NEW RELEASE!! Siren in Waiting by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Re-released in a second edition with new content.

Bethany “Mouse” Hobbes spent her entire life waiting, especially for the love of Bo O’Malley. But for the first time in her life, she is ready to start living, with or without him. She has found her dream, restoring a rustic farmhouse on the outskirts of town.

Trev McNamara left Deer Run a high school hero and has returned, his football career in ruins. When Trev meets Mouse, he discovers a passion strong enough to overcome his past. But can she accept his need for control?

Bo O’Malley has lived his whole life in the shadow of his brother, never committing to anything or anyone. When the woman he secretly loved all his life begins an affair with the man who betrayed his trust, Bo will do anything to claim her as his own.

Transformed by their love, will Mouse be enough woman for both of them?

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Each and every time I read a new release (or re-release) from Lexi Blake I am reminded of why I’m so obsessed with her work.  Siren in Waiting hit all my Lexi Blake buttons and gave me a satisfying love story and a tale of redemption in one.

Siren in Waiting is a little friends-to-lovers, a little enemies-to-lovers(ish), and a lot about the characters learning who they were.  I loved Trev and Beth together, he gave her so much self-confidence, and she gave him more strength than he knew he had.  Bo, while he eventually became a really great guy, was more elusive to me.  I think he rounded out their relationship nicely, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.

I was so happy to see Ms. Blake touch on addiction in this novel.  I thought she treated it respectfully and honestly.  I loved getting to see Trev’s inner struggles, and how he redirected and battled his impulses on a minute-by-minute basis.

The plot of Siren in Waiting, while a little predictable, was an exciting ride.  I was sure who was at the root of what was going on but not completely sure why, for most of the book.  Ms. Blake never tried to hide who the ‘bad guy’ was in this book, though, so I think that was by design.  I loved how she brought the book full circle.  It was a brilliant literary device and served to highlight one character’s fortitude.

Siren in Waiting is the fifth book in Lexi Blake’s Texas Sirens series.  These books are interconnected standalones and do not need to be read in order.  This book was previously released under the penname Sophie Oak and has been re-released as a second edition with new content.  Lexi Blake’s series are interconnected, and we get to see some favorites from other series in this novel.  Siren in Waiting is written in third-person limited perspective, narrated by Trev, Bethany, and Bo.

Lexi Blake continually delivers intriguing stories with fabulous characters and sweeping love stories.  I love how she uses suspense and intrigue to draw her characters together and make them grow.  I also appreciate that her characters are flawed, her women aren’t all stick-thin, and each book delivers a unique relationship dynamic.

Bo walked up, his boots resounding against the pavement. His dark-blond hair was curling over his shirt collar. He was so beautiful, but in a different way than Trev. His hand came out to touch her shoulder. “What’s wrong?”

And he’d always been able to read her when he bothered to try. “I didn’t get the loan.”

She tensed a bit. Bo hadn’t wanted her to buy the house in the first place. He would probably tell her it was for the best and now she could sell the land to a developer and move someplace safer and way more boring.

“Oh, baby, I’m sorry.” Bo pulled her against his chest right there in the middle of Main Street. He wrapped his arms around her. “I know what that meant to you.”

She froze for a moment. He usually kept his affectionate nature private. It was sweet to be held by him, something she’d dreamed of a thousand times. He still smelled like the soap from the shower he’d insisted on taking before they left for town. His well-worn cotton shirt was soft against her cheek, but his chest was all muscle. After a moment, she let herself sink into him. The tears were back. She couldn’t hold them off when he was giving her a place to cry.

“I don’t know what to do. They said I don’t qualify. I have to have that money. I can’t fix up the house without it.”

His hand found her hair. “It’s going to be okay. We’ll find another bank. Hell, Aidan knows lots of people with money. You’ll see. It’s going to be okay. Now, come on, dry those tears and let’s go get some pie. I was talking to Jerry at the feed store, and he said Patty had pecan today.”

She loved pecan pie.

Relief washed over her as Bo began to lead her toward the diner. She’d been terrified that Bo would be angry that she was seeing Trev. She’d played it off as nothing, but she’d been scared he would turn away.

Instead, he opened the door for her and started to ask her about her plans. He seemed interested for the first time. Bo ordered for them both and then gave her his full attention. He was quieter than she’d ever seen him before. Well, except for that night when she’d had to find her way to Austin to get him. He’d been quieter then. He hadn’t talked for days. She didn’t like to think about that night.

“Hey,” Bo said, leaning over and putting a hand over hers. “It’s going to be okay, you know. We’ll find a way to get your house fixed up. Tell me something, is that boyfriend of yours going to be worth anything beyond hauling you into bathrooms in the middle of the day? Does he know anything about home repair?”

She flushed, but Bo had said the words with no accusation in his tone, just a sad smile on his face. She shook her head. “He told me to buy a book.”

Bo sighed. “We’re in trouble. Well, show me your plans. Let’s see how screwed we are.”

He gave her that smile that lit up her world and reminded her of all the reasons she’d fallen in love with him in the first place. He was a sunny presence. He always made her laugh, and deep down, he understood her.

Trev was her lover, but she would miss Bo. She would miss him so much.

She showed him her list, and by the time they were done, she felt better.

She would find a way. She would fix her house, and she would keep Trev and Bo in her life. She needed them.

Re-released in a second edition with a prologue and three new chapters.

Two cowboys looking for love…

Jack Barnes and Sam Fleetwood met in foster care. Over the years, they’ve become best friends and partners. They share a business as cattle ranchers and a house. There’s only one thing missing: a woman to share. The men are sure they’ve found that woman when Abigail Moore arrives in their small town, Willow Fork, TX.

A woman trying to find her place in the world…

Abby left her hometown twenty years before under a cloud of scandal. She’s raised a daughter, forged a new life for herself, and is ready for the next phase when she meets the handsome cowboys.

One small town that’s ready to explode…

They’re a dream come true—Jack is the sexy Dom, and Sam the playful lover. It’s everything she’s ever fantasized about. There’s only one problem. She’s still not welcome in Willow Fork, and someone is willing to kill to keep her away.

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Re-released in a second edition with new scenes.

Jack and Sam married Abby. It was supposed to be for forever, but lately Abby wonders where her alpha male has gone. Jack has retreated and life has become decidedly vanilla. It isn’t the true marriage she and Sam wanted. Sam and Abby know the time has come to fight for what they need.

A call from his mentor forces Jack to revisit the club where he discovered his sexuality. Jack’s half-brother is in the city and interested in a little blackmail. Can Jack handle two defiant subs and a brother in need of some tough love?

