Title: Wrecked with You
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year: Martini & Olive 5/26/20
Length: 338 Pages
Series: Stark Security #4
He never wanted a partner. And then she came along.
After more than a decade chasing shadows, Antonio Santos finally has a lead on the hiding place of The Serpent, the elusive villain who kidnapped him as a child and murdered his mother and uncle. But in order for Tony to get close, he’ll need access to an exclusive private island-where he can only enter with a woman on his arm.
Antonio goes to Stark Security to call in a debt … then walks out with Emma Tucker on his arm. A loner, Antonio isn’t interested in having a partner. He just needs a female. But the striking redhead’s skills soon impress him. More than that, her lush body and beguiling self-assurance tease his senses in unanticipated ways.
A longtime operative with deadly skills, Emma resents being arm candy for someone else’s agenda. But the more she works with Antonio, the more she admires his razor sharp intelligence and formidable prowess. And when the island’s games push them over a sensual cliff, she can’t deny his talents in the bedroom, too.
As passion rises on this island playground full of lust and danger, they both fight the growing attraction between them. But with danger racing toward them from both on and off the island, they soon realize that more than their hearts are at stake. Because unless they can trust and rely on each other, they also risk losing their lives.
I’ll be honest when I say that i’ve spent too much time away from this series to really remember the guys that we get to focus on. As I eased myself back into this one though I quickly remembered a few things and it reminded me the value of this spin off series. We have yet another story that’s got a dark side in it’s past – on the parts of both of our main characters.
We start off with Antonio the leading man who was a part of Deliverence and now is in between gigs while he follows his quest to get revenge for the man that ruined everything that he had going for him in his life. The man who murdered his mother, his uncle, who kidnapped him and who put him on the wrong path. He’s being recruited by SSA and Stark wants him to be a part of the tea, but he won’t do it until he’s able to get his past resolved. lucky for him though, Stark owes him a favor and with that comes resources and a partner.
Enter Emma – the older sister of Eliza whom we met in the previous installment with Quincy and we get to see more and more why she’s so tough and protective. We know that her backstory with her sister isn’t a good one – they had to do just about anything possible to survive once they got away from their abusive father, and what’s interesting here is that there’s a link to Tony’s story that we don’t learn until the last third of this story.
Emma is being recruited by SSA as well, and we get to see how she’s afraid to lose her freedom from the jobs that she works now. She was part of an off the grid government agency that basically did the same work as SSA and she’s got skills that people need.
They’re teamed together to help Tony find The Serpent – the man who ruined his family and who needs to be taken care of. This quest to find him takes our two leading characters to a resort island that’s all about sex and debauchery and while it’s no surprise that’s the environment that they find themselves in, it’s the entertainment there that keeps this story flowing.
Tony’s only reason to be there is because of someone he met on the dark web who said she has information on The Serpent. so we spend the first bits of time at the resort watching our duo try to track down this woman with information. They get into several interesting situations where they think they’re on the track to the right person and end up with just a good time with nothing to show for it. The hitch to all this though is that we see them develop a deeper attraction towards one another which is inevitable and of course that also means that we have to see if they’re willing to be honest and open up about their pasts for this to become something more.
They quickly find themselves in dicey situations where they are led astray, into a trap, into another trap, multiple people die and then they are back at square one with little insight into what’s what. While they’ve failed their direct mission, we also watch them fail at trust. When intel is shared that makes Tony question everything about Emma, we see that they definitely are too fragile to survive and that means that they go their separate ways. It’s only SSA that brings them around again although the path to discover what is an entirely different story.
True to J kenner form, we get anxiety and fear, vendettas and blood lust, the need for freedom and a desire for control. Add to that some insane chemistry and heat, some great toys to play with at the resort, and a means to open oneself up both figuratively and literally – and well we have an amazing book 4. I can’t wait to get into book 5 and see what’s next for this crew that keeps expanding. Enjoy!