TONS to do but of course I finished a book because... stressed.

ANYWAY, I was a teensy bit excited about this book ever since I finished reading the third one because A HEROINE WITH MY NAME ???!

spoiler: it wasn't her real name. #bummer

I love the angst and emotions between both Sawyer and not-Lisa; I'm a sucker for drama and this one has it in spades. I mean, not-Lisa did con her hot husband millions of dollars and then ran away with it and left him heartbroken, and laid low until they met each other again after four years. Nice. But then somebody threatened not-Lisa's life, and she had to turn to her still-husband for protection (or rather being handled into it by Sawyer because Nobody threatens his still-wife and slave).

I'm actually not really into the hardcore Master/slave thing, but I love the bond between the characters, especially when they still love each other but what is love when you're not honest with each other, huh huh huh? So that's something both of them have to overcome in this, and I enjoyed reading their journey.

The events leading to the ending, the big Climax, felt a little convoluted to me so that kind of put a damper on what could otherwise be a 4-star read; I wish we could have gotten a somewhat smoother conflict and conflict-solving scenes. But overall, I really enjoyed this one better than I did the previous one, because I love the characters.
Profile Image for Ruthie Taylor.
3,545 reviews37 followers
March 20, 2016
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~

This is the fourth in the series (White Collared is book 1)- and they interlink, but each deals with another couple. I have enjoyed them all. You could read this as a standalone, but they are all good, so don't miss out on the treat.

Lisa (aka ... Annaliese amongst others) has been keeping a low profile for a long time, but one photo in a newspaper leads to the whole of this story unfolding. The split between a good plot with a great ending, and scenes of BDSM was perfect. I loved Sawyer, and his tech chums - who all redefined the term geek as belonging to hot alphas! There were quite a few times where I really questioned why she didn't communicate better and avoid the next event which crashed in and damaged the trust between them again. The twist in the tale was very good - I did have an inkling, but it played out very well.

If you like a mystery, a group of ultra hot guys, one her husband and Master, and one very lonely, carefully controlled, but ultimately submissive woman - then you are going to enjoy this from cover to cover. I am looking forward to the next in the series - a few hints were dropped at the end as to who might feature !

Wicked Reads Review Team
Profile Image for Codi Gary.
Author 41 books880 followers
March 17, 2016
When I want a hot, smexy read, I am never disappointed with a Shelly Bell book and Black Listed is no exception. This novel had me from the very first chapter and I couldn't wait to finish it. In fact, I did so in three hours with a few interruptions along the way, but it was hard to walk away from. Lisa was a facinating character and Sawyer...well, he was just yum. Bell's voice reminds me of Linda Howard's romantic suspense, except Bell's have a lot more sex. :-) Okay, not just sex but seriously hawt kinky sex. Definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves erotic romance.
Profile Image for Irene Menge.
11 reviews6 followers
April 9, 2017
A non-traditional steamy romantic thriller with well-developed characters, plenty of suspense and unexpected twists.
Profile Image for Amy.
Author 20 books22 followers
March 25, 2016
Just when I think Shelly can't give us better, she does!

Let me just say straight out…I love the Benediction series. I cannot get enough of it, and even though it is not a series for everyone, I think everyone should try it on for size just once. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I do either, but it is truly addicting.

We first met Lisa Smith in the White Collared books and frankly, I didn’t like her much. I thought her conniving and was always feeling as if Kate needed to watch her back with her. I guess there was a good reason for that…she’s a con artist. Not just someone who manipulates to get things her way but an all-out, criminally minded, con artist, who came from a family of con artists, and is now hiding out from them—and her husband, Sawyer Hayes.

Lisa’s real name is Annaliese Hayes nee Hunt. She married Sawyer Hayes, the sexy billionaire computer genius who helped clear Rachel and Logan of murder in BLUE BLOODED. She married him because that’s what her father wanted her to do then divorce him for the money, only he changed his plans and decided she should kill him instead, and take it all. Only one problem with the old man’s plan…Lisa had fallen in love with Sawyer, so she took enough money to appease her hateful father, and left. She left the man she loved, the life she wanted with him, and took along with her a Black List that could put her entire family away for a very long time…her included. She warned her father that if anything happened to Sawyer, the list would go straight to the FBI. She gave up her life to save Sawyer’s. All was well until her picture appeared in the newspaper and Sawyer showed up at Cole and Danielle’s wedding.