Sometimes all it takes to find the way home is a little love and a lot of mischief.

Come back to the beginning and revisit some of your favorite old characters or find new ones to love. Siren in the City has been revised and new scenes added. And if you look closely, you’ll find not only the beginnings of the Sophie Oak world, but also the seeds of how McKay-Taggart began…

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Re-released in a second edition with new scenes.

Julian Lodge has everything a man could want. He’s rich, successful and owns the most exclusive club in Dallas. But something is missing.

Finn Taylor has worked his way up in the world from humble beginnings in Willow Fork, Texas. The only thing he still loves in his hometown is Danielle Bay. He never told her he was actually bisexual, and he never confessed his love for her. Now she’s getting married, and Finn is sure he’s lost his chance with the only person he’ll ever love.

Julian’s vacation to the Barnes-Fleetwood ranch brings them all together. After Dani jumps into Julian’s car while fleeing her wedding, Julian knows he has to have her. But nothing is easy in Willow Fork. A danger from Julian’s past threatens them all. Julian will have to convince both Dani and Finn that being his will be the best decision they ever made.

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Aidan O’Malley walked away from his fiancée, Lexi, and their best friend, Lucas, after a night of passion left him shaken to his core. Years later, Aidan returns home from Iraq haunted by all he has lost. The enemy broke his body, destroying his dreams of a career in music. Worse still, he lost Lexi and Lucas. That damage he’d done all by himself. While he can’t restore what combat took from him, he’s determined to reclaim the two loves of his life.

Lucas Cameron is a changed man. After connecting with his brother, he found the discipline to get his life on track. His legal career is flourishing, but his love life is a train wreck. The woman he loves is spiraling out of control. After Aidan abandoned them, Lucas and Lexi clung together but no matter how hard he tries, Lucas can’t find a way to heal the wounds that Lexi carries.

Lexi Moore feels like a jigsaw puzzle with too many missing pieces. Losing Aidan was hard, but the true reason for her shattered spirit is a secret she only shares with her beloved Lucas. She knows she is drowning and the time has come to heal, but the holes in her heart hold her back from moving on. Shedding the burden she carries is her only hope for a happy future, but she fears she will never have the strength to reveal her secret.

When Aidan walks back into their lives, Lucas and Lexi know everything is about to change. But as they fight to reconcile their past and reclaim what they lost, a vicious predator stalks Lexi. In order to stop the killer, all three must confront the secrets they’ve carried…before they’re buried by them.

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NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Memento Mori by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Six men with no memories of the past
One leader with no hope for the future

A man without a past

Jax woke up in a lab, his memories erased, and his mind reprogrammed to serve a mad woman’s will. After being liberated from his prison, he pledged himself to the only thing he truly knows—his team. Six men who lost everything they were. They must make certain no one else gets their hands on the drugs that stole their lives, all while hiding from every intelligence organization on the planet. The trail has led him to an unforgiving mountainside and a beautiful wilderness expert who may be his only hope of finding the truth.  

A woman with a bright future

River Lee knows her way around the Colorado wilderness. She’s finally found a home in a place called Bliss after years lost in darkness. The nature guide prefers to show her clients the beauty found in the land, but she also knows the secrets the mountains hold. When she meets Jax, something about the troubled man calls to her. She agrees to lead him to the site of an abandoned government facility hidden deep in the forest. She never dreamed she was stepping into the middle of a battlefield.

A love that could heal a broken soul

Spending time with River, Jax discovers a peace he’s never known. Their passion unlocks a side of himself he didn’t even know he was missing. When an old enemy makes his first move, Jax and River find themselves fighting for their lives. But when his past is revealed, will River be caught in the crosshairs of a global conspiracy?

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I’ve been waiting for the Lost Boys’ stories since we found out about them, and I was not disappointed.  Memento Mori was a fabulous way to kick off this series, and Jax was a fabulous hero.  This first book in Lexi Blakes’ Masters and Mercenaries: the Forgotten also gave us a lot of our favorite characters from the original Masters and Mercenaries series as well as a look at our friends from Bliss.  It was an exciting ride with a lot of nostalgia and laughter.

Jax was a lot more sweet-tempered than most of Lexi Blake’s heroes, and I was in love with him.  He was unafraid of his feeling and expressing how deeply he cared for and needed River.  While I do love her formidable alpha males, Jax’ vulnerability – some of which was easily attributed to his naiveté – made him one of the most sympathetic male characters I’ve read from Ms. Blake.  Even though he wasn’t as hard as other characters, he was no doubt an alpha male.  His instincts ran to the caveman side of things, but he was able to temper them and only let out his protective and possessive compulsions at highly opportune times.

River was more of a wild card for me.  She was frustrating to the extreme at times, even if I understood why she vacillated between love and hate so often and easily.  I was exceedingly happy she looked out for herself after what she’d been through.  In the end, though, I was affected by her strength and how much she had grown into her own throughout the novel.

The plot of Memento Mori was excellent.  The Lost Boys were equally hilarious and heartbreaking.  Their innocence of the world coupled with their criminal pasts and extreme skills in combat and military-level espionage and investigation made this book incredibly unique, since they didn’t know how to operate in day to day life, but were easily capable of planning a complex infiltration operation.  I loved how Lexi Blake threaded so many different elements we’ve been following through her other stories into Memento Mori, and it made the experience of the book incredibly rewarding.

Lexi Blake is one of my must-read authors, and this book showed me exactly why.  Her characters are complex and perfectly flawed, her plots are intriguing and intense, and her writing complements the action and erotica her includes wonderfully.  I’ve loved all of her series, to date, but there was something more special about The Forgotten, and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for our Lost Boys.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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NEW RELEASE!! Memento Mori by Lexi Blake

Six men with no memories of the past
One leader with no hope for the future

A man without a past

Jax woke up in a lab, his memories erased, and his mind reprogrammed to serve a mad woman’s will. After being liberated from his prison, he pledged himself to the only thing he truly knows—his team. Six men who lost everything they were. They must make certain no one else gets their hands on the drugs that stole their lives, all while hiding from every intelligence organization on the planet. The trail has led him to an unforgiving mountainside and a beautiful wilderness expert who may be his only hope of finding the truth.  

A woman with a bright future

River Lee knows her way around the Colorado wilderness. She’s finally found a home in a place called Bliss after years lost in darkness. The nature guide prefers to show her clients the beauty found in the land, but she also knows the secrets the mountains hold. When she meets Jax, something about the troubled man calls to her. She agrees to lead him to the site of an abandoned government facility hidden deep in the forest. She never dreamed she was stepping into the middle of a battlefield.

