Cover Image: Double-Crossed

Double-Crossed

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Member Reviews

Just so you know from the beginning, I am an extreme Ali Vali fan. I have loved every single book I have read of hers, and I especially love the ‘Cain Casey’ and ‘Sept Savoie’ series, so when I heard that she was starting a new series based in Las Vegas, I was over-the-moon happy. After reading Double Crossed, I am still just as happy, if not more so.

For all of us die-hard Ali Vali/Cain Casey fans, this is the beginning of a great new series. We meet Reed Gable, a woman with a horrid past. She was put in the foster care and group home system at the age of five, where she quickly learned that she could count on no one but herself. As an adult Reed became a hit woman, stealing and killing for those who hire her. She relies heavily on her sidekick and back-up, Oscar, her only friend from her childhood. She kills without mercy until the day she finally reaches the one line she will not cross. That’s the day she meets Brinley Myers, the woman she has been contracted to kill. When she sees that Brinley is the mother of a young son (who is with her at the time of their first contact), she balks, but Brinley has already seen her and realizes what she is there for. But Reed’s past might be Brinley’s only chance for a future. Thus begins a complex and compelling tale that had me on the edge from the first page to the last.

This is also the story of mobsters, several family groups loosely connected to a major New York mob, with each family group trying to capture as much Vegas territory as they can. We also get to see the Jatibon family (from the ‘Cain Casey’ series) again since they are in Vegas with their own business. Though they are secondary characters in this book, it looks like we may see more of them in this series. I hope so, anyway.

There is violence in this book, and lots of killing, but there is also romance, love, and the beginning of a great new reading adventure. I can’t wait to read more of this intriguing story.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.
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An honest review thanks to NetGalley.  This was a great read by Vali, I loved Reed and it was amazing being able to walk into her life.  I would recommend reading the Cain Casey series before this one as there are a lot of characters in the previous book.  The only issue I had, which I have in a lot of Vali's books is that there was a lot of pages of dialogue with the mob characters.   I found myself skipping through these pages to get back to Reed's story.  If there was more of Reed I would have rated this book much higher.
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2.75 stars - I have to say this missed the mark for me. I had never read anything by this author before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I supposed it's my own fault for only skimming through the summary. When my brain registered "assassin" I automatically expected Reed to be kinda like Black Widow, and well. Let's be honest, those expectations were unrealistic. 

Reed, a hit woman and thief, is hired to kill Brinley, an accountant working for the Moroccan Casino in Las Vegas. Refusing to shoot an innocent woman in front of her child, Reed fakes their deaths and keeps them safe until she can be sure nobody’s going to come finish the job Reed was hired to do.

The thing is, I really enjoyed the storyline and the writing is good. It could have been a really fun, action-packed novel, but there were so many characters with detailed backstories and all related to different mob families, that I kept zoning out. Halfway through, I starting skim-reading whenever Reed/Brinley wasn't in the scenes. Maybe that's because I wasn't familiar with the universe this book is set in, but it definitely impacted my enjoyment of this novel.

I have to mention, if you don't want to read about m/f and m/m sexual activities, I'd definitely skip this one. 

I was given an ARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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3.75 Stars. This is a new series that takes place in the Cain universe. While Cain Casey is not in this book, her name is mentioned and other characters from her books like Remi and Dallas are in this. Even with this being in the Cain universe, you don’t have to read the Cain books before you read this. This is the first book in Vali’s Vegas Nights series so you are fine to start here.

I’m a Vali fan. I love her Cain, Remi and Sept books. I love that she writes so many books in the Cain universe since it’s like seeing old friends. And really no one writes such bad bad-guys but also such likeable morally grey criminal main characters like Vali does. This book stars Reed a fixer (assassin and thief) who completes a hit on someone and all hell breaks loose. Can she and the people she loves get out of trouble in one piece?

