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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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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NOW LIVE!! Order of Protection by Lexi Blake

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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If Henry gave her a minute, they would be back to polite. He wouldn’t find out if she could want him in an honest way. “Win, I’m an alcoholic. I’m divorced, and it wasn’t some thoughtful conscious uncoupling. It was nasty and ugly. I’m a lawyer who doesn’t give a shit if his clients are guilty or not as long as they have the money to pay me. I have gotten off people who probably went back out into the world to do terrible things, and I’ll probably do it again because I believe in this system. It’s imperfect, but it’s better than anything else. And I’m too old for you.”

She snorted, an oddly amusing sound. “I’m not some shrinking virgin. I’m twenty-nine, and I’ve been around the block a couple of times and with some men I wish I hadn’t ever gotten into the car with. How old are you? Forty?”

He winced. “Thirty-seven.”

Her lips curled up, and it was worth the blow to his ego. “Well, you don’t look a day over forty, and that’s a pretty nice age for a man. You think you don’t deserve such a young, hot chick?”

Thank god she was teasing him again. He’d hated the way her shoulders had slumped when she’d thought he’d rejected her. But still, he had to be honest. If he was going to do this, she would get the new Henry. “I think I could hurt a woman like you if I’m not careful.”

“Then be careful with me, Henry Garrison,” she said, moving closer to him. “And I’m a big girl. I can make my own decisions and live with them. I would like to spend the night with you. It doesn’t have to last beyond tomorrow. I’m not asking to be your girlfriend. I’m asking you to help me get through the night, to help me get that nightmare out of my head, so I can feel safe for the first time in months. It’s been a long time since I felt safe.”

That he could do. She moved in close, right between his legs, and he reached up and cupped her face, holding her still as he looked into her eyes. So much fucking innocence. He didn’t care what she’d been through. She was way too young for him, but she’d said yes and he wasn’t a saint. Not even close. “Be sure. I might want more than one night. I’m here for a few weeks. I could use this. I could use some time with you.”

It wouldn’t work long-term. When he finished up and got back to the city, he wouldn’t have time to spend with her, and she deserved that. He would be knee-deep in the sewer again. It wasn’t a place he would take her, but he could be what she needed here.

“I could use some time with you,” she replied. “You’re right about a few things. I haven’t ever been around a man like you. The men I’ve been with have been boys who cared more about their images than they did about pleasing me. I think it might be different with you. I know you’re trying to scare me off with all that ‘I screwed up my life’ stuff, but I get that. You can’t make me run, or I would run away from myself. Tell me if you can make me forget about everything except what you’re doing to my body because tonight that’s all I want.”

Oh, he could do that. He might not be able to feed her soul, but he could work her body all fucking night long.

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 ~ Except Reveal

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…

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES JUNE 5, 2018  ***
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If Henry gave her a minute, they would be back to polite. He wouldn’t find out if she could want him in an honest way. “Win, I’m an alcoholic. I’m divorced, and it wasn’t some thoughtful conscious uncoupling. It was nasty and ugly. I’m a lawyer who doesn’t give a shit if his clients are guilty or not as long as they have the money to pay me. I have gotten off people who probably went back out into the world to do terrible things, and I’ll probably do it again because I believe in this system. It’s imperfect, but it’s better than anything else. And I’m too old for you.”

She snorted, an oddly amusing sound. “I’m not some shrinking virgin. I’m twenty-nine, and I’ve been around the block a couple of times and with some men I wish I hadn’t ever gotten into the car with. How old are you? Forty?”

He winced. “Thirty-seven.”

Her lips curled up, and it was worth the blow to his ego. “Well, you don’t look a day over forty, and that’s a pretty nice age for a man. You think you don’t deserve such a young, hot chick?”

Thank god she was teasing him again. He’d hated the way her shoulders had slumped when she’d thought he’d rejected her. But still, he had to be honest. If he was going to do this, she would get the new Henry. “I think I could hurt a woman like you if I’m not careful.”

“Then be careful with me, Henry Garrison,” she said, moving closer to him. “And I’m a big girl. I can make my own decisions and live with them. I would like to spend the night with you. It doesn’t have to last beyond tomorrow. I’m not asking to be your girlfriend. I’m asking you to help me get through the night, to help me get that nightmare out of my head, so I can feel safe for the first time in months. It’s been a long time since I felt safe.”

That he could do. She moved in close, right between his legs, and he reached up and cupped her face, holding her still as he looked into her eyes. So much fucking innocence. He didn’t care what she’d been through. She was way too young for him, but she’d said yes and he wasn’t a saint. Not even close. “Be sure. I might want more than one night. I’m here for a few weeks. I could use this. I could use some time with you.”

It wouldn’t work long-term. When he finished up and got back to the city, he wouldn’t have time to spend with her, and she deserved that. He would be knee-deep in the sewer again. It wasn’t a place he would take her, but he could be what she needed here.

“I could use some time with you,” she replied. “You’re right about a few things. I haven’t ever been around a man like you. The men I’ve been with have been boys who cared more about their images than they did about pleasing me. I think it might be different with you. I know you’re trying to scare me off with all that ‘I screwed up my life’ stuff, but I get that. You can’t make me run, or I would run away from myself. Tell me if you can make me forget about everything except what you’re doing to my body because tonight that’s all I want.”

Oh, he could do that. He might not be able to feed her soul, but he could work her body all fucking night long.

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!! Two to Love by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

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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I’m happy to have revisited Bliss; it’s such an interesting little town with fascinating residents.  All of that made better by the beautiful storytelling of Lexi Blake.  Calle, Zane, and Nate’s story was a little sad, a little funny, a lot provocative, and fabulously engrossing.  Once I started reading Two to Love, I couldn’t put it down and devoured the entire thing in one sitting.

Two to Love is the second book in Lexi Blake’s Night’s in Bliss, Colorado series.  It can be read as a standalone, though the characters from book one do make an appearance in this book.  There are also tie-ins to Lexi Blake’s other series, which only serves to enrich the entirety of the world she’s built.  Two to Love is written in third-person alternating limited perspective, switching between following Callie, Nate, and Zane’s thoughts.

