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review 2017-10-08 12:24
Challenged
Hot Pursuit (Black Knights Inc.) - Julie Ann Walker

This is book #11, in the Black Knights, Inc. series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment & understanding of the series itself, I recommend reading these in order.

 

Emily & Christian are at one another's throats on more than one occasion.  It is becoming the norm.  The chemistry between them is boiling and wanting to explode.

 

Christian knows he is hot for his co-worker.  He tries very hard to deny it to himself, as well as others.  When they have to work together to get home from across the pond, it may be more than the team can take.

 

Such a sexy and sizzling story.  I love the banter and the heat between the main MC's.  There are more favorites from the series inside this book as well.  Add in another suspenseful plot - and it is a super read.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers, in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-27 03:30
Vespar (Order of the Black Knights #3) by Thianna Durston
Vespar (Order of the Black Knights Book 3) - Thianna Durston

Mayhem and confusion, this one. Plot holes.
No chemistry between the characters at all.

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review 2017-08-25 06:14
Sizzle
Fuel for Fire - Julie Ann Walker

This is book #10 in the Black Knights Inc. series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To really appreciate the goodness that is BKI, I think the reader should read this series in order.

 

Dagan AKA "Z" is both a co-worker and frenemy with Chelsea.  They have worked together in more than one company, and trust is important in their line of work.  If only he can turn off the dreams he has about her.

 

Chelsea has been in love with Z for years.  He has never known the part she has played in his past, either.  Keeping secrets has gotten her no where.  Maybe it is time to tell?

 

Under the BKI blanket, we always get a hot story, with a side of burnin' love.  This one takes you over to the other side of the pond.  With sexy accents, secrets, and a mystery to solve - this story unfolds quickly and satisfies with an HEA.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2017-07-17 00:19
Fuel for Fire - Julie Ann Walker
Fuel for Fire by Julie Ann Walker is the tenth book (10th) book in the Black Knights Inc series and my first book by the author. I was worried at first that this being the tenth (10th) book in the series I would be lost, but my worries were for nought. It can be read as a stand-alone.
 
What the story is about.
 
The story follows Dagan Zoelner, a former CIA agent and a covert operative for Black Knights Inc.  He is broody and with good reason. Dagan had experienced immeasurable loss in both his personal and professional life. However, through all these changes theone thing that remained constant was his feelings for the spunky CIA agent, Chelsea Sullivan.
 
Chelsea has been carrying a torch for Dagan for as long as she can remember. However, she never revealed her feelings for fear they were not reciprocated. Their current assignment has placed them in a situation where they are forced to confront their feelings for each other. However, Chelsea carries a secret from both their pasts, which if revealed destroy both their lives.
 
 My Perspective
 
The Story
The story was all I had hoped for and more. It was action packed, suspenseful, humorous and explosive. I was pulled into the story from the outset and had a hard time putting it down.  The fast-paced plot, slow burning romance, nail-biting moments, the sexy banter and the verbal sparring held me captive from start to finish. 
 
The story was told in alternate third person POVs, which I had no problem with, as I could connect with the characters and the story. This is one of those times that this POV worked for me as the story was written in a way that made me feel as if I were on the inside looking out. The author’s descriptive style of writing helped to enrich my experience with the story. 
 
I thought the suspense was well done. It was done in such a way it had me on the edge of my seat. I loved that it did not overshadow the romantic elements, which I find to be a major problem in most of the book I have read within this genre. It was perfectly balanced. 
 
The Main Characters
I enjoyed the interaction between the main characters. Their connection was heartfelt and explosive. Their banter was funny and filled with lots of sexual tension. I loved the pace at which their relationship developed. Their feelings for each other had been kept under wraps for a long time so this was definitely not a case of instant attraction.  Their constant bickering and antagonism towards each other were a cover for their true feelings, but their friends saw what they failed to see.
 
Dagan is haunted by the mistakes of his past and believes he is not good enough for Chelsea. I felt his pain of having to work so closely with the woman he loves, but not being able to act on his feelings. 
 
He is protective of Chelsea and wants to keep her safe, but she believes his actions are as a result of him not having confidence in her abilities as an agent. His protective nature grew a notch when their current assignment placed her in harm’s way. 
 
She is spunky and as no qualms about going toe to toe with him when she feels he is behaving like an ass. However, her acts of bravado covered up a deep-seated fear that a secret she has been keeping will one day blow up in her face.
 
Supporting Characters.
 
I enjoyed the dynamics of the supporting cast, which helped to make the story entertaining and riveting. They were well portrayed, making it easy for me to like them and eager to know more about them. I especially loved Christian and Emily who were member of the team. It is evident that there is chemistry between these two, which I am eager to see the author explore. I enjoyed the camaraderie shared between the members of the team, which was fun and entertaining.  The ease with which they had fun at each other’s expense demonstrated the strength of their friendship
 
 Conclusion
The ending as it relates to Chelsea and Dagan’s relationship was neatly wrapped up, and it left me with a smile on my face. However, as it relates to their assignment, which involved taking a notorious criminal syndicate. The leader of the syndicate who went by the moniker Spider has proven to be elusive and difficult to capture. He always seems to be one-step ahead. It is clear; they have been in pursuit of Spider prior to this instalment. 
 