I do have to admit I didn’t like this as much as the Cain and Sept books. I was completely entertained the whole time but I was not as invested as I normally am. Having Remi in this book helped some but I didn’t connect to the two mains as much as I was hoping. I also found Reed to be a little more passive than I wanted. While Cain and Remi scheme like there is no tomorrow, they also get the job done themselves. Reed was relying more on others to fix the mess she was in and for a hit woman that didn’t seem badass enough. I have my fingers crossed that I will grow more attached to Reed in the next book in this series.

For your romance fans out there, there is a romance. However, it is a slow moving romance that never builds up a ton of steam. I understand why it is a slow romance, it had to be because of what happened, but I think it would have been better to let it develop more in the next book instead of rushing it at the end. There are so many moving pieces in this book, Vali always carefully constructs a web of bad guys that she always does brilliantly, but there just wasn’t enough time for the heat and chemistry between the two mains. Behind every good Vail criminal is a strong partner to support and love them so again I’m hopeful book two will help this couple get closer. I do have to mention one of the mains is named Brinley. I have to say I’m not a fan of that name. I was calling her Brinkley for all but the final two chapters when I finally noticed there was not K in her name.

I want to be clear, even with the issues I mentioned I still enjoyed this and was really entertained. I’m probably being over critical because I believe this book could have been at least 4.50 stars with some changes. If you are a Vali fan I have no real doubt that you will enjoy this. If you are new to Vali this isn’t a bad place to start, just know that there are even better books of hers out there already.
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A unique crime mystery set in the Vegas mob scene. The romance as a bit light on, so don’t go into this one if you are looking for pure romance. It takes more of a back seat to the crime part of the story. Still a good read though.
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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ALI VALI has quickly become one of my favorites authors. She writes about relationships in unusual circumstances that are relatable and easy to believe.  Her books have plots that do not rely on extended, graphic sex scenes. And when she does include six scenes - they are relevant and hot.

This story continues a series with the addition of new characters surviving in Las Vegas.

A single mom with one child is working for the wrong guy, too smart and ethical for her own good.

A professional thief, sometimes assassin picks up a contract against her better judgement.

Their paths cross unexpectedly and they struggle to make the best of a bad scenario.

Bad guys who are monsters, bad guys who have hearts of gold and innocents make this a compelling crime mystery that I couldn't put down.
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Gambling, drugs and a hit woman sounds like a pretty big novel, and Ali Vali does well in delivering an interesting story.

Reed is the best hit woman in Vegas, but is this latest contract too much? Brinley is a brand new accountant thrown into the dirty books of a casino and finds herself in a tonne of trouble. Double crossing is just a part of a regular day.

What I liked was the attraction between Reed and Brinley. It seemed genuine but a bit light in developing the relationship.

As a con, it was a bit challenging to follow all of the characters in the novel.
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I am huge fan of Ali Vali, and I'm not sure if I like Sept or Cain better, but along comes another character to charm us in the form of Rebel/aka Reed. A hitwoman/thief with a heart of gold. And Brinley...the luckiest woman in Vegas!

The two of them captured me right from their first encounter, right along with Oscar. 

This seems like a great beginning to another engaging series. I enjoyed Sept's tale, and Cain's, and I hope this one will be just as intense. If this first book is anything to go by, hold on to your hats!

I will say this though...this book makes the Cain Casey series look like Romper Room. There is violence, there is creative death and the streets might run with blood...wear gloves!
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Reed is a self employed assassin. Raised by an addicted and neglectful mother until removed by the Nevada State, she grew up forgotten in a foster system that spit her out at the age of eighteen. Reed ditched her previous identity and started working towards complete independence from everyone and anything. After all, no one had ever helped her in life. 

Brinley Myers moved to Las Vegas with her one year old son. Her previous partner cheated on her and that made her turn to an ill advised night with a man, leaving her pregnant with Finn and hounded by the man’s family for money. Getting a fresh start away from them took her to the Moroccan Casino’s accounting department. Soon, her life is upended when her employer takes out a contract on her. Reed is in even more trouble as she struggles to eliminate an innocent person while getting caught in a war between the powerful mob families in Las Vegas.

