Monday, April 17, 2017

AotM ~ Redeeming Rafe and Saving Ren ~ (Reviews + Giveaway)

He wants revenge against the brothers who betrayed him but first he has to get past the one man he can’t resist…

At the tender age of eight, Rafe Barretti lost everything. His parents, his childhood, his innocence. And the brothers who were supposed to protect him let him go instead. Twenty years later and he’s finally ready to exact his revenge by taking away everything they hold dear – their company, their reputations, their futures. But even that isn’t enough - their loved ones will have to pay too and all their precious secrets are fair game.

Former mercenary Cade Gamble’s only job is to take down the hacker stealing sensitive, private information from Barretti Security Group and Cade is damn good at his job. But there’s more at stake because the co-founders of BSG, Dom and Vin Barretti, are like family and no one touches Cade’s family. The fact that the vengeful young man turns out to be the youngest of the Barretti clan doesn’t matter. But when their tumultuous encounters turn into something more, Cade will have to decide between protecting the only family he has and giving in to his need to save Rafe from himself.

Can Cade help Rafe find redemption so he can forgive the sins of the past or will Rafe’s quest for vengeance destroy them both?

4 Stars! 

I loved this book even if it broke my heart. Rafe had me in tears for what he experienced as a child and the hurt and anger he has. It's easy to understand what led to his feelings even if they are misplaced and it makes it hard to dislike him even when he's set on ruining Dom and Vin. They're in just as much pain but have absolutely no clue what he's faced.

I loved Cade from Dom's book so seeing him in this story was exciting. I loved how he meets Rafe and the instant connection they have even though they are basically working for different sides. I loved how Cade was able to truly see Rafe and when things came to a head, he was his champion even at the expense of his relationship with Dom and Vin.

They have a hard road to travel, though and I enjoyed watching how it all played out. Not only between Rafe and Cade but with the Barretti clan, as well. Like all of Sloane's books, it's an emotional roller coaster. There's also plenty of wonderful chemistry between Rafe and Cade and plenty of hot sexiness.

I definitely recommend Redeeming Rafe!

4.5 Stars

So glad the author decided to put this book out first. A great short, sexy and sweet read that ends in the start of a HEA.

This is book 2 in the Baretti Security Group series, with book 1 not even being finished yet - the author explains why in her note at the end of this book, and on her website - but reading it this way round absolutely didn't spoil book 1 for me. If you've read Logan's Need, the final book in the Escort series, then you'll know who got rescued in that, and who the rescuer/protector was, and yes, they get their tale in book 1, and they appear as side characters here. The author has said that she'll be making that book a freebie on her website, so based on this tale alone, I know I'll be stalking her website for more info.

Well, back to this book: Rafe is the baby brother of Dom from Logan's Need; the one who got abducted as a child and the reason his brothers formed their agency - so that they could find him. Except that little brother isn't as far away as they think, nor is he as innocent or as helpless than he was when he was taken; in fact, he's a hacker par excellence and he's been giving them trouble - not that they know his identity at this point.

Cade, Logan's bodyguard who'd been a standout character in that book, made me want his tale and I am so, so glad that he was the lead here. He's still the strong and sexy guy from that book, but here we see different sides to him. Initially, he's in charge of surveillance on Rafe (whilst the latter's identity is still unknown), but then Rafe becomes the object of his sexual interest, before Cade falls for him, and finally Cade has to become his protector.

The author wrote the leads very well, and especially so in Rafe's case. There is mention of past sexual abuse that has made him into the man he is today, but it's not graphic or prolonged, though Rafe is still suffering in the tale. She used that trauma to initially break him, then make him into the man he is today, the man who thinks he can count on no-one but himself, but the man who finds himself broken down and then fixed by his love for Cade.

At no point did the author make me feel that the leads' relationship was unbalanced and that one was stronger than the other - I'm talking both sexually and otherwise. They had different strengths, but the same needs, the same feelings, the same loyalty and the same selfless love, and I believed in them and their love, fast-paced as the tale was.

For me, it had the perfect ending, one that I wouldn't have expected from a character as hardened as Rafe was initially, but a very welcome one. I confess to the tiniest disappointment that Logan and Dom aren't quite there themselves, though at the same time, I get why. Still, perhaps that'll be something we get to see in future tales in this series - after all, there's still Ren's tale to come.

I liked that Dom and Logan were in this a bit more than the other characters from previous tales, still as in love and needing each other as ever. It was also nice to hear about/see the past leads, especially with a couple of happy events taking place.

The only thing that took me away from the book a few times and caused me to lower the rating on it, is that the book could do with a touch of proofing, as there were a few errors that took me out of the tale and that a competent proofer - or even a beta - could have picked up on. Not enough to make me think it wasn't still a great read, but just niggly ones that gave me a few 'uwot??' moments.

Update 04/09/15 - I've just finished reading Vin and Mia's tale, which is a freebie on the author's website. It can be read as a standalone, and Logan and Dom feature in it as side characters. It's a great tale that ends in the start of a HEA and I for one want to see more of the leads. I can only hope that SK includes Vin and Mia in future tales and possibly with a wedding...that might just lead to a few more weddings. We also get introduced to Ren Barretti in this book, a guy who's seriously damaged and will need a lot of love, care and healing and learning to live again, before he can get his HEA. I'm now off to beg SK to write quicker!

Three men brought together by circumstance who found something none of them knew they needed…

Ren Barretti has finally come home after a year of being held captive by the terrorists who slaughtered his entire Special Forces team. But he can’t escape the nightmares that torment him or the guilt that he was the only one to walk away. The life his older brothers have brought him home to doesn’t exist for him anymore and to keep them and their loved ones safe from the rage and pain that consume him, Ren needs to disappear.