I fell in love with Callie in Three to Ride; there was something about her in that book that just felt so sad even when she was happy for friends.  Seeing her strength, despite the heartbreaking and life-threatening situations she found herself in, was so great.  I loved how she refused to settle for less than she deserved and fought for what she needed and wanted.

Zane was the standout, amongst the boys.  He was so tragic, so self-sacrificing, and ultimately the better man amongst himself and Nate.  I struggled with Nate, not because he was unlikable – even in his egotism there was something vulnerable about him – but because he was so wholly focused on what was ‘right’ he neglected to observe that what was right for him was far closer than he could fathom.

Two to Love moved fast, both regarding the threesome falling in love and regarding action.  Like all of Ms. Blake’s books, the insta-love aspect felt natural because of the vulnerability the characters demonstrated to each other.  I found the storyline of this book captivating, it wasn’t terribly unpredictable, but the anticipation of finding out, for sure, what was coming next was delightful.

Lexi Blake is almost on top of my must-read authors.  She does such a fantastic job of making her characters likable, even when they shouldn’t be.  Her relationships always feel so well-developed, the characters care for one another so profoundly; they’re something to strive for.  I love her writing style and always look forward to reading anything she releases.

 

Callie Sheppard was startled by the sound of the door opening. She sat straight up in bed and wondered what the hell she was doing. It had seemed like a great idea at the time, but now a tremor of trepidation ran through her system. She was naked in a notorious BDSM club, waiting for two men to walk in and take her virginity.

It wasn’t that she minded losing her virginity. She wasn’t doing anything interesting with it in the first place. It needed to go, but now she worried this wasn’t the way to do it. She wanted some affection and kindness. Would they give that to her? Oh, god, Stef had found her two guys for her birthday. She’d made him a loaf of zucchini bread and shared a bottle of cheap wine for his. What was she doing?

Could she run? She was naked. That didn’t really bother her, but it could confound a lot of people.

“Hello.” The deepest voice she’d ever heard pulled her from her panic.

She turned and hoped there wasn’t a line of drool running out of her mouth as she caught sight of them. Best birthday present ever. Stef might be straight, but he knew how to pick gorgeous men.

She climbed as gracefully as she could off the big bed and faced them. They were perfect. The one who had spoken was tall. She doubted she would reach his shoulders when she stood against him. He was at least six and a half feet, and his body was corded with muscle. Every piece of him seemed chiseled out of granite. He was male model perfection, with a strong jaw and piercing green eyes. His hair was inky black and curled sweetly over his ears.

His partner wasn’t quite as tall but still was no small man. He was a few inches shorter than the gorgeous monster, and his body held a lean strength. If the black-haired devil was a linebacker, this man was a swimmer. His eyes were a stark blue. His skin was sun kissed and smooth. Callie was fascinated with the idea of soft skin covering steel. His hair was cut in a military style. It was a rich brown. The intimate light of the room caught the gold and red streaks. He looked like a man who laughed often.

Everything inside her heated up at the sight of them, and she wasn’t so scared anymore. Why the hell would she run from all that hotness? And they were handpicked by a man who would never, ever hurt her. She was safe with them.

“Hello.” It seemed like a dumb thing to say to two glorious men when she was naked as the day she was born, but it was all she could think of.

“Hello, Callie.” The other man’s voice was deep, too, but there was an inherent friendliness to his Texas accent. It looked like Stef had found her a couple of cowboys. The blue-eyed man watched her. He gave her a small, calm smile, like he didn’t want to scare her. “Are you nervous, sweetheart? We don’t want you to be. Nothing happens here that you don’t want. All you have to do is say the word and everything stops.”

Their eyes were on her body. Callie had never thought much about her body before. It was a natural thing. She’d grown up in a household where nudity wasn’t frowned on. She was comfortable in her skin, only now she wasn’t. Now she was starting to feel hot and restless. They weren’t avoiding her private parts the way the nudists politely did back in Bliss. These men stared boldly at her breasts, and her breasts seemed to be staring right back. Her nipples were hard nubs.

“Do I get a safe word?” The question came out on a breathy sigh. She’d always wanted to know what it felt like to truly submit. Stefan’s subs always seemed satisfied.

The blue-eyed man’s mouth turned down. “Your safe word is no. We don’t have to play games. All you have to do is say no and we stop.”

“But we can play games if you want to.” That came from the big guy. His husky voice did all sorts of things to her libido. He walked boldly up to her and placed his hands on her hips. His touch lit up her skin. “Do you want to play, darlin’?”

Oh, yeah, she wanted to play.

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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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 Enslaved by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

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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Lexi Blake delivers once again.  I am so happy she decided to re-edit and release the novels she wrote as Sophie Oak.  They’re outstanding and engrossing.  Siren Enslaved held me captive from the second I picked it up until I read the final word.

Siren Enslaved is the third book in Lexi Blake’s Texas Siren’s series.  The book has been re-released with new scenes.  This book can be read as standalone, we see a little of Julian in the first two books in the series, but they deal with another relationship, one we do see in this book.  We also see a few of our favorites from McKay-Taggart in this book, which I was totally on board with.  Siren Enslaved is written in third person alternating limited perspective, switching between Julian, Dani, Finn, and a few other key players.

Julian was so aloof, so unaffected in the first two novels in this series; I was keen on figuring out what made him tick.  He was a tough nut to crack; he even seemed hesitant to admit to himself what he’d been through and what he needed and wanted.  In the end, though, my heart broke for the broken little boy he was and the hard, hollow man he’d allowed himself to become.  Dani’s softness and devotion, Finn’s steadfastness, were excellent complements to Julian.

Siren Enslaved is a little insta-lovey, but in this context, in this world where trust has to be so freely and completely given, the openness that is imperative in a power-exchange relationship, lends itself to a deeper, quicker relationship most people are used to, so it felt natural.  The added dimension of the traumas Dani experienced in such a short timeframe also lent to a bond that went beyond normal circumstances.

