Tag Archives: spies

Charlie’s new romantic suspense is an absolute riot

Kept in the Dark (Locke and Keyes Agency, #1)Kept in the Dark by Charlie Cochet

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is an absolute riot from start to finish packed with just what I like to read in my romantic suspense stories.

It has two distinct and likeable MCs, a good tight-paced plot, lots of humour, great side characters you want to know more about, the element of mystery which drives a series and explosive chemistry between Caiden and D.

The ultimate villain of the piece was, for me anyway, I think a little bit obvious once a particular comment was made, but even so, the narrative still drives an excellent tension through to the conclusion.

There are loads of laughs in this one too, it’s perhaps not up to Ace’s level of joking from Charlie’s Love in Spades but it’s still very funny at times. It’s also super steamy, Cade and D burn up the sheets and there are lots of totally delicious jealous on both sides as they go undercover for their mission.

This new series promises all sorts of fun going forward and I can’t wait for Si’s story next. As a PS, I absolutely LOVE that the whole black ops team is named after stars in the Orion constellation 😁

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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A simply stunning tale from Tal Bauer

SOUL ON FIRE COVERSoul on Fire by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply stunning.

I’m not really sure what to say about this book, especially considering that Tal wrote it in less than a month after his readers gave him the trope in his Facebook author group.

It is incredibly detailed, a fascinating and quite heartbreaking tale about Africa and the wars, colonialism and corruption which have caused such misery across the continent.

It’s also a tale about heroism, about doing the right thing even though it may cost you your life. It’s about finding love in the unlikeliest of places and it’s about international cooperation to prevent a disaster of unimaginable consequences.

I adored it and couldn’t put it down once I started reading. The adrenaline rush to the finish had my heart pounding.

ETA: I also forgot to mention in my rush to get my review done in time, that it was a refreshing change for both the main heroes of this narrative to be men of colour. Elliot is an African-American Navy SEAL Lieutenant and Ikolo is a Congolese man who has returned to his strife-ridden country as a medical doctor.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Keeping Cade packs the emotional and thrilling punches

Keeping Cade Cover
Keeping Cade
by S.E. Jakes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, that was absolutely brilliant. S.E. Jakes is on top form with this amazing suspense romance that just flowed perfectly.

There were none of the formatting/editing issues that had frustrated me so much in Bound to Break, just great storytelling from start to finish.

I do love me a good menage, especially if there’s a twist in the tale with a number of alpha males all fighting for the upper hand and with Vic, Tegan and Cade, that’s just what was delivered.

From the moment the book opens, to the dramatic conclusion, the pacing is perfect, the tension ramps up throughout, interspersed with some of the hottest and most emotionally connected scenes between the three men I’ve read for a while.

S.E. Jakes has a style which is heavy on the alpha males, big on the ex-military men finding love, and that’s what she gives the reader here. Vic and Tegan are still in mourning for a lost twin/best friend, the rest of the Grey’s Ops team are out on mission, life is complicated when Cade crashes into Crave, the BDSM club run by the gang.

For the next xxx-odd pages, the reader is taken on an epic journey through blackmail and into danger while the three men grow closer together.

I loved this book.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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New Release Blitz: Killer Bond by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Killer Bond by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Ward Security #5

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Publisher: Drake & Elliott LLC

Release Date: May 20, 2019

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67,000

Buy Links:

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

Daniel Hendricks wants a vacation. Ward Security’s accountant and resident code breaker just needs a little R&R from the chaos and usual shenanigans of the office.

But what was supposed to be a sexy vacation hook-up explodes in his face when he’s mistaken for a rogue secret agent.

Now he’s on the run with CIA agent Edward Raines from Bermuda to Barcelona to Paris as they try to find the secrets the real rogue was attempting to sell before another foreign spy does.

The chemistry between them is off the charts, but how is Daniel supposed to trust a man who had originally set out to kill him?

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Excerpt

Daniel took a sip of the frozen margarita and hummed his pleasure as the cool, citrus flavor burst over his tongue. It was the perfect antidote to the sun beating down on his head. The sun he was enjoying more than he’d expected.

Bermuda in June held a dreamlike quality that made him feel as if he’d entered another world. Sparkling, white sand. Big, open sky. Crashing surf. And the scenery in between the two was a feast for the senses as well. Rocky outcroppings gave the view texture, and the green of the trees along the sides of the beach only added to the spectacular color.

Of course, a life spent behind a computer meant he was pale as hell, leaving him to slather on suntan lotion. The Fairmont Southampton hotel where he was staying for the next week rose up on the hill behind him with the bright greens of the golf course crossing in front of it.

Today, he was planning to do nothing more than sip the drink at his side, read the latest thriller from his favorite author, and people-watch from his lounge chair on the beach. Maybe in a day or two, he’d wander around the island and take in the sights, but for now, he wanted to do a whole lot of nothing but relax and soak up the rays.