Lisa asks him for a divorce. Sawyer says he’ll agree only if she agrees to spend one week as his submissive. Seeing that he was, and still is, her only Master, Lisa agrees because she still craves this man, still loves this man, and wants to protect him by making sure he goes away and stays away from her. The problem is…if Sawyer could find her…so could her father, her brothers and any one of the many marks, she’s defrauded over the years.

As I read each book in the Benediction series, I think Shelly Bell can’t possibly thrill or keep me enthralled as well as the one before but she can, and she does. Having just come off reading RED HANDED immediately before reading BLACK LISTED, I thought nothing could surprise me more, but it did.

BLACK LISTED, book three in the Benediction series by Shelly Bell is raw, rough, suspenseful, and not for the faint of heart when it comes to sex scenes but it’s also, beautiful, emotional, passionate, and overflowing with an intense love between two perfectly matched characters that are getting a second chance at love, marriage, truth, and the future. We are used to second chance romances where a couple who had unspoken feelings for each other come back together and reignite their love and relationship but this time, in BLACK LISTED, this is a married couple, a Master and Sub, two people who had already committed themselves and their hearts to a union torn apart by secrets and lies. It’s unique, it is heart wrenching, and we can’t help but be drawn into their world, their love, and feel the same sense of healing when the truths—all of them—finally come out.

Frankly, I hope Shelly never ends this series but I know it will happen eventually…happily, these are stories I will be revisiting many times in the future. I highly, highly recommend that if you love good suspense, characters rich in realism, a world of the sexually unusual—one that intrigues and makes you wish you were brave enough to venture into—and experiencing love that you wish could exist outside the realm of romance novels then please…read BLACK LISTED by Shelly Bell, and welcome the addiction.

***eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Profile Image for Misty (Reds Romance Reviews).
2,973 reviews6 followers
March 9, 2016
No one knows how to adapt to their surroundings quite like Lisa Smith, changing personalities and identities is second nature to her, and really the only way she knows how to live. When you are raised by and surrounded by a group of con artists you really have no other choice then follow suit and do what your taught, even if it is wrong. When her father tells her to con, and marry, billionaire Sawyer Hayes, she is game to complete the mission, but things take an unexpected turn. Lisa ends up breaking protocol and winds up falling head over heels in love with Sawyer. Letting her guard down and falling for him wasn't part of the plan, but is sure felt good to finally feel like she had someone in her life who truly cared about her and her welfare. But things between them come to a screeching halt when her father demands she kill him and move on, she can't bring herself to end his life so she flees, with his money, and never looks back. But four years later Sawyer tracks her down, and makes her an offer she can't really refuse, he'll grant her the divorce she requested as long as she spends the next seven days being his love slave, which sounds plausible, but she's not so sure her fragile heart can handle being that close to him, and walking away from him again.

Having been a while since my last book by Shelly Bell, I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed reading her stories, but after reading the first paragraph of this one I was quickly reminded of the literary treat her books provide! The story line was very engaging and action packed, and had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. The chemistry between Lisa and Sawyer was undeniable from the start, their relationship was fueled by loads of intensity and passion, and filled with lots of steamy action that left me blushing quite a few times! No one does sinfully sexy tales quite like Ms. Bell, she has a knack for putting the perfect amounts of naughty, romance and suspense into her stories, and giving readers a very well balanced and highly satisfying reading experience!! I have yet to read something from her that I haven't absolutely loved, and I highly recommend you give this read a try, it is sure to satisfy all your reading cravings...and then some!!

ARC requested through Edelweiss, and kindly provided by Avon Red Impulse Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Nerdy Dirty & Flirty.
3,985 reviews319 followers
June 7, 2016
5 stars

Shelly Bell certainly knows how to heat things up! This book had the perfect mix of danger, mystery and lots of hot steamy BDSM goodness. Lisa was raised to be a con artist by her family. With her parents and her two older brothers that's how they made their living. After her last mark she just can't do it anymore. On the run, it's only a matter of time until she's found; but by who? Sawyer was Lisa's most recent victim, but he still loves his wife.

