Five of Clubs by Claudia Landres

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0680-1

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The second I enter The Club, I know I’m out of my depth—like way out. Everything here is refined, exciting, and safe. So I take a chance and fall into Caid’s mesmerizing eyes. And crash. Hard. But I’ve been hurt before, and I’ll get over him. Eventually.

Caid Michaels is a Dom in every way. He’s also jaded and stuck in his own ways. The night Ava, another princess searching for a kinky thrill, approaches him, he rejects her. As his past, wrought with pain and loss, has showed him, he’s no savior.

But Ava needs saving. She's a prisoner of a life which is not her own. So Caid decides to help. The mission is simple: keep her close until she’s free then send her back to her bubbled vanilla life.

He prepared for every contingency. Except for one—Ava.

Be Warned: BDSM



And the prize for the most moronic decision. Ever. Goes to … me!

The black, heavy, iron door shuts behind my friend Harper and me, and I push my ears into my shoulders while my heart somersaults. I tighten my hands in a death grip around my clutch, then after a calming breath, I take one step and another.

The entrance resembles the hallway of a very expensive boutique hotel. Dark-red walls contrast with a violent sensuality against the black and white houndstooth-patterned carpet. Majestic gold-framed mirrors on both sides lure me in toward the four small elevators at the far side of the building.

“Don’t be so scared. It’ll be fun, I promise,” Harper says, leaning toward me.

Sure, like those crazy people who find it fun to jump off bridges while tied up to a glorified elastic band.

I nod at Harper before she turns her back to me and whispers something to the goateed human house with luscious, deep-red hair that women would pay a fortune for. He stands by the door, studying me.

To stop from fidgeting, I lock my knees and display the only smile I’m capable of, but when his amber glare zeroes in on me, my heart pounds furiously against my eardrums.

I bet the redheaded giant can hear it too.

Where’s the loud music? We’re in a club. I should hear music.

Harper taps on the giant’s chest. “Bruce, this is my friend, Ava.”

The human house grunts, grins at me, and for a split second, the world tilts on its axis and I just stare at his white teeth while Harper chuckles.

“Do you need jetons?” he asks Harper.

Harper turns her will-you-dare expression to my heated face. “Do you want jetons?”

Dear God. I gawk at them and clear my throat. “No … N-no. I’m … j-just want … w-want to watch.”

Bruce raises a brow and leans closer. “Well, you might need jetons for that too, doll.”

All right. Time to run. I point my scuttling foot toward the door.

Harper holds my wrist in a strong grip. “No, we’re good. Maybe next time,” she replies with a bright smile before she leads me down carpeted stairs.

What am I doing here? This is a mistake. A huge one.

“Hello, Ash, Jenna. How are you this evening?” Harper greets a well-dressed couple before shifting her gaze toward me to whisper, “Go ahead, sweetie. I have a table.”

On shaky legs, I make it to the bottom of the stairs and gasp as I enter the main room.

The place is sumptuous and not at all the dark, damp dungeon I expected. I take in the huge, modern, silver chandelier and the softly lit tables enhanced by the marble floors. It has all the appearance of a normal—albeit expensive—romantic restaurant, and I sigh in relief. Harper was right, the club, aptly named, The Club—because someone forgot to take their creativity pill that day—doesn’t look like a sex club.

I wince internally. Am I being judgmental by calling it a sex club? Harper doesn’t. She, with her best friend, Kincaid Michaels—the maverick of the financial world, and three of their wealthy friends have created a luxurious microcosmos called Haven. It’s comprised of two classic nightclubs, a boutique hotel where the stars love to go into hiding, a fleet of six upscale bars and restaurants, and The Club. But the latter isn’t advertised on their glossy brochures.

Only a select few are entrusted with the knowledge of its existence, and there’s been so many whispers and unknowns surrounding it that it became somewhat of an urban legend. I’d personally never heard of it until Harper told me about it a couple of years after we met at a gala at the museum.

