Wednesday, April 5, 2017

AotM ~ Retribution & Forsaken by Sloane Kennedy (Reviews + Giveaway)

AotM ~ Retribution & Forsaken by Sloane Kennedy (Reviews+Giveaway)

Title: Retribution (The Protectors, Book 3)
Author: Sloane Kennedy
 Pages: 374
Published: June 16, 2016
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Ex Special Forces soldier Michael “Hawke” Hawkins has spent every day of the last ten years waiting for the moment he would get to watch the life fade from the eyes of the men who brutally murdered his wife, but when he finally gets the break he’s been waiting for, the trail leads him to someone he wasn’t expecting.

After nearly two years of running, 24-year-old Tate Travers has become an expert at hiding…until the day a dangerous stranger shows up looking for vengeance and threatens to destroy the fragile life Tate has managed to build for himself and his five-year-old son. Except the life Tate has been struggling to hold on to started unraveling long before Hawke showed up looking for the same men Tate has been running from…his own father and older brother.

Retribution – it’s all Hawke has wanted since the day he held his wife’s hand as she took her last breath. And he won’t give that up for anything or anyone…not even the tormented young man trying to give his little boy a better life. Because Tate is the only one who can lead Hawke to the men he’s been searching for. And if it means forcing the young man to confront the past that nearly destroyed him, then so be it.

Only the last thing Hawke expects to feel is something besides the hatred that has driven him. And he definitely never expected to feel it for a man.

But when it comes down to choosing between the unwanted feelings Tate stirs in him and the revenge he’s finally close enough to taste, will Hawke be able to give up the one thing that has kept him going for a second chance at a future he gave up on ever having?

5+ Stars! 

It's hard to pick a favorite Sloane Kennedy book for me, I've loved them all. However, I have to admit Retribution is definitely a top contender. I was desperate for this book when I read Salvation. I loved Ronan and Seth's story but it was Hawk that intrigued me the most. Probably more than any other character in the entire series. While Ronan may have created the underground vigilante group that these books are centered around, in my opinion, Hawk was the catalyst. Without Hawk, this whole thing may have never been possible and in turn, this group of men and woman wouldn't be together and the family they have become wouldn't exist.

Hawk's desperate need and unwavering determination to avenge the brutal attack and subsequent murder of his wife is what keeps him going. He made a promise to her and to himself that the men who destroyed their lives would pay for their crimes. Because of this promise he is unable to even consider thinking about actually living his life again. He broke my heart yet warmed it as well. There were moments where I wanted to think Hawk was a monster but I couldn't. His pain led to some pretty disturbing actions but he is truly a good guy.

Tate, how can you not love Tate? This man has dealt with so much but he refuses to give up. He is a great dad and I constantly wanted to hug him. He was perfect for Hawk and I loved that he was willing to fight for him even when it looked as if it would be in his best interest to walk away.

Now, of course, I adored Matty, he was the cutest sweetest kid ever. I hated what he has to go through at such a young age but he's a trooper throughout the entire book. I loved how his character was written because while he was integral to the story, he didn't in any way overshadow it. We got the perfect balance from beginning to end.

Hawk and Tate were actually pretty beautiful together. The sexual tension was palpable and the sex so hot I thought my kindle would catch fire. Sloane Kennedy can certainly write some of the best steamy scenes ever. I think I might have blushed.

Overall, I highly recommend Retribution. This is an absolute "Must Read" and even if you're not familiar with the series you can still enjoy this book. Just prepare yourself because these books are addicting and you'll be wanting to read them all.

5 Stars! 

Sloane Kennedy has done it again - given us a brilliant tale, brilliant leads and another emotional hit. Love her books!!!!!

I am lucky enough to be a beta reader for SK, and it's always an amazing and exciting experience to read her stuff, as she simply gets better and better with each book. In the short time she's been published (just over a year), she's already become a go-to name for me for a brilliant tale/emotions galore/hot, sexy, inventive, descriptive, healing, connecting, romantic sex/sexy leads who manage to weave their way into my heart and mind, and a guaranteed love story that ends in a HEA. This book is no different, and it perhaps tugs even more at the old heartstrings as it features little Matty. Beautiful, sweet, loved and lovely little Matty - you'll have to read it to know more.