I wish Julian and Finn’s connection would have been more fleshed out.  I could feel their attraction to one another whenever they were together, and both of their relationships with Dani were well-developed, while the link between the two men felt lacking.  There was one conversation, in particular, that happened off page which I think would have gone a long way to building a foundation for Julian and Finn had we been able to experience it.

Lexi Blake is quickly becoming my gold standard for all things BDSM and atypical relationships.  She’s able to take these alternative lifestyles and make them feel like they are the standard by which all other relationships should be measured.  Her characters are strong yet vulnerable, broken yet steadfast, and the way they help one another accept all the parts of themselves is always fantastic. Her plots are always highly addictive and intense, and I’m obsessed with her work.  Ms. Blake continually delivers marvelous stories that are highly emotional and wholly satisfying.

“What on earth is that look for?” Julian stared down at her, his lips pulled up in obvious amusement.

Finn leaned over so he could be heard over the loud music. “I think Dani is enjoying her role as town harlot.”

Julian frowned. “Harlot? Why would she be a harlot?”

Dani and Finn laughed together. For the first time, they completely understood something Julian didn’t.

“This is a small town, Sir,” Finn explained. “All anyone is going to talk about tomorrow is the fact that Dani Bay snuck up the stairs at The Barn with two guys. Trust me, she is going to be called all kinds of names. Mostly to her back, though.”

She shrugged. It was to be expected. At least no one would be feeling sorry for her.

Julian’s face went dark, and his fingers tightened around hers. “They had better not say anything where I can hear it.” He relaxed and nodded down at her. “I’m going to speak with Jackson, dear. You and Finn stay together. We’ll be leaving shortly. We’ll retrieve Finn’s things and go back out to the ranch.”

He turned and walked off, supremely confident that his orders would be met.

He turned back suddenly. “And stay out of trouble.”

Dani grinned. He didn’t look so confident that she would follow that edict. He walked away. She watched his gorgeous ass as it disappeared into the crowd. When she turned, she noticed that Finn was watching, too.

“I’m sorry.” Finn pulled back slightly, his hand coming out of hers. That look was back in his eyes.

“Are you going to be an asshole?” she asked.

“What?”

“I thought we worked through this, but it looks like you’re going to be an asshole.” She wasn’t putting up with it. Maybe she would have before but being with them had changed her.

Being with Julian and Finn together seemed to have altered something fundamental in Dani. It had been beautiful. She’d never felt as deeply as she did when they were kissing her, loving her. There had been that terrible moment when she was sure Julian was leaving, but he’d stayed. He had to care about her. He cared, and Finn cared. She wasn’t going to let anyone take that away from her or make her feel ashamed. That was hers.

Finn stared almost blankly and then shook his head. “I’m sorry. I spent so long trying to hide this from you.”

“Hide what? That I knew you were gay? I was well aware of that. Why did you get upset because I caught you drooling over Julian’s ass?”

His eyes slid down. “Damn it, Dani. This is why I stayed away. I knew it should be only the two of us, but I wasn’t sure I could do it. I’m not sure I can stay away from men.”

Julian was shaking his head at Jack, who seemed to be teasing him something fierce. Dani stared at him for a moment. She noticed she wasn’t the only one. All around her, other women had their eyes on the hot new guy. They could look, but Julian was hers. He might not know it, but she planned on keeping him. And Finn. As soon as they ironed out a few things.

“And it never occurred to you to say, hey, Dani, here’s the problem. Let’s see if we can solve it? No, you decide to keep your mouth shut and almost let me marry someone I didn’t love because you didn’t want to admit you’re bi.”

“Damn it, I didn’t want to lose you. I love you, Danielle. You’re the only thing in my life that’s permanent. I would rather keep you in my life than lose you because I can’t be normal. It should be two people. A marriage should be two people.”

Oh, yes, she had to fix his way of thinking. “Says who? The old biddies at church? Screw them. Why does everything have to be one way? What we did up there didn’t hurt anyone. It isn’t anyone’s business but ours. I love you, Finn, but I think I’m falling for Julian, too. Can you handle that?”

“I can certainly try, baby. I was willing to love you from afar. I prefer loving you up close.”

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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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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Close Cover by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Remy Guidry doesn’t do relationships. He tried the marriage thing once, back in Louisiana, and learned the hard way that all he really needs in life is a cold beer, some good friends, and the occasional hookup. His job as a bodyguard with McKay-Taggart gives him purpose and lovely perks, like access to Sanctum. The last thing he needs in his life is a woman with stars in her eyes and babies in her future.

Lisa Daley’s life is finally going in the right direction. She has finally graduated from college after years of putting herself through school. She’s got a new job at an accounting firm and she’s finished her Sanctum training. Finally on her own and having fun, her life seems pretty perfect. Except she’s lonely and the one man she wants won’t give her a second look.

There is one other little glitch. Apparently, her new firm is really a front for the mob and now they want her dead. Assassins can really ruin a fun girls’ night out. Suddenly strapped to the very same six-foot-five-inch hunk of a bodyguard who makes her heart pound, Lisa can’t decide if this situation is a blessing or a curse.

As the mob closes in, Remy takes his tempting new charge back to the safest place he knows—his home in the bayou. Surrounded by his past, he can’t help wondering if Lisa is his future. To answer that question, he just has to keep her alive.

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It’s no secret I love Lexi Blake. I’d been looking forward to this crossover event and her book, in particular, for some time. By any other standard this book would be excellent, by the standard set by Lexi in this and other series, however, it just didn’t quite live up to what I’ve come to expect from her.

Close Cover is the sixteenth book in Lexi Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series. This book can be read as a standalone, there are characters from previous books in that series, and it does touch on the other couples from the Masters and Mercenaries crossover event, but nothing that takes away from the understanding of this novel. Close Cover is the only full-length novel in the Masters and Mercenaries crossover. This book is written in third-person semi-omniscient perspective, alternatively following Lisa and Remy’s thoughts.

