A badass ex-Special Ops officer and a smartass hacker fight a dangerous enemy…and a blistering attraction to each other.
Connor Hughes is an ex-special ops officer, CEO of Metrix Security, and bonafide badass. His private security firm is renowned for its effectiveness. He’s renowned for his lethal precision and iron self-control. But when the former Marine meets a gorgeous young hacker with a mouth as smart as her brain, his control unravels in ways he never could have predicted.
Tabitha West is a genius MIT dropout with a bad attitude, an obsession with Hello Kitty and piercings in unmentionable places. Tabby amuses herself by outwitting the most secure technology systems on the planet. Known in hacker circles as Polaroid due to her photographic memory, she’s as secretive as she is accustomed to working alone. So when Connor decides she’s the only one who can help him catch a cyber criminal intent on taking down one of his clients, she tells him exactly where he can stick it.
But when the cyber criminal turns out to be the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime—and a dark presence from Tabby’s past—Tabby and Connor are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. They quickly find themselves fighting not only their common enemy, but also an explosive desire that threatens to consume them.
When the stakes are this high and the game this deadly, will falling in love be the most dangerous move of all?
Disclaimer: This is the second book in the Wicked Games Series but CAN BE READ AS STANDALONE.
So, this is my first book by J.T. Geissinger (so difficult to pronounce her name!), and I. AM. BLOWN. AWAY!! This has EVERYTHING I adore in a Romantic Suspense – a honest to god cocky Alpha Marine with a soft gooey center only for his “princess”, a weird, sassy but intelligent heroine with more thorns than roses in her personality, a plot that had me flipping the pages in anticipation and a romance that filled with more snipes at each other than sweet gestures.
“Men can’t help themselves, Connor. Boobs are your gender’s Kryptonite. I don’t take it personally.”
Still bristling, I look at her. “Well, I do. You could be mine, for all that asshole knows.”
She arches one elegant eyebrow. “Sure. In an alternate universe where I don’t have an IQ approaching two hundred points and you’re not a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal with a god complex and one too many pairs of cargo pants, I suppose that could be a possibility.”
Tabitha “Tabby” West is a hacker extraordinaire – not kidding – I got that off with the job she is pulling off at the start of the book, but there is also a sense of a deep disquiet within, which also jumps off at you, right from the start.
She is intelligent, snarky, proud but definitely lonely – she rarely lets anyone close to her, and at start I believed that with her prickly attitude I wouldn’t even like her much, let alone love her. But I was wrong. Boy, WAS I WRONG!
Tabby might have been prickly and snarky, but she held one of the most caring and compassionate heart I have had the honor of ever reading about. That did not make her weak, nor did it make her strong – what it did make her was the most real fictional character I have connected with in a long time.
Because she takes time to worm into your heart – And when she does, she burrowed right in, like it was her palace to live in!
“Back to you attending MIT barely out of diapers.”
She rolls her eyes. “Getting in at fifteen isn’t that impressive, Connor. My first year there, a twelve-year-old graduated with a PhD in molecular biology. Geniuses are a dime a dozen at that school.”
“Just because you’re used to being surrounded by other stars doesn’t make your star shine any less bright to the rest of us down here on earth.”
Connor Hughes is ex-military and runs his own security company and is the most swooniest, alpha hero I have read in a while (barring Kristen Ashley’s heroes, of course!). He is, without a doubt, adorable and cute and even he would absolutely concur my assessment, with a smirk of course.
He has his head on straight – meaning that when makes a decision, he sticks with it. He is loyal, intense and is also romantic, in a way that you would find hard to believe if you actually meet him yourself.
Seriously, he will give your book boyfriends from the start till the finish! And even after the end, you will be thinking of him and wishing you had his intense focus on you, just like Tabby does.
“Make it rough.”
There’s an electric pause. He licks his lips, and his voice gets all rumbly. “Rough leaves marks, sweetheart.”
Without hesitation, I say, “I want your marks. I want my skin to show where your hands were, where your teeth were, how I make you lose control. I want to be able to look in the mirror tomorrow and see everywhere you touched me.”
Both Tabby and Connor DO NOT want to be attracted to each other – and honestly, there is a time that they both do not even believe that there is something even remotely sexual/romantic between them.
