New Release Review! FUEL FOR FIRE by Julie Ann Walker (Black Knights, Inc. #10)

Fuel for Fire
by Julie Ann Walker

 

Synopsis:

A brooding covert operative and a spunky CIA agent discover a burning passion in the next installment of Julie Ann Walker’s red-hot BKI series

Dagan Zoelner has made three huge mistakes
The first two left blood on his hands.
The third left him wondering…what if? What if he had told the woman of his dreams how he felt before his world fell apart?

Spitfire CIA agent Chelsea Duvall has always had a thing for bossy, brooding Dagan. It’s just as well that he’s never given her a second look, since she carries a combustible secret about his past that threatens to torch their lives…

 

“The heat between the hero and heroine is hotter than a firecracker lit on both ends… Readers are in for one hell of ride!” —RT Book Reviews for Hell for Leather 4½ Stars

 

Review:

I’ve had this series on my TBR for a while now–I loved Ms. Walker’s Deep Six series–and was beyond excited when I got a chance to read Fuel for Fire! I am happy to report that it definitely did not disappoint, and that even though this one’s pretty far into the series (#10! Whoa :)) I had no problem jumping right into the action with this one. There is previously-known bad guy at play here, but you are given enough information to understand the seriousness of the situation without going into info dump territory.

(And can I just say–that antagonist?–gives me chills.)

Chelsea and Dagan grabbed me from the very first page–I absolutely loved their back and forth when they were at odds…and their explosive chemistry when they weren’t as well. The danger they find themselves in, combined with the camaraderie they share with their fellow teammates and the others they bring in to help them get out of their current situation, make this one heck of a fun read. The story ends a bit in the air as far as Black Knights, Inc. are concerned–the president who commissioned them is leaving office, and his predecessor doesn’t have any interest in keeping them around–but I sincerely that Ms. Walker has plans for them anyway, because there’s at least two couples here who really, really deserve their own books 😉

Oh yeah, and a bad guy who may still be at large…

At least I’ve got a nine-book backlist to keep me busy while I wait!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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New Release Review! DEVIL AND THE DEEP by Julie Ann Walker (Deep Six #2)

In case you missed it, make sure you check out the excerpt and giveaway for DEVIL AND THE DEEP here. 🙂

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Devil and the Deep
by Julie Ann Walker

Synopsis:

Cocktail parties, political fundraisers, and charity events are Maddy Powers’ way of life. But the daring man who appropriated her father’s yacht a couple of months ago is still out there, somewhere, and she wants to pay him back for the scorching kiss they shared.

Behind his suave smile and ladykiller eyes, Bran Palladino carries a dark secret that keeps him from pursuing Maddy… even though he can’t get her out of his head. But when Maddy is kidnapped as part of a grand scheme, it’s time to put up or shut up… because Bran can’t live without Maddy now.

 

Review:

So. Good!

Doing things out of order again–I just realized I read the series prequel (Hot as Hell) and of course I just read this one, book #2, and didn’t even realize that book #1 (Hell or High Water) was sitting in my Audible library, patiently waiting for me to give it a listen! Gah! This is what happens when your iPod and your computer stop talking to each other…am queuing it up on my phone app as I write this…

Anyway.

At the start of Devil and the Deep, our hero and heroine, Bran and Maddy, have already started a relationship of sorts. Bran was part of rescuing Maddy from some seriously bad dudes–I’m assuming in book 1, but if you’ve forgotten you own it and therefore haven’t read it yet you’ll still do just fine starting this one–and shared a single, unforgettable kiss back then. Since they’ve been in contact–email, mostly, and some by phone–and he’s helped her to deal with the repercussions of her ordeal. Maddy’s been hoping their relationship will go further, but Bram’s convinced it never can.

Because he’s hiding something even scarier in his past than those guys who kidnapped Maddy in the last book. Or the ones who’re going to try to do a repeat performance in this one.

So…we’ve got a former Navy SEAL who’s rapidly falling for a woman who’s head over heels for him already, three smart-mouthed teens that that woman just might be kind of using in order to have an excuse to spend more time with the aforementioned ex-SEAL, a park ranger called Ranger Rick (I know! And he didn’t even get the reference–sigh…), and some seriously bad dudes, 2.0 version.

We’ve got some hot-as-heck scenes, tons of awesome relationship-building banter (between our main couple and a future couple whose book better come soon but I have a feeling it’s not next, gosh darn it) and pulse-pounding danger and suspense. And two former SEALs who take off their shirts. And scary-a$$ barracuda. (I made the mistake of looking for a picture on Google. Sleep might not be my friend tonight. And not just because Heart’s “Barracuda” keeps running through my head.)