A love that could heal a broken soul

Spending time with River, Jax discovers a peace he’s never known. Their passion unlocks a side of himself he didn’t even know he was missing. When an old enemy makes his first move, Jax and River find themselves fighting for their lives. But when his past is revealed, will River be caught in the crosshairs of a global conspiracy?

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NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Memento Mori by Lexi Blake ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

Six men with no memories of the past
One leader with no hope for the future

A man without a past

Jax woke up in a lab, his memories erased, and his mind reprogrammed to serve a mad woman’s will. After being liberated from his prison, he pledged himself to the only thing he truly knows—his team. Six men who lost everything they were. They must make certain no one else gets their hands on the drugs that stole their lives, all while hiding from every intelligence organization on the planet. The trail has led him to an unforgiving mountainside and a beautiful wilderness expert who may be his only hope of finding the truth.  

A woman with a bright future

River Lee knows her way around the Colorado wilderness. She’s finally found a home in a place called Bliss after years lost in darkness. The nature guide prefers to show her clients the beauty found in the land, but she also knows the secrets the mountains hold. When she meets Jax, something about the troubled man calls to her. She agrees to lead him to the site of an abandoned government facility hidden deep in the forest. She never dreamed she was stepping into the middle of a battlefield.

A love that could heal a broken soul

Spending time with River, Jax discovers a peace he’s never known. Their passion unlocks a side of himself he didn’t even know he was missing. When an old enemy makes his first move, Jax and River find themselves fighting for their lives. But when his past is revealed, will River be caught in the crosshairs of a global conspiracy?

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES August 28  ***
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“This place is beautiful,” he said when she hesitated.

She nodded but didn’t move from her seat. “I love it here. I went to college in Denver, but I always missed this place. When I was younger, my dad had a house in Creede. He started the business there, but when he could, he moved us out of town. My dad was a loner, I suppose. Creede has a population of four hundred and Dad thought that was way too many people.”

“I know the feeling. I lived in London for a while. That was definitely too many people.” He kept his tone even. It was odd. Now that he was here, that hunger he always felt was tempered by her fear. He’d thought he would take anything offered to him, but he couldn’t having met her. If the blonde had offered herself up, he would have turned her down. Over the two hours they’d sat in the booth, eating fried food and drinking beer, he’d figured something out. Some people were more special than others. River was special. He should be more cynical. He could hear Damon Knight telling him to be cautious, but he couldn’t make himself do it. Perhaps it was the fact that he didn’t have a long well of history to draw from and to teach him that this was likely a mistake.

It didn’t feel like a mistake.

“Wow. I’ve never been farther than Kansas City.” She still wasn’t moving and her voice had taken on a tremulous tone.

His heart constricted, and it was surprisingly easy to not listen to his dick. His dick was pleading with him to get aggressive. His dick was trying to convince him that if he could get inside her, she would accept him.

Yeah, he wasn’t going to listen to his dick.

“If you’ve changed your mind, I can call my brother to pick me up. I have a phone and so does he. His number is programmed in. I don’t want to scare you. I had a good time talking to you tonight. It was one of the nicest nights I’ve had in a long time.” Ever. It was the best night ever. It was the first night he felt normal, though he wasn’t exactly sure what that word meant. Comfortable was a better one. That tight feeling in his chest had eased as he’d sat in the booth with River and Tucker and Heather.

Although he’d hated lying to her.

She finally turned, looking at him. Her eyes shone in the moonlight. “You mean that, don’t you?”

He wanted to touch her. He’d had to force his hands not to move toward her all night long. The most he’d allowed himself was to have their hips and shoulders touch as they’d sat next to each other. He’d decided it had been a good thing he’d sat next to her because he was fairly certain he had a case of Big Tag’s crazy eyes, and she would have seen them had he sat across from her.

“I do mean it. Please don’t get me wrong. I want you. I would like nothing more in the world than to take you into that cabin, lay you out, and make a feast of you. I want to kiss you and when I say that I don’t merely mean your lips. I want to put my mouth all over your body. But more than I want that, I want you to like me.” It was important somehow. He wouldn’t see her after tonight, but he couldn’t stand the idea that she was afraid of him.

Everyone was afraid of him. Everyone he knew was waiting for his powder keg to blow, but he’d sworn to himself earlier in the evening that it wouldn’t blow around her. He would protect her even if it was only for one night.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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NOW AVAILABLE!! One to Keep by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Stefan Talbot likes order and control. He approaches his life with the same meticulous precision that he uses to put paint on his canvas. Nothing good comes from chaos, and that is why he has refused to allow himself to get close to Jennifer Waters. They are like fire and ice. Though she is younger, her talent as an artist is unquestionable. But she lives her life like she paints—with wild, passionate abandon. It is intoxicating and terrifying, and he can’t get her out of his head.

Jennifer ran from Bliss to put Stef behind her. She had come to the mountain town seeking a mentor but found much more than she bargained for. Cool and distant, Stef was like a marble statue and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t break through his shell. She moved to Dallas to start over, but nothing is going as planned. When the art gallery where she works is robbed and a precious painting is stolen, Jen is accused of the theft. Jen is thrilled when her bail is met, until she realizes her savior is Stef and he has a few conditions. First and foremost, she has to return to Bliss.

Against the backdrop of the Winter Festival, Stef and Jen’s attraction catches fire. But the dark forces behind the robbery in Dallas have followed Jen home. A criminal syndicate believes she still has the stolen painting and they’ll kill to get their hands on it.

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I keep going back and forth about my feelings on this book. Stefan and Jennifer’s relationship was difficult to understand, more difficult to root for, yet there was something intrinsic about their coupling that left me no choice but to hope they could figure things out.

It’s been a long time since I have found a character as frustrating as I found Stefan Talbot. He’d been aloof and untouchable in the other novels in this series, so I was so interested in finding out what made him tick in this book. He was a broken boy, who’d never really dealt with his parents’ abandonment but seemed utterly unaware of how deeply it had affected every facet of his life. His treatment of Jennifer was maddening, but ultimately it was obvious he was trying to protect himself while making sure she had every opportunity he could provide for her.

Jennifer was the perfect counterpart to Stefan once she realized why he had been pushing her away for the entirety of their acquaintance. Despite her youth, she was exceedingly patient with the man and continually gave him what he needed the moment she knew he needed it. Though her choices were occasionally aggravating, she knew what she wanted and took the steps she needed to ensure she ended up with the man she’d loved for years.