Lisa really felt remorse for the things she did. She has a new life and new friends. She needs to keep Sawyer at a distance and convince him of a divorce for his own safety. One mistake leads to more than one person finding her, but will they find out who is after her before it's too late? I love that she unexpectedly felt so much for him that she wanted to do whatever she could to keep him safe from her family. She went through so much growing up and was forced to do a lot of unsavory things but she was strong.

Sawyer was hurt when his wife left him. He searched for her but she was good at hiding. He went into a downward spiral and with the help of friends fight his way out and opened a sex club. When he finds he and Lisa have mutual friends, he's determined to get her back. I loved how protective he was even after their history. Sawyer was such a sexy dominant male! This book had so much to it; drama, danger, hot steamy BDSM. Their friends were awesome too. They were very supportive of Lisa when she told them the truth about who she was. Oh my god the twists and turn kept me on the edge, not wanting to put this one down! With everything happening to Lisa, there were so many suspects. Sawyer's three military friends come to help figure things out and boy do they also bring the heat! You'll have to read the book to find out about that...you won't be sorry! This is definitely one of my top reads so far this year!

Profile Image for Joanna.
249 reviews
March 22, 2016
Panty Scorching- 5
Angst- 3
Overall Rating- 5
Received an ARC for review

I keep telling myself, don’t sign up for a book that is in the midst of a series.
This is book 4 of the Benediction series of but this author, and if I would have listened to myself not to sign up for this, since it was a book 4, and I had not read any of the previous books, I would have missed this HOT, and SEXY story.

I haven’t read a good BDSM story in a while, and this one got me hooked again.

Lisa, Annaliese, or whatever name she is going by at the moment, is a con artists. Her father has used her for “cons” since she was younger. When she was 18, she went in for her biggest “con”, Sawyer Hayes. He was a rich CEO and the only way to get his money was to marry him. She didn’t know when the con began, that she would fall in love with him, and the only way to keep him safe, was to leave him.

"When she'd left left Sawyer, She'd also left her true nature behind, and as a symbol, she'd placed her wedding rings and platinum chain collar on his pillow. He hadn't just lost his wife when she'd run. He'd lost his slave. And she'd lost herself."

Sawyer is not the kind of man who lets someone get away with coning him. So 4 years later, he finally discovers where Annaliese is hiding and goes to her.

Annaliese, “Lisa”, wants to tell Sawyer the truth. Tell him about her family and the cons, but she is afraid that there will be harm done to him.
Can she keep him safe, while having to spend a 7 days of being HIS? Or will her family also find her, and end her happiness?

This was a great and well written story. There was suspense, which was fun to read, mixed in with a lot of HOT and STEAMY, BDSM, with romance mixed in.

A total must read if those things are on your “genre” to read.
Profile Image for The Smutbrarians.
2,231 reviews1,734 followers
March 22, 2016
Panty Scorching- 5
Angst- 3
Overall Rating- 5
Kindle eARC
Reviewed by Joanna

I keep telling myself, don’t sign up for a book that is in the midst of a series.
This is book 4 of the Benediction series of but this author, and if I would have listened to myself not to sign up for this, since it was a book 4, and I had not read any of the previous books, I would have missed this HOT, and SEXY story.

I haven’t read a good BDSM story in a while, and this one got me hooked again.

Lisa, Annaliese, or whatever name she is going by at the moment, is a con artists. Her father has used her for “cons” since she was younger. When she was 18, she went in for her biggest “con”, Sawyer Hayes. He was a rich CEO and the only way to get his money was to marry him. She didn’t know when the con began, that she would fall in love with him, and the only way to keep him safe, was to leave him.

“When she’d left left Sawyer, She’d also left her true nature behind, and as a symbol, she’d placed her wedding rings and platinum chain collar on his pillow. He hadn’t just lost his wife when she’d run. He’d lost his slave. And she’d lost herself.”

