For former hacker, Sami Steel secrets are a way of life and the best part about playing soldier is anything involving medic Tace Justice, especially their late night sparring sessions. Since he recovered from Scorpius, the smoldering Texas cowboy’s different. He’s harder and more predatory. Tace was done wondering if strength, speed and cunning would be the only changes, he wondered about Sami.
Sami knew she couldn’t keep acting indifferent toward Tace to her friend, his latest bedmate and the world when he set all her parts fluttering. They couldn’t happen and after last night’s session she wanted to tell him everything. Their sparring also left Tace rattled so he jumped at an assignment away from camp. Unaware of their changed status, Jax assigned Sami as Tace’s back-up.
This busy outing teased out several meaty threads including secret alliances, resolving three overlong pieces, uncovering a traitor, smacking own major enemies in stellar skirmishes and gaining an ally. The tired ‘we’re marooned on an island so let’s fall in love’ vibe made favorites Tace and Sami’s romance fall a bit flat in places for my taste before finding its footing in this satisfying read.
This foundation story links to the author’s Sins Brothers series, in that the heroes have more capabilities than the average human. It also hints at milestones in that series and has the same mad scientist with ties to a shady government organization studied them and the boys broke confinement and began to build their lives piecemeal.
Growing up in a harsh orphanage made Ryder, Heath and Denver more than friends. They became family for each other, protecting and fighting for each other. Twenty years later the trio has a PI business and a reputation for finding the unfindable. As they stalk, they’re being stalked by their past, possibly by the sadistic and corrupt sheriff who ‘disciplined’ the orphans at the behest of his culpable brother.
In the midst of hunting an elusive serial killer with a penchant for red-heads, Ryder’s heart is caught by paralegal Zara Remington. Their casual bed-buddy relationship isn’t working anymore since they both want more. Complications abound as Zara gambles more than she reasonably should and helps a friend in a dire situation and Ryker’s offered a case delving into his past.
While the cases heat up, Ryker collects more ‘family members’, danger pays a few visits as answers and diabolical plots twist, turn and spin before resolution comes from both expected and unexpected characters. While Heath and Denver lent good support the spotlight undoubtedly belonged to alpha Ryker Jones as he and Zara tried to figure it out.
Though Zara was easily distracted by Ryker’s charms, their smexy time was good and the romance piece didn’t overpower the suspense and intrigue of the read. As this reader isn’t a fan of flashbacks, even when necessary, those pieces weren’t appreciated but they gave great insight and fully fleshed characters who didn’t hesitate to quickly grab the reader’s attention for this fast paced and exciting reading ride.
After reading the series prequel, I was excited to get to this read and Ms. Zanetti doesn’t disappoint. Months after a virulent spore from a rock confounded the vaunted CDC, it’s grown into an epidemic. The world is in a post apocalyptic state, people are scrambling to stay alive and safety is a vague memory. It’s more dangerous for Dr. Lynne Harmony, a scientist working on a cure and the first virus survivor.
Escaping from the DC-CDC where Rippers (survivors that became insane and obsessed) ruled, Lynne’s reached Los Angeles where she hopes to find information on the cure. Meanwhile, POTUS has become obsessed with Lynne and is intent on tracking her down. Engaging the entire population in his search, POTUS offers a bounty and a rumor putting Lynne’s life in danger.
What used to be neighborhoods and cities are now gang territories of varying brutalities. Lynne’s goal is to reach Vanguard, a gang rumored to be led by a strong ex-soldier defending the weak and especially women. Lynne knows she’ll need protection as she searches for notes and works on a cure to stay out of POTUS’s clutches. Enter ex-SEAL Jax Mercury.
Jax protects and strongly leads a rag-tag group struggling to survive. Unfortunately, Jax’ ex-gang is a neighbor of Jax’ Vanguard group and its leader covets Jax, Lynne and whatever else Jax has. Agreeing to protect and help Lynne, Jax tries not to let his growing affection for the little brunette cloud his judgment as he weighs POTUS attempts to gain Jax’ allegiance and what is best for his people.
Lynne and Jax had plenty of chemistry and gave new meaning to the phrase power couple. The supporting characters and those in different threads did their piece to keep the pace of this exciting read as several layers were neatly added. The highlights of the prequel are here but the prequel itself does add depth and good back-stories for Lynne’s involvement, POTUS and the Brigade.
POTUS, Bret Atherton, is seething over losing former FBI profiler, Vivienne ‘Vinnie’ Wellington and more furious Lynne Harmony escaped again. Bret’s obsession, ingenuity and resources didn’t show profit in his alliance with Twenty against Jax and the Vanguard but helps put new schemes in play to strike at the heart of Vanguard and return the women under his thumb.