Secret keeping, misinformation, lying by omission. One of the more frustrating tropes in romance and this book was rife with it. From Remy and Lisa’s first meaningful interaction to the greatest conflict of their relationship. While I did understand Remy’s motivations in both situations, you could feel they were headed for disaster because he wasn’t forthright with Lisa about his feelings about her and the reason for his reentry to her life.

I was rooting for Lisa and Remy, I continually had mixed feelings about them – for myriad reasons – but they were pretty adorable together. I especially loved how reverently he spoke of, and to, her. The suspension scene was sublime; his poetry transcended the beauty of the rest of the scene. Lisa sometimes felt beyond awkward when they were together, the crux of their connection definitely rested on Remy’s massive shoulders.

Close Cover was well-paced. I never felt like there was a lull in the forward momentum of the book. It did have a little less action than I’ve come to expect from the Masters and Mercenaries series, and most of the tension was developed with speculation and revelations of coincidental past events. Lexi Blake did a great job of feeding her readers enough crumbs of information to feel invested in the plot without giving so much that the entirety of the plot was predictable.

I wish I would have felt more connected to the characters in this book. I’m not sure what was lacking, but I didn’t feel the deep emotional tie to these characters that I usually do when reading Ms. Blake’s stories. They fell a little flat for me, Lisa more so than Remy; he felt more well-developed than she did.

Lexi Blake is one of my favorite authors. She always develops interesting and suspenseful plots, with sympathetic characters. She writes strong heroines, who’s best qualities are complemented by their life partners. This book, while not my favorite of hers, carried those traits and was a great way to conclude the Masters and Mercenaries crossover series.

The light in his face blocked out the view of the man interrogating him. Remy blinked in the glare and sighed. He should have known this wouldn’t go the way he’d hoped it would. He’d come back to Dallas as a courtesy and now he had to worry that maybe he wouldn’t make it out of this office again.

He should have filed his report and run the other way, but the truth was this had been his team and it was in ruins now. Well, what some would call ruins. They had been a fully cohesive unit and then the last few weeks had played out the way they had and their ranks had been decimated.

One by one they’d fallen…

The team he’d known so well these last few years was gone and it wouldn’t be the same again.

“I want to know what happened,” a deep voice said.

Remy sat back. He wasn’t about to let that bastard know for a second that he was mildly intimidated. Besides, after everything that had happened in the past few weeks, the asshole probably had a right to take a chunk out of his hide. “It’s all in my report.”

There was the sound of shuffling and then his report slid across the desk and bounced into his lap.

“You mean this? This tells me nothing.”

“It tells you everything you need to know about what happened in Papillon. I’ve documented everything thoroughly, including all the bloody parts and where I buried the bodies in case you need them for anything. Of course, given where I was at the time, those bodies might not last long. The bayou tends to take everything it can from a man if he’s not moving. Sometimes even when he is.”

As his brother had learned. God, he hoped his brother forgave him one day. Of everything that had happened in Louisiana, his brother’s pain was the one thing he truly regretted.

Remy picked up the report he’d submitted only last week when he’d done all his exit paperwork. He thought he’d been extremely thorough in his mission report. His final report.

“Tell me what else you need from me, Tag.”

It was his last report because he wouldn’t be back here again. Not to work. After what had happened that wasn’t possible. He was needed somewhere else.

After a difficult childhood and a turbulent stint in the military, Declan Burke finally got his act together. Now he’s a battle-hardened professional bodyguard who takes his job at McKay-Taggart seriously and his playtime – and his playmates – just as seriously. One thing he never does, however, is mix business with pleasure. But when the mysterious, gorgeous Suzanne D’Angelo needs his protection from a stalker, his desire for her burns out of control, tempting him to break all the rules…even as he’s drawn into a dark, dangerous world he didn’t know existed. 

Suzanne is an earthbound angel on her critical first mission: protecting Declan from an emerging supernatural threat at all costs. To keep him close, she hires him as her bodyguard. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she’s in over her head, defenseless against this devastatingly sexy human who makes her crave his forbidden touch. 

Together they’ll have to draw on every ounce of their collective training to resist each other as the enemy closes in, but soon it becomes apparent that nothing could have prepared them for the menace to their lives…or their hearts.

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

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

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I’ve had two goals my entire life: 

  1. Make it big in country music.
  2. Get the hell out of Bell Buckle.

I was doing it. I was on my way, until Cooper Townsend landed backstage at my show in Dallas. 

This gorgeous, rugged, man of few words was one cowboy I couldn’t afford to let distract me. But with his slow smile and rough hands, I just couldn’t keep away. 

Now, there are outside forces conspiring against us. Maybe we should’ve known better? Maybe not. Even with the protection from Wade Rycroft, bodyguard for McKay-Taggart, I still don’t feel safe. I won’t let him get hurt because of me. All I know is that I want to hold on, but know the right thing to do is to let go…

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Talia Shaw has spent her adult life working as a scientist for a big pharmaceutical company. She’s focused on saving lives, not living life. When her lab is broken into and it’s clear someone is after the top-secret formula she’s working on, she turns to the one man she can trust. The same irresistible man she turned away years earlier because she was too young and naive to believe a sexy guy like Shane Landon could want her.

Shane Landon’s bodyguard work for McKay-Taggart is the one thing that brings him satisfaction in his life. Relationships come in second to the job. Always. Then little brainiac Talia Shaw shows up in his backyard, frightened and on the run, and his world is turned upside down. And not just because she’s found him naked in his outdoor shower, either.

With Talia’s life in danger, Shane has to get her out of town and to her eccentric, hermit mentor who has the final piece of the formula she’s been working on, while keeping her safe from the men who are after her. Guarding Talia’s body certainly isn’t any hardship, but he never expects to fall hard and fast for his best friend’s little sister and the only woman who’s ever really gotten under his skin.

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Sadie Jennings was used to being protected. As the niece of Sean Taggart, and the receptionist at McKay-Taggart Group, she was constantly surrounded by Alpha men more than capable, and willing, to lay down their life for her. But when she visits her friend in San Antonio, and acts on suspicious activity at Milena’s workplace, Sadie puts both of them in the crosshairs of a madman. After several harrowing weeks, her friend is now safe, but for Sadie, the repercussions of her rash act linger on.