'Double crossed' is a mob story with romance at the side. Thirty percent into the tale, and the mains had not met yet. There was a lot of mob family related dynamics that made this feel like a Joe Pesci movie. Interesting if you are into it, but not so great for romance fans. If you enjoyed the movie ‘Casino’, this will be enjoyable as well.

I have to say, this book moved me in a few different ways. It made me shake my head at how a child had to endure so much in life and get by with so little support. It also made me question what I was reading when Reed simply committed a double murder. The author even managed to evoke some sadness when Reed left an escort behind. Ms Vali did a great job of conveying feelings, whether it was anger, greed, sadness, regret or loneliness.

Reed isn't an easy to love character. There was something about her not making excuses for her choices that made her a likable character in the end. She openly admitted to Brinley how damaged she was. How she was no better than the people who hired her to eliminate other individuals. On the other side, Brinley falling in love with the person hired to kill her was crazy, but somehow Ms. Vali makes it sound credible in some twisted way. Still, the romance was lacking for me and while the ending clearly sets this as just the beginning of a series, I was not crazy about the choices the mains made. However, I will read the next book and just accept the premise of the story and enjoy it for what it is, an intrigue/thriller book. 

Overall, a good mob related novel. 4 stars

ARC generously provided to me by BSB via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Yes! It was so nice and refreshing to read about new characters! I loved Reed's character, it was just something that pulled at me and made me root for her. She was strong, unyielding, angry, resentful...but she was also sad and didn't know it. Brinley';s character was perfect for Reed because she was just as strong. I do have to says that this is more of a suspense novel than a romance. The main characters did not meet until half way through the book and by then someone was trying to kill Brinley. With that being sad, I loved the book. Now that I think about it, I wish that I would have seen less of Remi in the book, that would have lead to more interaction between the main characters. I definitely recommend.
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Mixed feelings about this one, I loved the early books in her Cain Casey series. But the last 2 or so I haven't even read cause I lost interest. I cannot even tell you why cause the storyline is interesting and I have a connection to the Cain and Emma, but maybe it was the over-exposure of other characters?

Which is also what put me off in this one as well...I expected to get a nice romance between bad girl hired contractor Reed and unsuspecting innocent single mom Brinley, but I got a story about a lot of different mob figures and the fall out after a murder Reed got hired to do. And oh yes, there did develop a romance.which almost felt as a side note to the story and didn't live up to my expectations. Nevertheless I love the way the writer gets you to care about the bad girl and even condone what she does, it's what she has done in several other books of hers. I also enjoyed seeing Remi and Mano Jabiton on their own handling business.

If you pick this one up and not expect it to be focused on a big romance like the one between Cain and Emma, but more a story about the mob in Vegas, their activities and how scores are settled with seeing some familiar faces then you have another solid book in your hands and most probably the start of a new series.
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One thing is for sure... You can always count on Ali Vali for a good law bending story with some romance mixed in.  I was very much looking forward to this book and was excited for the opportunity to read it.   The story is intriguing and the characters are engaging.  I couldn't put it down.  Action packed and thrilling is what you can expect.  My students will love this.  I definitely recommend.
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This is the start of a new series with mobsters, now set in Las Vegas, very similar to the Cain Casey Saga set in New Orleans also from this author. On this occasion, the protagonists are Reed, a contract killer and a thief, a woman with no past because she has erased it completely since she has nothing good to remember about her childhood in the foster care sistem. And the other woman is Brinley, a single mother that wants to start anew in Las Vegas, fleeing from her abusive partner and his mother-in-law. As is usual in this kind of plots, there are a lot of characters going around the story, several mob families with dark interests and with a lot of pending issues between them. And when a simple case of removing some loose ends with an unexpected twist, tempest unleashes.

In addition to the new members of the Las Vegas clans, some characters from the Cain Casey series also appear. Somehow this new series will be tied with that of New Orleans, taking into account the way this chapter ends.

As for the romance between Reed and Brinley, it seemed to me a little forced, really. Not very chemistry between them and low intensity in their interactions.