It would be a nice break from his job at Ward Security where he worked as a forensic accountant. He loved his job and especially loved the place he worked, but he still didn’t totally feel like he fit in. Or he was just the perennial wallflower.

But that was the story of his life.

Too shy for his own good, Daniel felt like he was that random piece in search of the right puzzle.

Daniel knew he should feel used to being the outsider, but Ward Security only brought it into stark clarity because all his coworkers were so outgoing. They’d become their own tight-knit family. They all tried to make him feel included, but Daniel’s insecurity and awkwardness kept him from joining in as much as he knew he should.

Even now, Quinn Lake was texting him for more pictures of Bermuda. One of Ward Security’s resident hackers, the poor guy spent even more time behind his computer than Daniel did. He admitted when Daniel mentioned his planned vacation that he never traveled, preferring to stick close to his ailing mother. But he loved to live vicariously through his constantly roaming coworkers.

Come on, Daniel! Gimme one more pic!

Smirking, Daniel grabbed his margarita and held it up so that the beach and surf were clear in the background when he snapped the picture. He sent the image, took another drink of his alcoholic beverage, and put it down on the little table beside him. He was just about to put his phone down as well when it pinged with another message.

A loud laugh jumped from his throat when he opened it to find Quinn had sent back a picture of him and Dominic Walsh. The hacker and the redheaded bodyguard were both glaring and flipping him the bird.

Dom says you need to find a man to go with that drink, Quinn texted a second later.

Daniel put his phone down without replying, but a smile still lingered on his lips. This vacation was not about finding a summer hookup. This was his chance to wind down and get his head on track. He’d been pulling long hours at Ward, and he’d looked forward to this vacation for a long time.

An hour later, he half dozed, lulled by the alcohol and sun, his book forgotten on his lap. A lounge chair next to his creaked, and Daniel could only assume that someone was stretching out in the sun. He didn’t even bother to open his eyes, was just grateful this newcomer didn’t come with chatty friends or screaming kids. Right then, there was only the sound of the crashing surf on the beach and the low, distant sound of music drifting from the nearby beach bar. This was heaven.

It wasn’t until he turned over that he cracked his eyes and caught a glimpse of the man next to him. His eyes flew open wide to take in all six and a half feet of the gorgeous creature. Blessed with broad shoulders, narrow waist and hips, the man was stunning. Black hair and a close-cropped beard gave his craggy face character. Daniel had always been a sucker for the rough-hewn look on a man, and this guy had rough down pat with his thin face, bladed cheekbones, and full lips. His arms looked like he could out bench-press the security agents at Ward Security. Black tattoos covered his left shoulder and upper arm in an almost-hypnotic design. He wore plain black swim trunks that came to only the tops of his thighs and looked as if they were painted onto his perfect form.

Daniel was used to being around big men, used to feeling kind of small despite his height of five eleven, thanks to the mountains strolling around Ward Security. He was built thin. Hours of working out would never change that. Taut and whipcord lean was what his last boyfriend called him. And Derek was the last person Daniel wanted to think about. Derek and his wandering dick.

Dark eyes turned his way, and the smile that stretched those full lips did something to Daniel’s chest. He smiled back as he settled on his stomach and closed his eyes. Wouldn’t do to stare at the hot man like some creeper. Though he couldn’t help but crack his eyes one more time. Those eyes—brown—were still on him, and they held interest as they ran down his form and locked on his ass. His ass was the one thing not lean about him. “A perfect, round bubble butt,” Derek had said.

It took all his effort to hold back a grin when the man looked at him and shrugged sheepishly. He held out a hand. “Might as well introduce myself now that I’ve come across as a complete tool. I’m Edward. Edward Raines.”

About the Authors

Drake_Elliott.jpgJocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments.

Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

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Top class romp through the spy catalogue!

Killer Bond (Ward Security #5)Killer Bond by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another five-star romp through the adventure catalogue with this spy entry in the Ward Security series.

I know I keep saying it, but these books would make brilliant TV and this one’s no exception as it trips around the world from Bermuda to mainland Europe.

Abe and Dom remain my favourite pairing from the Ward boys but I have to say Daniel and his CIA agent came close to lifting the crown.

The pacing is superb, the plot an interesting one which certainly wouldn’t be out of place as a James Bond and the two men have an amazing connection which leaps from the page.

***Spoiler***

A guest appearance by everyone’s favourite cat burglar come porn star Angelo was just the icing on the cake.

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Book Blast: Last Loose End by K R Allen

Last Loose End | K R Allen

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Cover Artist: Fiverr

Release Date: May 6, 2018

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 122,917 words/ 296 pages

Buy Links

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Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add to Goodreads

Blurb

Australian secret agent Cole Pearson never could stay out of it.

Now he is AWOL and on the run with Sean Trammel, analyst for mining giant ARBUS dodging killers and cut off from help as he never is overseas.

As they try to uncover the reasons behind the attack on Sean, Cole unexpectedly realises that he has reasons purely personal and increasingly physical for wanting to keep this man safe.