Police Detective Declan Hale has felt an undeniable pull towards the very straight Ren Barretti since the day Ren’s brother married Declan’s younger sister almost a dozen years earlier. But even though the Ren who has come home isn’t the one who left, all of Declan’s feelings come rushing back to the surface and he steps in to help the only man he’s ever truly wanted. And even though there’s no future for them, keeping Ren safe is all that matters and Declan will risk anything to make that happen.

Tough as nails former soldier and mercenary Jagger Varos has returned to Seattle after years of running from his past and he’s hoping that joining Barretti Security Group will help him finally call the city he left behind home. But within weeks, his new beginning is tested after multiple run-ins with the gruff, infuriating Detective Hale. When he inadvertently discovers that Declan is hiding Ren from the very brothers offering Jagger a new start, Jagger finds himself torn between his newfound loyalty to Vin and Dom Barretti and the need to protect the young man he himself helped rescue from his captors.

For Declan and Jagger, it’s hate at first sight but they soon realize that they will need each other if they have any hope of saving Ren from himself. And neither of them expects their mutual distrust in one another to grow into something else entirely or that Ren himself will find in both of them what he needs to rebuild his life and come to terms with who he really is.

Can the fierce attraction between three men become something more or will the demands of the real world tear them apart?

Note: This book contains explicit M/M/M content and is intended for mature audiences.

Although this book is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. No cliffhangers.

Barretti Security Series
Book 1 - Loving Vin (M/F)
Book 2 - Redeeming Rafe (M/M)
Book 3 – Saving Ren (M/M/M)

The Barretti Security Series is a spin-off of The Escort Series and some of the characters from that series appear in this one so if you want to read the books in order, start with this series:

The Escort Series
Book 1 - Gabriel's Rule (M/F) Gabe & Riley
Book 2 - Shane's Fall (M/F) Shane & Savannah
Book 3 - Logan's Need (M/M) Logan & Dom

5 Stars! 

A ménage tale that feels truly balanced, equal and believable.Great characters, great tale and great tie-in/end? to the series.

This series can be read out of order, as book 2 was released before book 1, but for total enjoyment, you might want to read it in order as previous characters from the series do appear briefly in each subsequent book, living their HEA.

This is a MMM ménage tale that achieves a couple of rare things in the genre - it made me believe in it and it made me feel as if these guys were all in it equally, emotions-wise. I hate when a ménage tale has one character who seems like an add-on, but SK took time out to build not only the triad but to ensure that all three guys had equal time with the others.

The tale is a simple one - Ren has come back home mentally scarred from his time in captivity, and following an incident that happens in book 1, he's been released by (detective) Declan (whose sister was married to Dom Barretti, lead from Logan's Need) and is lying low at Declan's cabin in the woods whilst he tries to fight his demons and his nightmares.

Declan and Jagger, who was part of the team that freed Ren, join forces to protect the traumatised young man, and sparks fly...I could totally feel the attraction between the leads, though at first, I thought it was just physical between Jagger and Declan, and emotional between Declan and Ren and Ren and Jagger, but SK managed to turn the tables and introduce real feelings between all three guys. I had worried that Ren might be the glue that held the trio together, but I ended up totally believing in how equal and true their feelings were. I also liked that each lead had his own very believable trauma and past that were emotionally damaging, yet that they all still yearned for that dream of finally being happy, finally belonging, finally being loved and needed, that suddenly seemed in sight.

Of course, things don't go to plan and Ren ends up feeling betrayed by his men and yet when there could have been an easy win situation for them, he turned out to be stronger than that, stronger than any of them had realised, and so focused and determined to get well, get past his demons and do the right thing for their future.

I thought the tale was romantic and sexy, with just the right amount of angst, and as for the sex scenes? Smoking hot, plentiful and in every permutation and combination that you could want, imagine and hope for with 3 hot males. The tale ends in the start of a HEA for these guys and introduces another couple of leads whose tale I happen to know we'll end up getting...though I'm not sure if it'll be part of this series or will form a spin-off. Either way, I already know that I want it, and it's a good thing that SK writes so quickly.

I loved the final scene in the book, which has several lovely reveals (and there's another one concerning Rafe and Cade from book 2), and look forward to more from this wonderful family.

Disclaimer: I'm privileged to be a beta reader for this author, but no payment was offered or requested for this review, the words of which are entirely my own. 


  1. Fantastic reviews!!! I can't say what my favorite is, since I'm still working my way through the suggested reading order, and I'm just now starting Vin's story - but these reviews have me really anxious to move on! Poor Rafe and Ren - my heart already breaks for them, and I haven't even read their books yet!

  2. Haven't read this series yet, so I cannot answer the question unfortunately

  3. Haven't read the Baretti series yet. I have some catching up to do.

  4. I love this series! Redeeming Rafe and Freeing Zane are my favorite.

  5. I haven't read any of the books in the Barretti Security series yet. So many books - too little time.

  6. I haven't read the Barretti Security Series yet but they will be going on my wish list.

  7. Thanks for the AotM post, and the good reviews. I haven't ready any Barretti yet, but I did like Logan's Need. And based on your reviews, I certainly need to get started with Rafe & Ren. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  8. all of Sloane's books are my I couldn't pick

  9. I haven't read any of the books in the series so I don't have a favorite yet. They all look great though.

  10. I loved Saving Ren....sooooo good!

  11. I have to go with Saving Ren.

  12. I haven't read the any of the Barretti Security Series yet but they have been on my To Be Read List.