So this has been a good underworld action story, with a lot of bloody situations and vendetta, entertaining.
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Ali Vali could well be crowned the Mario Puzo of lesfic since she has a special affinity to Mob/Mafia series and admittedly does them really well. This one is the first of a new series.

Reed Gable, born Rebel Jones to a drug addicted mother becomes a ward of the state at five. She is shunted from one foster home to another finally ending up in a state-run facility at the age of nine. Nothing about her past has been warm or nurturing and she comes out on the wrong side of law. This is further aggravated when she is imprisoned for four years and learns a whole lot of other tricks during her internment. Based in Las Vegas, her primary skill is thieving but she is happy to take on contracts to kill every once in a while. She has made enough money to kick back her heels and retire but continues ‘working’. She takes on a job to get rid of a cheating husband, Victor Maddison. The collateral damage in that job is his ‘extracurricular’ partner, a nineteen year old. Right on the heels of this hit, she takes on a job to get rid of an accountant, Brinley Myers, who just might know much more than she should’ve. Brinley has just moved to Vegas and joined a casino, Moroccan. One drunken night and a huge mistake ended up with Brinley becoming pregnant. The father, a lowlife, is in jail; but he and his druggie mom want to somehow make Brinley pay their ‘bills’. She moves to Vegas with her one-year-old son, Finn, to escape that mistake. When Reed finds Brinley to complete the hit, she finds Finn with Brinley and cannot kill the mother. So she takes them home to figure out what to do – and ends up becoming their protector. With one incomplete job and the other one (Victor’s death) snowballing into an inter-Family mess, the action turns crazy.

We love the pairs of MCs that Vali writes. There is an upright, moral (per their own code), almost-heroic butch (though thankfully the butchness is not rubbed into our faces) and a strong, unembarrassed, knowing-her-mind femme. Reed and Brinley are par for the course. We also love the way the author writes romance. However, this one is more inter-gang rivalry, introducing a huge cast of characters and lots of deaths.

In the beginning we didn’t particularly care for Reed. In fact, when she remorselessly kills the young girl with Victor, we actively disliked her and were quite set against her. Somehow, as the different families of the Mob kept getting introduced, Reed seemed like a minor player in the bigger game and we could reconcile ourselves with her coldness. We do wish that some of the darker aspects of the book weren’t there – but then they were all essential for the story. There was one tiny walk-on part (Jayden) and one madly messed-up character (Sofia), both of whom we are quite rooting for and hope that they have a happy story in the later books.

All in all, this is action-packed mafia entertainment with a dash of romance. It’s quite good fun.
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Reed Gable, thief and hit woman, is contracted to take out Brinley Myers, who happens to have just started a new life in Vegas to get away from from the druggie father of her one year old son. Brinley has been employed as an accountant at one the casinos when her manager asks her and her fellow colleague to audit the books, this leads them to discovering some anomalies in the ledgers and now that they've had access to the books potentially uncovered the casino's money laundering business, Brinley and her colleague needs to be disposed of.  Reed has her gun directed at Brinley's head but once she considers she'll be taking out Brinley in front of her son, Reed needs to make a choice, to kill or not to kill.
This read is definitely more of crime thriller with a bit of romance thrown in. There were a lot of characters that all played their parts in this web of a story that I almost felt I needed a whiteboard to show where they all fitted in and that I could reference back to as the story swung from one mob family to the next. I did like the characters of Reed and Brinley but was surprised how quickly Brinley fell for Reed considering their circumstances. It took me a while to get into this book but I felt it picked up the pace as I got into it.  Not necessarily my style of writing but not a bad read.
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I was given this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review from Bold Strokes Books and Netgalley, and I am so grateful for the chance to read the first in the Vegas Nights series before it comes out. 

This book was everything an Ali Vali book always is, there was the romance, which honestly seemed to come out of nowhere, it was like one minute she couldn't stop crying and the next she was throwing herself at Reed as an attempt to pay her backfire not killing her. Even though Brinley says she doesn't have Stockholm syndrome, her behavior clearly points to Stockholm syndrome. The two main characters were likable, I thought Brinley was a good strong partner for Reed, as in every single Vali book there needs to be. I really liked how Mano and Remi were in the book, I don't get enough of them in the Cain Casey series so its nice to see them in other books. I am a huge fan of Ali Vali's books I have read all of them except two which I will be reading soon. What I like about Ali and her books is that they are consistently well written, the plot is thought out, and it always keeps me on my toes. 