Chase Jackson, no stranger to dangerous situations as a captain in the US Army, has volunteered himself as Sadie’s bodyguard. He fell head over heels for the beautiful woman the first time he laid eyes on her. With a Delta Force team at his back, he reassures the Taggart’s that Sadie will be safe. But when the situation in San Antonio catches up with her, Chase has to use everything he’s learned over his career to keep his promise…and to keep Sadie alive long enough to officially make her his.

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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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Say You Won’t Let Go by Corinne Michaels ~ Sarah A’s Review

I’ve had two goals my entire life: 

  1. Make it big in country music.
  2. Get the hell out of Bell Buckle.

I was doing it. I was on my way, until Cooper Townsend landed backstage at my show in Dallas. 

This gorgeous, rugged, man of few words was one cowboy I couldn’t afford to let distract me. But with his slow smile and rough hands, I just couldn’t keep away. 

Now, there are outside forces conspiring against us. Maybe we should’ve known better? Maybe not. Even with the protection from Wade Rycroft, bodyguard for McKay-Taggart, I still don’t feel safe. I won’t let him get hurt because of me. All I know is that I want to hold on, but know the right thing to do is to let go…

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Say You Won’t Let Go is the reason I found Lexi Blake.  I heard about this crossover last year and wanted to have an understanding of the Masters and Mercenaries world, so I picked up my first Lexi Blake book, and my obsession began.  I’ve loved Corinne Michaels’ writing for a while, and I knew Cooped needed his story told and I’m happy to have finally experienced his happy ending.

Say You Won’t Let Go is book 3.5 in Corinne Michaels’ Return to Me series and falls along the same timeline as Lexi Blakes sixteenth book in her Masters and Mercenaries series.  This novella can be read as a standalone.  Say You Won’t Let Go is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Emily and Cooper.

I’m so happy that Cooper finally found happiness of his own.  For so long he’d been living with whatever situation he’d been forced into and, because he is such a stand-up guy, he shouldered the responsibility and made sure everyone else was taken care of as best he could.  Him finally taking the reins, shirking an iota of duty, and going after what he wanted was sublime.

I loved Cooper and Emily together.  Having seen them throughout the other books in Ms. Michaels’ series gave me added insight into who they were and what their chemistry was like, and I’m thankful for that.  I appreciated their quick jump into love more because I knew them better than I had the other characters in this crossover.

The plot of Say You Won’t Let Go was intense and compelling; both in terms of building Emily and Cooper’s relationship and the situation for which Emily required a bodyguard.  I needed to know how far her stalker would go, why he was so obsessed, and who he was.  At one point I was sure I’d figured it out but was completely off base.

My biggest wish for this book is that it had been more inclusive of Lexi Blake’s world.  The character from her series is a great supporting character, where I would have loved to have seen him be a main character.  We barely got to know him at all and, except for being employed by McKay-Taggart, the ties to that world were tenuous at best.  I was also left without much closure on one of the major storylines and wish it had been fully fleshed out.

Corinne Michaels is one of my go-to authors.  I’ve read all of her published work and love her writing style.  She stories are always emotionally charged and include real-life issues.  It’s because of inclusion of those issues I feel like her books are always relatable.  Not everything is always sunshine and roses, and her writing reflects the real world pain people have to deal with.

Remy Guidry doesn’t do relationships. He tried the marriage thing once, back in Louisiana, and learned the hard way that all he really needs in life is a cold beer, some good friends, and the occasional hookup. His job as a bodyguard with McKay-Taggart gives him purpose and lovely perks, like access to Sanctum. The last thing he needs in his life is a woman with stars in her eyes and babies in her future.

Lisa Daley’s life is finally going in the right direction. She has finally graduated from college after years of putting herself through school. She’s got a new job at an accounting firm and she’s finished her Sanctum training. Finally on her own and having fun, her life seems pretty perfect. Except she’s lonely and the one man she wants won’t give her a second look.

There is one other little glitch. Apparently, her new firm is really a front for the mob and now they want her dead. Assassins can really ruin a fun girls’ night out. Suddenly strapped to the very same six-foot-five-inch hunk of a bodyguard who makes her heart pound, Lisa can’t decide if this situation is a blessing or a curse.

As the mob closes in, Remy takes his tempting new charge back to the safest place he knows—his home in the bayou. Surrounded by his past, he can’t help wondering if Lisa is his future. To answer that question, he just has to keep her alive.

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After a difficult childhood and a turbulent stint in the military, Declan Burke finally got his act together. Now he’s a battle-hardened professional bodyguard who takes his job at McKay-Taggart seriously and his playtime – and his playmates – just as seriously. One thing he never does, however, is mix business with pleasure. But when the mysterious, gorgeous Suzanne D’Angelo needs his protection from a stalker, his desire for her burns out of control, tempting him to break all the rules…even as he’s drawn into a dark, dangerous world he didn’t know existed. 

Suzanne is an earthbound angel on her critical first mission: protecting Declan from an emerging supernatural threat at all costs. To keep him close, she hires him as her bodyguard. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she’s in over her head, defenseless against this devastatingly sexy human who makes her crave his forbidden touch. 

Together they’ll have to draw on every ounce of their collective training to resist each other as the enemy closes in, but soon it becomes apparent that nothing could have prepared them for the menace to their lives…or their hearts.

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

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

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Talia Shaw has spent her adult life working as a scientist for a big pharmaceutical company. She’s focused on saving lives, not living life. When her lab is broken into and it’s clear someone is after the top-secret formula she’s working on, she turns to the one man she can trust. The same irresistible man she turned away years earlier because she was too young and naive to believe a sexy guy like Shane Landon could want her.

Shane Landon’s bodyguard work for McKay-Taggart is the one thing that brings him satisfaction in his life. Relationships come in second to the job. Always. Then little brainiac Talia Shaw shows up in his backyard, frightened and on the run, and his world is turned upside down. And not just because she’s found him naked in his outdoor shower, either.

