Review, Excerpt, and Sweepstakes: Final Siege (Book #2: Love Over Duty Series) by Scarlett Cole

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34964915In the Line of Fire…
Former SEAL Malachai “Mac” MacCarrick is all about the future he’s created with his Navy brothers in Eagle Securities, taking assignments in the most dangerous places, and doing things no one but ex-military would attempt. But when an urgent phone call brings his troubled past—and the woman he once loved—into the present, it’s a chance to redeem himself that he can’t refuse.

Straight to the heart. . .
An investigative journalist researching an explosive story, Delaney Shapiro tells herself she got over Mac—and his role in her brother’s death—a long time ago. But the first moment she sees him at her bedside in an overseas hospital, she knows it’s not true. Every moment together rekindles the desire that once burned between them, and now that she’s a target for an emerging Russian arms dealer, Mac won’t let her out of his sight. To protect her, he’ll risk it all—including his life…

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Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 3/5

Holy Hannah!  A day I thought would never come, has come.  This, dear reader, is the day I have to honestly and sincerely assign less than five stars to a Scarlett Cole book.  Yes, there was mild depression involved.

Mac MacCarrick hasn’t seen the love of his life, Delaney Shapiro since shortly after her brother died in a horrifying accident Mac feels wholly responsible for causing.  In the years since that awful day, Mac has made the most of his life and fulfilled his promise to his long-dead friend to become a Navy SEAL.  Not only has Mac fulfilled the promise, but he excelled in the Navy and rose to a position of command.  Since his separation from the Navy, Mac and his two best friends have launched Eagle Securities, a company designed to pick up where the red tape ties up the US military.  Though the company isn’t intended to take up personal matters for individuals, Mac is on the first plane out when he’s contacted about Delaney in a military hospital in desperate condition.

Since the death of her beloved brother, Delaney has spent her life in the pursuit of truth.  She isn’t interested in sensationalized news, just pure truth that is found through hard work, dedication, and often more than a little danger.  Though she is in a bad way now, Delaney would gladly take the pain again and again if it means getting closer to the truth and taking down a criminal organization with more than a bit of mayhem planned.  In fact, Delaney would go through even more than she already has if it means achieving her end goal.  The only thing she regrets is calling out for Mac in her delirium. 

Delaney and Mac together, in this day and place are like oil and water.  Delaney can’t let go of her anger toward Mac over her brother’s death, and Mac can’t get past the guilt he feels over Delaney’s brother’s death.  The problem is this: Mac and Delaney are absolutely attracted to one another, but their old hurts are hard to move beyond.  Without letting go of the past, a future is absolutely out of the question.  All of the personal issues are coming to a head just as Delaney is forced to admit only Mac and his highly skilled team are capable of helping her get to the truth of her latest story.

As events shake out, Delaney and Mac are thrown ever closer together and are forced to deal with the respective issues toward the other.  It gets messy, sexy, dangerous, and ugly before all is said and done, but neither would have it any other way.  When the truth finally comes out, Delaney, Mac, and the rest of Eagle Securities have toppled a small portion of a much larger empire dead-set on destruction. 

The Bottom Line:  Here’s the bold truth of the matter, I HATE Delaney and general character type.  Unfortunately, Cole has produced a character that never plays well for me in any book.  Delaney is the typical anything-for-a-story journalist who is reckless, careless, and whose single-minded determination has collateral damage.  Additionally, Delaney’s constant jabs at Mac about the loss of her brother and her inability (despite being a journalist hellbent on finding the truth!) to accept that maybe, just maybe her brother’s death isn’t Mac’s fault after all.  For all intents and purposes, I like every other aspect of this read; it’s Delaney and Delaney alone who pulled this read from a 5-star to a 3-star rating.  Please be aware, dear reader, I fully appreciate this bias toward this specific character type is mine and mine alone, and most readers, particularly long-time Scarlett Cole fans, are going to eat this book up like a large slice of chocolate cake. 😊

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Excerpt from Final Siege (Book #2: Love Over Duty Series):

Half asleep, unwilling to fully waken and face the day, Delaney snuggled deep into the covers and allowed the dreams that danced on the edge of her consciousness to enter. In it, she was naked, in a large white bed, with a man behind her. A hand spanned her stomach, pulling her back against a firm, warm chest. Spooning. Her favorite thing.

Lazily, the hand moved upward until it cupped her breast, and Delaney secretly urged it to squeeze gently, but it didn’t. Whoever the hand belonged to was definitely aroused. She could feel the heavy erection pressing against her back. Teasingly, she wiggled her butt against him in the hope he’d get the message, but nothing. No response.

Sun shone in through large open windows with white billowing curtains as she reveled in feelings of being turned on.

She turned in the man’s arms, grateful when he pulled her closer to him. His chest was wide, with a light smattering of hair, and she pressed her forehead to it as she slid her hand between them to the waistband of his shorts.

A hand gripped her wrist. “Don’t,” a voice said gruffly. Hard to get? That was a new one. She moved closely and pressed a series of soft kisses to his chest. But she could be that girl. The one who was confident enough to initiate. She licked his nipple and heard him gasp.

“Delaney, please. Fuck. Wake up!”

Suddenly the bed shook. Covers were dragged off her body, and her skin was cold. Then the realization hit her.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

It wasn’t a dream.

Delaney forced one eye open and confirmed her worst nightmare. Mac stood naked, apart from a pair of basketball shorts and a huge erection. And if the tenting was to be believed, his chest and bicep dimensions weren’t the only muscles that had grown. His hair was ruffled, standing up every which way as it always used to, and his eyes told her that she’d woken him up. By attempting to grab his dick.

Dear God. She was going to die.

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About the author and where to find her:

Scarlett Cole

The tattoo across my right hip says it all really. A Life Less Ordinary. Inked by the amazingly talented Luke Wessman at the Wooster Street Social Club (a.k.a. New York Ink). Why is it important? Well, it sums up my view on life. That we should all aspire to live a life that is less boring, less predictable. Be bold, and do something amazing. I’ve made some crazy choices. I’ve been a car maker, a consultant, and even a senior executive at a large retailer running strategy. Born in England, spent time in the U.S. and Japan, before ending up in Canada were I met my own, personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. Both of us are scorpios! Yeah, I know! Should have checked the astrological signs earlier, but somehow it works for us. We have two amazing kids, who I either could never part with or could easily be convinced to sell on e-bay.  I’ve wanted to be a writer for a really long time. Check through my office cupboards or my computer and you’ll find half written stories and character descriptions everywhere. Now I’m getting the chance to follow that dream.

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