And as they discover the stakes for their hunters they know that it is going to take more than Cole’s charm, guns and wits to keep Sean alive and out of their clutches.

LAST LOOSE END

Excerpt

It was the skulking action that first caught his eye. Even without the dark grey fatigues, not couture de rigueur for urban Brisbane, the light step and hurried, almost sneaking motion was deeply suspicious. Cole sat up straighter in his car, the boredom from sitting for five straight hours disappearing in an instant. The skulker slid along the side of the office building heading towards the back. Any legitimate visitor to the building would go through the front door, check in at the counter maybe. It wasn’t the building Cole was supposed to be watching and it was extremely unlikely that the skulker was the Indonesian intelligence officer he was looking out for but he was intrigued nonetheless.

“Now what are you up to buddy?” he muttered. A moment later he saw the man wasn’t alone. Two more men dressed in similar dark grey fatigues followed his path. Cole looked up and down the Spring Hill street. People were coming and going and not paying the slightest attention to him or the men moving into the building across the road from him.

Cole tapped his fingers against the vinyl of the steering wheel. He knew he should mind his own business. It wasn’t what he was there for and he knew he’d only been given this surveillance detail as punishment for his latest misdemeanour. He didn’t think his career could stand many more infractions. Anyway, it was warm in the car and while it was a sunny day out and midday, outside the air was chilly in typical Brisbane May weather. Still…he caught sight of another two figures and pursed his lips. Someone’s day was about to go to crap, he thought reasoning with himself. And really he could do with some movement. For an hour he had sketched passersby and played license plate poker on and off but mental stimulation didn’t keep the blood pumping. A moment more of internal debate and he grabbed his gun from under his jacket on the passenger seat and slipped out of the car. He was just going to take a look he told himself.

On this street the buildings were actually accessed at road level half way up the building with at least four floors below due to the way a hill had been cut into years before. The skulkers had wound their way from street level up the maintenance gangways which wrapped around the sides and presumably the back of the building like a mesh exoskeleton, up two floors so Cole followed at a distance. He saw the lead man jimmy open a door and the whole string of them, bar one who stayed by the door as look out, slipped inside pulling on ski masks as they did so.

‘Just taking a look’ would end now, Cole thought. No matter how he spun it. He’d clearly seen them go into a building he wasn’t supposed to be monitoring. At most he should call the Police. Instead, he double checked the magazine in his pistol and set to finding another way into the building.

Cole went back down one floor and used a fire extinguisher to break open a door and found himself in a back hallway near a couple of storerooms and the toilets. He slipped his gun into the back of his pants pulling the buttoned shirt free of his waistband so it could hang over the top to hide the gun. Following the hallway he entered an open area with a kitchenette along one wall and an open eating area with a floor to ceiling window looking out onto a courtyard type arrangement. When he encountered a couple of people, he adopted his best ‘yep, I’m meant to be here’ countenance and kept steadily on. He’d had a lot of practice blending in and it did not fail him here. Pretty much everyone ignored him. Just beyond the kitchen was a void through at least five levels with stairs to the next level up and down. The timber stairs squeaked slightly at his steps but still no one gave him a second glance. It was the usual thing, he thought. If you were in everyone just assumed that you were supposed to be.

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About the Author

Kathryn Allen is an Australian cross-genre author of magic realism romance Ever Man and male/male action thriller Last Loose End along with a frankly ridiculous number of in-the-works fantasy, action and drama novels.

For added confusion, she also writes under the names K R Allen and Kathryn R Allen. She enjoys writing about characters taller, bolder, quicker with the comebacks and infinitely better shots than she is.

Find out more about Kathryn at: https://www.kathrynallen.com.au/

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I am so in love with this setting and these characters

Midnight Flit (The Carstairs Affairs, #2)Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply brilliant. This is everything I want in a historical novel. It draws you into the time period perfectly, bringing a real sense of the start of the madness leading up to the Second World War.

Here we’re only just into the 1930s but there’re enough tensions for a modern reader to see where this time period is eventually going and Elin lays it all down with a deft touch.

I cannot wax lyrical enough about how much I love Millie Carstairs, the alter ego of cypher clerk Miles Siward, and here she’s on top form as a rescue mission to bring Miles’ beloved mother home to Blighty goes wrong from the moment they leave the Embassy in Bucharest.

This series needs to be turned into a TV show, its utterly compelling and superb settings just lend themselves to be adapted.

It’s daring do of the highest quality and reminds me a great deal of the wonderful Tommy and Tuppence Beresford from that master craftswoman Agatha Christie.

I’m intrigued by Falk, the German assassin who keeps popping up in the series, he needs his own book!

And Elin really threw me for a loop with one of the things which happened in this book. I wasn’t expecting it at all and was made very sad but it works so well to bring a real sense of the dangers of the world that Briers and Miles move in 😦

There’re some delicious plot elements left open for book three and another new character introduced who isn’t all he seems to be either.

Reading this just took me right back to the Saturday morning black & white weekly adventure shows of my childhood and I can’t wait for more.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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