With Talia’s life in danger, Shane has to get her out of town and to her eccentric, hermit mentor who has the final piece of the formula she’s been working on, while keeping her safe from the men who are after her. Guarding Talia’s body certainly isn’t any hardship, but he never expects to fall hard and fast for his best friend’s little sister and the only woman who’s ever really gotten under his skin.

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Sadie Jennings was used to being protected. As the niece of Sean Taggart, and the receptionist at McKay-Taggart Group, she was constantly surrounded by Alpha men more than capable, and willing, to lay down their life for her. But when she visits her friend in San Antonio, and acts on suspicious activity at Milena’s workplace, Sadie puts both of them in the crosshairs of a madman. After several harrowing weeks, her friend is now safe, but for Sadie, the repercussions of her rash act linger on.

Chase Jackson, no stranger to dangerous situations as a captain in the US Army, has volunteered himself as Sadie’s bodyguard. He fell head over heels for the beautiful woman the first time he laid eyes on her. With a Delta Force team at his back, he reassures the Taggart’s that Sadie will be safe. But when the situation in San Antonio catches up with her, Chase has to use everything he’s learned over his career to keep his promise…and to keep Sadie alive long enough to officially make her his.

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New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.

After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

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Her Guardian Angel by Larisssa Ione ~ Sarah A’s Review

After a difficult childhood and a turbulent stint in the military, Declan Burke finally got his act together. Now he’s a battle-hardened professional bodyguard who takes his job at McKay-Taggart seriously and his playtime – and his playmates – just as seriously. One thing he never does, however, is mix business with pleasure. But when the mysterious, gorgeous Suzanne D’Angelo needs his protection from a stalker, his desire for her burns out of control, tempting him to break all the rules…even as he’s drawn into a dark, dangerous world he didn’t know existed. 

Suzanne is an earthbound angel on her critical first mission: protecting Declan from an emerging supernatural threat at all costs. To keep him close, she hires him as her bodyguard. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she’s in over her head, defenseless against this devastatingly sexy human who makes her crave his forbidden touch. 

Together they’ll have to draw on every ounce of their collective training to resist each other as the enemy closes in, but soon it becomes apparent that nothing could have prepared them for the menace to their lives…or their hearts.

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This is kind of what I was afraid of when I heard about this Masters and Mercenaries crossover, a world outside of McKay-Taggart that just didn’t fit right with the overarching tone I’ve come to know and love in that series.  I’m no stranger to the world of PNR and angels and demons are one of my favorite subgenres in that realm.  However, there are so many moving pieces in those worlds it’s hard to jump into it, especially in the context of a world that thus far has been devoid of otherworldly entities, and make it feel coherent.

Her Guardian Angel is the sixth book in Larissa Ione’s Demonica Underworld series, book seventeen in her Demonica series, and falls around the same timeline as Lexi Blake’s sixteenth Masters and Mercenaries book.  From the perspective of Masters and Mercenaries, this can be read as a standalone, but I think having previous knowledge of the Demonica world would have helped with my understanding and enjoyment of this novella.  Her Guardian Angel is written in third-person semi-omniscient perspective, alternatively following Suzanne and Declan, with one chapter thrown in following different characters from the Demonica world.

For me, the cheese factor was pretty high in this book.  Perhaps because I wasn’t feeling Suzanne’s angel powers, or possibly because throwing my McKay-Taggart boys into the middle of a demonic attack was too much for me to get behind, maybe a little of both.  Along with all the cramming of the information, we needed about Ms. Ione’s world to understand the plot, and it just didn’t work for me.

I didn’t feel the connection between Suzanne and Declan, either; probably because I was spending so much of my energy on trying to discern the intricacies of this new world and reconcile them with the Masters and Mercenaries world.  There were very few scenes to explore their dynamic in a meaningful way.  Having more of just the two of them together getting to know one another on a personal level, without all the angels and demons undercurrents, would have gone a long way to helping me get on board with them as a couple.

Larissa Ione is a new to me author.  I love crossovers because I get to know a little more about authors I likely wouldn’t have read otherwise, but this one didn’t give me the desire to explore Ms. Ione’s backlist.  As previously stated, angels and demons are one of my favorite PNR tropes but this world was just too convoluted for me.

“I already said I’m not taking that job,” Declan sighed.

 “And you didn’t say why.”

 “Am I required to?”

 “You know you’re not.” Tag stopped in front of him, his blond hair ruffling in the stiflingly hot breeze. “But this is right up your alley. You grew up in D.C. You know the people. You know the politics. You know the money.”

 Yeah, Declan knew all of that way too intimately. “I said no.”

 “I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think you were the best person for the job.”

 Swearing silently, Declan looked up at the evening sky until he could reliably talk to his boss without losing his temper.

 Finally, he looked back at his boss. “I left that cesspool when I was seventeen, and I haven’t looked back. I’m sorry, Ian. I respect the hell out of you, and if you need me for anything else,   

 I’ll do it, no questions asked. But not this. Fire me if you need to.”

 Tag let out an exasperated curse. “You’d seriously rather take the mission in the jungle that’ll probably get you killed than work with Senator McRory and his aide on some routine security issues?”

 Okay, Tag was exaggerating the risk of the South American job, but even if he weren’t… “I can’t even count all the ways I could say yes to that.”

 “Fine,” Tag said, “but at least think about it. Your plane doesn’t leave until tomorrow night.”

 “Yeah, sure,” Declan offered, knowing he wasn’t going to think about it at all. Not for a single second. As far as he was concerned, the topic of the D.C. job was a dead thread.

 “Thanks, man.” Taggart clapped Declan on the shoulder and headed toward the parking lot.

 Declan hung out for another minute, trying to decide what to do now. Going home to an empty, depressing apartment didn’t appeal to him, but neither did hitting a noisy club, not when he’d been getting so many headaches in recent months. Besides, he wasn’t the most social person on the planet and he hated the bar scene. He only put up with it because lately he’d been restless when he was alone.

 Maybe he needed a girlfriend. Or at the very least, he needed to get laid.

