Review: When He’s Bad (Walker Security: Adrian’s Trilogy #2) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: When He’s Bad
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 12/15/20
Length:  197 Pages
Series: Walker Security: Adrian’s Trilogy #2

Overview

He was dirty. That’s how Priscilla met him. She was all about just how dirty he was and, in fact, had to be. Now, he’s just plain bad. When you cross a man like Adrian Mack, you find out just how bad he can be. Priscilla started out as an enemy, became a lover, and now, she is his obsession. 

Lies. Secrets. Enemies that appear they are friends. The passion and danger just won’t stop coming. 

My Thoughts

No one is safe, and anything that was a secret before isn’t one now. Where Adrian thought he could be safe for a few moments turns out to be right on the radar of the assassins and now an FBI agent has been murdered in front of them, and they’re fighting for their lives. Deleon found them and that doesn’t bode well.

We start this second book off on such a roller coaster. Adrian and Pri are running for their lives again, literally. Now running to a secret cave that Adrian had as a backup safe house in case something compromised the safe house cabin that his father had set up all those years before. Adrian believes that his brother Alex, the dirty agent also in the Devils was the one who shared the cabin’s location but that means nothing especially since Alex is dead.

Walker comes to the rescue in a sense and we’re back at another safe house with Blake, Savage and Lucifer. They’re trying to come up with a plan that keeps Adrian safe and alive, while also protecting Pri and her entire staff. At the same time, they’re watching every move by Pri’s family since there’s a connection to Waters that’s unbelievable. Pri doesn’t want to believe that her family is involved, but it’s become clear that Logan, her ex-fiance is the one that brought her family into the fold and the one that that’s going to be the ruin of them.

Throughout this story we watch the relationship between Adrian and Pri grow stronger. They clearly have feelings for one another that outshines anything that they’ve felt before, and that’s also a problem since it makes them both a target. Pri’s afraid that it’ll compromise the case and that means another delay if they take her off the case or if there’s a conflict. Adrian’s worried that she won’t be alive to follow the case through and the Walker team have endless more concerns.

What we find throughout this story is that anyone that we thought was good likely isn’t. We’re forced to question everyone in Pri’s office and everyone who’s put themselves into that world since they all seem to be a bit suspect and a bit dirty. I”m excited to see how it plays out.

Along with all that angst and fear though, we get the expected chemistry and heat that I’ve come to know and love from our author Lisa Renee Jones. There’s a chemistry that’s almost desperate between them and it makes for some intense steamy scenes since they’re always afraid that the moment is their last. I really hope that something good will come out of the situation, but we all know that more people will end up dead before that happens.

Also, true to LRJ form, we now know that Lucifer will get a story and she’s introduced Mason, another Walker guy who will no doubt get his own story too. I’m excited to see how things evolve since this is one of my favorite string of series. Enjoy!

ARC Review: The Poet by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: The Poet
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Entangled Publishing 3/9/21
Length:  368 Pages

Overview

“The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.” -Jean Cocteau 

Some call him friend or boss. 
Some call him husband or dad. 
Some call him son, even a favorite son. 

But the only title that matters to him is the one the media has given him: The Poet. 

A name he earned from the written words he leaves behind after he kills that are as dark and mysterious as the reason he chooses his victims. 

One word, two, three, a story in a poem, a secret that only Detective Samantha Jazz can solve. Because he’s writing this story for her. 

She just doesn’t know it yet.

My Thoughts

First off, I need to thank Netgalley for getting me a copy of this book soo soo early. I’m going to start off by saying that I had no idea that one of my favorite ‘Romance’ writers also wrote in other genres. Perhaps I should have dug into her more, but Lisa Renee Jones has managed to keep me so entertained over the years that I felt no need until I ran out of series to follow.

Anyhow, we have a thriller on our hands here, The Poet is a murder / serial killer mystery that takes so many different twists and turns. We start off years in the past at what likely is the beginning of it all, when we’re in a classroom watching a student struggle to read a poem, which them turns into a bullying situation after class and interestingly a dead body being found the next morning.

We fast forward into the future where our main character is a Detective who’s one of the best at solving murder cases. Detective Samantha Jazz is the daughter of the Police Captain who was just murdered 3 months prior, and the goddaughter of the Police Chief, so she’s connected but she’s gotten to where she is on her own merit. When she’s back from leave from her father’s death, she’s quickly back into things where she’s called to sub in on a case where the killer left a poem in the victim’s mouth, an no one knows what it means. Sam is a Poet Master of sorts, ran a poetry club in college etc, and now she’s putting all that good learning to use.

The journey in this book is a complex one. We see the road that Sam has to go down to heal from her father’s death, and on top of that, she learned that her father wasn’t the cleanest of cops so there’s the stigma that comes along with that. She’s also trying to find her footing when she’s not exactly sure where she fits in anymore. She’s recently in limbo in a relationship and she’s not sure who she can trust.

