Review: My Cruel Salvation (Fallen Saint #3) by J Kenner

Title: My Cruel Salvation
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 5/18/21
Length:  358 Pages
Series: Fallen Saint #3

Overview

He’ll keep her safe, no matter the price.

Investigative reporter Ellie Holmes has uncovered billionaire Devlin Saint’s dark and dangerous secrets, and he has both stripped away her protective armor and tamed the wildness within her. Bound by a shared past and the hope of a blissful future, they grow even closer, each exposing more of themselves as their love deepens. 

But now that Devlin’s true identity has been publicly revealed, old enemies appear, intent on destroying Devlin. And while he vows to enlist all of his resources to protect her, Ellie soon realizes that the only way to save them both is to take the last, final step to fully join Devlin in the dark. 

My Thoughts

Just when we didn’t think that their story could get any more complicated – the rest of the secrets come out. It was only a matter of time but that doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. On a night that should have been something amazing not just for Devlin but for DSF as well, turns into a monster of a night where his identify is leaked, outed and what he’s worked his adult life for is on the end of being ruined.

We know Devlin and Ellie are not the type to shy away from confrontation – they are going to take their opponent on head first, and while that’s happening, we just have to worry about who’s going to get caught up in the crosshairs. There are inklings of who leaked the information, especially now that Anna’s dead, and there’ a plan in place to take that person down once they have enough concrete evidence.

It’s a race to the finish here – with several of our favorites meeting a less than stellar fate. There were so many sub plots that were on the move to being something great, and those lines of story are cut short.

Brandy and Christopher were on the road to happiness – we know Brandy’s path and were so happy to see what she was able to overcome with Christopher, however the challenge that we see her face is the notion that Christopher was not who he seemed. He is the brother of Joseph Blackstone and while they weren’t on great terms, there’s manipulation going on behind the scenes and we don’t yet know if he’s trustworthy. He goes missing at a prime time and there’s evidence shared that doesn’t paint him in the best light, and that means that we really don’t know if he’s good or bad. What we do see though is Brandy is stronger than she appeared to begin with, and this is just a bump in the road for her – an opportunity for her to find her footing and come out on top.

Then there’s Lamar and Tracy. Lamar is the consumate cop – the man who’s always trying to stay on the right side of the law, even when it doesn’t seem like it’s directed to him. He’s struggled with what Devlin does within his organization, but after a variety of things transpire in this third installment, he walks the fine line with our friends. Tracy is a character that we’ve enjoying watching grow in her role at DSF and her relationship with Lamar really starts to take a new phase. It’s cut short when circumstances of revenge come into play and this is another jumping off point for bigger and better things to happen for the crew.

We fall back into Ellie and Devlin’s story over and over again, and what this third book does is that it takes us on a journey both in the past and then back to the present. There are moments and memories that come through in sub chapters so that we’re able to see what caused things to happen, what put things in motion in Devlin’s past to make him into what he is, and to give us hints at who was potentially behind all that’s going on.

There are a few snippets here and there that make it clear to me as the reader who we need to watch out for, but the journey that our amazing author J Kenner takes us on is a bit round about and doesn’t give us the direct route. It’s adds to the tension and it makes us question some other characters that come up from time to time, but that’s what gives us the resolution and closure that we need.

We know that we want a happy ending and we know that it’s possible if certain dominos fall into place but there’s really no direct answer on how that will happen, and who will be left standing. We have the notion of long lasting true love – good v. bad, family – and all that pays itself off as we see this part of the journey come to an end. I”m really happy with the way that this story plays out even if it doesn’t mean a happy ending for everyone. We’re left with more questions than answers for several people, but that’s what makes a good book good right? you don’t want everything buttoned up nicely, We see a glimpse of hope of a new romance coming along, and I think that’s what we get in the next spinoff – Sinners Game, so i’m going to track down when that one’s available and hopefully dive right back in. Enjoy!