Remy Guidry doesn’t do relationships. He tried the marriage thing once, back in Louisiana, and learned the hard way that all he really needs in life is a cold beer, some good friends, and the occasional hookup. His job as a bodyguard with McKay-Taggart gives him purpose and lovely perks, like access to Sanctum. The last thing he needs in his life is a woman with stars in her eyes and babies in her future.

Lisa Daley’s life is finally going in the right direction. She has finally graduated from college after years of putting herself through school. She’s got a new job at an accounting firm and she’s finished her Sanctum training. Finally on her own and having fun, her life seems pretty perfect. Except she’s lonely and the one man she wants won’t give her a second look.

There is one other little glitch. Apparently, her new firm is really a front for the mob and now they want her dead. Assassins can really ruin a fun girls’ night out. Suddenly strapped to the very same six-foot-five-inch hunk of a bodyguard who makes her heart pound, Lisa can’t decide if this situation is a blessing or a curse.

As the mob closes in, Remy takes his tempting new charge back to the safest place he knows—his home in the bayou. Surrounded by his past, he can’t help wondering if Lisa is his future. To answer that question, he just has to keep her alive.

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

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

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I’ve had two goals my entire life: 

  1. Make it big in country music.
  2. Get the hell out of Bell Buckle.

I was doing it. I was on my way, until Cooper Townsend landed backstage at my show in Dallas. 

This gorgeous, rugged, man of few words was one cowboy I couldn’t afford to let distract me. But with his slow smile and rough hands, I just couldn’t keep away. 

Now, there are outside forces conspiring against us. Maybe we should’ve known better? Maybe not. Even with the protection from Wade Rycroft, bodyguard for McKay-Taggart, I still don’t feel safe. I won’t let him get hurt because of me. All I know is that I want to hold on, but know the right thing to do is to let go…

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Talia Shaw has spent her adult life working as a scientist for a big pharmaceutical company. She’s focused on saving lives, not living life. When her lab is broken into and it’s clear someone is after the top-secret formula she’s working on, she turns to the one man she can trust. The same irresistible man she turned away years earlier because she was too young and naive to believe a sexy guy like Shane Landon could want her.

Shane Landon’s bodyguard work for McKay-Taggart is the one thing that brings him satisfaction in his life. Relationships come in second to the job. Always. Then little brainiac Talia Shaw shows up in his backyard, frightened and on the run, and his world is turned upside down. And not just because she’s found him naked in his outdoor shower, either.

With Talia’s life in danger, Shane has to get her out of town and to her eccentric, hermit mentor who has the final piece of the formula she’s been working on, while keeping her safe from the men who are after her. Guarding Talia’s body certainly isn’t any hardship, but he never expects to fall hard and fast for his best friend’s little sister and the only woman who’s ever really gotten under his skin.

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Sadie Jennings was used to being protected. As the niece of Sean Taggart, and the receptionist at McKay-Taggart Group, she was constantly surrounded by Alpha men more than capable, and willing, to lay down their life for her. But when she visits her friend in San Antonio, and acts on suspicious activity at Milena’s workplace, Sadie puts both of them in the crosshairs of a madman. After several harrowing weeks, her friend is now safe, but for Sadie, the repercussions of her rash act linger on.

Chase Jackson, no stranger to dangerous situations as a captain in the US Army, has volunteered himself as Sadie’s bodyguard. He fell head over heels for the beautiful woman the first time he laid eyes on her. With a Delta Force team at his back, he reassures the Taggart’s that Sadie will be safe. But when the situation in San Antonio catches up with her, Chase has to use everything he’s learned over his career to keep his promise…and to keep Sadie alive long enough to officially make her his.

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Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

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Recuing Sadie by Susan Stoker ~ Sarah A’s Review

Sadie Jennings was used to being protected. As the niece of Sean Taggart, and the receptionist at McKay-Taggart Group, she was constantly surrounded by Alpha men more than capable, and willing, to lay down their life for her. But when she visits her friend in San Antonio, and acts on suspicious activity at Milena’s workplace, Sadie puts both of them in the crosshairs of a madman. After several harrowing weeks, her friend is now safe, but for Sadie, the repercussions of her rash act linger on.

Chase Jackson, no stranger to dangerous situations as a captain in the US Army, has volunteered himself as Sadie’s bodyguard. He fell head over heels for the beautiful woman the first time he laid eyes on her. With a Delta Force team at his back, he reassures the Taggart’s that Sadie will be safe. But when the situation in San Antonio catches up with her, Chase has to use everything he’s learned over his career to keep his promise…and to keep Sadie alive long enough to officially make her his.

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When I heard Lexi Blake was inviting other authors to come and add stories to her Masters & Mercenaries series I was stoked, but also a little worried.  I’d read a few of the authors, but most of them were new to me.  What better way to discover a new favorite than in a world you already know and love?

Rescuing Sadie is a novella, it’s marked as book 7.5 in Susan Stoker’s Delta Force series, and would fall around the same timeline as book 16 in Lexi Blake’s Masters & Mercenaries series.  This book borrows characters from both worlds but is primarily set in the Delta Force world.  It is not necessary to read any books from either series before this book, but I do feel like I would have had a better understanding of Sadie’s situation had I read Justice for Milena, which is a book from another of Ms. Stoker’s series.  Rescuing Sadie is written in third-person semi-omniscient perspective, it alternatively follows Sadie and Chase’s thoughts.

When I started Rescuing Sadie, I was a little lost; I felt like I’d been dropped in the middle of a scene.  Once I got a grasp on what was going on the story was captivating and kept me engaged until the end.  Sure, I would have loved to have had the complete backstory, but there was enough information given in Rescuing Sadie to satisfy my curiosity as far as Sadie and Chase were involved and also make me want to pick up Milena’s book to get the entire thing.  Which is a good portion of the reason these types of crossovers exist.

Rescuing Sadie felt a little insta-lovey for me, but a good portion of that is because of the history they already had.  Otherwise, I felt like they had a great dynamic and were a fascinating couple.  They’re both so headstrong, and their back and forth when they disagreed was wonderful.  I appreciated how they didn’t back down but also considered one another’s opinions.

