ARC Review: Masters and Mercenaries (#7, #8 and #9) by Lexi Blake

Lexi Blake

The last of the ARC Reviews, before the next installment, is released tomorrow aka 23rd February and honestly I can’t wait for you to read the HEA that our resident psychiatrist gets 😀 

Till, then enjoy the journey and the twists and turns that Lexi has so generously provided to us – and don’t forget to enter the Signed and Personalized Book Giveaway that I have going on for you 😀 

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A Spy without a Country

Simon Weston grew up royal in a place where aristocracy still mattered. Serving Queen and country meant everything to him, until MI6 marked him as damaged goods and he left his home in disgrace. Ian Taggart showed him a better way to serve his fellow man and introduced him to Sanctum, a place to pursue his passion for Dominance and submission. Topping beautiful subs was a lovely distraction until he met Chelsea, and becoming her Master turned into Simon’s most important mission.

A Woman without Hope

Chelsea Dennis grew up a pawn to the Russian mob. Her father’s violent lessons taught her that monsters lurked inside every man and they should never be trusted. Hiding in the shadows, she became something that even the monsters would fear—an information broker who exposed their dirty secrets and toppled their empires. Everything changed when Simon Weston crossed her path. Valiant and faithful, he was everything she needed—and a risk she couldn’t afford to take.

A Force too Strong to Resist

When dark forces from her past threaten her newfound family at Sanctum, Chelsea must turn to Simon, the one man she can trust with her darkest secrets. Their only chance to survive lies in a mystery even Chelsea has been unable to solve. As they race to uncover the truth and stay one step ahead of the assassins on their heels, they will discover a love too powerful to deny. But to stop a killer, Simon just might have to sacrifice himself…

My Review (1)

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of the book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Another Disclaimer: This series can be read as a standalone, but I would suggest that you don’t because Lexi Blake leaves Easter eggs in every book in regards to the next one 😀

Here’s the thing, This is a book that will have two extreme sides – either you like it or you don’t! There is no in between and I think that I am one of the few readers who actually LOVED this book.

“Chelsea and Simon are very unique, their stories are not quite like anyone else’s. Their relationship has many obstacles to overcome before it can fully develop and you get a front row seat. One thing is for sure, they have been stalking each other since they met. “

You might want to know why – the reason is one word – Chelsea – Chelsea is one of the most infuriating and the most spoilt brat I have ever had the pleasure of actually reading about and I have to be honest, I didn’t like her, not when I first met her with Ian and Charlie, and definitely not when I started off with this book and most certainly not with Simon Weston, literally a British Gentleman to the core from his accent and his three piece suit fighting 😀

But she was a mystery I definitely wanted to solve – I knew she had a prickly exterior, but damn if she didn’t have a darkness in her soul as well. But, and that’s a very capitalized BUT, she grew on me!

She is prickly, yes and a woman who has had a bad past – and she HAS let it affect her in a way that it really shouldn’t have but it did – it created a a darkness in her that she thought she had to give in to, because she need to control at least something in her life.

“He only wanted one woman.  He had since the moment he’s seen her.”

Simon Weston is a man who has made mistakes in his past – and those mistakes has led him to join a makeshift family Big Tag had made for himself. Here, he has found that acceptance he had always craved yet never understood.

But he has craved Chelsea as well ever since he met her – and I never really understood why – I mean c’mon – he was always so staid and absolutely a made – up man always and he was interested in a freaking mess? Really opposites do attract and how often and absolutely freaking HOT that attraction was.

Again, I reiterate, Lexi Blake hasn’t ever disappointed me, and after reading this book, I have made a solemn vow to myself for NEVER EVER DOUBT LEXI BLAKE 😀

And yes, it’s an Unbreakable Vow. And no, Lexi you do not remember it, for I erased your memory 😉

“You’re my type. I didn’t know I had a type until I met you. Now I know what I need. I need a Brit who’s half aristocrat and half cowboy. I need a man who carries a full three-piece suit in his bug-out bag. I need a man who craves afternoon tea and thinks any Scotch under fifteen years is a travesty.”