Sawyer is not the kind of man who lets someone get away with coning him. So 4 years later, he finally discovers where Annaliese is hiding and goes to her.

Annaliese, “Lisa”, wants to tell Sawyer the truth. Tell him about her family and the cons, but she is afraid that there will be harm done to him.
Can she keep him safe, while having to spend a 7 days of being HIS? Or will her family also find her, and end her happiness?

This was a great and well written story. There was suspense, which was fun to read, mixed in with a lot of HOT and STEAMY, BDSM, with romance mixed in.

A total must read if those things are on your “genre” to read.

Profile Image for Anne Dawson.
386 reviews12 followers
March 21, 2016
4 Stars – steaming hot and full of suspense

Black Listed is the 4th book in the Benediction series and my first by this author. The books are all interlinked but can be read as standalones and what you get with this is a story that will keep you on your toes with plenty of suspense that had me guessing right up to the end. Mix in some intense, steamy hotness and this book had a recipe to be a great read right from the start and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

With con artists for parents, Lisa (Annalise) has been pulling cons with her brothers since she was small. Her cons were well planned, she took their money and left them without a look backwards, that is until she met Sawyer Hayes – billionaire business man by day and dominant by night. Right from the start she was drawn to him, drawn into his world of master and submissive and she ends up breaking protocol and falling head over heels in love with her mark.

Four years ago, she walked away from the only man she has ever loved in order to protect him from her family but one slip up and a photograph in the paper brings the normal life she has attempted to create crashing down around her and Sawyer strolling back into her life. Lisa’s life is threatened by a mystery person unknown, whose identity I changed my mind about on several occasions throughout the book and Sawyer is there for her but can she finally let her guard down and trust him, tell him the truth about her life?

I really enjoyed the book which had a story line that was totally engaging, full of drama and suspense and plenty of sizzling hotness and I will certainly be reading more from this author in the future and one clicking the previous books in this series.

Profile Image for Book Loving Fairy-Blog.
1,263 reviews25 followers
March 22, 2016
4 Stars

Black Listed is a continuation of the Benediction series by Shelly Bell, but I had no problem reading it as a stand alone. While former characters and their stories are brought up, I didn't feel lost with what was going on.

Lisa Smith is living a lie. She's been on the run for four years, living someone else's life. All that changes when her past comes charging back at her, in the form of her husband Sawyer Hayes. The husband that she stole from and then ran from. The husband that knows her true identity, Annalise Hunt Hayes. The husband that is also her Master. Annalise was a con artist, she was born into it, her parents were cons as were her two brothers. When her father forced her to make her way into Sawyer's life, she never expected to fall in love. Fearing for Sawyer's life, she disappears after she fleeces him. Now that he's found her, he has plans for her. He wants to own her for a week, then and only then he will give her the divorce she is desperate for. If she divorced him, he will be safe, that's what she tells herself anyway. Unfortunately it seems that Sawyer is not the only one that has found her. Strange occurrences have started to happen, and now her life and Sawyer's life are in danger again. Will she trust Sawyer enough to open up about the truth as to why she ran? Who else is after Annalise? How will Sawyer handle the long list of "marks" Annalise has acquired over the years of conning?

I really liked this one. It kept me guessing from the start as to who was after Annalise and Sawyer. Just when I thought I had it figured out, something would happen and I would start questioning everything. This seems like a great series and I'd love to follow up on what happens next for Sawyer and Annalise.

~ Renee
Profile Image for Julie Barrett.
445 reviews8 followers
March 22, 2016
Wow! I absolutely loved this book, it has everything I look for in a great read - passion, suspense, emotion, steamy, kinky sex and true love. It's an action packed roller coaster ride with lots of twists and turns and ups and downs. This is the second book I've read in this series now, but I think I'm going to go back and read the previous books as Shelly Bell is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

Lisa Smith is a con artist who fell in love with and married her mark, Sawyer Hayes. When her father demanded that she murder Sawyer, she did the only thing she could do to keep him safe and ran. Five years on she's made a new law-abiding life for herself, but Sawyer tracks her down and has an offer for her - submit to him for seven nights and he will give her the divorce she wants. But danger is lurking and both their lives are at risk - can Sawyer save the woman he still loves?