Oh. And lots and lots of movie quotes. Including The Princess Bride.

Seriously–what more could you want?

A perfect read for summer–or anytime, really. Though maybe not when you’re anywhere near barracuda-infested waters.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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New Release Spotlight and Giveaway! DEVIL AND THE DEEP by Julie Ann Walker (Deep Six #2)

I am LOVING this! Review to come–soon!

9781492608936-300

Second in NYT & USAT bestselling author Julie Ann Walker’s new romantic suspense series featuring former navy SEALs

The former SEALs of The Deep Six return in a sizzling series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker.

A COVERT MISSION…

Maddy Powers’s life revolves around cocktail parties, political fundraisers, and charity events — but she can’t forget the daring former SEAL who appropriated her father’s yacht a few months ago … or the scorching kiss they shared before he disappeared into the deep blue sea.

SPARKS A FLAMING DESIRE…

Bran Pallidino carries a dark secret behind his lady-killer eyes — one that keeps him from pursuing a serious relationship with Maddy. But when she’s taken hostage during a trip to the Dry Tortugas, the men of Deep Six Salvage drop their treasure hunt for a sunken galleon and embark on a dangerous mission to save Maddy.

WITH EARTH-SHATTERING REPERCUSSIONS…

As they fight her merciless kidnappers, they discover this isn’t a simple hostage situation, but something far more sinister. Passion boils between Bran and Maddy, but what good is putting their hearts on the line if they don’t survive the dawn?

 

Excerpt:

Bran opened his mouth to tell them to stop poking at each other like children. But before he could say anything, a dull pop, pop echoed across the water, barely discernible above the snap of the mainsail as it tugged against the boom basket when a particularly strong gust of briny-smelling wind pulled the fabric tight.

The fine hairs on the back of Bran’s neck stood on end, his adrenaline spiked, and hundreds of missions to the ass ends of the earth flashed through his brain. If he lived ten thousand lifetimes, he’d recognize that sound for exactly what it was…

Automatic gunfire.

Pop! Pop, pop, pop! Another barrage carried over the waves and slammed into his eardrums like percussion grenades.

Maddy!” He hadn’t realized he’d roared her name aloud until he saw Alex jump straight into Mason’s lap and turn to stare at him with wide, frightened eyes.

“Huh? What?” she asked, then squawked when Mason hopped from his seat and bobbled her like a hot potato. Once Mason set her on her feet, she smacked him on the arm and glared. “What the heck was that all about?” she demanded. “You could’ve launched me overboard and—”

But that’s all she managed before another unmistakable pop sounded over the water.

“What is that?” she asked, pushing her glasses up the medicated bridge of her nose.

“Gunfire,” Mason gritted.

Gunfire?” Alex’s face went so white it was hard to see where the white zinc oxide stopped and her skin started. “Wh-why? There isn’t hunting on the Dry Tortugas, is there? I mean, what could anyone possibly hunt? There are only seabirds and turtles and…it’s dark.

“That’s not the sound of a fuckin’ hunting rifle,” Mason gritted between clenched teeth, lifting his eyes to Bran. The look on Mason’s face was one Bran knew all too well. It said one thing and one thing only. Trouble. The kind of trouble that separated men into two distinct categories: the quick and the dead.

Without conscious thought, Bran turned the key and engaged the catamaran’s dual engines, adding their man-made horsepower to Mother Nature’s wind power. The butterflies in his stomach grew lead wings and fell like rocks.

“Get the M4s!” he yelled, disgusted to hear his voice was nothing more than a reedy bark of sound, barely discernible over the roar of the engines and the hiss of the waves against the twin hulls as the sailboat picked up speed.

It must have been loud enough. With a hitch of his chin, Mason disappeared inside the cabin.

“What are M4s?” Alex called, blinking against the salt spray splashing over the deck as the catamaran plowed up one wave and down another.

Bran didn’t answer. He couldn’t. His pounding heart was sitting in the back of his throat, strangling him. He once again lifted the field glasses, but he couldn’t see much of anything beyond the spray of white water kicked up by the outboard engine of a dinghy that had detached itself from the fishing boat and was now plowing toward the shore of Garden Key.

When Mason reappeared on the deck—two minutes later? Ten? Bran couldn’t say; time was moving at a snail’s pace—their trusty weapons were strapped to his back.

