Author: Shannon McKenna
Publisher: Kensington Books
Rating: 5 stars
Type: Novel in Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: “The McCloud series is an auto buy for me.” –Maya Banks
The risks ex-cop Sam Petrie has taken have turned his life into a train wreck. So he has nothing to lose by doubling down as the elusive Svetlana Ardova’s unwanted bodyguard on a potentially deadly trip to Italy.
“McKenna writes intense, sensual stories.” –The B&N Review
Ever since the McClouds rescued Sveti from certain death, her crusade against modern slavery has blazoned a bulls-eye on her chest, but when one of the threats against her almost hits the mark, Sam’s protective instincts go into overdrive. Every lethal obstacle and trap they encounter ups the stakes–and the undeniable heat between them.
“Shannon McKenna makes the pulse pound.” –BookPage
Now they’re spiraling in on a deadly and explosive secret–one that could either redeem them or destroy them . . . and the closer they get, the shorter the fuse . . .
Review: I don’t think that there is much better reading than a Shannon McKenna book. Unless it’s a Shannon McKenna McCloud crowd book. Once you’ve become hooked on this series, it’s like a crack unlike any other. Other serial junkies can brag about theirs, but I’m afraid the fear-crazed lust a McCloud junkie has for the tension-fueled, combustible heat that is a McKenna scenario gone FUBAR goes far beyond a mere crush. A mere obsession. When we’re reading these books we’re living these books. We’re doing crazy things. Having sex on a train with a stranger in a foreign country kind of wild. It’s dangerous, deadly, and leaves your brain screaming NO! as your heart says YES! to these crazy, irresistible men who act without thought, conscience, or common sense in the name of love–with the neanderthal-like thought of protecting what’s theirs with their body, heart, and soul. Who wouldn’t want to slap one of these alpha hotties upside the head, tame him, and take him home? But you’ll have to get a cool compress for the side of your head that you’ve been banging against the wall first because these men just. do. not. LISTEN! Stubborn!
Sam Petrie is the cop that has been hanging around the McCloud crowd for a while now. He’s helped out when needed and put himself on the line many times, but unfortunately that hasn’t cut him any slack with Tam, the beautiful ex-assassin. Of course Tam hates him just like she hates any cops, so what’s new? The real problem is that he’s crazy about Sveti Ardova, the young girl that Tam and Val and the rest of the McClouds had saved from organ traffickers years ago, and they act as her surrogate parents. So, to get to her he has to go through them. OUCH! Nothing like hate being glared at you to give you indigestion at a party!
Sveti Ardova is through being protected and pampered. She is an adult, dammit, and she can take care of herself. She’s been through hell–watched her father being killed and then held prisoner while waiting to have her heart and other organs harvested before she was rescued–so it’s not like she doesn’t have a backbone. It’s just that no one wants to let her use it. So without letting Tam, Val, and the others in her close group of friends know, she’s taken a job in London. After accepting a humanitarian award in San Anselmo for human rights work she’s done, she plans to move to London and live there, alone. But unfortunately for her, plans left long ago are now moving again, and her job offer with is not as innocent as it seems. And neither is her award.
Zhoglo, the horrific Russian mafiya vor who had kidnapped her and murdered her police detective father, was killed when she was rescued. But he was replaced by someone worse. Pavel Cherchenko. Pavel had worked for Zhoglo, and his older son Sasha had also been sold to the organ traffickers by Zhoglo to keep Pavel in line. Sasha had become Sveti’s best friend while they were in captivity together, and part of the reason she wants to move to London is to be closer to him. Sasha has never really recovered from their captivity and has dabbled in drugs and worse to try to overcome the devastating depression he suffers from. Pavel has become a bitter, angry father, disappointed that neither of his sons is able to take over his empire. So angry that this time, Sasha had gone into hiding, fearful for his life. But he’s always kept in contact with her. So why isn’t Sasha answering her texts? Is he in danger from his father? Is she?
And why is her new boss, Michael Hazlett of Illuxit Pharmaceuticals, oozing all over her and making sexual advances? He’s doing it in front of her date/bodyguard Sam, when he knows that they are lovers. It’s rude and creepy. And what is his connection to Conte Renato Torregrossa–her mother Sonia’s last lover? It seems like more than business. What do they want from her? They are fawning all over her, and why are they so determined to get her away from Sam and alone with them at the Conte’s isolated estate? Is it really to see her mother’s resting place? Or is there something more sinister to their attentions?
When ugly things come out to play, and the past decides to haunt you–who would you want on your side? It’s beginning to look a lot like a McCloud situation. Luckily, Sveti doesn’t have a choice. A one-night stand with Sam before she left Portland gained her entry into a very exclusive club. The McCloud Women’s Club. Perk #1: your very own demolition man. It doesn’t matter who’s after her now, Sam Petrie’s on call. And he won’t take any prisoners.