Friday, August 19, 2016

ARC Review: Mission: Improper by Bec McMasters

Mission: Improper
By Bec McMaster
Book 1 The Blue Blood Conspiracy

About the Book:
Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.

The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.

Soon they’re chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite… But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.

If you are a fan of Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series, hang on to your Kindles because you will love this ride.  We first meet Caleb Byrnes in the earlier series.  We know he’s controlled, disciplined, and loves to solve puzzles.  His previous encounter with verwulfen, Ingrid Miller, left him tied up in knots, and he is eager for payback.  They are partnered together to investigate the strange disappearance of groups of people, blue bloods, humans, and others.  Given the fragile nature of the relatively new coalition government, these crimes pose a threat to national security. This is post-revolution of the Queen’s consort who was committed to maintaining a blue-blood-privileged society.  The Queen’s government, in contrast, is trying to bring equality to all the different factions and move toward a democracy.  This government must show that they keep the citizenry safe.  

I found the beginning of this book a little slow going, not because the writing is slow but because I had to reacquaint myself with the characters from the previous series. Because it has been awhile since I read my last London Steampunk book, I found myself scrambling to remember the names and relevance of characters.  As the first book in a new series, it can and does stand alone.  It is not necessary to be familiar with the characters, but I want to map their relationship to last series.  

As an adventure, the story is suspenseful with lots of political intrigue.  There is a conspiracy led by a new breed of blue blood extremists that are intent on bringing down the Queen’s government.  They are faster, stronger, and more terrifying than the former blue bloods. Yup, this is going to be a fun ride.  

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Release and Review Tour: SUGAR RUSH by Sawyer Bennett

Title: Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl, Book #2) 
Author: Sawyer Bennett 
Date: August 16, 2016 

In the steamy and suspenseful sequel to Sugar Daddy (“A totally gripping take on romance and revenge!”—Lauren Blakely), a heartbreaking rift threatens to unravel a dangerous alliance . . . and a fragile new love. After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She's closing in on the site's heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend's business partner and her lover, by her side. She'd thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing? Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn't exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT's trust and pretend that they're still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her. 

Note: Sugar Rush ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck's story concludes in Sugar Free!

Add Sugar Rush to your Goodreads TBR. 

Buy Sugar Rush: 

After a humdinger of a cliffhanger, Sugar Rush is finally out and Sawyer Bennett does not disappoint.  Luckily, the emotional crush at the end of Sugar Daddy is fairly quickly resolved at the beginning of Sugar Rush.  I am quite relieved because I do not want to be disappointed by Beck.  In fact, Beck shows up in a stand up manner and restores my faith in him.  

After Sela courageously tells Beck about her trauma, they embark on a con game (a la the classic movie, The Sting) to force J.T. into a corner and relinquish his shares in the Sugar Bowl.  Joining the scheme is a savvy private investigator, Dennis Flaherty.  With a tragic and colorful past of his own, he is a scene stealer and I am crossing my finger that he may get a story of his own in the future.  

Sawyer Bennett continues to give us Insight into the mind of some rape survivors. Many, like Sela, are plagued with self hatred, second guessing every action prior to their attack. And as they heal, they may face so much uncertainty.  For Sela, she does not want Beck to treat her as a fragile victim. She wants him to perceiver her as the strong survivor that she is.  I am drawn into the complexity of her emotions and experience her reticence and doubt with her.  This is the author's strength. Through  her words, the reader can empathize with Sela's experience.  Understanding Sela, makes me love Beck's support that much more.  He is gives Sela unconditional support and is willing to risk everything to help her heal by resolving this issue with J.T.  It is so very easy to cheer on this couple. 

The second book in a trilogy can be tricky.  I have high expectations for the author to maintain the emotional and sexual tension.  I want the story to advance, loving what was done in the past, but wanting something new as well.  It has to be enticing enough to propel me to the next book.  No problem. Sugar Rush will do it for you.  

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Check out the other Sugar Bowl books now! 
Sugar Daddy (available now): Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo 
Sugar Free (releasing 10/11/16): Amazon | B&NiBooks Google Play | Kobo 


Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions. A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone. Sawyer likes her Bloody Mary’s strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two. 

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