Review: My Beautiful Sin (Fallen Saint #2) by J Kenner

Title: My Beautiful Sin
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 1/26/21
Length:  372 Pages
Series: Fallen Saint #2

Overview

Everything Ellie thinks she knows is about to change.

Despite his dangerous past, billionaire Devlin Saint finally has Ellie Holmes in his life—and in his bed. Yet shadows still cling to Saint, obscuring his dark secrets and the confidences he swore never to reveal. 

An investigative reporter, Ellie is certain the man she loves hasn’t told her everything. And when she starts receiving anonymous warnings about Devlin, she vows to investigate. Soon it becomes clear that Devlin isn’t the only one with things to hide, and the more Ellie learns, the more she realizes that loving Devlin is dangerous.

His touch is her sin…

My Thoughts

We spent the first installment of this series watching as Ellie was trying to find the answers to all the questions that changed the trajectory of her life through the death of her parents, her uncle….what ended up sending her down a path of self destruction, especially as the boy that she loved up and left her. Fast forward several years and she’s found him again, although he’s not the same man, he dangerous and he’s got secrets, yet what we saw from them is that they are both willing to accept each other at face value since there’s a once in a lifetime love that’s between them.

Once Ellie came to the self realization that she couldn’t live without Devlin, and that she was willing to accept that he had secrets, that he was dangerous, we also watched her realize that she owed it to herself to find answers. The challenge though is that those answers would likely lead her to uncover information that she wasn’t ready to process and that Devlin really didn’t want her to know. He was willing to let that be the situation, but then he also felt that he owed it to allow Ellie to see every part of him.

What unfolds in this second installment is a story that’s quite the roller coaster for EVERYONE involved. We know that Ellie’s best friend and cop Lamar doesn’t like Devlin and doesn’t trust him. When he’s brought into the circle of trust to learn who Devlin truly is and what he’s done, that really puts pressure on everyone because we don’t know what the fallout will be. We know that as a cop, Lamar is bound by law to do the moral thing, but that would mean hurting Ellie and that’s something that would come at a price.

Along with that story line, we watch Brandy, Ellie’s best friend live her life. We learned about her past and how it’s prompted hesitation with men, how she’s never quite been able to get over being raped and the circumstances that fell afterwards, but we see the thriller author Christopher show patience and caring and we have hopes for the future for them.

That’s Ellie’s side of things – we also get to see how Devlin’s side of the house responds to the budding romance and how they are now so intertwined. We know that Anna has her story with being part of Devlin’s past and how she’s now a safe space with Devlin. No longer a threat to Ellie and we watch how that friendship helps Ellie get to the bottom of all her questions. There are things that Anna seems to be tied to and information that she has about Devlin’s past that make her uncomfortable, but how that plays out is anyone’s guess.

Then there’s Ronan – the guy that rubs Ellie the wrong way on so many levels, and a girl named Reggie that she can’t quite place but feels that she should. Seeing the two of them makes every situation that more uncertain and that’s not good for anyone’s livelihood.

Throughout this book we watch the roller coaster that is Ellie and Devlin’s relationship. We watch them fight tooth and nail to get answers and find their way to be happy together but we also watch them self destruct and do whatever they can to push each other away. There’s someone who’s trying to scare Ellie away from Devlin we think, threatening her with the notion that he’s not sharing everything with her and while she knows he isn’t, she’s not plussed by it. But when someone tries to kill her, several times, there are more questions than answers behind who’s doing what. Add to that a data breach from Devlin’s company and everyone’s on edge.

Unexpected information is uncovered, and paths that we thought would lead to answers lead to more questions. Everyone that we thought was on the right side isn’t and those that we were willing to forgive their sins were potentially not worth it. At least we have heat and passion between some of our couples to help glue this story together and where we net out at the end of this second book is a place that we hoped we’d never get to. When too many of the wrong secrets are revealed to the wrong people, we know that NOTHING good can come out of it. I’m worried for what this means for everyone and who’s going to survive the rest of the story. So on that note, we have to wait until May I believe before we see the resolution and I don’t know how i’ll wait. Enjoy!

