Thought I'll start with this series as this is what introduced me to Julie's work.
A little background: The first in this series was included in this anthology which incidentally has been banned when it first came out (real shame!), and no longer available now. Regardless, each of the novella or series-starter in that anthology is all now available individually.
My name is James Fenici and you will never see me coming. I walk the shadows like darkness itself. I hide in the corners where nobody looks. I live by no rules, I have no boundaries, I take no prisoners, and I never, ever blink. I am not your knight in shining armor; I’m your worst nightmare.
My name is James Fenici and you are my target. Only one of us is getting out alive, and that’s not gonna be you. Once your name is on my list, your life is over. It’s a deal I make with death, it’s a contract I sign in blood, it’s forgone conclusion—get used to it.
My name is James Fenici and I’m as dirty as they come. But then one day I saw her. And every monster I thought I was. Every fact I thought I knew. Every dirty promise I ever turned down came back to slap me in the face.
My name is James Fenici and I think I am in love.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)
Wooh, that was hot!! lol And this is just a prequel! Yummy H, interesting h, intriguing plot, what more could have I asked for, right?
Things did feel like it happened in speedy mode, but I was enjoying the story and the H, I mean the characters *grins*, that I didn't really care.
Haven't read JA Huss before and now I'm saying, that's for shame. Now I'm really eager to read her Rook & Ronin series and its spinoffs, and definitely this series.
“Secrets keep the darkness alive,” Harper tells me. But that’s not how I see it at all. Secrets keep me alive. The truth is overrated. Honesty is never the best policy. And everything you know absolutely can hurt you.
The contracts I fulfill are just agreements. Death is a business deal. Secrets are currency in my world. I pay my debts with them. I feed on them. They ground me in the present and they promise me a future. I’ve lived a life filled with secrets for so long—I forgot what it’s like to… feel.
Until I saw Harper. Until I saw how beautiful she’s become. How perfect, and pure, and innocent of all the ugly that goes on around her. And that dirty promise I refused the night her father turned me into a killer twelve years ago is suddenly on the table again.
Harper can be mine. No—Harper will be mine. All I have to do is complete the mission.
Death is a business deal.
And I just shook his hand.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)
So, this picks up where the 1st book ended ended. And if you're like me and haven't read Taut: The Ford Book, you also meet a new character, Sasha (at least that's my understanding, and no worries, it doesn't change anything).
You find out more background about James, and how Harper fit into his past, which was kinda' creepy in a way but I suppose makes sense as you move forward. You get a glimpse of how Sasha fits into the whole thing although I'm still not fully sure how she does. You get more details about the "Company" as James, Harper and Sasha bond and try to resolve, umm, not sure actually. I think the ultimate goal is to be free of the "Company" but the how is not clear yet. Also what's not clear are their real intentions (or maybe it's there, I'm just being a dunce, hmmm). All you see is that James has a past with bits & pieces missing, Harper has her own agenda, and so does Sasha. Achh, so many unanswered questions, still...
Anyhoot, again, if you're like me who likes kick-ass action flicks then I think you'll enjoy this as well. James is one hot H, unstable but hawt! lol Harper is young but a worthy h. Their chemistry sizzles. And Sasha is a nice addition to their lil mix.
James, Harper, and Sasha are products of their environment. Born into a secret organization that runs a global shadow government, and taught to kill since they were small, they find themselves both indispensable and expendable to all the people they used to trust.
Twenty-eight year old James Fenici has been an assassin since he was sixteen. He’s amassed debts and favors from countless Company brothers and participated in hundreds of Company jobs. But there are not enough favors in the world to clear his debt and make him worthy of the only girl he’s ever wanted.
Eighteen year old Harper Tate is the girl who doesn’t exist. Born and raised on a megayacht in a tropical paradise, she was destined to be a secret until now. No history, no records, and taught to have no opinions or ambition of her own, Harper is suddenly presented with more choices than she can handle.
Thirteen year old Sasha Cherlin is the girl who knows everything and understands nothing at all. Her future is filled with vengeance and death, but her dreams are filled with hope and a promise. A promise who no longer wants her.
The game is on, the pieces are in place, and the players have everything to lose. But who can you trust when everyone’s a traitor?
(Originally posted on Goodreads)
What an interesting entertaining ride!!
There are so many twists and turns, I really had to pay attention to remember who's who and who's doing what to whom. I couldn't quite figure out who to believe or trust since everyone appeared to have big pieces of a puzzle but not all and each one had a plan that I wasn't quite sure how it fit. I liked how I was kept guessing the whole time.
But it does fit in the end and things made sense and I understood why the plan(s) went down the way they did. Pretty cool, I thought. Also, all the characters kicked butt, from James, Harper and Sasha (especially Sasha!), to Nick, Merc and Ford.
I admit I wished James and Harper had more time together but the 68-70% mark made up for it, trust me LOL Especially after factoring in the introduction of a new character, Vincent, which I must say pushed it to OTT land a bit. *tisking my tongue* ;)
And this may not make sense, but I thought despite all the calculated planning on every one's part, there was an organic feel to the way the whole event panned out.
I just love how Julie always manages to hook me in with her stories and writing. Slow burn or not, I just know that when her story opens up, boy does it open up, and in the most surprising way at that. Which is why she is now an auto-read for me.
NOTE: The first 2 is now bundled in this series.
Thanks for dropping by!