I was initially unsure if I'd like and connect with Lisa because of her criminal past, but I soon learned to love her. Brought up by her family of con artists, she had no choice but to commit crimes from a very young age. She's working hard to overcome her past, but it soon catches up with her. Her love for Sawyer is real, and the chemistry between them is sizzling. Sawyer is a dreamy hero and is perfect for Lisa. He's strong, dominant, loyal, protective and extremely sexy. Lisa and Sawyer have a lot of bumps in their journey to happiness, but it sure makes for exciting reading. Black Listed is another fantastic book by this talented author, so it definitely receives five big stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Profile Image for Sharrice.
1,187 reviews65 followers
May 16, 2017
So I’ve only read one book from the Benediction series before this one, but when I saw this one was coming out I had to read it. Shelly Bell does an amazing job at writing naughty scenes, romance, characters, and high stakes relationships. I couldn’t pass up this story so here I am.

Lisa Smith had a harsh life growing up. Abusive parents and siblings with nothing but lies, sex, and scandal. Her last job was to marry Sawyer Hayes and steal his money, until someone changed the stakes and she was forced to leave him to save his life. Then a picture was taken of her and now everyone from her past has found her, including Sawyer. When they run into each other again (not by accident) Sawyer makes Lisa a deal: seven days together again, full submission, and he’ll grant her a divorce.

This story was fabulous. Lisa was so great. I love how she grew from an untrusting girl to a strong woman who was able to trust her friends and Sawyer completely. Sawyer is a yummy machine of hotness. The type of guy who you’d want to climb like a tree. I enjoyed how even though he came to get the truth out of Lisa after all their time apart he learned a lot from her as well and grew along side her.

Black Listed is super good. I loved every minute of this story and really felt for the characters. The only downside was I didn’t know all the characters so some aspects of the story were a little hazy to me. Honestly that wasn’t a huge downside but it a little confusing at times.
Profile Image for Kimberly Anne.
3,167 reviews179 followers
February 29, 2016
This was my first time reading a story by this author. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I was kept on my toes. Throughout the whole book there is a mystery person and it keeps you guessing right till the end. The storyline was pretty good. It could have used something more in places but all in all it was a steamy, suspenseful, erotica read. BDSM scenes that were sexy and sinful too!

Lisa doesn't know who she really is anymore. She has been pulling cons since...well forever. She had her cons down, she knew them before she met them. She knew the in's and outs, that is until met him! Sawyer Hayes. He is the one that made Annaliese want to be different, better. She never wanted to come clean so badly, but she had to protect Sawyer. She did what she had to do. She had to con the con. Everything was going well. Four years in hiding, but then one picture brings it all falling down. Can she be forgiving for her sins, and the sins of her family? Can she really have what she has always wanted, to be happy, to be with Sawyer? Or will her family ruin it all?
Profile Image for Mary Jo.
2,348 reviews52 followers
March 13, 2016
What happens if all you know and been taught to do is con people? What happens when you find the love of your life but the con requires you to do them harm? Lisa was faced with this dilemma so she did what she does best, she runs but not just from the con, her family too. She builds a new life for herself away from all the con’s, starts a career and feels normal. But then, Sawyer, her last con and husband, strolls back into her life. She loves Sawyer but fears for his life if her family finds them. When crazy things start happening to Lisa that puts her in danger, how will she protect herself? Sawyer loves Lisa and was determined to find her after she walked away from their marriage so he doesn’t plan to let her go now. Will he be able to protect her? Will she be able to let him and tell him the truth? This was an amazing, sensual, erotic and heart-stopping ride. There is a great mystery embedded that kept me guessing to the very end. I was given a copy for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christi Lofton.
407 reviews
February 10, 2018
I have enjoyed all of the Benediction Series, but Black Listed is by far my favorite. This book centers on Lisa and how her past has finally caught up with her. When Sawyer reappears in her life, everything she has been running from has found her. Despite her need to keep Sawyer safe, she can't deny her feelings for the man. The passion that the two once shared is as strong as ever. You can almost feel it jump off of the pages.