 

My Rating (1)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Add To Goodreads (1)

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A woman on a mission

Phoebe Graham is a specialist in deep cover espionage, infiltrating the enemy, observing their practices, and when necessary eliminating the threat. Her latest assignment is McKay-Taggart Security Services, staffed with former military and intelligence operatives. They routinely perform clandestine operations all over the world but it isn’t until Jesse Murdoch joins the team that her radar starts spinning. Unfortunately so does her head. He’s gorgeous and sweet and her instincts tell her to trust him but she’s been burned before, so he’ll stay where he belongs—squarely in her sights.

A man on the run

Since the moment his Army unit was captured by jihadists, Jesse’s life has been a nightmare. Forced to watch as those monsters tortured and killed his friends and the woman he loved, something inside him snapped. When he’s finally rescued, everyone has the same question—why did he alone survive? Clouded in accusations and haunted by the faces of those he failed, Jesse struggles in civilian life until McKay-Taggart takes him in. Spending time with Phoebe, the shy and beautiful accountant, makes him feel human for the first time in forever. If someone so innocent and sweet could accept him, maybe he could truly be redeemed.

A love they never expected

When Phoebe receives the order to eliminate Jesse, she must choose between the job she’s dedicated her life to and the man who’s stolen her heart. Choosing Jesse would mean abandoning everything she believes in, and it might mean sharing his fate because a shadowy killer is dedicated to finishing the job started in Iraq.

My Review (1)

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of the book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Another Disclaimer: This series can be read as a standalone, but I would suggest that you don’t because Lexi Blake leaves Easter eggs in every book in regards to the next one 😀

Understandably, a book that I had been apprehensive – Jesse is an abandoned human being – and has found his niche with Big Tag and his family, though he still feels as an outsider, who had to make a terrible mistake, to find the one family who has his back, always.

Jesse has been sweet on Phoebe, ever since he has seen in the Taggert-McKay offices, and has been slowly trying to woo her – with her Harry Potter baubles and movie dinners.

What he doesn’t know is that she has been undercover to find the man who she believes is responsible for her husband dying – and not only that, she is also related to someone we have come across in the previous books!

He’d fought and fought to live and now he was going to stand here and let her do her worst.
He didn’t want to live in a world where she betrayed him. He simply didn’t.

Both Jesse and Phoebe are going through a lot – Jesse for he doesn’t even remember what happened when he and his team were captured by terrorists, but they are as different as they come.

Jesse though, has been through a lot, is open to love and new experiences – for his loyalty and love comes from a place that just doesn’t stay hidden nor is it ever half-hearted. But this is where we see a whole lot of growing up that, honestly, Jesse really needed – from where he was this kind of a puppy who needed everyone’s approval, to this confident Dom who has

I think what I’ve figured out is that we don’t have a limited amount of love. It doesn’t get all used up and then there’s nothing left. We choose. We choose who we love and how we love, and how we love, and there is nothing between two consenting adults that brings them connection and pleasure and joy that’s wrong. This is ours, Phoebe.

Phoebe, on the other hand is torn – between what she belives to be the truth and what she knows to be the truth. She is wildly attracted to a man she believes is not only responsible for her husband’s death but also for betraying his country. Yet when the moment comes on acting on the orders, she hesitates and does the one thing she had vowed never to do – fall in love again.

Phoebe that we knew in the previous book(s) is nothing like the Phoebe she reveals herself to be – she needs someone to actually to believe in her, her happiness steadfastly without letting go – but she needed to learn that holding on takes even more courage than letting go and I am so glad that it was Jesse who taught her that! ❤

Also, I did develop a soft spot for Phoebe once I realised that she is a Harry Potter fangirl too – we fans stick together, after all this time and always 😉

More than that, Jesse succinctly put what I have felt about Big Tag and Sanctum since beginning this series – it is a family unlike any other and I am proud to be a part of it ❤

“Sanctum is a place where I can just be me and no one judges me. They accept me. Big Tag brings us all here because this place, this life, binds us together. It makes us a family.”

P.S. No matter how much I want to stick to my solemn vow of never doubting you Lexi, why, why would you give us those twists and turns?? Do you like playing with our feelings!??