I kind of loved the plot of One to Keep, even if it was a little over the top at times. The Russian mafia element drew me in completely, and I loved Alexei and his backstory. I almost found myself wanting to skip through Jen and Stefan’s story so I could get to Alexei’s. The way Ms. Blake weaved the art and mafia together and brought in all kinds of other little details was interesting and kept me invested in the book.

In keeping with my indecision about this book, I’m not sure if I wish anything was different about this book. If Stefan were different, it would be a disservice to his character. If they didn’t have the struggles, they had with Jennifer’s situation they’d have never given each other another chance. As frustrating as much of this book was, it was faithful to who Stefan and Jennifer were.

One to Keep is the third book in Lexi Blake’s Nights in Bliss, Colorado series. These books were originally written under the pen name Sophie Oak and have been re-released with added content. Ms. Blake’s series are interconnected, and we got to see a few of our favorites from other series. One to Keep can be read as a standalone, though the characters from the first two books in the series make appearances in this book. The novel is written in third-person limited perspective, alternatively following Jennifer, Stefan, and Alexei’s thoughts.

Stef turned back to Jen. “Let’s move, Jennifer. I have a plane ready. We need to be at Love Field in an hour. I have an officer waiting to process you out.”

Jen’s head whirled. “Plane?”

“Yes, plane. We’re going back to Bliss.”

“No way.”

Cool, gray eyes slitted, and she could practically feel the will rolling off him. Stef was tense, and she knew it was a bad idea to push him, but she couldn’t help it.

“I’m serious, Stef. I’m not going anywhere with you.” She couldn’t go back to Bliss. Panic threatened to swamp her. He was here. He was right here in front of her, and her heart didn’t give a damn that he was a bastard. For the first time in months, she felt desire for something besides her art. She couldn’t, wouldn’t, go down that path again.

He got into her space, a move he’d perfected seemingly long before he met her. She held her ground. Even though he didn’t touch her physically, he seemed to surround her. Suddenly her whole world was Stef, his gray eyes, the heat of his body, his masculine, clean scent. He filled her every sense.

“I’m not going home with you.” She forced herself to say the words.

His lips hitched up. “At least you admit Bliss is your home.”

That wasn’t what she’d meant. Bliss, Colorado, had felt like home when she’d been there, but she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bliss wasn’t big enough for the two of them. “It’s your home. Hell, Stef, it’s your little kingdom, and you like to play the king, don’t you?”

“Yes, because everyone does what I say.” Stef’s low growl made her breath speed up. “Everyone in Bliss bows down to me. Have you been gone for so long that you forget Max regularly kicks my ass? And Nell and Henry are currently protesting my gardening practices.”

He was too close for comfort. She gave in and took a step back. She could see plainly that he was satisfied with her discomfort. “Don’t try to play the poor rich boy with me. You’re a puppet master. You like to pull the strings and see how people dance. Well, I’m not in your kingdom anymore, and there’s no way you can get me there again. So you can take your money and go back to Colorado.”

It was stupid. Even as she said the words, she wanted to take them back. She’d spent the last twenty-four hours terrified in a jail cell. She would have to be the stupidest woman in the world to turn him down, but she’d never thought around Stef. Since the moment she’d met him, she’d been a quivering mass of emotion and desire every time he entered a room.

“Stubborn thing. I’ll make it easy on you.” His hands caught hers, and before she could think she felt cold metal surrounding her wrists. He flicked the cuffs on with the cool precision of a man who often cuffed the women in his life.

“What are you doing?” She stared at her hands. At least this time they were in front of her. She preferred it that way. Damn, her life had taken a wrong turn when she could compare and contrast her experiences with men who handcuffed her.

“Taking you home, Jennifer. Whether you like it or not.”

He leaned down and picked her up. She was in his arms, nestled close to his chest. She looked up at the square, inflexible line of his jaw. His arms tightened around her, and she was caged more closely than she’d been in the holding cell. She had the suspicion that this time Stef would be harder to escape from than before. He kicked open the door and started down the hall.

Yep, like it or not, she was going back to Bliss.

Re-released in a second edition with two new chapters and additional new content.

Rachel Swift is a woman on the run.

A stalker sent Rachel’s world reeling. Now she’s running for her life, and Bliss, CO, seems like the perfect place to hide. Bliss is a strange little town, filled with artists, nudists, and the occasional conspiracy nut. It’s a good place to start over.

Max and Rye are just the men to catch her.

Horse trainer Max and Sheriff Rye gave up on their dream of finding one perfect woman to share long ago. Rachel walks in, and they’re both in love and fighting their true natures.

A town like no other….

When Rachel’s past catches up with her, all of Bliss is in danger. Rachel knows she should run, but how can she leave behind the love she’s found with Max and Rye and the home she’s built in Bliss? With her whole town behind her, Rachel is ready to make her stand. It’s time for her to get back in the saddle and ride.

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Re-released in a second edition with new content.

Three lost souls

Growing up in the eclectic, small town of Bliss was wonderful for Callie Sheppard. She loved everything about it, except for the lack of potential romantic partners. She only went wild once in her life, sharing a perfect weekend in Dallas with two incredible men she never thought she would see again. When they parted, she was left with a hole in her heart she feared would never be filled.

One romantic weekend

DEA agents Nathan Wright and Zane Hollister were thrilled when Callie agreed to spend the weekend with them. Just days away from a long, undercover assignment, they considered this passionate affair to be an ideal way to spend their last days of freedom. They never expected to fall in love. Leaving her behind was the hardest decision of their lives.

An unexpected reunion

Six years later, Callie is preparing to break in a new sheriff after Rye Harper walked out on the job. Her heart skips a few beats when the man walking through the door is none other than Nate Wright. Nate and Zane have come to Bliss, but their time undercover has left them broken and scarred. The boys are determined to win back Callie’s heart. But when the criminals they took down come seeking revenge, Nate and Zane may have to save the strange little town of Bliss before they can reclaim the woman they love.

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NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Protected by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Their first chance at love ended in heartbreak

Wade Rycroft fell in love with Geneva Harris when she was the smartest girl in his class. The rodeo star and the shy academic made for an odd pair, but their chemistry was undeniable. They made plans to get married after high school. Those plans changed when Genny broke his heart. Joining the Army gave him a chance to leave that life behind. News that Genny married the town’s golden boy let Wade know that he could never go home again.

A chance encounter rekindles an old flame

Fifteen years later, he’s found his place in the world and tried to forget the woman who left him standing in the rain. After leaving the Army he forged a new life as a bodyguard at McKay-Taggart, but he still feels incomplete. When his brother’s wedding brings him home to Broken Bend, Texas, he walks into a storm of scandal. Genny’s marriage has dissolved, the town has turned against her, and someone is making threats. Seeing her again reawakens feelings he thought were long gone, and he worries that staying close enough to help her could be too much to bear.