Review: Destroyed With You (Start Security #5) by J Kenner

Title: Destroyed with You
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 12/15/20
Length:  334 Pages
Series: Stark Security #5

Overview

Former sheriff Winston Starr doesn’t think about the past. That dark day when he lost the sweet, innocent woman he’d loved, dead because of his mistake in a mission that had gone horribly wrong.

Now an operative with Stark Security, he’s left Texas behind, focusing only on his work and closing his heart to love even as his soul screams for revenge against the scum that killed his Linda. When old friends reveal new evidence, Winston learns that not only is Linda alive, she faked her death in the ultimate betrayal.

But things are not as Winston believes, and he soon finds himself on the run with the woman who ripped his heart out. Now, the only thing stronger than his rage is his desire for the woman who destroyed him.

My Thoughts

We loved Winston for all that he did for Emma in the past when they knew each other and we now that his past is haunted. There are things that he’ll share and parts of himself that he’ll keep closed off because he’s lost too much in his life – as is the case it seems with everyone who’s in the SSA world. We know that he went under cover for SOC to take down the Consortium and in doing that he lost his wife. Linda was killed in a car bomb and that broke him more than he could have ever fathomed.

So fast forward a few years when Winston gets a call from his old boss at SOC with some interesting information. Linda isn’t dead – and she’s actually an assassin. This means that everything that Winston though he knew about life and her was a lie, and while he didn’t reveal who he truly was to her, he eels that her lies betray even more.

This story takes us on the journey that Winston takes to not only find the truth but to give himself some sort of resolution and closure to what he considers to be one of his biggest mistakes ever.

What they both come to find is that nothing is what it seems. They both believe that they are working assignments for the good guy but quickly learn that perhaps no one is good -everyone is dirty and can be bought for the right price. They go on the run to find answers, knowing that it means they’l have to spend time together and hopefully reveal the truth of what their pasts truly was and figure out what that means for their future.

They played each other in the past and they play each other now still. There’s a huge question of who’s going to get hurt in the crossfire and who’s going to come and save them. Because the first part of the assignment takes them to Texas, we see Noah come back into the mix a bit. The tech whiz who haw more tricks up his sleeve than any one else out there. We also know that Emma will play a role here again as well since she was close with Winston over the years and even knew Linda.

They go from Texas to LA, and are forced to kill, lie, cheat and break into a vault all in the hopes of getting answers. We all know where this is going to end up, but what we get in the meantime Is a story of fact finding and finding a path back. I think that it’s really sweet how they slowly let their walls down but still have so much fear of what the other can do to hurt them again. There’s a chemistry that’s undeniable between them and while it’s just for this assignment that they agree to let things play out, it at least come out in a hot and steamy manner.

And in true J Kenner form, we have an intro to our new leading couple for the next book – Reny a new agent for SSA and Abby who’s Nikki’s partner for her tech firm. So all that in hand, i’m excited for the next installment of this series. Enjoy!

Review: Wrecked With You (Stark Security #4) by J Kenner

Title: Wrecked with You
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 5/26/20
Length:  338 Pages
Series: Stark Security #4

Overview

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.

My Thoughts

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!

Review: My Fallen Saint (Fallen Saint #1) by J Kenner

Title: My Fallen Saint
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 9/15/20
Length:  230 Pages
Series: Fallen Saint #1

Overview

His touch is her sin.
Her love is his salvation.

Charismatic. Confident. Powerful. Controlling.

A brilliant investor with a Midas touch, Devlin Saint turned a modest inherited fortune into billions, and now operates one of the world’s foremost international philanthropic organizations. He’s a man determined to help the underprivileged, to fight injustice, and to make the world a better place. And that, at least is true.

It’s not, however, the full truth.

