Tag Archives: Assassins

Mr. X by Clarissa Wild

MrXMr. X by Clarissa Wild

Published July 24, 2014 – I can’t find a publisher

Review Copy purchased from Amazon

Synopsis: He’s come to kill me.

I’m a user and abuser of my own body. In my darkest hour I sold my soul to the devil and now I must pay the price. With his gun to my head I have no choice but to listen and obey, but I refuse to go down easily. Nothing is stronger than the will to survive. My instincts kicked into full gear the second he stepped into my motel room.

Except when I look at him I see my own heart staring back at me. A history tainted by blood.

I don’t know his name, but I know he wants me. To save myself I’ll sacrifice my sanity. My body. My soul. Something tells me the x-shaped scar that marks his eye is the only escape I have. He is Mr. X: the man who comes to claim my life. Can I save myself before he demands my heart?

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, breath deprivation, strong language, drugs and alcohol, and graphic violence.

My Thoughts: Seriously, take that warning at the end of the synopsis seriously…I didn’t.

Apparently there is a whole “sub-set” of Romance out there called “dark romance”? I was not aware of this. This book falls into this category. When I hear the words dark romance I think more along the lines of “50 Shades of Grey”…Christian was “dark”, brooding, subject to depression, into Dominance…yeah, that wasn’t this.

Mr. X is centered around an assassin’s need for revenge on the girl he holds responsible for his physical disfigurement. This guy isn’t “dark and brooding”, he is black and deadly. The kinds of things he does for revenge are getting the girl hooked on drugs, then having someone turn her into a hooker, at one point he takes her hostage and while the story stops just short of rape, there is consent and she has a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome. Like Mr. X keeps telling her, Jay, “in my world there are no safe words.”. I didn’t find any of this romantic, and yet I kept reading. Honestly I skimmed a lot but did want to get to the point where the reader learned what, exactly, led to Mr X’s need for revenge. And we do get to the bottom of it all eventually, but it was a long time getting there.

Personally, I was not a fan of this “dark romance”. So my rating of this book will reflect that. However, if you use goodreads, there are lots of readers out there who thought this was a marvelous book. Whatever floats your boat, I say.

My Rating: Flats

Colorado Wild and Colorado Fire (Colorado Heart #1-2) by Sara York

   Colorado WildColorado Fire

Published 27 September and 3 December 2013
Published by Sara York
Copies of books purchased by reviewer

I’m a Colorado girl so a series set on a ranch in the mountains of Colorado, I’m game. A series about ex-military who are now covert assassins, game! Hot man on man action at this secret ranch, GAME! This series is full of action and adventure. Not just between the guys (*wink wink*) but in the form of missions and investigations. It’s a nice mix of work and play. There are eight guys at Wild Bluff, all various branches of the military. They’ve been hand selected for these special missions to basically be assassins. It is a mentally and physically grueling life. Wild Bluff is a decoy ranch where they set up camp, do their investigating and basically stay off the grid.

Colorado Wild begins with the departure of one member of the group and his replacement. There’s a mission to prepare for and implement and then there’s some heavy emotional turmoil going on as well. Billy and Tucker are thinking there is some deeper level to their friendship and some mutual attraction. Tucker isn’t gay but he thinks maybe he’s been in denial all this time because Billy sure is turning him on! Tucker is on a mission when he is hurt and that pretty much propels the relationship forward. While all this is going on, Grant is made on that same mission by the one member of the group who left. His feelings for that person are confusing and add to that his attraction to their newest member, Roger. Poor Grant is an emotional train wreck. He doesn’t know if he can trust his feelings anymore.

That brings us to Colorado Fire. In this book we pretty much pick right up where Colorado Wild left off. The search is on for their former team member and everyone is on edge. Marshal and Zander begin to delve into relationship territory. They are pretty awesome together. With all the guys on the ranch the number of hook-ups we get are pretty diversified and extra lusty! We have Billy and Tucker smoking it up in their bedroom, Grant and Roger making out in the barn and Zander and Marshal steaming up the shower and much, much more! I think the pure chaos of all these guys is glorious! It doesn’t leave room for any down time or lulls in the story. Then to top it off we get a direct threat to the ranch and all hell breaks loose. It really is very action packed. Poor Marshal has a bad time but the sweetness as the book comes to a close is heavenly.

I’m not sure what Sara York has in store for us in the third installment of the Colorado Heart series but I’m betting it involves a hot young firefighter. ;) I will be sure to catch it upon release as I can always use an adrenaline rush and the Colorado Heart series brings it on!

RATING: BAD ASS COLORADO BOOTS!!