Their reunion just might kill them both

After an attempt is made on Genny’s life, Wade can’t refuse to help her. Watching over her day and night, it’s clear that having her back in his life could be the thing to finally make him whole. When the danger follows them back to Dallas, their second chance at love could be over before it even begins.

***  Amazon Exclusive ~ Will release on other retailers on October 29, 2018  ***
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Protected was a great second-chance romance from Lexi Blake.  She always delivers excellent romantic suspense novels, and it was wonderful to finally get the last story from the bodyguards in her crossover collection, Wade Rycroft.

One of my favorite things about Ms. Blake’s stories is how strong and feisty her female characters are.  Even when they have been through some of the most horrific things a human can experience, there is always a spark of fortitude that peeks through all the broken pieces, and Geneva was no exception to that pattern.  She was fierce, and I loved her so much.  She had sacrificed everything she’d ever known or wanted to protect the people she loved, knowing she may never find any reward for her actions.  Wade, when he finally learned the life Geneva had been living wasn’t of her own choosing, was kindness and atonement.  He was everything I hoped he could be in light of what Geneva had been through, and I was so happy to see him treat her so well.

While I adored how quickly Geneva and Wade first rekindled their relationship, I was so glad to see them all take the steps they needed to in order to find healing and forgiveness for all the stuff they’d gone through in the fifteen years they’d been apart.  That part of their journey was so important and gave them such an important foundation to build their future on.  Becoming independently strong and unencumbered by the lies and manipulations they’d suffered in the past allowed them to construct an impenetrable and healthy partnership.

I only wish this book had been a full-length novel.  The story was complete, but I would have LOVED to have seen more of their relationship when they were kids, and I definitely would have loved to see more of them between the resolution of the issues at hand and the epilogue.  I just wanted more of them together.  Period.

Protected in a novella, billed as book 16.5 in Lexi Blake’s Masters & Mercenaries series.  These books are all interconnected standalone, each focusing on a different couple.  There are references to other stories in the series in this book, but they are used to garner interest in the series and do not detract from the understanding or enjoyment of this story.  Protected is written in third-person limited perspective, alternatively following Geneva and Wade’s thoughts.

Lexi Blake is my guilty pleasure author.  I read everything she releases as soon as I can get my hands on it.  Her stories are always deep and satisfying, with wonderful emotional connections between her characters and lots of action and suspense.  Her books always leave me wanting to go back to the beginning and lose myself in her world for weeks on end.

“Don’t. Don’t tell me how to feel. I know you’ve worked through this, but I don’t know how to.”

“It helps to admit that we were all children back then.”

“My mother wasn’t.” He needed to talk about this with her.

“No, but she wasn’t the same after your dad died. She was lost and I’ve forgiven her,” she replied quietly. “You can’t spend your life being angry.”

“You’re angry with me.”

For a moment he thought she would ignore him. Then she turned to him, her eyes shining in the moonlight. “Maybe. It’s hard to figure out how I feel about you. For a long time, I dreamed about you at night. You were the only man I ever loved. Brock killed that. I think he might have killed the part of me that can love someone other than my son. I didn’t feel a lot when my father passed. But then he was the one who told me to suck it up. I went to him after Brock hit me the first time. He told me to not make my husband mad.”

“Genny, he should have killed him. I would have. God, I should have.” That sorrow that had been building inside him threatened to spill over. Anger was there, but it was overshadowed by the terrible pain he felt at the thought of her being alone and afraid.

“It’s funny,” she said, studying him in the silvery light. “I went over pretty much every possible scenario I could, and this wasn’t the way I thought you would handle it. It’s why it took forever for me to talk to you. I thought you would either not care at all or that you would be so angry you went after everyone. I hesitated because I thought I might unleash a beast.”

He could give her this. Since the moment he’d learned the truth, he’d genuinely forced himself to think about how he reacted. It would be selfish to act out in anger when she needed him to be calm, to think about what was best for her. The drive from Broken Bend to Dallas with Ash had made that clear to him. They needed someone who would thoughtfully protect them, not a raging animal who fed his own needs. “You’ve had enough anger in your life. It’s there. God, it’s there, but I swear I won’t act on it because I won’t do anything that could hurt you. I’ll try to handle him in every legal way I can and if I have to take him out, I’ll do it in a way that can never come back on any of us. You don’t need my rage. You do need me though.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Because you think I’ll let you down again.” It wasn’t a question.

“Because I don’t want to love anyone again,” she admitted.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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NEW RELEASE!! Protected by Lexi Blake

Their first chance at love ended in heartbreak

Wade Rycroft fell in love with Geneva Harris when she was the smartest girl in his class. The rodeo star and the shy academic made for an odd pair, but their chemistry was undeniable. They made plans to get married after high school. Those plans changed when Genny broke his heart. Joining the Army gave him a chance to leave that life behind. News that Genny married the town’s golden boy let Wade know that he could never go home again.

A chance encounter rekindles an old flame

Fifteen years later, he’s found his place in the world and tried to forget the woman who left him standing in the rain. After leaving the Army he forged a new life as a bodyguard at McKay-Taggart, but he still feels incomplete. When his brother’s wedding brings him home to Broken Bend, Texas, he walks into a storm of scandal. Genny’s marriage has dissolved, the town has turned against her, and someone is making threats. Seeing her again reawakens feelings he thought were long gone, and he worries that staying close enough to help her could be too much to bear.

Their reunion just might kill them both

After an attempt is made on Genny’s life, Wade can’t refuse to help her. Watching over her day and night, it’s clear that having her back in his life could be the thing to finally make him whole. When the danger follows them back to Dallas, their second chance at love could be over before it even begins.

***  Amazon Exclusive ~ Will release on other retailers on October 29, 2018  ***
Amazon

“There’s no reason for you to be jealous of Hutch. He gave me a few kisses, that’s all.”

He dropped her hand, turned, and started back toward the office. Hutch’s truck was still here. He would kill the little fucker and that would teach him. He would torture him first. Hutch liked computers. Wade would see how much he liked them when they were shoved hard up his ass.

“Wade.” Genny ran after him, her laughter a musical sound he didn’t want to hear right now. “Wade, come on. I was joking. He let me raid his desk for chocolate. Those kind of kisses. Please don’t murder him.”