The admission to The Club is a tightly controlled process, and members, only after being unanimously voted in by the five owners, are vetted through an extensive health, financial, and moral background check to ensure the privacy and safety of the patrons. There’s no exchange of money here, and everything from the Michelin-starred food to the exquisite and expansive collection of liquors is included in the onerous yearly membership paid to be part of this hedonistic Eden.

Harper, who’s in charge of the public relations and marketing of Haven, explained that at The Club, women are empowered in their sexuality by being offered jetons to choose partners to fulfill their fantasies or engage in sexual games in any of the playrooms on the higher floors.

Or are free to just eat, dance, and be merry.

“Do you have a reservation?”

The melodious voice belongs to a pretty, young woman dressed in a tight black dress who smiles at me.

“I’m with Harper Willis.”

“Oh, you’re Harper’s friend? Let me show you to her table.”

I follow her to a raised area in the corner surrounded by a balcony of sorts and climb the three steps leading to an oval table with comfortable, plush leather sofas with high backrests. By the time I settle down, my heart rhythm is no longer a deafening drum. From here, I can view the whole restaurant, but each table is set up as its own little universe by way of ornate bamboo dividers and cleverly placed plants.

I scan the menu and salivate. They have oysters.

Nestling deeper into the seat, I scoff while I discreetly eye the other patrons, all fully dressed.

I’m not a prude—well, I don’t think I am—and I have no issues with kink, sexual or otherwise, as long as it’s between consenting adults. But when Harper invited me for the umpteenth time to come out and make my own opinion, I had run out of excuses and let my curiosity win over. So, here I am. Way, way out of my depth.

The charming hostess comes back to take my order, and I feel absolutely decadent when I order oysters for myself, wings for Harper, and two mojitos.

She smiles as she leans closer. “The viewing den is open tonight. I hope you’ll enjoy it.”

Harper mentioned the den where anyone can watch people having sex. I bare my teeth at her retreating silhouette as my face heats up.

Maybe if I sneak out while Harper’s busy, she won’t be too angry with me. I strain my neck toward the stairs. There’s no sign of her. I clutch my purse, slide my legs against the smooth leather to the end of the table, and stand up. I gasp when I bump into a human wall. I bounce back, hit the back of my knees on the seat, and lose my balance, my arms flaying like the uncoordinated wings of a broken windmill.

Ava Lawson. Nil point for grace.

The tall man catches my arm to stop me from falling on my butt and chuckles.

“S-s-sorry.” I suck in a breath. Wow. He’s gorgeous. Dark eyes and hair—it’s difficult to tell in this low lighting. I’m wearing heels, but he towers over me.

“Don’t be. It’s my fault for startling you.” He smiles and extends his hand. “I’m Mason, and I wanted to personally welcome you to The Club.”

I gape for a few seconds too long at his t-shirt that barely hides his wide shoulders and place my hand in his. “I’m-m … A-Ava.”

“Yes, Harp’s friend.” He frowns and checks out the stairwell area. “Where’s Harper?”

“Here,” Harper answers from behind him, and he pivots toward her.

“Harper, good to see you again.”

His jaw clenches and his shoulders tense in seconds, and for the first time, I witness my friend’s expression become … hard. Huh-ho. There’s history there. I almost wish I was one for gossip because anything happening with that man has to be interesting.

“Mace, I see you’ve met Ava,” she says with a tight smile that stays on her lips. She turns to me. “Sweetie, this is Mace, one of the owners.”

Mason bows slightly. “Ladies, have a good evening. Ava, pleased to meet you.”

“S-same,” I reply, but he’s already gone.

I scoot over the curved seat while Harper settles next to me. Her lips are pinched, and she exhales with her lids closed. I touch her wrist. “Is everything all right?”

She straightens her shoulders. “Yeah, I’m good.” She throws her megawatt grin at me. “So, what do you think?”

Our hostess brings our order and glides away.

Harper glances at the silver square tray filled with crushed ice before me and curls her lip in disgust. “How can you eat these?”

I giggle before I slurp an oyster and lick its syrup off my bottom lip. I choke and cough when another tall man just … stands there. What is it with tall men just appearing at our table? I crane my neck up and up to meet icy blue eyes framed by strong arched brows set on me.

Harper smiles at him. “Caid, hi.”