Blue Lines (Assassins, #4) by Toni Aleo

Click to Add on Goodreads
Click to Add on Goodreads

Release Date: December 9, 2013
Published by LoveSwept – Random House
Review Copy from NetGalley

Erik Titov…I don’t know whether to hug you or hit you. Maybe both.

It was great to jump right back into Toni Aleo’s hit series, The Assassins.  I, like many of you, have been waiting on this one for quite a while. I absolutely love sports romance, especially hockey, and Aleo’s boys are some of my favorite to read. The characters are real with struggles and imperfections; they have to work for what they want. They’re cocky, tough, and definitely keep things interesting.  The fourth installment doesn’t disappoint.

It’s pretty much business as usual for Erik Titov, notorious man-whore and womanizer. I guess that makes him the Assassins’ leading scorer on and off the ice? It’s no secret he likes his women, but when he allows Piper Allen to get under his skin after an amazing night together, he finds himself in a frenzy of females trying to purge her from his system.  Erik quickly learns that his personal and professional lives aren’t mutually exclusive – excessive tabloid publicity causes Assassins’ owner Elli Adler to put him on probation until he can get his act together. Too bad the damage is done – Piper drops quite the baby bomb and turns his world upside down. But he can’t fall for a nice girl like Piper, she’s too good for a guy like him. Fortunately for us Piper totally disagrees.

I really struggled with Erik during this story. I can’t remember ever being so singularly frustrated by a character. Erik is the epitome of a head case where relationships are concerned.  I mean I could completely understand his unease about his family history and being able to commit to a relationship and not destroy it, but I didn’t like his disrespect and outright crude treatment of Piper even when I could see why he was doing it. At times he knows what he wants and needs yet denies himself out of fear. I almost couldn’t reconcile his professional confidence with his personal doubt; it made him a very complicated guy. I hated to see him torture himself over and over and over where Piper is concerned. It’s more than a little exhausting, and I’m not sure how Piper managed to keep it together. She has way more patience than I do, but I guess it speaks volumes about how much she loves him. He’s a complete idiot and still she waits. And waits. Gets hurt some more and waits. Make no mistake – she’s not a doormat. She makes some pretty bold moves and decisions when it counts.  She’s a lot stronger than her family gives her credit for, that’s for sure. Don’t even get me started on those people…grrr. Sometimes I wanted to shake them. :)

My overall favorite character might surprise you – it’s Cooper, Erik’s dad. What a great guy! Such a rock, he’s always there for Jakob and Erik no matter what. When he and Erik have that heart to heart where he reminds Erik who his best friend is…I think I almost cried. Erik’s so lost and trying to cope with his feelings, and Cooper is just full of so much love and support. I wish everyone could have that kind of relationship with at least one of their parents. It was a warm, fuzzy moment in the middle of a lot of heartache.

In Blue Lines we see a lot of Erik’s best friend, Phillip. Since he is (was?) Erik’s wingman with the ladies as well as his roommate and teammate, they spend a lot of time together. I’d be totally lying if I didn’t say I’m hoping Toni Aleo writes his story next.  I just really feel like he needs someone a little more stable and permanent; his back story breaks my heart. I look forward to him finding some happiness in a way only Aleo can deliver – hot, sweet and non-stop action. In fact, I’m off to scour the internet to see what I can dig up about Assassins #5 right now…

RATING: ONE SNEAKER, ONE BAD ASS HOCKEY BOOT

 

 

Blue Lines by Toni Aleo: Cover Feature & Excerpt

Stars/Hawks ScoreboardIt’s about a month and a half into hockey season, and I still can’tget enough. I went to my first live NHL game on Saturday, and I’d almost forgotten how much I love it – the chill ofthe ice, the hiss of the blades. There’s just nothing quite like it for me, especially when I get to enjoy watching my Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars. What a great night!

Coming off that high was difficult, so where better to turn than one of my favorite hockey series, The Assassins. I’ve posted a little bit on Facebook and twitter that I’m reading the upcoming fourth installment, Blue Lines, and you guys, it’s SO GOOD. I can’t wait for all of you to be able to read Erik and Piper’s story. For now I’ll just give you a glimpse of the sexy cover in case you haven’t seen it.

Blue Lines Cover LS edition

There are almost too many finer points of that cover to really do them justice, right? I kind of like this variation on the half-naked torso, just seeing the sculpted back. I could kind of stare at it all day.

If the cover isn’t enough to get you excited about the upcoming December 9th release, click HERE to check out Chapter 1 from Blue Lines courtesy of LoveSwept:

Be sure to look for our review of Blue Lines in the weeks to come!