Because Devlin Saint is a man with a dangerous secret. One he’ll do whatever it takes to protect. And when investigative reporter Ellie Holmes turns her attention to an unsolved murder, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue and passion as Devlin draws her closer and closer. But as the intensity and sensuality of their relationship grows, so do Ellie’s suspicions. Until she is no longer certain if the heat between her and Devlin is real, or only a facade he constructed to hide his dark and twisted secrets.

My Thoughts

WOW. That’s how i’m going to start this one because well….wow. We’re brought into a completely new world from the great J Kenner. A world that doesn’t even remotely touch on any of the other stories that we’ve gotten and that makes this one even more amazing. It’s romantic, it’s heartbreaking, there’s more than a touch of drug lord, sex trafficking and all that other bad stuff to keep this story moving at a quick pace. Top that off with some intense heat and passion….and well….there’s something combustable happening.

We start this story off through the eyes of Ellie, the leading lady here – watching her life crumble piece by piece as everyone that she loves and cares about dies, gets killed, or leaves her. She’s found solace living with her uncle, and has this insane attraction to Alex, a boy who works for him and when there’s nothing else good for her, she turns to him and they become more than best friends. It’s everything that a high school romance is supposed to be except that he’s not in high school and there’s so much that no one knows.

Ellie’s best friend moves away, her uncle is killed and Alex uses her and leaves without a word that Ellie grows up even faster and realizes that she can only count on herself and trust herself. Fast forward about nine years, there’s new information that’s brought to Ellie’s attention that draws her back to the town she ran from and the ghosts that she never wanted to face again. There’s information on who her uncle’s killer is and as an ex cop and now investigative reporter, she goes after the story. Little does she know that she’s about to run headfirst into her past in ways that she never knew were possible.

Enter Devlin Saint. A man that has a clean past that no one can really dig too far into, yet he’s a man that does so much good that people just let it be. He started a foundation to help rescue and rehabilitate people who were trafficked and he’s also now on the receiving end of Ellie’s story. We watch as he cancels interviews with her, yet stalks her and makes her curious. Only when his identity is revealed does this story truly get exciting. There’s chemistry between them but we know that Devlin isn’t a man to give into anything that he doesn’t have a value or purpose for. Until he realizes that there’s no point in fighting what he feels for ellie.

The bulk of this story is watching the game that these two play – dancing around each other – using other excuses to be together instead of just truly admitting emotions and feelings. there’s a lot of danger and a lot of secrets – some of which are revealed in this book and many that are not, and what that does is cause even more pain and heartbreak. There are so many lies in this story that you have no choice but to wonder what’s real, and then when the world crumbles because of photos and information revealed by a handful of people who are lucky to be in the know….it’s a cliff that we’re now on and I really can’t wait patiently enough for book 2 to come out. I have so many thoughts on wha’s going to happen and who’s going to get caught in the crosshairs. I also wonder who’s going to out some of the more severe secrets- so ……i’ll find something to keep me occupied until I can get this next book. Enjoy!

Review: Delight Me (Stark Ever After #6.4) by J Kenner

Title: Delight Me
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 12/19/19
Length:  40 Pages
Series:  Stark Ever After #6.4

Overview

There’s one special gift Damien wants to give his wife Nikki and their daughters for Christmas… but with a storm approaching and time running out, can he make it home in time for the holidays?

My Thoughts

So i think that the description for this book isn’t the right one, but we’ll leave it at that. What we have here is the sweet novella that links us back to the days before the Brussels conference that we remember Nikki participating in for her tech business. That was around the same time that the Cortez development got green lit, with Jackson at the helm, but if i recall correctly from back in the main series, i don’t know that we knew the link between Jackson and Damien yet.

Regardless, the scenes that we have between Nikki and Damien in this novella are TRUE TO FORM for what we have always come to love and expect from the couple as well as how our amazing author J Kenner writes them. There’s a bond and connection between them that surpasses anything that you could imagine. They don’t need to talk to be in sync, they rely on each other to survive but in a romantic sort of way.

Nikki has nerves over her presentation but wants to prove herself as her own woman, and Damien is a powerhouse in the industry that can give her help if she wants it. She gives him the freedom to make suggestions and together they create something amazing.