He stopped, completely embarrassed. He hadn’t been thinking. She was used to being around a man who took out his temper on her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

She grinned up at him, her hand on his arm. “You didn’t scare me. Why would you… Wade, I know you’re not Brock. I’ve always known that. I’m not terrified of all men. Hell, I’m not afraid of Big Tag. He’s kind of funny once you let him know where the boundaries are.”

“You gave Tag boundaries?” He’d been afraid to leave her alone with Ian. Not because he thought Ian would hurt her, but because he could be intimidating at times. Now that he thought about it, Big Tag was actually perfect for Genny to start practicing her newfound sass on because he would like her more if she gave him hell.

“Very firm ones, but I also offered him something in exchange. We’re going to get along fine, Tag and I. And Hutch and I are only ever going to be friends. He talks way too much about Game of Thrones, but he does have a lot of candy so it evens out to a nice friendship.” She moved her hand up to his shoulder. “I’m not interested in Hutch, but there is this guy who works in the office I am interested in.”

His whole body went on full alert. He had things to tell her, things that were important, but was here really the place to do that? Here was the place to talk about work things and who she was interested in. Interested in seeing? Interested in spending more time with? “Who might that be?”

Her eyes met his, heating up. “He’s in the bodyguard unit and he told me once that if I ever want a real kiss, I should ask him.”

He could feel the erection coming on like a runaway locomotive. He’d spent the last few months going without. The scene at Sanctum had gotten boring for him. At first it had been filled with excitement, but watching all his friends settle down had made him look at his life in a different way. Having Genny back in it made him absolutely sure he didn’t want casual sex. He wanted a woman who belonged to him, who he belonged to. He wanted disgusting, nasty, utterly committed sex. “Then you should definitely ask.”

“Wade, will you kiss me?”

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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NEW RELEASE!! Siren Beloved by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Aidan O’Malley walked away from his fiancée, Lexi, and their best friend, Lucas, after a night of passion left him shaken to his core. Years later, Aidan returns home from Iraq haunted by all he has lost. The enemy broke his body, destroying his dreams of a career in music. Worse still, he lost Lexi and Lucas. That damage he’d done all by himself. While he can’t restore what combat took from him, he’s determined to reclaim the two loves of his life.

Lucas Cameron is a changed man. After connecting with his brother, he found the discipline to get his life on track. His legal career is flourishing, but his love life is a train wreck. The woman he loves is spiraling out of control. After Aidan abandoned them, Lucas and Lexi clung together but no matter how hard he tries, Lucas can’t find a way to heal the wounds that Lexi carries.

Lexi Moore feels like a jigsaw puzzle with too many missing pieces. Losing Aidan was hard, but the true reason for her shattered spirit is a secret she only shares with her beloved Lucas. She knows she is drowning and the time has come to heal, but the holes in her heart hold her back from moving on. Shedding the burden she carries is her only hope for a happy future, but she fears she will never have the strength to reveal her secret.

When Aidan walks back into their lives, Lucas and Lexi know everything is about to change. But as they fight to reconcile their past and reclaim what they lost, a vicious predator stalks Lexi. In order to stop the killer, all three must confront the secrets they’ve carried…before they’re buried by them.

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Lexi Blake delivers, again.  I can not get enough of her writing, and Siren Beloved completely lived up to my lofty expectations for her stories.  I remember wanting to explore more of what was going on with Lexi, Lucas, and even Aidan after reading Siren Enslaved.  There was obviously something that had broken in Lexi between Small Town Siren and the epilogue of Siren Enslaved.

Lexi was frustrating; she seemed even to be frustrated with herself.  She couldn’t help but continually act out because she was trying so hard to deny her feelings about everything and everyone.  Her secret was fairly evident from the beginning, so it made her actions – or lack thereof – easier to forgive.  She learned and grew so much throughout the book; it was rewarding to see her finally find the love and healing she desperately needed to deal with her buried feelings.

Aidan broke my heart, for so many reasons, foremost was all he’d lost because of societal perceptions and expectations.  He was an excellent portrayal of legions of people who refuse to accept themselves as they are because of what other people might say.  Add that to what had happened to him, and all he’d overcome, while he was separated from the loves of his life and my heart ached for him to finally find the love and acceptance he deserved.

Lucas, for all his drama in the previous books in this series, was the picture of stability and integrity in Siren Beloved.  He’d already grown so much between his first appearance in the series and this book; it was good to see him be the rock Lexi and Aidan needed.  He was a mere shadow of the outlandish, insecure, party boy he’d been, and experiencing him as he was now was terrific.

I am always impressed by the way Lexi Blake weaves intense suspense elements into her love stories and uses that tension to accentuate the connections between her characters.  Though the plot of Siren Beloved was a little predictable, I still found myself completely swept up in the action and how the endgame was going to play out.

Siren Beloved is the fourth book in Lexi Blake’s Texas Sirens series.  With the exception of the first two books in the series, Small Town Siren and Siren in the City – which must be read in order, all of these books focus on different relationships and can be read as standalones.  Though, the reading experience is enhanced by reading them all in order, as the characters appear throughout the series.  Siren Beloved is written in third-person limited perspective, following Lexi, Aidan, Lucas, with a few scenes in a fourth voice.

Lexi Blake is my go-to ménage, BDSM, romantic suspense writer.  I haven’t been disappointed with anything she writes and consider her books my guilty pleasure.  She writes her characters in a way that makes me feel an intense connection with them, and I always end up completely immersed in her plots.  I can’t wait for whatever is coming next, I can’t get enough.

Lexi realized she was in serious trouble the minute the words left Lucas’s mouth. Hell, she’d realized she was in trouble the minute she opened her mouth. What was she thinking? She knew damn well how to behave in a dungeon, but something about this Master made her want to push him. Damn it. She’d been this way all of her life. She had to push. She thought about taking a step back, but before she could make her feet move, Master A had her in a fireman’s hold.

“Hey!” She shouted as her world upended. She turned her head up to throw a desperate look Lucas’s way.

Lucas stood there, a stony cold look on his face. In that moment, he was all Dom, and she’d never seen him look hotter. There was a confidence about him she had rarely seen when he was around her. Lucas was utterly in command at work, but his surety faltered when she walked into the room. Even when he performed a scene with her, she knew he worried about her comfort. He didn’t look worried now. He looked ready.

Her heart started to pound as Master A turned, and she lost sight of Lucas.

“I need a chair, Lucas.” The words came out of the Master’s mouth like a judge delivering a sentence.