However it doesn’t quite take that long for either of them to realise that they are both wrong. There is heat, there is chemistry, but there is sweetness as well, sweetness that goes under your skin in a way that leaves you feeling all the warmth in the world even with the villain they (okay, Tabby!) has to face.
“I hate you. With a heat like a thousand suns, I hate you. With the force of a million tons of TNT, I hate you. With every fiber of my being, I—”
“Hate me, I get the picture. But you also think I’m kinda cute, right?”
Yes, there is suspense in this book. Yes there is action in this – and the action with the suspense is pretty much makes the background of the whole romance. But the it’s emotions of Tabby that takes center stage – every emotion, every inch of pain felt by her, was felt by me – it was stark, it is in your face, and it definitely is the reason why I fell for Tabby through the whole of the book.
But it is their connection, Connor and Tabby’s that made me stay – it takes a whole lot of fumbling, on both parts to actually get to the core of their souls and with everything that happens around them, they both needed that connection.
All through the romance, you would believe that it is Tabby who needed Connor’s trust and loyalty to understand that she wasn’t alone, but what is more subtle is Connor’s need to fulfill those roles for her. It is ingrained in Connor to see HER, even though he might have teased her, he still was staunch in his support for her. And that is exactly what their romance is all about.
Just Tabby and Connor.
“You’re beautiful, jarhead,” I say brokenly.
He pants, “I’m yours, princess.”
There is something so maddeningly sexy and loving about a man who isn’t afraid to show his cute side to his woman – Without reservation. Without a thought. Without even fear!
Such is the strength of Connor in himself, but most of all, it is the absolute focus of Connor’s attentions on Tabby that he doesn’t even care that he might be loosing his “manliness” in front of a woman who absolutely got her jollies off teasing him.
“Really? The strong, smart, courageous, popular hero who’s the star of his own fairy tale wasn’t a perfect little boy?”
“You forgot handsome,” he says with a straight face.
I shoot back, “Handsome? You look like a before picture.”
He pretends outrage. “Are you getting smart with me?”
“How would you know? If you had another brain, it would be lonely.”
From there, it rapidly devolves, and although both of us stay absolutely poker-faced, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
“Yeah, well your head is so big, you have to step into your shirts.”
“We all sprang from apes, jarhead, but you didn’t spring far enough.”
“Just remember Jesus loves you, sweet cheeks, but everyone else thinks you’re a pain in the ass.”
“If brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t have enough to blow your nose.”
“Ha! Maybe if you ate some of that makeup you’re wearing, you’d be pretty on the inside.”
“Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you’d had enough oxygen at birth?”
“No, but I bet whatever your problem is, it’s really hard to pronounce.”
“The village called. They said they were missing their idiot.”
“Tabby, if your heart was made of chocolate, it wouldn’t fill an M&M.”
“Connor, if I wanted to kill myself, I’d climb your ego and jump to your IQ.”
“I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers to let you know how I feel about you.”
Trying desperately not to laugh, I say, “A hundred thousand sperm, and you were the fastest?”
When I talk about how much I adored Tabby and Connor, I just CAN’T NOT talk about the brilliant talent that is the author’s.
The writing just freaking FLOWS!! It is absolute perfection – for it isn’t easy to write the kind of banter that exists between Tabby and Connor immersed with the seriousness of their situation and their work and end up with a romance that is as swoony as it is cheesy as it is heart warming!
J.T. Geissinger (seriously! so hard to pronounce her name and I am pretty sure I butchered it, when I said it out loud!) just got a fan for life, and I already have her books downloaded on my kindle (Book buying Ban? WHAT IS THAT?).
Lastly, like I said, in the disclaimer, it is the second book in The Wicked Game Series, and while I haven’t read Wicked Beautiful yet, mostly cause I rarely read second chance romances, but I do know that both Tabby and Connor are introduced there, so if you want, you could start there – BUT you can read this one as standalone – there are rarely if any mentions of the first couple in the book!
Whatever you decide to do, don’t you miss out on this beautiful book – you will end up adoring every aspect of this book – not to mention Connor and Tabby!
“That’s twice now I’ve made you scream, sweet cheeks, without even laying a finger on you.” His gaze, searing hot, travels down the length of my naked body. His voice grows husky. “Imagine what I could do with all ten.”
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