Add to that bit of the story, we get the usual romance, chemistry, intense passion that we can’t live without. The way that they come together in every scene is so hot that it requires a cold shower after reading, and it makes you wish that you could have that in the real world too. I think that i’m damaged forever in hoping that i could find my own Damien. Oh well. So, on that note, enjoy this short novella (i’m sure i got some odd looks on the subway this AM while reading it since it’s so steamy in places) and we’ll be back with the next book soon!

Review: Ruined With You (Stark Security #3) by J Kenner

TitleRuined with You
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 9/19/19
Length:  221 Pages
Series:  Stark Security #3

Overview

When her high maintenance boss is assaulted, manager Xena Morgan contacts the only person who can help—the sexy, arrogant, incredibly capable Stark Security agent Liam Foster. The former vigilante takes every case personally, and he’s determined to find answers—particularly since he thought he’d cleared this threat already.

Xena had been thrilled when Liam completed his assignment, because he affected her in ways she didn’t want to contemplate, awakening yearnings that threatened her deepest secrets.

But now she needs him, and her body won’t let her forget it.

As their attraction heats to a feverish degree, the web of lies, danger, and passion they find themselves in tangles further. Liam will stop at nothing to protect his client, even if it means sacrificing everything he holds dear…. and exposing the secrets that may destroy him—and Xena—forever.

My Thoughts

I love anything that has to deal with the Stark world and this third installment in the SSA series doesn’t fall short in any way. We knew that Liam had a past of sorts and that he was dark and mysterious and now its’ his turn to find happiness, or at least figure out how to move past his misery. We know that he was part of Deliverence, and that he and Dallas & Jane were really close all growing up because he was essentially part of their family. So it’s only late in the game that we see his time come.

In the last book we were briefly introduced to this story line – he was on assignment trying to figure out whether a threat was valid or not against an up and coming pop star named Ellie Love. He thought he had cleared it, after finding out that her PR team was trying to generate more buzz, only to find that something else was going on entirely. Just after he leaves her on tour, she gets attacked. She had taken precautions and even had a disguise but she was attacked anyway. The question that comes is whether it was random or not. Liam thinks not.

In this story we also meet Xena – Ellie’s personal assistant and we learn that she’s not only good at what she does but she’s got a past that’s made her tough as nails. It also makes her jumpy when she learned that the disguise Ellie used made her look like Xena, meaning this is definitely not random.

Liam picks up on a few things that she’s giving off and decides to go down that path. The other nuance to this bit too though is that there’s chemistry between them, but they both have walls up and their guard on high alert so they aren’t willing to give into temptation. Liam knows that his job will get those close to him killed (his last relationship and love is dead because of this) and Xena is running from something and is just afraid to really let anyone in and trust.

The journey here is slightly different than the other stories but still dynamic all the same. We need to know what makes both Liam and Xena tick in order to get to the bottom of what’s going on and we need to hope that they find the answers that they need before it’s too late. The entire stark team is involved in this mission now, pulling in resources from everywhere.

Xena is forced to run, Liam goes after her. They end up being ambushed, and followed even with the best measures possible put to shake a tail. They use the resources from the SSA to throw their attackers off their scent and still they find themselves as the wrong end of a gun. The question that begs to be answered is ‘who’s feeding the opposition information’ since there’s no way that anyone would know what the next move is without an inside mole. (mind you i figured that one out early as i’m sure everyone else did, but we don’t know why)\

On top of all that angst and tension, there’s romance and chemistry. What this couple wouldn’t give into in the past comes to a head here and they both see that there’s no way to stay apart. Even though they are close physically, there’s such emotional baggage that it’s a wonder if they can ever make it. Even with the intervention of family and friends, it seems like it’s a lost cause. Understandably so.

Anyhow – i think that we get the deep intense story that we need for Liam and a great continuation for the Stark Security team. I can’t wait to see what comes next since we don’t really know the guy who’s set to be the next main, but it sounds like it’s going to be juicy. Enjoy!