The research that our author clearly did to make this story come to life was intense. We watch the process of examining a case from all angles, from the cops to the ME to the DA etc. We also watch how they form their hypothesis of who’s the suspect and how to track them down. We’re drawn down path after path on certain characters, never quite knowing if they are the culprit or not. On top of this though, there’s the fact that the detective who was assigned to the case previously is now missing and no one knows where he’s gone and if he’s alive.

Characters that we want to believe on our side are set up to seem as though they could be dirty or suspect. There’s a detective named Jackson that Sam wants to bring into the team but she gets an off feeling and he’s always where he’s not supposed to be, and at the same place as the presumed suspect. making him suspect.

While they’re trying to solve this murder mystery, there’s also a bit of romance to keep things on the same tone as what we get from LRJ, although not nearly as ‘erotic’ for lack of a better word. Sam’s ‘ex’ of sorts, Wade, comes back to help both professionally and personally since he’s FBI. We see that relationship take on a new form and want to have hope for the future.

What I will say about this story is that the path to the killer uncovers quite a bit of interesting ‘stuff’. No one is innocent and yet there’s a surprise twist nonetheless. I think you guys should definitely try to find this book when it’s out in March because I could NOT put it down. Enjoy!

Review: The Chateau (The Chateau #1) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Chateau
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Hartwick Publishing 10/27/20
Length:  299 Pages
Series: The Chateau #1

Overview

There’s a fine line between right and wrong.

And Magnus is on both sides of it.

I don’t know much about him, but he’s the only reason I’m still alive. I’ve been taken by a group of heartless men and forced into a labor camp, and even though there’s no way out, I still have hope.

I have hope because of him.

He’s the only reason I’ll escape this place.

Even though he’s the villain who works in this camp, he’s my hero.

And I know he’ll be the hero to everyone else too.

Because that’s the price to be with me–and he’ll pay any price to be with me.

My Thoughts

I’m a huge huge huge fan of Penelope Sky and just about every series that i’ve read and this one continues on that same path. We’re in a completely different world unrelated at all to the Italy stories that it’s a welcome change. In the end of this story – our author tells us about how she’s poured so much of herself into this series in a way that’s new from the others, and it’s really clear to me as I read it.

We start off a moment in the past where a boy goes home after a night out with friends only to discover that someone’s in his house, murdering his family. He’s not able to save his mom or 2 of his siblings, but he’s able to get his brother out of the house only to see that the killer is his father. they run, and that’s all we learn about them.

Then we find ourselves in Paris, with our leading lady Raven who’s American and is studying in France. She’s always been responsible for her younger sister so going to Paris was a chance to get away, and yet we find ourselves with her sister visiting. When one day Raven notices a man watching her apartment and watching her sister, she gets on edge, and at a night out she sees the same man talking to Melanie. She’s not comfortable with this and all for good reason because her sister decides that she needs to go with him and his friends, and she of course has to follow. They end up drugged and kidnapped and that’s how our story evolves.

They’re not trafficked but instead brought to a camp in the Alps where there’s a cocaine operation that kidnaps women to pack and process the drug for distribution all across Europe. Raven is confident that she’ll find a way to escape with her sister, but quickly learns that it’s all but impossible. They are so remote that there’s no real chance of getting to a village. It’s the dead of winter so they won’t survive the weather, and the guards there will hunt them down faster than even imaginable. Raven tries anyway, and fails.

The only reason she’s still alive is Magnus. The guard that’s been assigned to her. He’s frightening of course and powerful, but he clearly has a different sort of power and authority in the camp because he has freedoms and access that the others don’t have. We never quite get it but we know that there’s something interesting there. Magnus protects her as much as he can, brings her things to make her time there more comfortable and we see an odd sort of friendship develop between them. Every time Raven is almost hung, or beaten, or accused of doing something that she’s likely done, he gets in the middle in order to save her.

One day ‘the boss’ shows up and takes interest in Melanie – which is no surprise to Raven given that she’s beautiful and has always gotten attention. Raven’s scared for her safety since we all know what’s likely to happen to her, and that’s even more motivation for Raven to find a way out.

A few failed attempts later, Magnus realizes that staying in the camp means death for Raven and he offers all the help he can to get her out. He tells her how to escape gives her resources an a map and a location to go to so that she can wait for him to come and get her, and we realize that their relationship could mean something more. There are emotions and chemistry between them and it’s intense given that they are both in incredibly unconventional phases of their lives.

From that point on in the story, Raven’s eyes are opened up. She realizes that there’s more to Magnus than she realized, specifically in money and power. She also learns something interesting about the boss and what that relationship is. What she doesn’t learn though is how to keep her feelings in check and not give too much of herself to Magnus since that’s a relationship that’s going to be 1000000% impossible.

She’s free now, as is her sister, but that’s not enough. She insists on freeing all the other women in the camp so she sets out to do that. The problem though is that when she goes there, she’s destroys everything that could have been good and when Magnus sees her, he wants to kill her. So, we’re left on a cliff and sadly I have to wait until the end of January to see who falls and who’s still alive. I have such high hopes for where this story will go and to see how the past brings itself to the present.

We have complex and engaging characters. We have romance and chemistry that sizzles. We have a story that’s unique and all that together makes for an amazing book 1. Enjoy!