“Hey, sweetheart.”

Dear God, his voice rumbles over the small space to brush my skin, and I shiver while my heart gallops.

“Ava, sweetie, this is Caid.”

I snap out of his hypnotic gaze and wave at him. A cringeworthy, stupid little wave with my arm folded tight to my side and my fingers splayed wide. “H-Hi.”

He dips his chin. “Ms. Lawson, welcome. I hope you’ll enjoy your evening with us.”

Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 19 ratings)
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Written by Amanda1444 on 27th Sep 2022

Ava joins a sex club owned by a friend. Shortly after joining the club she approaches another of the owners expressing her interest. After he shoots her down, the clubs discovers the mysteries man that is harassing her. To protect her they scheme that Ava and Caid are dating. This is the first I have read from this author, I really enjoyed it!

Spicy hot
Written by A. Adams on 27th Sep 2022

Wow this book is extremely hot and spicy. At the core you have the relationship between Ava and Caid. Ava is sweet and kind to everyone she meets. In contrast, Caid is darkness, closed off, and troubled. Caid is tormented by several demons from his past that he hasn't gotten over. I think that's why he hasn't been in any relationships. Ava tells Caid how she feels and he breaks her heart more than once actually. Ava's creepy pseudo uncle Larry begins to cause problems. It is decided Ava needs to be protected. The way to protect Ava is by pretending to be Caid's girlfriend and living with him. I know that seems ludicrous right after he broke her heart? Ava was such a catch but Caid needed to realize that for himself and then prove it to Ava before it's too late. I like the inner monologs that Ava and Caid had. There is often a difference between what someone is thinking and what they say. I hope there is a second book. It left off with me needing answers. This book was much different than what I was expecting.

Bdsm and suspense and love
Written by JudyCh on 27th Sep 2022

This story has the BDSM and suspense and Romance if there were two people who deserve love it is Caid and Ava, this story had everything you love about two damaged soles and the heard fault love we know the deserve

Enjoyed this
Written by Maria M on 27th Sep 2022

This is a new author to me I thoroughly enjoyed this Great characters and story telling Looking forward to reading more from them

Five of Clubs
Written by Vievie on 27th Sep 2022

I loved this book! It kept me gripped and I couldn't stop reading until the end. Ava and Caid - wow! What a chemistry and what a story. His denial of his wants and her totally openness and vulnerability was such an emotional rollercoaster. Danger, intrigue and plenty of great character made this one great read. Recommended.

Intense and Enrapturing
Written by JennT on 27th Sep 2022

Ava has been living under the shadow of her death and the demand for their drug patent for ten years, never colouring outside the lines or having any adventures. Caid is growly and gruff, with baggage heaped upon more emotional baggage, and co-owner of The Club. These two come together under stressful circumstances, but something beautiful and strong develops. This story engaged all of my emotions, from warm fuzzies to heartbreak. I loved Ava and Caid’s story… I think I’m left with a bit of a book hangover now that it’s done.

I do recommend
Written by Ade K on 27th Sep 2022

This story goes beyond romance and examines various themes-trauma, bullying, low self esteem. It should have come with a trigger warning. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started out reading but the author did not disappoint and her A-Game was on from the first few pages. There is an exploration of subtle BDSM. The suspense, the intrigue is completely outstanding. The character development and details are rich and they are relatable. I couldn’t understand why Caid treated Ava the way he did but it stems from his experience. Asides that, it was a beautifully written story with lots of action, suspense and intrigue. The setting was wonderful, the romance scenes were intense and smoky. I’m glad I picked this book and look forward to reading more from this author.

Great story to read
Written by Kwallywoman on 27th Sep 2022

Ava had spent most of her adult life avoiding fun, people and her creepy uncle. Now she found friends and especially Caid. Can she have everything she ever wanted. Great story. Lots of twists and turns that leave you on the edge of your seat at times.

The writing was fantastic
Written by Di Budo on 13th Sep 2022

I found this book very gripping and difficult to put down. The writing was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the character development and the world created in this book.

