I received an ARC for an honest review

 

I read this in one sitting and Hoo-eee WHAT A STORY!

So… either this author is VERY well researched or else Lauren Landish is one scary, mixed martial arts, gun tottin’ mf. 

Or maybe she’s a librarian. The secret ninja type….

Whatever, I just hope for the sake of her publisher, that Lauren is simply a stickler for background detail….

 

Jackson DeLaCour is 12 years old when his best friend and playmate, Katrina, the daughter of Sam and Theresa Grammercy drops out of his life.  He is told her parents have died and Katrina has left to live with her kind grandparents

Katsina/Kit/Kat Grammercy is a sweet12 years old when she survives a car bomb intended to wipe out her family.  The bomb changes her life, ripping her away from her parents into harsh foster care for six pain filled and hurtful years until she starts on a programme hell-bent on revenge.  She emerges a lean, intense and focussed multi martial arts expert, living off grid with a sole purpose, to destroy the one man she believes took her family away from her.  Peter DeLaCour is an philandering cokehead billionaire shady middle-man, his money skimmed from deals with criminals and mobsters.  His son Jackson now 28, an out of control bodybuilding layabout, getting his rocks off and good times with the honeys and hoes that populate his favourite joints around New Orleans.  

Jackson’s half sister and Peter’s biological daughter Andrea is 20yrs old half Japanese, the result of a dalliance with tragic young chef Aiko Mori, who is reported to have committed suicide after Peter coldly rejects her after Andrea’s birth.

Kat, Jackson and Andrea team up to bring Peter and his criminal empire down, but it isn’t plain sailing by a long shot as Jackson learns to grow up and be all the man he can be. 

This storyline has twists and turns like a roller coaster and is just as exhilarating.  Not riddled with smexy scenes, but the one’s that are in there – whether imagined or real – do fit in with the story beautifully.

 

I especially enjoyed Jackson’s rehabilitation.

From this:

Her pussy tightens around my cock, and she’s not faking it. I can tell that for sure. I’ve been pounding her like a machine for I don’t know how many minutes, and she’s barely coherent at this point. It’s easier now to detect the syrupy accent of her native Acadian Creole, but I’m already bored with her. She might be beautiful, and she might be a student at Tulane, but this girl just isn’t a good fuck. Besides, I hate being called Jacky. Jack—I guess that’s okay, even though that’s what I went by as a kid. Jackson’s better. But never Jacky.

I speed up a little more. I close my eyes and let my fantasies push me over the edge so I can come. All glove, of course. I wouldn’t give her the gift of my come even if I believed her story about being on the pill. I can’t take that chance.

“She collapses on the bed next to her friend. The other girl’s been passed out for a good ten minutes by my estimate—I played with her for a while, but she didn’t have my stamina. They never do. I pull out and slide the condom off before taking it to the bathroom. I make sure to rinse it out in the sink before I flush it down the toilet. I’m not taking any risks. I don’t need some gold digger saying I knocked her up or any stupid shit like that.

I rinse off my face and look in the mirror. My last shave’s still holding up, so I’m not looking too bad. I can probably get by with just rinsing off quickly before I need to get ready for the charity event. But not here. This bathroom fucking sucks.

I go back into the bedroom and see both of the girls sprawled out across the bed, completely passed out. Earlier I’d considered taking one of them with me to be my arm candy for tonight’s event, but looking at them now…that’s a hard nope.”

 

To this:

Jackson lifts my chin with his fingers and we kiss, his lips a cool balm on the searing pain that’s been eating away at my heart since Miami. He cups my cheek, and I wrap my arms around his waist, tears still flowing, but these tears are of happiness and relief, not of sadness.

“I love you, Katrina,” Jackson whispers in my ear. “I want to be with you forever.”

I nod and hug him. “I want that, too.”

He hums and pulls me close. “Then let’s get out of here. I have only two things on my mind right now.”

“What’s that?” I ask, laying my head on his chest, listening to the heartbeat that I’ve missed and the heartbeat that I want to build my future around.

“One… I want to get some food. I haven’t eaten today, and I’m going to need energy for later.”

“Why?” I ask, giving him a smile, knowing exactly what he wants. It’s what I want, and it’s the right thing to do.

Jackson notices me smile and returns his own. “I think you know exactly why.”

 

Aaawwwhhh! Lover-lee HEA.  

What was so attractive about this story was the interaction with the secondary characters including Peter’s enforcer, Nathan Black who, pushing fifty gets his ‘come to Jesus’ moment and is now looking to make restitution for some of his past activities in special ops and under the DeLaCour empire.

This does have a HEA but, boy, the author really makes the H and h work for it. Death and resurrection stalk this book like twin bookends.

The best bits about this story? 

It characters are diverse, their multi-racial combination fitting in well and not done in a preachy way.  Great to see ethnics aren’t all portrayed as servants, drivers, hoes (well, not exclusively…), cops or baddie crack-head drug lords. Shock horror!

Katrina is no push-over either. Great to see a h that is smart, not sassy and able to hold her own and kick-a$$ with the best of them.

Best-er-est thing? that in a novel that is gripping, gritty and fast paced, the h saves the H, and not in a sappy way… although to be fair he also does her right back!  Theirs is a relationship that grows and blossoms into a real partnership of equals.

 

Although Katrina can kick his butt.  

Lauren has gained a follower for life. For once a grown ups bad boy billionaire series.

This was a truly fantastic read; a great start to a series that seamlessly blends bad boy, billionaire H and business.  

Can’t wait for the next instalment, Andrea’s story

 

Four Stars from me (that’s virtually unheard of)

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