Vinnie fell hard for Raze Shadow when he rescued her and isn’t exactly like other girls but insists she isn’t the psychic POTUS believes her to be. As a Scorpius survivor Vinnie has flashes of insight that she doesn’t always understand but is fitting into Vanguard and building a new life there. Not only is POTUS plotting her return, one of the local gangs is determined to have her delivered to them as well.
Ex-Special Forces soldier, Raze’s secrets are wearing on him as he becomes closer to people and the life that is Vanguard; consumed by Vinnie; works to find a way to keep a vicious rival gang from blackmailing him and a close personal call. He has no choice but to trust and open up to the people around him. Another player has entered the game with an end game our heroes can’t figure out easily.
Definitely not a sophomore slump but this outing didn’t seem as fresh though the characters were just as vivid as the initial outing. For my taste, Vinnie annoyed and was the weak link of the read. Also, there was chemistry and smexy between Raze and Vinnie but they seemed to lack heat. Neither these minor quibbles nor a cliffhanger ending can stop me from panting for Tace’s star turn.
Witch Simone Brightson and demon Nikolaj ‘Nick’ Vies vie for the most thwarted, star-crossed lovers sacrificing even themselves for love since Romeo and Juliet. These ‘elders’ have been woven since early in the Dark Protector series and fittingly takes the reader to their beginning, where their footsteps placing them on the final paths to the head of the Coven of Nine and the most feared and notorious demon of immortals everywhere.
With evidence, coincidence and circumstances piling up the accusation and set up for Simone is complete as the planekite mystery comes to a head and she’s forced to stand trial. But the Nick, who has always loved her, isn’t about to stand on the sidelines and do nothing while Simone is threateningly surrounded by her enemies and those that have a more nefarious agenda.
Mentions and cameos of fan favorites tie the series together and new immortal species break new ground to keep this piece separate. For my taste, it is helpful but not required to read Dark Protectors to enjoy this series but it is necessary to read Realm Enforcers in order. Though this reader has been on the fence about this spinoff series but for my taste, this outing surpassed its series predecessors and secured a place in the must continue pile. This outing also features a day in the life novella with Talen and Cara.
Realm Enforcer Witch, Daire Dunne, is chafing under the strain of his undercover assignment with the Titans of Fire Motorcycle club. He’s also bored looking for the origins and distributors of the deadly (to his kind) drug Apollo. Demon CeeCee Kyllwood decides it’s time to get from under the family thumb and sets a task for herself that will make the family take her seriously.
Thinking to end the night with a little interpersonal contact, Daire is both embarrassed and enraged when CeeCee gets the upper hand, leaving him in need of a rescue by his apprentice crew. CeeCee’s crew think helping her will ensure their acceptance to the realm under the Dayrs brother’s protection. Little does the pair know they’re working the same case with different methods, kind of.
Daire and CeeCee were likable and had a bit of chemistry. It was good that CeeCee was grossly underestimated and surprised many by being a kick-a** female that could do it on her own. Daire was the shrewd smoldering hotness expected of this series and neither faltered in their roles.
While I liked this outing better than the last, I’m not yet a fan of the series. To date, for this readers taste the outings have been wordy busy and they haven’t given this romantic enough in the romance department. What’s strong is the overall storyline of trying to save the realm and it’]s varied species.
When Detective Alexandra Monzelle uses herself as bait to try to get a lead on Apollo, the latest drug putting bodies in the Seattle morgue, the last thing she expected was to be trapped in an alley. She didn’t expect Kellach Dunne in that alley and she really didn’t expect Kell coming to her rescue and keep her safe.
Trying to get things on an even and professional keel, Lex flings the things she knows and suspects at Kell. In his enforcer capacity, Kell’s undercover to find out who makes Apollo and where for the sake of the coven. Carefully answering the questions and accusations, he tells Lex he’s only temporarily with the Titan’s M.C. though he tries to assure her they’re on the same side.
The Titan’s are none too thrilled to have the pretty detective poking around in club business, stirring up a rival club or with her poking and stirring one of their member’s head. Kell & Lex connect and clash each time they meet, always in a battle of wills and desire. Kell can’t commit to Lex since she’s completely human and Lex has too much life going on to be sidetracked by romance.
Though loosely associated with the hotties of Zanetti’s Dark Protector series by way of crossover characters, the series are separate and not dependent on each other. This reader has no words. The story-line was serviceable but felt ‘reverse engineered’ in places; and this reader wasn’t a fan of the confused and confusing Lex at all and couldn’t invest in the couple. Hopefully book two will be better.