Review: Broken with You (Stark Security #2) by J Kenner

TitleBroken with You
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 6/18/19
Length:  221 Pages
Series:  Stark Security #2

Overview

True love never fades…

After surviving a troubled childhood, Denise can’t believe that she’s blissfully married to her partner and soulmate. She’s confident that not even Mason’s long-term, deep-cover assignment will shake their bond. And she certainly doesn’t anticipate that when he finally walks back through her door that he’ll have no memory of her, himself, or their time together…

When Mason is pulled out of an operation gone bad, all he knows is what he’s told — that he was a covert agent, that he has information vital to national security somewhere in his head, and that they can tell him no more for fear of burying those hard-fought secrets even further. They tell him nothing else; not even that the beautiful woman who makes his heart beat faster is not just his partner, but also his wife.

The secret she must keep wrecks Denise, who wants only to return to Mason’s arms. But despite the desire that still burns hot between them, she can’t tell him who she is—or that she’s carrying his child.

But when dark forces threaten both their lives in order to retrieve the information trapped in Mason’s mind, it’s not their past that will be tested, but the tenuous new love now burning hot between them.

You don’t want to miss this sexy, suspenseful amnesia romance!

My Thoughts

Well the novella before this is something to definitely read beforehand, although if you haven’t it’s not like you miss anything huge. They tease bits of it during this story, but given that it was a night in passing, it’s ok to miss. Regardless, what we get here in this story is the return of what used to be Mason, Denise’s husband and all sorts of stress that comes with that.

As you’ll recall, Mason was away on a mission that no one knew the details around except that it was deep deep undercover and that he was about to get damning information to pass back to the SOC when he went dark. He reappears with no memory of anything, glimpses of things in dreams, and no idea how it all happened.

The journey on this story is a tricky one. We see everyone who knows him wanting to help, but knowing that if they push too hard to connect dots for him, Mason’s mind may be ruined forever. We see the path that a doctor wants to take with him, we see a path that Denise wants to take and we see the path that Mason decides he wants to go down.

It’s painful to witness, all the hearts breaking over and over again because there’s hurt when he doesn’t remember anything about himself and what Denise meant to him. We see hurt when there’s so much information that’s now lost and a fear that no one will be safe ever.

At the same time, we see some interesting things happen throughout this story. There’s a client of Denise’s that needs her help because she feels like she’s being stalked, and that opens up another path off this story. Wondering who’s following her, and why. This however is the perfect chance for Mason to get back to working, with Denise (he was told that they were partners in the past) and to see what memories are jogged. When they’re all out one night, Cerise bringing her new boyfriend, he sees a flash of a face that triggers some type of reaction and we’re forced to wonder what. Along with that ,there’s the ironic twist of fate that Cerise’s new boyfriend is Denise’s old partner from her time with the government, and a man that clearly had feelings for her back in the day.

So you can imagine of course the twists that this story will take since everyone’s personally vested, even if it’s not in the right direction. When circumstances change, and the face turns out to be a man who attacks Denise and then stalks Cerise, we are sure he’s connected to Mason and want to know how. There’s a dark turn that this takes as that man attacks denise a second time and injects her with a poison that will kill her in 72 hours.

Roller coaster for sure with a few loops thrown in. No one can catch a break in making progress, we wonder if Mason’s mind will lock away things forever and that means not only will the nations’ secrets be kept that way, Denise will have lost her love and perhaps they will never be safe.

There’s so much drama in this 2nd book of the series but i’m really glad that we get to see how this story plays out. Liam, another one of the guys that we met via Dallas in his installments as well as his role in this one, playing host to Mason, well he gets his fair share of screen time. I think that it’s safe to say that he’s got a LOT of skeletons in his closet and he’s due for some cleaning as well as for some happiness. He’s been most recently put on a job that seems a bit of a dud for a pop star, but we always know that when things seem too easy, there’s more to the story. So that’s the lead that we get once we see some type of resolution here. Everyone’s story will continue on and i can’t wait to dive into book three. Enjoy!