Recommendation:
Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy Fuel for Fire and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I also plan to read the previous books in the series, as it appears I have been missing a lot

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-21 04:10
Good action, not so good romance
Lochlann (Order of the Black Knights) - Andrea Speed

Order of the Black Knights Violence has been Lochlann O’Connor’s companion since he was born into a family of old-school Irish terrorists. From there he is recruited into Alpha, a secret government agency dedicated to fighting terrorism—with extreme prejudice. Lochlann’s bravery, efficiency, ruthlessness, and the natural deadeye aim that lets him hit anything that moves, quickly make him one of the shadowy organization’s most valued operatives. Cas Vega joins Alpha because it’s marginally better than a prison sentence. He’s a former drug cartel assassin—or at least that’s his story. But Lochlann is suspicious. Despite an irrational and overwhelming attraction to Cas, Lochlann has questions, and they soon lead to a deeper and deadlier mystery. What is Alpha’s true purpose, and why does it seem they want to eliminate Lochlann? Lochlann and Cas must work together to get to the bottom of Alpha’s scheme and escape it—and all while Cas keeps secrets that could cost him his life if they’re revealed. But it’s not an alliance that can last. Duty turns the men into enemies, even while fate compels them into each other’s arms. Before they can contemplate which will prevail, they must figure out how to survive.

Review:

WARNING FOR GRAPHIC PHYSICAL VIOLENCE, A WHOLE LOT OF IT.

Dear Andrea Speed,

I really wanted to like another book of yours as much as I liked your “Infected” series, so when I saw this one, I one clicked as soon as I checked whether this story could be read as a stand-alone.

Now when I finished the book, I can confirm that it was indeed a stand –alone. I am guessing that all the love stories in other books follow the same framework, but that’s the only thing that connects them ( or maybe that’s not the only thing, all I know that this book did not require any prior knowledge of any events or to be familiar with the other characters).

So, this is the very beginning of the book , for this reason I do not think it counts as a spoiler.

"EVERY CENTURY has seen its knights. But there are those who are never seen. They do what must be done, what has to be done—when nobody wants to get their hands dirty. They are called the Black Knights. First created in the 1100s by the wizard Moriel, these men seem cold and hard, and it is said that some have no soul. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man who waits inside. The question is whether or not he will kill the individual before he figures it out. Through the ages, they’ve conquered and ruled and taken what they wanted. And they have adapted to modern times. Instead of being bullies for hire, they have taken their skills further—the Internet, the CIA, government infiltration, hacking, special ops, assassination. But each one of them has a need they don’t understand—to squash, kill, or destroy. If the Knight pardons an enemy, he will no longer be cursed. If not, he will continue to live the same life again and again, and each life will make him harder and more unyielding. And each life will make it is less likely that he can be saved. "

 

Readers I adore the redemption stories, I adore when m/m romance storyline is mixed up with the action/adventure. I was *really* excited to start this one, however as much as I was excited by the prospect of reading enemies to lovers storyline and forgiving your enemy, something bothered me already. And when I read the prologue which featured Lochlann; I was bothered even more, because set up didn’t make much sense to me.

 

Was Moriel supposed to be the devil of these books with whom all those mysterious knights made pacts and then trying to get rid of the pact? Because we all know how well it usually went for many fictional characters – trying to break up the pact with the devil. I didn’t know but was excited to find out. Here is what I found out from prologue which featured two of Lochlann’s past lives – his family was killed and he wanted a revenge on the man who killed his family and Moriel offered Lochlann to enter into his service and revenge would be his reward. Of course Lochlann agreed, only the service apparently spun centuries and after his first life we get the glimpse of the year 1963 when Lochlann once again kills a man who has the potential to save him by becoming his lover, only Lochlann remembers all of this in his dying moments and Moriel is here to gloat or to express regret that Lochlann still didn’t learn.

 

I wished I would have gotten an explanation as to why Moriel was interested in this pact in the first place. Lochlann was not a bad guy in his first life – he wanted to avenge his family and for that he deserved to be cursed forever till he finds in himself to forgive the reincarnation of the guy who killed his loved ones? But why? What’s the point? It is not as if Moriel wanted his soul, because instead of taking the soul when Lochlan dies, he keeps giving him more and more chances to get it right.

 

And after that we are in present time and meet Lochlann who is one of the best members of Alpha, fictional agency of undercover operatives and assassins which allegedly does dirty jobs for the government, only it looks like something in Alpha’s core is very rotten and as you can see from the blurb Lochlann gets a very strong vibe that his employer wants him dead and tries very hard to achieve that purpose.

 

Alpha constantly recruits new guys – and they target very specific type of recruits and one day Cas shows up and Lochlann is assigned as his trainer and soon enough Lochlann takes Cas as part of his team.

 

There is plenty of action in this book. In fact the author can write action scenes very well , please also beware that the action is mostly very violent, because when I said that Alpha takes dirty jobs I was not kidding.

 

Cas and Lochlan’s love story is very important, but also secondary storyline and I would not have minded it at all, if I saw a *love story*. All I saw was they are attracted, they have sex, then boom – they are in love. Why they were in love I have had no idea whatsoever, the author didn’t show me that. I mean I understand that the reincarnation storyline was supposed to be a shortcut for why they fell in love ( although it is not like we were treated to the past life showing them falling for each other), but it just didn’t work for me at all.

 

Grade: B for action scenes, C- for romance

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