The book is about Reed and the fact that she is sometimes a contact killer, she goes to kill Brinley but can't for reason I will let you read about on your own, From this premise it is a really well done book. The one thing I always find annoying about Ali Vali and her books is how many secondary characters there are. I got so confused as to who was who I had to go back and re-read entire chapters that was annoying as it took me out of the story. Once we got closer to the end and everything tightened up as it normally does, I felt that all the secondary characters were unnecessary.

The story was great and I am excited for more, I am probably gonna read the Cain Casey series for the third time just so I can get more of my mob women. I love this story and I am very excited for more. The story flowed well, it wasn't too long, and Vali did a good job spinning a tale that kept me reading all day until I finished, I highly recommend this book.
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Double-Crossed was a crime story about the dirty and dangerous business of the mob and all those that were involved with them. Respect and  loyalty were rewarded while betrayal and being double crossed were punished in a rather swift and permanent manner.   

Rebel Jones was only five years old when she was placed in the foster care system after her mother overdosed. When she was 18, she was released from the system but soon found herself doing 4 years in prison for robbery; prison taught her how to become a better thief.  After her release, Reed became a very successful thief in Las Vegas and an occasional hired killer if the price was right. Brinley was a young mother with a one year old who took a job as an accountant at one of the local casinos and unbeknownst to her controlled by the mob. She started to put her life together after a difficult past few years, but found her and her son’s life in danger by the same people who employed her. When Reed and Brinley’s worlds collided, the outcome was not what either one of them expected and the danger for both of them intensified. 

With a slew of characters in this story, there was always something going on and initially it was hard to keep track of these characters and how they were connected either by association or family ties. But once the story evolved, the connections became clearer with who was involved in the usual mob related crimes like money laundering, revenge killing or killing to silence someone, drug trafficking, and mob wars.  There was also the softer side of the mob life where family was concerned and some tried to maintain a semblance of normalcy for their children. 
There were some parts, however, that were difficult to read especially when innocent lives were taken, but it was the reality of this world and couldn’t be ignored. 

I liked how the author slowly allowed Brinley to see the real Reed and come to understand her life choices and the circumstances that made her that way. It was also interesting how the author developed the relationship between Reed and her friend from foster care, Oscar, and how they too bonded by circumstance and the will to survive. These relationships were well executed and written and gave the storyline a compassionate element in an otherwise violent and stoical environment. 
If you enjoy anything mob/crime related then Double-Crossed will definitely be worth the read.
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I'll be the first to admit, I haven't always been the biggest fan of Ali Vali's works.  I've never quite been able to put my finger on it, but after I got a few books into the Casey Cain series, I started to get burned out.  I never really connected to any of the characters in here latest stories either, and they've just left me feeling...  blah.  I can't seem to stop trying though, and I'm glad I gave her work another shot.

Double-Crossed seems to be the first in what will be the start of a new series for Vali, but bits of it are set in the same universe as her Cain books, and has the feel of her early Cain books.  Tough bad girl falls for damsel in distress, lots of violence and action, etc.  For me, that's both good and bad.  While the early Cain books are some of the novels that I've enjoyed most from Vali, the large ensemble cast of the Cain series (and what I think this new novel is already becoming), is already starting to bother me, even in this first book in the series.  

Unfortunately, with the introduction of numerous secondary characters, all with long and drawn out stories, really drew my focus away from the mains who are supposed to be at the center of the novel.  About halfway through this one, I already felt my interest starting to markedly drop and actually had to put down the book down for a bit and come back to it later so I wouldn't start skimming.  I personally read novels all the way through in one go, and since I read at a rate of about 1 book a day, when I say I have to put a book down, that's a pretty big deal.  That's a telling sign that I'm likely not going to like the rest of the series.

