They just keep getting better

Defiance (The Protectors, #9)Defiance by Sloane Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So Vincent might, just might, have sneaked into the number one spot on my list of favourite Sloane Kennedy men, edging out Magnus and Ronan, who were already fighting it out between them.

Defiance is yet another brilliant addition to the Protectors cannon, filled with all the drama and angst and insanely hot men this series typifies.

This one concerns Nathan, the estranged twin of Brody from Sloane’s connected Finding series. Brody is in a relationship with both Quinn Donovan and Beck Barretti, linking in to that set of hot alpha males too.
This is another of the things I love about a Sloane Kennedy romance, they are connected into such a wonderfully developed world with an unconventional family determined to look after their own.

Here the mystery was well hidden, I liked that I had no clue what or who the threat was coming from until almost the end of the book. There is always an element of ‘suspend disbelief’ with these books simply because of the nature of the setting. Secret service, black ops, off the grid assassins and dodgy government dealings in any spy thriller always need an element of just letting it ride. This one is no different.

By, that’s not to say they’re too far fetched, they’re not, this kind of murky underworld does exist and I love how this author constantly finds new ways to hang her romances on it.

Nathan and Vincent were so good together, age gap romances are one of my favourite tropes, as are men figuring out their sexuality and coming to terms with loving another man. Vincent getting his second chance at love was also beautifully crafted.

I wish Sloane could clone herself to get out her books even faster than she already does. I can’t wait to read Everett, Gage and Nash’s story or to find out more about Reese and just who will be mending his broken world.

And, as always, I’ve never met a Jay Aheer cover I didn’t love and this one is no exception, she captures the passion of the story within perfectly.

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So good it keeps all the stars – even with a cliff hanger!

Enemy of My Enemy (The Executive Office Book 2)Enemy of My Enemy by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliance, sheer brilliance. This book, and the others in the series, need to be on the big screen, theatre epic in a way the greatest Bond films are, they’re thrilling like a Jack Ryan narrative and they have a perfect “would die for you” love at the heart.

I’ve even not knocked off my usual star for the bloody cliff hanger so I hope you appreciate that Tal 😉

Where to begin with this one though? An element of suspension of disbelief is needed, a reminder that this book is set a few years in the future when medical science had advanced at pace. There’s a little bit of the potential for a dystopian future at play here.

Our mad general is still orchestrating things from hiding, stacking up threat after threat and taking apart Jack and Ethan’s world piece by piece. So many amazing secondary characters are lost in this book, it’s not for the faint hearted and my heart is feeling somewhat bruised at their deaths.

But the tension, lord the tension as the moles on the inside continue to manipulate the plays, is immense. I’m holding out hope that the big reveal is not going to be one of the characters I’ve come to love so much.

And the scene with Sergey and Sasha absolutely killed me. So much emotion in such a small gesture. On to the final one now with the fate of the world literally resting on the shoulders of a small bunch of renegades.

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Everything I’d hoped it would be and then some

Enemies of the State (The Executive Office #1)Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, when I tell you that The West Wing is my favourite TV series of all time and that when Marc Harmon’s Special Agent Simon Donovan was murdered during a store robbery gone wrong just after kissing White House Press Secretary CJ Cregg, I cried for about an hour, you can hazard a guess at how much I was pinning on this book.

Well, Tal Bauer gave me everything I wanted and then some. This book is explosive, it’s thrilling, it’s emotional, it’s heart breaking, it’s tense, it’s passionate, it’s sexy, it’s about two men in their 40s falling in love unexpectedly with the glare of the world upon them.

Jack and Ethan were beautifully crafted, for all he’s a Republican President (and that was a bit weird), Jack is just the kind of guy you’d want in the White House top job and Ethan, oh how much do I want my own Ethan?! Strong, reliable, dedicated, determined, unassailable, loyal.

I actually did guess fairly early on who the mole, the bad guy on the inside, was going to be but it didn’t stop me from hoping throughout that I’d be wrong and the President wouldn’t be betrayed.

The action and attention to detail is superb, the spy and thriller elements worthy of a book on their own without the added bonus of the experience of an openly gay secret service agent falling for a man who’d always considered himself straight. I loved that Jack was clear he was in love with the person and the fact Ethan was a man didn’t really register for him. They were friends first.

There’s also a whole host of brilliantly drawn side characters and I can’t be the only one wanting to know more about the relationship between the mysterious Marine and the Saudi intelligence head?

Never boring, this book kept me up until 3am reading it. It just is that good.