“Yes, Sir.” Lucas’s words were silky smooth. There was not a hint of hesitation now. She could hear him moving to do Master A’s bidding.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked, though she was a bit less hostile now. She’d fucked up. She was glad Julian wasn’t around to witness it, though Leo would probably tell him. Tears pricked her eyes. Damn, she was proving to Leo she couldn’t handle the lifestyle. “Look, Sir, I’m sorry. It was wrong of me to be rude to you, but I was merely pointing out that Lucas and I had a plan for tonight.”

Reason. She could reason with him, surely. It worked on all the men in her life. Of course, usually she was looking at them instead of trying to plead her case to a group of back muscles. The muscles were unbelievably tight, but his skin—oh, his skin had been decimated in his lower back. It was a mess of white, puckered flesh, and she could see both neat, surgical lines, and jagged edges. She reached out to touch the mass of scars, but she was jerked back over his shoulder and set on her feet before she could make it. She wobbled on her heels, but Master A’s big hands held her shoulders.

“I don’t think you understand how this is going to go, sub. I am the Master, and you are the one being punished. I won’t put up with a spoiled princess telling me how her punishment will go. It will go the way I say it will go. First, you will pay for the insult to me, and then we’ll proceed to the sawhorse.”

“I don’t like the sawhorse.” The words came out breathy and small, because she was beginning to understand that this was serious.

Master A didn’t look like he was planning on giving in. And she hated being called a spoiled princess, but a part of her worried that he was right. The last few years, she’d allowed herself to become spoiled and dependent. She’d fled from everything that hurt her. She’d hidden. She’d let her stepfathers and Lucas coddle and provide for her so she didn’t have to face the truth.

Master A didn’t flinch. “I don’t care. Lucas has done the best he can, but the truth is he wasn’t trained to be a Dom. He might enjoy it from time to time, but he prefers bottoming. You require a firm hand. If you don’t want it, then you’re free to leave. No one is holding you against your will. This is all about consensual play, so you have to make the choice. Do you want the session to continue?”

She hated this part. This was the part that she’d never understood. She had to make the choice, and she couldn’t put it off on anyone else. She wanted for him to simply do it. Then she could blame him later, but that wasn’t what The Club was about. She’d been coming here for over a year, and she finally had to decide to make the choice—stay and put herself in the hands of a stranger, or go and never know what it was like. And then there was the fact that Master A was right. Lucas needed something she couldn’t give him.

She cast her eyes down submissively. How bad could it be? “Yes, Sir.”

“Then strip.”.

Re-released in a second edition with a prologue and three new chapters.

Two cowboys looking for love…

Jack Barnes and Sam Fleetwood met in foster care. Over the years, they’ve become best friends and partners. They share a business as cattle ranchers and a house. There’s only one thing missing: a woman to share. The men are sure they’ve found that woman when Abigail Moore arrives in their small town, Willow Fork, TX.

A woman trying to find her place in the world…

Abby left her hometown twenty years before under a cloud of scandal. She’s raised a daughter, forged a new life for herself, and is ready for the next phase when she meets the handsome cowboys.

One small town that’s ready to explode…

They’re a dream come true—Jack is the sexy Dom, and Sam the playful lover. It’s everything she’s ever fantasized about. There’s only one problem. She’s still not welcome in Willow Fork, and someone is willing to kill to keep her away.

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Re-released in a second edition with new scenes.

Jack and Sam married Abby. It was supposed to be for forever, but lately Abby wonders where her alpha male has gone. Jack has retreated and life has become decidedly vanilla. It isn’t the true marriage she and Sam wanted. Sam and Abby know the time has come to fight for what they need.

A call from his mentor forces Jack to revisit the club where he discovered his sexuality. Jack’s half-brother is in the city and interested in a little blackmail. Can Jack handle two defiant subs and a brother in need of some tough love?

Sometimes all it takes to find the way home is a little love and a lot of mischief.

Come back to the beginning and revisit some of your favorite old characters or find new ones to love. Siren in the City has been revised and new scenes added. And if you look closely, you’ll find not only the beginnings of the Sophie Oak world, but also the seeds of how McKay-Taggart began…

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Re-released in a second edition with new scenes.

Julian Lodge has everything a man could want. He’s rich, successful and owns the most exclusive club in Dallas. But something is missing.

Finn Taylor has worked his way up in the world from humble beginnings in Willow Fork, Texas. The only thing he still loves in his hometown is Danielle Bay. He never told her he was actually bisexual, and he never confessed his love for her. Now she’s getting married, and Finn is sure he’s lost his chance with the only person he’ll ever love.

Julian’s vacation to the Barnes-Fleetwood ranch brings them all together. After Dani jumps into Julian’s car while fleeing her wedding, Julian knows he has to have her. But nothing is easy in Willow Fork. A danger from Julian’s past threatens them all. Julian will have to convince both Dani and Finn that being his will be the best decision they ever made.

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NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Memento Mori by Lexi Blake ~ COVER REVEAL

Six men with no memories of the past
One leader with no hope for the future

A man without a past

Jax woke up in a lab, his memories erased, and his mind reprogrammed to serve a mad woman’s will. After being liberated from his prison, he pledged himself to the only thing he truly knows—his team. Six men who lost everything they were. They must make certain no one else gets their hands on the drugs that stole their lives, all while hiding from every intelligence organization on the planet. The trail has led him to an unforgiving mountainside and a beautiful wilderness expert who may be his only hope of finding the truth.  

A woman with a bright future

River Lee knows her way around the Colorado wilderness. She’s finally found a home in a place called Bliss after years lost in darkness. The nature guide prefers to show her clients the beauty found in the land, but she also knows the secrets the mountains hold. When she meets Jax, something about the troubled man calls to her. She agrees to lead him to the site of an abandoned government facility hidden deep in the forest. She never dreamed she was stepping into the middle of a battlefield.

A love that could heal a broken soul

Spending time with River, Jax discovers a peace he’s never known. Their passion unlocks a side of himself he didn’t even know he was missing. When an old enemy makes his first move, Jax and River find themselves fighting for their lives. But when his past is revealed, will River be caught in the crosshairs of a global conspiracy?

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Kobo, and Smashwords coming soon!

TITLE: Memento Mori
SERIES: Masters and Mercenaries: The Forgotten, Book 1
AUTHOR: Lexi Blake
RELEASE DATE: August 28, 2018

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Order of Protection by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She’s soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She’s actually Taylor Winston-Hughes—born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win’s charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry.

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can’t reject the case. This case could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he’s not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together.