My only wish for this novella would be that was a full-length novel, but that would be contrary to the very idea of this collection.  I would have loved to have spent more time with Sadie and Chase.  Because of the length of the book and the timeline, it only covers a single day; it felt a little rushed.

I thought I had read Susan Stoker before but looking back through my books and my Goodreads tells me I haven’t.  I felt very comfortable with her writing style, it felt much like Lexi Blake’s – which I absolutely love.  This book gave me just enough insight to characters from her Delta Force series to want to check it out, as well as picking up Justice from Milena from her Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes series, too.

Sadie faced the man in front of her without trepidation.

Sean Taggart might know twenty ways to kill without making a sound thanks to his time as a Green Beret, but to her, he was just Uncle Sean. She’d only known him for six years, ever since Aunt Grace got married, but he’d always supported her no matter what she wanted to do and treated her and her aunt Grace like princesses.

Not this time.

“Uncle Sean, this is ridiculous.”

Sean crossed his arms, giving her what she knew was his “displeased” face. Brows drawn, lips pressed together, eyes narrowed. “It’s not and you know it.”

“Why can’t I just go back up to Dallas with you?”

Her uncle sighed. They’d been over this before, but Sadie couldn’t let it go.

“Because Jonathan is still missing. Captain Jackson said he’d continue to look after you until he’s caught.”

Sadie shook her head. “But if I came home, you could keep me safe.”

Sean looked down at her with love in his eyes. His voice gentled. “I could, you’re right. But I think we both know that you wouldn’t like my kind of protection. Or Ian’s. Or anyone else we could find.”

She knew what he meant without him coming right out and saying it. Sean was overprotective. As was Ian, and probably most of the other men who worked for McKay-Taggart. She could handle their overprotectiveness and bossiness…but only to a point. If she had to endure it twenty-four seven, it could damage their relationship. And that was the last thing she wanted.

“I can go stay with Milena’s parents again,” Sadie volunteered almost desperately. Maybe she’d even make it in time for Milena’s surprise engagement party. She might not want to become one of McKay-Taggart’s overprotected clients, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to be in close quarters with Chase Jackson anymore either.

From the second she’d laid eyes on the man, she’d wanted him. It was as if her body had said, This is it. This is the man I want.

Unfortunately, he’d been in the middle of rescuing her from a crazed, perverted pedophile at the time, and now she was afraid he felt responsible for her, rather than wanting her back.

Remy Guidry doesn’t do relationships. He tried the marriage thing once, back in Louisiana, and learned the hard way that all he really needs in life is a cold beer, some good friends, and the occasional hookup. His job as a bodyguard with McKay-Taggart gives him purpose and lovely perks, like access to Sanctum. The last thing he needs in his life is a woman with stars in her eyes and babies in her future.

Lisa Daley’s life is finally going in the right direction. She has finally graduated from college after years of putting herself through school. She’s got a new job at an accounting firm and she’s finished her Sanctum training. Finally on her own and having fun, her life seems pretty perfect. Except she’s lonely and the one man she wants won’t give her a second look.

There is one other little glitch. Apparently, her new firm is really a front for the mob and now they want her dead. Assassins can really ruin a fun girls’ night out. Suddenly strapped to the very same six-foot-five-inch hunk of a bodyguard who makes her heart pound, Lisa can’t decide if this situation is a blessing or a curse.

As the mob closes in, Remy takes his tempting new charge back to the safest place he knows—his home in the bayou. Surrounded by his past, he can’t help wondering if Lisa is his future. To answer that question, he just has to keep her alive.

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After a difficult childhood and a turbulent stint in the military, Declan Burke finally got his act together. Now he’s a battle-hardened professional bodyguard who takes his job at McKay-Taggart seriously and his playtime – and his playmates – just as seriously. One thing he never does, however, is mix business with pleasure. But when the mysterious, gorgeous Suzanne D’Angelo needs his protection from a stalker, his desire for her burns out of control, tempting him to break all the rules…even as he’s drawn into a dark, dangerous world he didn’t know existed. 

Suzanne is an earthbound angel on her critical first mission: protecting Declan from an emerging supernatural threat at all costs. To keep him close, she hires him as her bodyguard. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she’s in over her head, defenseless against this devastatingly sexy human who makes her crave his forbidden touch. 

Together they’ll have to draw on every ounce of their collective training to resist each other as the enemy closes in, but soon it becomes apparent that nothing could have prepared them for the menace to their lives…or their hearts.

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

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

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I’ve had two goals my entire life: 

  1. Make it big in country music.
  2. Get the hell out of Bell Buckle.

I was doing it. I was on my way, until Cooper Townsend landed backstage at my show in Dallas. 

This gorgeous, rugged, man of few words was one cowboy I couldn’t afford to let distract me. But with his slow smile and rough hands, I just couldn’t keep away. 

Now, there are outside forces conspiring against us. Maybe we should’ve known better? Maybe not. Even with the protection from Wade Rycroft, bodyguard for McKay-Taggart, I still don’t feel safe. I won’t let him get hurt because of me. All I know is that I want to hold on, but know the right thing to do is to let go…

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Talia Shaw has spent her adult life working as a scientist for a big pharmaceutical company. She’s focused on saving lives, not living life. When her lab is broken into and it’s clear someone is after the top-secret formula she’s working on, she turns to the one man she can trust. The same irresistible man she turned away years earlier because she was too young and naive to believe a sexy guy like Shane Landon could want her.

Shane Landon’s bodyguard work for McKay-Taggart is the one thing that brings him satisfaction in his life. Relationships come in second to the job. Always. Then little brainiac Talia Shaw shows up in his backyard, frightened and on the run, and his world is turned upside down. And not just because she’s found him naked in his outdoor shower, either.

With Talia’s life in danger, Shane has to get her out of town and to her eccentric, hermit mentor who has the final piece of the formula she’s been working on, while keeping her safe from the men who are after her. Guarding Talia’s body certainly isn’t any hardship, but he never expects to fall hard and fast for his best friend’s little sister and the only woman who’s ever really gotten under his skin.

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New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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