In addition to Sawyer, others from Lisa's past have found her. Her running from Sawyer was stemmed in reasons created by others in her life at the time. Now she must decide whether to run again or tell Sawyer the truth.

This book is not only super hot, it is loaded with twists and turns that you never expect. It will keep you on your toes. Great book! My new favorite Benediction book and couple!
Profile Image for Monique Tinline.
384 reviews
March 22, 2016

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What did I just read? I have never picked up a book by Shelly Bell before and now I question as to why?

This was amazing, a mixture of hot steamy melt your panty BDSM but full of suspense with an amazing story.

From page one I was hooked, the twists and turns that kept me guessing, not knowing what was going to happen next.

Annaliese and Sawyer sure know how to heat up the pages, the BDSM scenes were so well written, was like you wanted to live out the scene with them.

Another must read author added to my TBR

Profile Image for She Hearts Books.
2,093 reviews71 followers
March 22, 2016
Black Listed is the perfect blend of passion and suspense with a bit of kink thrown in for good measure.

Lisa had left him behind to save his life. She loved him completely and made the sacrifice. She never expected to see him again when she made a new and clean life for herself. I fell hard for Sawyer. He is a delicious naughty talking bossy man with his heart on his sleeve for Lisa. I loved that about him. He came for her. Never stopped loving her even after she left him broken. I loved them together.

I also enjoyed the mystery of who was stalking Lisa. I really didn't see the reveal coming and I loved that the author took me by surprise.

This is such a fantastic series and I loved Lisa and Sawyer's story.

I give Black Listed 5 hearts!
Profile Image for Marika.
4,366 reviews95 followers
March 23, 2016
This is the first book I'very read by this author..but let me tell go I am going to read the other books..plus this Blurb intrigued me!
Lisa/ Annaliese is married to the handsome and very well of Sawyer..but to protect him from her family's threat she leaves him behind and start over!
Sawyer wants her back..and he proposes something outrageously hot.. and who can resist, right? Certainly not Lisa!
Passion ignites yet again...but...
Someone wants to kill Lisa...
Romance and passion, suspense and adrenaline run so high... impossible to put down..You will be at the edge of your sit while other parts will make you fan yourself..
A great story and strong characters!
Definitely need to read more of this series!
502 reviews3 followers
March 2, 2016
This is definitely a BDSM book, but the storyline is so amazing. It is suspenseful book, where things aren't always like they appear. Annaleise spent most of her life conning people, until she meets and marries Sawyer. He is everything she dreams of, but she must leave for his protection. Fast forward four years, and they meet again . Their combustible chemistry is still alive, but Annaleise thinks the threat is still there. Attacks begins, lies are told. Can their love survive the truth?????

Great characters and a great plot. This is a new to me author but I definitely want to read more.
Profile Image for Debbie.
689 reviews
March 25, 2016
Black Listed is the fourth in Shelly Bell's Benediction series. Lisa and Sawyer's story can be read as a standalone but the previous books provide stories of characters found in Black Listed. Bell packs a punch with plenty of action and sexy, hot scenes. I was hooked with the married con artist and billionaire, I couldn't wait to see what happened with their seven day deal.

Black Listed is my first Benediction story but not my last. I'm looking forward to getting the previous books in the series to catch up with Bell's characters. I can't wait to see what more Shelly Bell has in store for her readers.
Profile Image for Mandie Trahan.
195 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2016
This book was sent to me for an honest review.

This is book 4 of the series and can be a stand alone.
This is my book to read by this author and I rate it 4 stars.
This book is HOTTTT.
This book is steamy.
this book has very intense sex scenes, violence, love, and have I mentioned sex?
I'm very pleased with this book and I enjoyed the different characters. I'm not certain who my favorite person is in the book but I'm sure it is one of Sawyers friends. ;)
Profile Image for Jill  Kirtley.
1,321 reviews11 followers
March 26, 2016
Loved it!!!

This book was the hottest and sexiest of all the Benediction novels, there was nothing Sawyer and Lisa wouldn't do, their story line was excellent and well written.
If you love reading books featuring BDSM, murder, secrets and lies, love and true friendships then you'll love this series.
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