Nat is amped after performing with her punk band, Vertical Smile, when she meets Rebecca, a gorgeous and obviously wealthy blonde. Their immediate chemistry leads to an off-the-charts makeout session that appears to be heading somewhere promising, until Rebecca asks Nat to join her at a fundraiser and Nat realizes that her day job and her passion are colliding.
At work, she’s Natalie, an ultra-attentive and buttoned-up concierge at the Thorns Ladies’ Social Club in New York City, ensuring that all club members have everything they need. The club has a strict code of conduct that does NOT include performing as an androgynous, sexed-up punk deity or entanglements with club members, and the woman who wants Nat by her side at a queer fundraiser is none other than Bex Horvath, Hollywood royalty and member of the Rose and Thorns clubs.
Bex isn’t used to being told no, so she finds herself intrigued by Nat. When she sees her at the Thorns, Bex swears to keep Nat’s secret, and their fabulous chemistry continues to crackle until it eventually explodes. But between the pressures of the band, Nat’s job (which she needs so she can stay afloat financially), and the new feelings she has for Bex, something has to give. Can she truly trust with Bex with everything, including her heart?
Off Limits is told in the first person, alternating between Bex and Nat’s perspectives, which is especially effective for letting us get to know each character well. North tells us which perspective we’re following whenever it shifts and I loved that Nat’s chapters/sections are labelled “Nat” or “Natalie,” depending on where she is at the time.
Nat has the biggest arc in the story, since she has to evaluate her life and her priorities as she comes to terms with Bex’s presence in her life. Bex, on the other hand, works on things like family relationships and working within the parameters that Nat sets out, rather than changing how she fundamentally operates as a person. They’re so enjoyable to watch together and every interaction between them is just magic, so I was rooting for them all the way.
There are a bunch of side characters and many of them add a lot to the story. Nat’s bandmates are her found family, standing with her now that she has no contact with her biological family. Bex spends quite a bit of time with her father’s fiancee, Carina, who’s only a couple of years younger than Bex, as she helps her plan their wedding. Carina is autistic and while I’m not at all qualified to say if that rep is handled well, I want to raise it because I know some readers are looking for more neurodiverse characters.
The Writing Style
This book. This. Freaking. Book. I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up until WAAAAAY past my bedtime to finish it because it had me hooked. The pacing is great, the story is developed well, and the sex scenes are super hot. This book has it all!
None for me.
This is the first in a four-book celebrity romance series that takes place in the world of the Rose and Thorns clubs. Each book is by a different author (or author pair) and follow a different couple. Vanessa North did a fabulous job of kicking off the series and I’m so glad I read Off Limits because it hit allllll of my buttons. I can’t wait for the other three books and I seriously hope Vanessa North has a lot more f/f romance in store for us because I loved this one so much!
Excerpt from Off Limits by Vanessa North
“Oh,” [Rebecca] whispers, and I lean in and kiss her, keeping it gentle, even though I want to dive in and just devour her. Lips move softly over mine, then roughly, and suddenly, devour isn’t a strong enough word for what she’s doing to me.
I’m utterly, completely, consumed by her. Heat floods my groin and my nipples harden against the rough ribbing of my tank top. My heartbeat rushes in my ears as she sinks her teeth into my lower lip.
Hands slide down my body, so different from the familiar certainty of Teri’s touch or Jacks’s. Hungry, rather than playful as one grips my ass and hauls me tighter against her.
I skim my fingertips across her satiny jaw and plunge my hand into that gorgeous hair. It spills over my hand and onto my shoulder, and a vision pops into my head of her sprawled on my bed, that hair spreading out over both of us as we—
A phone rings and we jump apart.
Rebecca’s ringtone is an old fashioned telephone ring, and against my will, I’m charmed as I lean against the wall and watch her fumble with her handbag. She winces theatrically and holds up a finger as she answers.
“Horvath. No. No, I can’t. I’m in New York… …Mom. It’s after midnight here. Yeah, I’m going to try to have lunch with him. I’ll mention it, but you’re going to have to make the case for it yourself. You’re not using me to get at him. I’m done with that shit. Goodnight.” Rebecca flips the switch on the side of her phone to silence it and drops it back in the handbag. “I’m sorry. My parents have been divorced for decades, and they still try to talk to each other through me.”
I stare at her, my limbs shaking with a sudden chill as the name breaks through the fog of lust.
“Horvath,” I say woodenly. “You’re Bex Horvath.” Daughter of an actress and the head of a huge TV production studio. Hollywood royalty. Noted philanthropist—and member of the Rose and Thorns Ladies social clubs. AKA, my fucking day job.
My brain screeches to a halt and I recoil, crossing my arms over my chest. She’s off limits.
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Rose And Torns
Off Limits by Vanessa North
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781719951593
- Publisher: Vanessa North
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