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Sexy and stirring spy romance is a lot of fun

The Chimera AffairThe Chimera Affair by Keira Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a big fan of Keira Andrews, it seems no matter what style she turns her hand to the reader will get an enjoyable read with sexy men doing sexy things while having unexpected emotions.

This one’s in the vein of her Valor on the Move romance with an age gap and, in this case, spies rather than political operatives, but it’s no less thrilling.

There’s a fab epilogue and a freebie short story to round off this sexy tale of a spy and the collateral “damage” he couldn’t forget.

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Quirky not quite paranormal romance

The FinderThe Finder by J.E. Lorin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a quirky mixture of a little bit not quite paranormal and a little bit of a detective thriller sandwiched around a lovely sweet and supportive romance.

While the identity of the baddie was a little bit telegraphed, it didn’t take away from the tension and I did like the sneaky little twist with one of the victims.

There was some clever world building and a nice set of secondary characters. An Epilogue would have been good just to clear up some minor loose ends as I’m not sure if this is a stand alone or not.

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Unmissable ending to this unbelievably good series

Devour
Devour by Jocelynn Drake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know that feeling you’d get, deep down in your tummy, when you woke up on Christmas Day (insert other appropriate religious festivals) and you weren’t sure what was going to be waiting for you? That feeling was me the second this book dropped on my Kindle at midnight on release day.

It’s a strange mixture of excitement, trepidation, expectation, fear, the potential for great joy or great sadness (depending on what you unwrapped). Well, let’s just say reading Devour was like unwrapping a Girl’s World on the morning of my seventh birthday.

Ian’s story has been a long time in the making. We’ve had snippets as we’ve watched Lucas fall in love with Andrei in Shatter, as Snow and Jude found each other in Shiver and as Noah gave Rowe a second chance at life in the pages of Torch. And there, in the background of each, has been Hollis Banner, cop and lover of all things chocolate.

I’m not going to use spoilers, this book works best if you don’t know what’s going to happen. But be absolutely assured, you will gasp, you will probably tear up even if you don’t full on ugly cry, you’ll definitely smile a lot, you’ll laugh out loud and, finally, you’ll sigh. A bone deep sign of contentment that all is right in the world and the Unbreakable Bonds these four men share have expanded to encompass another four equally important to all, plus a myriad of parents, cats, dogs and hangers on.

That the story ends at Christmas is perhaps fitting, not only cos it gave me my introduction paragraph for this review, but also because it’s a time for being with those with love and I do so very much love the men in these four books.

There’s a sadness that this particular series is over, but also a deep joy in knowing the world itself will continue with the Ward Security series that Rinda Elliott and Jocelynn Drake have announced is coming next (#Geoven4eva) and that we won’t be leaving them behind completely.
There’s also the final two books of short stories for Rowe and Noah, Ian and Hollis, to come out later this year too, so it’s not quite goodbye.

And, as expected with the immense talent of these two authors, they managed to pull off a stunningly unique ultimate fate for the protagonist of this series – never in a million years would that have been on my radar ladies so bravo 🙂

Thank you both for Lucas, for Snow, for Rowe and for Ian, and for the men they love. It’s been a thrill of a ride.

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Absolutely blown away by this debut novel

In the Wreckage (Metahuman Files, #1)In the Wreckage by Hailey Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s not often I find myself shocked into a lack of words over anything but this debut novel just did that to me.

Set in the difficult to write field of sci-fi, the world building is utterly superb, think Marvel Agents of SHIELD levels of military complexity, coupled with all the Men from UNCLE (original TV series please!) slash you might ever have dreamed of, with a healthy dose of erotic porn with plot on top and you might come close to how I felt reading this book.

It’s an absolute triumph from the initial set up through to the explosive meeting of the two MCs, to the Tom Clancy level of espionage twists which drive the narrative forward, to the camaraderie of the Alpha Team at the amusingly named MDF (sorry peeps but that just reminds me of home design programmes here in the UK) Government agency and all points in between.

I never felt bogged down in jargon and each team member’s special ability which explained well without a lot of exposition and there was enough outside the main spy/sci-fi story to keep me enthralled.

Rounding it out are some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve read outside of a full on erotica or porn site, this is explosive levels as Jamie’s super strength and durability is out to excellent use in wringing Kyle out into utter bliss.

You name it, there’s probably some of it here, edging, dildos, orgasm denial, window sex, cock rings (and how often do you read about those, even in dedicated BDSM stories?!), breath play, it runs the gamut but it’s never done gratuitously or just to thrill. Each time these two men come together there is passion and emotion and a deep connection.

I cannot wait to read more in this setting and I believe it’s Alexei’s story next so that’ll be a cracker I’m sure. Bonus points for awesome cover too.

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