Review: Shadows of You ( Stark Security #1.5) by J Kenner

TitleShadows of You
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 5/12/19
Length:  29 Pages
Series:  Stark Security #1.5

Overview

For two long years, Stark Security agent Denise Marshall has been alone, mourning her missing husband. But everything changes on Valentine’s Day when she encounters a mysterious man who seems to understand her deepest desires

My Thoughts

What we’ve learned along the journey with Stark is that what they do is dangerous, who they work with are dangerous and everything always screams danger. So when Denise’s husband is on assignment for years and can’t be reached, and no one can find a trace of him, we know that things are bad . and hard. and sad.

Denny (cute nick name right?) works for Stark – she used to be with another government agency like her husband, and now she works for Stark, but not in the field. She’s experienced too much pain there and now wants to stay behind a desk, where she knows what her job will give her. It’s also an opportunity for her to dig into information about the whereabouts of Mason, until she gets caught.

It’s a good thing that Ryan Hunter and Damian Stark are such great guys who understand what she’s going through and they want to make her life better at least for a night so they gift her with a treatment that should relax and pamper her, and what she gets is so much more. Can’t wait to see what comes in the full book 2 of the series now. Enjoy!

Review: Justify Me (Stark Saga #4.5 / Masters & Mercenaries Crossover) by J Kenner

Title: Justify Me
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Evil Eye Concepts 4/10/18
Length:   130 Pages
Series:  Stark Saga #4.5 / Masters & Mercenaries Cross Over

Overview

McKay-Taggart operative Riley Blade has no intention of returning to Los Angeles after his brief stint as a consultant on mega-star Lyle Tarpin’s latest action flick. Not even for Natasha Black, Tarpin’s sexy personal assistant who’d gotten under his skin. Why would he, when Tasha made it absolutely clear that–attraction or not–she wasn’t interested in a fling, much less a relationship.

But when Riley learns that someone is stalking her, he races to her side. Determined to not only protect her, but to convince her that–no matter what has hurt her in the past–he’s not only going to fight for her, he’s going to win her heart. Forever.

My Thoughts

I really enjoy when authors are collaborative and not competitive and that’s exactly what we have here in this novella.  J Kenner and Lexi Blake have teamed up and introduced a cross over of sorts to their series.  What also happened here is that i realized that i only read the first book in the Taggart series….so i’ve got even more to catch up on!

Anyhow, what we have here is a sweet story of two people who have history (as they typically do) with a strong attraction, but one that they never acted on.  Riley and Natasha are linked because of Riley’s past of working with Nat’s father, and when he tried to act on what was a mutual attraction years and years ago, she turned him down.  Once her father passed away, she pushed him away further and there grew the wall between them.  Thankfully her boss needed Riley’s help in protecting Nat, and so they have come full circle.

The tension and anxiety in this novella comes from two directions.  First the initial reason for bringing them back together in the hunt for a stalker.  Riley is alpha and needs to protect her and Nat is strong willed and doesn’t want that.  But of course, the fear for her life makes it an easier pill to swallow and so we see security / bodyguard prowess come out in the search for who’s tormenting Natasha.

Top that with chemistry that they both decide they can act on with guardrails – and they combust.  literally.  It’s hot and steamy and what we have here i think is a bit more Lexi than we usually see from J Kenner in the intensity of the BDSM scenes between the pair.  The safety that they find in the club makes it easier to let down their walls, take advantage of what they want, and not feel like it’s crossing lines.  It starts a relationship i in safe place and explodes in a good way from there.

Since this is a novella, we don’t get terribly deep into anything but that’s ok.  We get to the bottom of our roller coaster ride with the stalker fairly quickly and we get to the crux of the issues in the relationship quickly as well and see conclusions that are valid and fair in both.  So…on that note, i’m going to get back into the Taggart family saga since i’ve been remiss.  Enjoy!