With all that said, there were elements of this that I truly enjoyed.  Vali has a knack for creating a bad girl main who you can really get behind and support.  If you're an avid Ali Vali reader, or you loved her Casey Cain stories, you'll like be very happy with this book since it appears to be in the same universe.  For Vali fans, I'm sure this will be well worth the read.  For me, I can't rate it higher than 3.5 stars, and I'm rounding down because I can't bring myself to hit the 4 star button.

I also have to mention, I was a bit surprised to read a somewhat graphic m/m scene in this book.  Not your normal inclusion in a f/f story, and it wasn't something I wanted to read.  Personally, I prefer zero penis in my f/f stories, even very little of the silicone kind...

**Many thanks to Bold Strokes for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review**
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I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and voluntarily leaving my review. 


I was really into this story but then it fell flat to me I get that you had to get the main characters to meet.

Reed had a tough childhood but it gave her the means of survival along with her friend Oscar she became a hit woman and thief.

Brinley is accountant with a one year old son name Finn she came to Vegas to get away from her ex when she get a job at Moroccan Casino where she and her employee Naomi finds out that something not right with the books and learn there a money laundering operation going on that put her and those she loves in danger.

Reed just finish a job when she is hire to kill Brinley when she about to pull the trigger see  Brinley child with her even though she is a killer she can't kill a mother in front of her child but before she can figure out what to do she is double crossed.

Ok this is where I like the story I didn't mind that Reed and Brinley fell for each other quickly even though Reed try to push Brinley away. I didn't mind that there were to many characters even when you lose who hire who. What fell flat to me is I just didn't get why they had to kill Brinley and her child they coulda threaten her into submission to where she wouldn't have talk because in my opinion what she found shouldn't had put a contract on her head yeah she was going to quit because she didn't want to get in the middle of whatever was going on and it sad that Naomi and her daughter got killed to me for nothing. 

I love this author got mostly all her books I'm giving it 4 stars because I did like the characters and the plot was good it just what I thought it be.
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Ali Vali used to be one of my go-to authors but I’ve been pretty disappointed with the last few I read. I got burned out on Cain, never connected to Remi, loved Sept but the romance part of Calling the Dead didn’t do it for me. And my last venture at a stand-alone romance, The Romance Vote left me unsatisfied with the rushed ending. But I can’t seem to stay away from Vali’s work and thought Double-Crossed sounded interesting.

I got into it pretty quickly and there was definitely the feel of early Cain Casey with the tough woman who seems to melt only for a beautiful damsel in distress – and if there’s a small child involved, all the better. I was happy and rolling along with the murdery goodness but not too far in, began feeling overwhelmed with so many characters. I didn’t realize this was going to be a series set in the same universe as Casey and the Jatibons. Honestly, I probably would have taken a pass had I known. One of the reasons I tend to stay away from long series/large ensemble universes is because it takes the attention off of the characters I’m trying to focus on and connect with and tries to give me snippets and updates on other couples that aren’t supposed to be front and center in the current book. I know this isn’t a problem for many other folks but it is for me and I felt my interest waning as the cast of characters and family intrigues began to mount.

There were some aspects that I loved about Double-Crossed: Vali is great with creating the feel of the gangster life though the language she uses. There were quite a few lines of dialogue that made me stop just to admire them. She also knows how to crank up the sexual heat. And speaking of sex, I was surprised to find some m/m action in this book. I certainly don’t mind it but I thought it was risky since I’ve seen plenty of upset from lesfic readers whenever a penis is introduced into a f/f romance. I’m not the biggest reader of f/f romance anymore but this was a first for me.

I think if you’re a die-hard Ali Vali/Cane Casey fan and read every book, you’ll be incredibly happy with this one and will be thrilled to find a new series to follow in the same universe. And if you’re like me and have taken a break from the author’s series books but are intrigued about this one, it’s well worth your time. I definitely liked Reed and Brinley. (I can’t not comment on Ms. Vali’s always interesting character name choices. Never a boring name for a main character.)

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this one.
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