My Rating (1)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Add To Goodreads (1)

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Disavowed by those he swore to protect…

Tennessee Smith is a wanted man. Betrayed by his government and hunted by his former employer, he’s been stripped of everything he holds dear. If the CIA finds him, they’re sure to take his life as well. His only shot at getting it all back is taking down the man who burned him. He knows just how to get to Senator Hank McDonald and that’s through his daughter, Faith. In order to seduce her, he must become something he never thought he’d be—a Dom.

Overcome by isolation and duty…

All her life, Dr. Faith “Mac” McDonald has felt alone, even among her family. Dedicating herself to helping others and making a difference in the world has brought her some peace, but a year spent fighting the Ebola virus in West Africa has taken a toll. She’s come home for two months of relaxation before she goes back into the field. After holding so many lives in her hands, nothing restores her like the act of submission. Returning to her favorite club, Mac is drawn to the mysterious new Dom all the subs are talking about, Master No. In the safety of his arms, she finds herself falling head over heels in love.

Forced to choose between love and revenge…

On an exclusive Caribbean island, Ten and Mac explore their mutual attraction, but her father’s plots run deeper than Ten could possibly have imagined. With McKay-Taggart by his side, Ten searches for a way to stop the senator, even as his feelings for Mac become too strong to deny. In the end, he must choose between love and revenge—a choice that will change his life forever.

My Review (1)

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of the book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Another Disclaimer: This series can be read as a standalone, but I would suggest that you don’t because Lexi Blake leaves Easter eggs in every book in regards to the next one 😀

Tennessee Smith is a hard man and he is also disavowed agent of the CIA – and a man who intends to flush the man responsible for him loosing his life and to do so he intends to get through the one woman who shouldn’t tempt him – Faith McDonald – his enemy’s daughter.

“Naive? Why would you want to be naive?”

“Because cynics don’t change the world. naive people do. Naive people aren’t smart eough to know that they can’t beat a disease. When wave after wave of bodies start rolling in, the naive idiot stands there and tries to hold the line.”

Faith is the old genre kind of heroine – she is intelligent, rational and yet graceful under pressure, and not to mention subtle in ways that these newer gen heroines just can’t seem to figure out!

She is a closet sub who usually needs a Dom when she is stateside to just relax – and when Master T comes into the picture, it is like every fantasy of hers come alive! She is brilliant under pressure and it is really really hard to dislike her, especially when you see it from the first page that there is an inherent kindness and goodness in her that is a part of her, not learnt but just what makes her, HER!

“Women didn’t hug him. They F**** him. They got what they needed out of him. They didn’t sigh and listen to their heartbeat and try to soothe him.”

And Ten never really knew what to do with that!! I mean, he has never really been in a committed relationship, let alone know what exactly love is and how to recognize – but he knew that he wanted her, wanted to protect her right from the start. I loved their interactions, their relationship but most of all I loved how Faith soothed her Master’s scars and wounds without even realizing it – by just being her and that is what the romance between them special!

But what this book even more infuriating is what exactly happened at the end – I MEAN SERIOUSLY LEXI???? HOW COULD YOU??? I MEAN WHY?? WHY WOULD YOU BREAK MY HEART LIKE THAT?? I SUGGEST YOU START REPAIRING MY HEART BEFORE I COME AFTER YOU WITH THE JAGGED PIECES!!!

Even with the heartbreak, I still adore Lexi’s writing and her ability to spin tales without them ever getting old! ❤

“I don’t have anything to offer her.”
Tag’s lips quirked up in a sad smile. “That’s the funny thing about women. The good ones don’t require anything.”

My Rating (1)

Add To Goodreads (1)

Giveaway

GUYS, LEXI BLAKE IS AMAZING ENOUGH TO GIVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU THE CHANCE TO HAVE ONE BOOK from HER COLLECTION (YOUR CHOICE!!) SIGNED AND PERSONALIZED TO YOU!! 

Isn’t she amazing!!! ❤ 

This giveaway starts on the 7th February and ends on 23rd February Midnight IST :D

**Open Internationally where this giveaway isn’t prohibited by law. Open to 18+ years of age. For The Love of Fictional Worlds and Lexi Blake are not responsible for lost packages in the mail.** 

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