Now, it wasn’t unusual for a boat to come equipped with firearms. The open oceans were the last great frontier, and it behooved a smart captain and crew to always be able to defend themselves. What was unusual was for a boat to be carrying fully automatic, gas-powered, 5.56 mm NATO round-firing pieces of death-dealing machinery, the kind of weapons strictly off-limits to civilians unless you bought them out of the back of a van or, in Bran’s and Mason’s case, unless you appropriated them from good ol’ Uncle Sam—with the blessing of their CO, of course.

“Oh! My! God!” Alex screamed when she saw the rifles. “Where the heck did those come from?”

Bran barely spared her a glance. “Come on! Come on!” he yelled, punching the throttle as far as it would go and willing the sailboat to move faster.

It wasn’t long, three seconds maybe, before he felt Mason’s bulk on the steps leading to the captain’s perch. Mason placed a hand on Bran’s shoulder and leaned over him to kill the running lights.

Good idea. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it. Oh, right. Because all he’d been thinking was Get to Maddy! Get to Maddy!

“You need to ease off, bro,” Mason said.

“Screw you,” Bran grumbled, shrugging off Mason’s heavy palm. “Maddy’s on that island.”

“I’m not trying to be a cocksucker here,” Mason said, the next-to-last word sounding more like cocksuckuh. “But we go in there full tilt and guns hot, and we’re likely to end up deader than fuckin’ doornails.”

“But Maddy…”

“I know, man.” Mason nodded. “But we need to do this the right way. The SEAL way.” Mason gave Bran’s shoulder a squeeze that conveyed a million things at once: Get your shit together. Don’t worry, I got your back. Once more into the breach, dear friend…

Roger that. The SEAL way.

Bran managed a nod and throttled back the engines despite all his instincts screaming at him to do the opposite.

“Good.” Mason said when the catamaran was no longer plowing hell-bent for leather toward Garden Key. “Now how do you want to play this?”

“Don’t know,” Bran admitted, his scalp on fire like every single one of his hairs had ripped out of their follicles. His lungs attempted to crawl into his throat to join his heart—apparently it’s a party in there—and his mind was spinning out of control. “I don’t—”

“Okay, okay.” Mason hit the side of his heavy fist against Bran’s shoulder. “So the way I see it, we got two options. Option one is we use the marine radio to call back to Wayfarer Island and tell LT there’s a situation on Garden Key. We should still be within hailing range.” His face said he wasn’t sure about that last part. Truth to tell, Bran wasn’t either. Marine radios weren’t built to carry signals over great distances. They were meant to be used for close ship-to-ship communication. “Then LT can use the satphone on the island to call the Coast Guard on Key West.”

“And after that?” Bran demanded. Each second they sat flapping their lips felt like an eternity. “We wait out here and twiddle our dicks until the authorities show up while who knows what happens to Maddy? Hell no. Plus, there’s always a chance that they”—he punched a finger toward Garden Key and whoever the hell was firing off those weapons—“are monitoring the marine channels. If we use the marine radio to hail back to Wayfarer Island, they’ll know the Coasties are on their way, they could…” He couldn’t even countenance the end of that sentence, much less voice it. If only they had a satphone onboard, they could make the call to Key West themselves and no one would be the wiser. I wish. But there was that old saying about wishing in one hand and shitting in the other and seeing which one filled up faster. “No way, paisano.” He adamantly shook his head. “We hafta maintain radio silence until we know what we’re dealing with.”

“Hey!” Alex called from the deck. “What are you two talking about? Shouldn’t we be—”

“Alex!” Mason bellowed, which was so unlike him that Bran actually flinched. “It would be wicked awesome if, for once in your life, you shut your chowderhole!”

Alex wasn’t one to let something like that slide. But she was as taken aback by Mason’s outburst as Bran was. She snapped her mouth shut, blinking rapidly behind the lenses of her glasses.

“Okay, so that leaves us with option two,” Mason continued as if they hadn’t been interrupted.

“Which is?”

“We need to get eyes and ears on that island. And I think I have a plan for how to do that.”

“I’m listening,” was what Bran said. What he was thinking was I can’t believe this is happening again!

 

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About the author:

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. She lives in Chicago, IL.
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ARC Giveaway! Win Julie Ann Walker’s Deep Six Series Books 1 & 2 (HELL OR HIGH WATER and DEVIL AND THE DEEP)

Win it before you can buy it!