I loved the book
Written by Courtney C on 13th Sep 2022

This was a new author for me . I never read anything from this author before but for the most part I really liked this book. I thought the whole story was amazing. I honestly didn’t want this book to end. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with on the next book they write. I usually judge a book from the cover because for me it shows if it’s going to be interesting or not and I loved the book.

So good!!!
Written by Kimmijane on 13th Sep 2022

I like how the relationship between Caid and Ava progressed from she’s too innocent to he finds her irresistible. The characters were so charming that it felt like they were my friends/family too.

HOT, HOT, HOT and oh so sweet!!
Written by Sarah ES on 13th Sep 2022

The oh so perfectly sweet, spicy, and HOT romance book you didn’t know you needed!! This book has it all! There is action, romance, and plenty of steam to keep you engaged until the end. From the twists and turns to the nonstop roller coaster of romance this is a book that will be hard to put down. Loved every page of this book.

Couldn’t put it down
Written by Emily R on 6th Sep 2022

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book at first, and it pleasantly surprised me. I thought I’d thoroughly dislike Kincaid based on the first real insight into him, and I did for a while, until it revealed why he was who he was. Ava, I loved from the beginning. Her innocence mixed with her resilience and the fierce loyalty and protectiveness she has for those she loves, struck something deep within me. Watching her romance bloom along with their struggles dealing with a certain uncle, had me hooked as deeply into this book as humanly possible. I started reading it and simple couldn’t put it down until I finished. The book was nothing short of heart wrenching in parts and also made me smile so hard my jaws hurt at other parts. The constant twists and turns and anticipation made it that much better. I can only hope the author will decide to write a few more books focusing on other characters within this.

Romantic suspense with a twist
Written by Silke on 6th Sep 2022

Five of Clubs is a romantic suspense story with a touch of kink. Caid and Ava are both very relatable characters, both not quite what they seem at first glance. I liked to get the story told from both their POVs. There is steam, there is danger, there is suspense and there are great friends who help save the day and get them to their well-deserved HEA. They certainly deserve their own story and I hope to read those one day!

Written by Di Ketchup on 6th Sep 2022

Very entertaining! Kind of had a 50 Shades feel! I felt like there were some holes in the story but it would be a good mindless beach read.

Written by Envy on 6th Sep 2022

Caid was such a jerk to Ava, she opened her heart and soul to him, for him to crush her more than once, yes he has demons in his past but why unleash on the person who loves you, faults and all. Ava was so strong, she lost both parents tragically while still young and has disgusting sudo-uncle that just wants her for her parents patents, he will stop at nothing, hurting her friends and her and through all that torment and pain she stays true to her friends. It’s take Ava walking/running away for Caid to face his biggest demon. I hope this was just the start of a series, can guess what their news is, would love to know about all the others, Harper, Mason, Wyatt, Hudson, Grace, Carter and especially Mac.

Written by Gkp2460 on 6th Sep 2022

I have found a fantastic new to me author! Five Of Clubs is an excellent story that grabs you right from the start. I absolutely couldn't put it down until I finished it. My heart broke for both Caid and Ava for very different reasons. They both were seeking something in their lives and I don't think they even realized what they were looking for until they found each other. Then there's the other characters, they are a blast and I really hope we get more about them.

“I should have known there’s no world where Caid would be interested in me.”
Written by Anij on 6th Sep 2022

I read the first three chapters as a sample and immediately found myself pulled into Caid and Ava’s world so I downloaded the book and read it in one evening. This book is so good! The main characters are fantastic, their friends are amazing and the story is wonderful roller coaster that took me on an emotionally satisfying ride. I love, love, love Caid! He is so incredible. It was so much fun watching him fall in love and be so completely clueless that he was. Ava. What a sweetheart. So kind, generous and surprisingly insecure. And her inner-dialogues were so funny! She is truly Awesome! No wonder Caid fell for her. How could he not? I hated that the book had to end and I’m hoping for a couple of spin offs. I want Wyatt, Mace and Harper to each get their love stories, too.

Great book
Written by Alison J on 6th Sep 2022

Great book. I have recently gotten into these darker romance books and I loved this one. It was a great blend of plot and spice.