As the case takes a wild turn and Win’s entire life is upended, she must look to the people she’s closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves…

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Just when I was sure I knew exactly what to expect from a Lexi Blake book, she released Order of Protection and completely blew all my assumptions to pieces.  The one thing that didn’t change at all was how addictive this story was, I was completely pulled in and couldn’t stop thinking about what was coming next for Win and Henry any time I had to put Order of Protection down.

Win was a force, she battled so much, been through so much, had so few people in her corner, but she never let any of that dim her light.  I admired her strength to fight to get her life back, to make Henry see they were more than he wanted to admit, to be more than what the world had labeled her as.  Henry was harder to love, he made it a battle for me to find his silver lining, but when I did, when I understood why he was so callous, my heart ached for him, and I wanted nothing more than for him to allow himself to find happiness.

My favorite part of this book was how Win and Henry understood each other.  It came from such a painful place and could have easily destroyed them alone, but they allowed their struggles to strengthen them and their bond.  I loved how, even when they were angry with one another, they did everything they could to ensure the demons that haunted them didn’t pull them under.

Order of Protection was quite a ride.  From Win and Henry’s meet-cute to the final nitty-gritty reveals in the end, I couldn’t get enough of this book.   There were so many different kinds of conflict in this novel, so many pitfalls the characters were trying to navigate; there seemed never to be a second where thing settled enough for me to find a comfortable place to rest.  Lexi Blake kept her characters – and her readers – on their toes throughout this novel.  It was a high-octane crime thriller with a beautiful love story mixed in.

My only wish for this book, and it’s a selfish one at that, would have been to have seen those first two weeks Win and Henry spent together.  The story wasn’t lacking for not having it, but I loved these two together so much I would have loved to have seen more of the initial stages of their relationship.

Order of Protection is the first book in Lexi Blake’s Courting Justice series.  This was a complete story and can be read as a standalone.  There are connections to a few of Ms. Blake’s other series, though reading them is completely unnecessary to enjoy and understand this book.  Order of Protection is written in third-person limited perspective, alternating between Win and Henry’s perspective.

Lexi Blake continues to impress me with her storytelling.  As much as I love her usual fair of the world of BDSM, it was nice to have this departure from that and lean more toward vanilla.  She did an excellent job of showing her versatility as an author by taking this foray into something her readers aren’t used to seeing from her, while still leaving her distinct voice in the pages and on the characters.

Henry glanced up at the clock. Two thirty p.m. Somehow he’d expected Win to show up bright and early this morning. He’d woken up and made a pot of coffee, and he’d gone over all the ways he would explain to her that this was a bad idea.

Because it was still a bad idea.

Alicia might have given in to Noah and Drew Lawless’s blackmail, but she would be back at some point. Then there was the fact that he dealt with unsavory clients on a daily basis. He took on high-profile cases and often got dragged through the mud along with the client.

There were plenty of people out there who hated him. Loathed him and despised the very fact that he existed and cheered if he failed. He was used to it. Sweet little Win was not and would be horrified.

So he was going to tell her how amazing their night together was and then turn her down gently.

Except she hadn’t shown up and that bugged the hell out of him.

She’d been the one to claim she would be here despite the fact that he’d told her not to come. She’d told him she didn’t care what he thought.

It was perverse, but if he’d had her number, he might have called and said a few things about setting expectations and then not meeting them.

He started another pot of coffee. This was completely foolish. She’d put some distance between the two of them and realized how little they had in common. At least one of them had some sense.

The scent of French roast hit the air and he realized he was pro-crastinating. He was putting off the moment when he had to step back into the city and face the music. He would have to work his ass off to find anyone who wanted to hire a lawyer with his tarnished reputation. It didn’t matter that his addiction issues had never cost a client a dime. The perception would be there, and perception was over half the battle in life.

He should pack up tonight and leave it all to the agent. It’s what he should have done yesterday, but he’d enjoyed spending time with David, showing him places on the island and telling him stories.

It was time to go home now. Time to forget about pretending to be someone he couldn’t afford to be anymore. Time to put away thoughts of quiet and peace and get back to being the Monster of Manhattan. That was the only way he was going to survive.

The Monster of Manhattan didn’t give in to urges. He plowed through all problems with a single-minded, ruthless intent. The Monster didn’t need attention, though he tended to get it. Attention didn’t matter to the Monster. Money mattered. Power mattered.

He would get them both back.

The Monster certainly didn’t need some do-gooder in his bed. He would select a woman, rationally discuss his needs with her, and pay her for her services, whether they be as a plus-one to gatherings or as a body in bed. That was how he would view it. Transactional.

Transactional was safe.

So he was going to stop being such a whiny asshole and be grateful that Win had some sense.

A knock broke through the quiet of the house.

He practically ran for the door.


He opened it and there was Win, standing in the soft light of the afternoon, her hair up in a ponytail. She was wearing denim shorts and a blousy, feminine shirt. She had a bag of groceries in one hand and what looked like a duffel in the other.

“I know you said I shouldn’t come back, but you’re wrong and I’m going to give you all my reasons why.”

He didn’t care. She was here. He walked straight up to her and cupped that pretty face in his hands and kissed her for all he was worth.

Fuck transactional. He wanted something real for once in his damn life.

When he came back up, he was rewarded with a soft look in her eyes, her lips curving into a small smile.

“No arguing with me?”

He did have some problems they should discuss. “You’re late.”

Her smile went brilliant. “I had some things to clear up. I thought if you didn’t mind, I might stay with you for a few nights.”

He took the bag of groceries out of her hand and led her inside. “I think that sounds like a great idea.”

“This is way easier than I thought it would be,” she admitted. “Have you had lunch? I could whip up some sandwiches and we could have a picnic.”

He stashed the grocery bag in the fridge. She set down her duffel, and that made it much easier to scoop her up and into his arms. “I know exactly what I want for lunch.”

Her eyes went wide, but she didn’t struggle at all. Her arms went around his shoulders as he carried her to the big bedroom.

It had been cozy in his old room, but he needed more space if she was going to live here with him for a few weeks.

He stopped at the edge of the big bed he’d had brought in after he’d inherited the place. It was the only room he’d redone, with the thought of spending long weekends with his friends up here. He never had managed the time, but now he was happy he’d spent the cash to do it because he could share it with her.

The last few weeks of being Henry before going back to the real world.

He set her down on the bed and pulled his shirt over his head. He wasn’t playing around this time. That was for later. It had been entirely too long since he’d had her.

He needed her.

He knew it was something he should question, even be slightly afraid of, but he didn’t care in the moment. All that mattered was she was here and he could put off any thoughts of letting her go for a few days. He could sink into her.

She was his reward for every crappy thing he’d been through in the last couple of years.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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