9781492608936-PR

Enter to win a finished copy of book one in Julie Ann Walker’s Deep Six series–HELL OR HIGH WATER and an ARC of book two, DEVIL AND THE DEEP below!

About the books:

DEVIL AND THE DEEP (Book 2)
Release Date: July 5, 2016

Cocktail parties, political fundraisers, and charity events are Maddy Powers’ way of life. But the daring man who appropriated her father’s yacht a couple of months ago is still out there, somewhere, and she wants to pay him back for the scorching kiss they shared.

Behind his suave smile and ladykiller eyes, Bran Palladino carries a dark secret that keeps him from pursuing Maddy… even though he can’t get her out of his head. But when Maddy is kidnapped as part of a grand scheme, it’s time to put up or shut up… because Bran can’t live without Maddy now.

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HELL OR HIGH WATER (Book 1):

In a world on the brink…

Six men. One sunken Spanish galleon. Millions in gold and silver coins lying on the ocean floor. And a past that refuses to let the guys of Deep Six Salvage forget the Navy SEAL motto: the only easy day was yesterday…

There’s more than one kind of treasure…

The nation’s security has always been CIA agent Olivia Mortier’s top priority. But a mission-gone-wrong has begun to make her wonder if there’s more to life than risking hers.

And more than one secret at the bottom of the sea…

Only two things could make Leo Anderson abandon his hunt for the legendary lost ship, La Santa Christina, and return to the world of weapons and warfare he swore to leave behind: a capsule of enriched uranium, lost on the ocean floor, and a plea for assistance from the one woman he can’t seem to forget…

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Got eBook Gift Cards? Books are on Sale! 200+ Romances on Kindle Daily Deal, The Shining sequel

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Today’s Kindle Daily Deal really wants to encourage you to use up any and all gift cards you received for the holidays! There’s twelve memoir books on sale for $2.99 each as well as five sci-fi/fantasy books by author Raymond E. Feist at $1.99 a piece. Eight children’s books are listed at the $2.99 price point, including classics such as Make Way for Duckings, Corduroy, and one of my personal favorites, Sheep in a Jeep. (“Sheep in a jeep on a hill that’s steep. Oh, dear! The driver sheep forgot to steer!”) In case you’re interested, after buying Corduroy for $2.99, you can add narration for just $.69. That Whispersync for voice. They so have my number.

The highlight of the deal, in my opinion, is their 200+ romance novels on sale for $1.99 each. They look to be all–or at least mostly–Sourcebooks titles, and there’s some really good ones in there. It looks like most, if not all of Georgette Heyer’s Regency historicals are included–I absolutely adore her books. The Black Sheep was the first one I read, and it’s still one of my all-time favorite historical romances. All of them are very reminiscent of Jane Austen’s novels, with the bonus of there being so many more of them available. And did I mention Whispersync for voice? Yep, available. I love listening to those British accents!

If you like a more modern feel to your historical romance, there’s plenty on offer from authors like Grace Burrowes (fun writer, but historical accuracy is pretty iffy), Shana Galen (already in my TBR pile), Amelia Grey, and Leigh Michaels, among others.

There’s also plenty of contemporaries, including two series I’m dying to start–Julie Ann Walker‘s Black Knights series (In Rides Trouble, Rev It Up, and Hell on Wheels are on sale) and Olivia Cunning‘s Sinners on Tour books (Backstage Pass, Hot Ticket, Rock Hard, and Double Time are included).

Seriously. I will be all out of gift card cash by midnight tonight.

Plenty of fantasy/paranormal/urban fantasy/steampunk offerings are on sale too, including at least two three-book bundles–also just $1.99! Terry Spear’s Wolf Bundle (The Heart of the Wolf, plus Destiny of the Wolf and To Tempt the Wolf) and Lydia Dare’s Wolf Bundle (A Certain Wolfish Charm, Tall, Dark, and Wolfish, and The Wolf Next Door). I’ve read some of Dare’s vampire books and like some better than others–but for $1.99? Can’t go wrong.

(There’s a romantic suspense bundle from Catherine Mann too–Cover Me and Hot Zone from her Elite Force: That Others May Live series–for $1.99 as well.)

Finally, Barnes and Noble’s Daily Find is Stephen King’s sequel to The ShiningDoctor Sleep for $1.99. Amazon is price matching as well–and Whispersync will add narration for $12.99. King’s ebooks are not cheap, so I’m definitely picking it up.

Anything here tempt you to spend any–or all–of your new gift cards?

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