So, the tale follows the blurb pretty faithfully, but as always, SK saves the best for her actual book. I can't tell you how many times my heart clenched whilst reading this - in happiness, in pain, in sadness and in hope and relief at some of the events in this. I loved how sweet, unspoilt and mature Tate was, despite what life had dealt him. I loved how brutal and closed-off Hawke started out, and that with Tate, he healed, let go of his anger and started to live again. To love again. To become Michael. Tate's Michael, the guy who until then had only been Revay's Michael...the real guy with a heart, under the tough exterior.

I loved how Matty was a real little boy, not some caricature of a kid with ridiculous precociousness that is all too often seen in tales featuring kids, and how his love for his dad, and his innocence and embracing of Hawke contributed to Michael's reveal. This book felt real and believable and had me rooting for the leads, for a future for them and happiness for them as a family. SK has a knack of making her characters come to life, as if I'm watching them on a screen (or in the room with them - I wish, LOL!!), and her words and imagery never fail to move me. This is another stunner of a book, right up there with my fave leads, but hey, I've said it before, and despite the challenge SK set, Logan and Dom still have the edge for me.

I happen to know that SK's already hard at work on book 4 in the series, Mav and Eli's tale. Yes, Mav from The Protectors series meets Eli from the Barretti Security series. OMG, could we be seeing more of Logan and Dom and my other fave leads, all living their HEAs? I was prepared to beg, plead and bribe SK for more, more, more of those guys, but she loves her fans and delivers every time, so I know I won't be disappointed.

Title: Forsaken (The Protectors, Book 4)
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Pages: 364
Published: August 16, 2016
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Abandoned. Abused. Betrayed.
Ex-cop Maverick “Mav” James needs only three things. His Harley, an open road and his work in an underground organization that delivers justice when the law can’t.
Family? They left him long before he left them.
Friends? A liability.
A place to call home? Doesn’t exist.
Mav’s motto is simple: Get done and get out. Work, sex, doesn’t matter. No emotional connections. Simple.
Until he meets him.

Alone. Hiding. Broken.
At fifteen years old, Eli Galvez had nothing. No family, no friends and only his body as a means to make enough money to survive. But a chance meeting changed all that and eight years later, he’s well on his way to having the life he could once only dream of. He’s been accepted into medical school and he’s finally returned home to Seattle to be closer to the men and women who don’t share his blood, but are the only family he’s ever really known.
Only things aren’t what they seem and the secrets Eli has been hiding are about to come to the surface with dangerous consequences.

One final chance at a real future.
Guys like Eli just aren’t Mav’s type, period. Yet he can’t deny his intense attraction to the younger man who only looks at him with fear in his eyes. Until the day there’s something else in those eyes too. Something that draws Mav in and refuses to let go. Something that makes him want to forget his rules. But Mav’s learned the hard way what happens when you get too close to something. And while he vows to protect Eli after a violent attack leaves the younger man shaken, protection is all he’ll offer.

Because anything else would just cost too much.

5 Stars! 

This one broke my heart more than once. Both Eli and Mav are so damaged that it was nearly impossible not to shed tears. Together they were so great, they were like a salve to each other's soul. But it's almost impossible for two men who have been knocked down so many times, by the people who matter the most, to not hurt each other even when they truly don't mean or want to.

There's a scene between Mav and Eli where Eli has basically shut down and given up, his words to Mav had the tears pouring from my eyes. I could actually feel his pain in my gut and I had to take a few deep breaths just to push through it. It was so somber, so desolate that I wondered how someone like him, sweet and sensitive, could be made to feel like he has. Having read Logan's Need I know Eli's past and that just adds to the sadness I feel for what he has gone through.

Mav is a character that touched me in a way that I wasn't quite sure I understood at first. The damage caused by his family, mainly his Grandfather, is such a heartbreaking thing. He grew up on a Reservation, raised by a Grandfather who hated him. He never felt like he fit into his own family. His only true friend committed suicide when they were younger. His fellow Police Officers turned against him and now the last thing he wants is to be abandoned once again.

Eli, on the other hand, is surrounded by people. Family and friends all who he knows love him but even though they're there, he feels alone. He doesn't quite feel like he's a solid member, more on the periphery of everything and the secrets he keeps locked away make it all the more difficult. He's drowning in pain, secrecy and shame.

These men are so great together not because of the romance element (even though they are hot together as well) but because when it comes down to it, they can understand each other. Both feel alone, both feel betrayed by family and both don't know how to let people who care about them in. Sloane did an amazing job writing their characters and capturing the loneliness of both men.

Again I highly recommend this book. It's a great addition to this awesome series and if you love Sloane Kennedy's writing as much as I do you will want to read Forsaken.

Another 5 Star offering from SK. Wanna know some The Protectors secrets? Read on....

I'm lucky enough to be a fan and beta for SK and every book blows me away with its heart, its amazing storyline, its leads, the hot sex, the angst and then the utterly deserved, full-on romantic HEA. She writes my kind of tale, and best of all, I never have to ask her, 'is it ready yet?', as this lady is now writing full time, and on some kind of totally dedicated mission to make readers happy.

In this tale, we get to know Mav, and catch up with Eli, Logan and Dom's son/ward - and as a bonus, we get to see my all-time fave SK leads living their HEA, raising their family and as much in love now as they were in their own tale. I know I digress, but Logan and Dom got me addicted to SK's writing, and they still rule and always will!!!! Oh, Seth and Ronan appear briefly in this, too, as do Hawke, Tate and gorgeous little Matty, as well as the guys from book 1 in the series.

OK, so I don't have SK's way with words, but here's the insider info: all previous leads are living their HEA - that's a given in SK-land. But, watch out for a lovely, romantic event coming soon-ish in book 5, one I knew would happen, and a totally, totally amazing event for the same leads in book 6 of the series. I can't tell you the names of the characters involved, but you won't be disappointed. And, SK lavishing the love even more, I can tell you there's even more great news in book 6, as well as more happy-happy-happy coming readers' way, and the various leads' way, in books 5 and 6. So far, SK has 7 books plotted out, and she hasn't ruled out more in the series. Does she love us or what?

Anyway, back to the tale - SK doesn't do nice or easy, but she does do heartbreaking storylines and this one is no exception. I won't spoil the tale, but it's one of her hardest-hitting and there are some parts that made me very sad, some that broke my heart, some that made me feel warm and smiley, and some that made me angry. Eli has endured so much pain, physical as well as mental, so much disappointment and disillusionment, and he so deserves the protector that he finds in Mav. Mav himself is no stranger to pain, heartache and missing out on love, but something in Eli wakes up feelings and hope that he hadn't realised he was capable of...And, they're not the only ones in pain, as those around them end up affected, but at the end, all end up closer than ever together.

The tale is a roller coaster of emotions, pain, angst, healing, hot sex and ends in the start of the guys' lives turned around and an amazing future for both. We also meet Memphis, another of Ronan's employees, who goes on to get his own tale next, a MMM, with his partners being Tristan, Logan and Dom's second oldest son, and Brennan, the younger brother of Zane from Freeing Zane. And, yes, we get a glimpse of Magnus's lead (Magnus is Matty's grandfather; his book will be the 6th), and we get to meet a future pair of leads, who get their tale in book 7. I've been privy to a general idea of what happens in book 6, and I can promise you that that's going to be another heartbreaker, and that we'll continue to see previous leads in that book, too.

There are some seriously amazing, humbling words in this, words that match the beauty, romance, heartache/heartbreak, and healing of the words tattooed on Hawke's chest. They're words that will break your heart and words that will make it happy; words that will stay with you in the romance stakes like those in that good old weepie, Ghost. Gah - enough with the mush!

Whilst I did get to beta the book as a WIP, it's so amazing that I've bought my own copy. No money was requested or offered for this review, the words of which are entirely my own.

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  1. It depends on my mood sometimes I love to read an angst but there are times when I need to read a lighter story.

  2. I like both, I tend to read depending on my mood. If I'm really stressef, lighter stories reign. If things are good, angst is good.

  3. I like both. It depends on what my mood is.

  4. It depends on my mood ... but I tend to enjoy lighter stories nowadays rather than angst.

  5. I haven't read any Sloane Kennedy, but this one sound like it has all the tropes I like!