Cover Image: The Payback

The Payback

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Member Reviews

It started with a very promising start. A snarky college student and a mystery computer geek Brandon. But they had the same goal but didn't know at the start a goal to destroy Philly's notorious Mafia. The circumstances throw them together on the run and they come to an agreement to destroy the mafia together. I loved the slow burn, action, and suspense it was all good, but for me, it was too much repetition in the chapters and a few things were a little over the top and not believable. 
I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for NetGalley.
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ARC Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley for an honest opinion. Revenge against power can be deadly. This book is a journey for such revenge with a twist of tall, dark, and handsome Mr. Unexpected.
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I started this book first and it starts with a woman looking for the person who killed her boyfriend years ago in a drive-by shooting. It also left her with scars both physically and mentally. This all works for her until a guy by the name of Brandon moves into her apartment building and not only becomes attracted to her but wants to find out more about her. When she is caught spying on the club the mafia boss makes her work there. Now Brandon becomes more intensified in his searching and trying to get closer to her. It is not until Shep and Alesha come dragging in that I decided to go and find the first book and read that to find out what happens. When coming back to this one I still was not disappointed you do get some closure between the two main characters but you know there will be more. Overall a good story.
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Thoroughly enjoyed the contents of this book. It was well written and certain an interesting read, Would highly recommend it.
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First I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for this free e-copy.
All opinions are freely given and entirely my own. 

Let's start off by saying that the steamy scenes where HOTT!
The sexual tension is build from the second Sage and Brandon meet on the street when he's moving into her apartment. 

A mob invested Philly is set as the scene. The city in their grip. Sage and her boyfriend were victims of a drive by shooting that took his life and almost hers. Since then she turned her life around, switched her college major to criminology, and started going to the shooting range and learn how to fight. She is determined to never be a victim again and to never attach herself to someone again... That is until she meets Brandon (those blue eyes described sound gorgeous btw!). An immediate connection between the two is like a fuse to a bomb you are hoping that will explode. 

Together they set out to take down the mob, and look fabulous while doing it. (I kinda want the dress Sage was waring to the masquerade!!). Sage has a lot of barriers to bring down with Brandon and she resists for a long time. Even though, she is clearly attracted to him. Brandon has a guilt to overcome but his patience with Sage is admirable. He is so kind and sweet and understanding. You can tell right away that these two were made for each other!

Definitely a worthy read and one with a lot of action you can swoon away with.
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Hollywood meets romantic fiction in this book! If you are a fan of movies like Mission Impossible and Mr and Mrs Smith, you will enjoy this story. There are the villainous Mafia and Russian mob characters, the ex-military hero, a scarred vigilante heroine and some amusing side kicks. Add in some steamy romantic scenes, some kick ass fight sequences and some explosive big-boom scenes, and you have the makings of a blockbuster story.  Grab some popcorn and settle in for some high octane reading.
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Not your average romance - mafia, hitmen, revenge, and a bit of covert operations add up for a strong story with, of course, romance tying it together.  In this one the girl is the one in avoidance with the boy not giving up - and you may want to give her a slap here and there :)  Makes it a fun read - great for a weekend or vacation.
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𝗧𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝘀: one bed, friends to lovers, grumpy x sunshine, forced proximity, slow burn, he falls first

Sage is determined to find the killer who killed her boyfriend 3 years ago. Although she still suffers from the trauma caused by that episode, she does not give up until she takes revenge. When Brandon appears in her life, she tries to keep him away because she's afraid of losing him too.

At first Brandon keeps secrets about who he really is, but he will open up to Sage when she needs his help. He is always by her side and tries to make her have more confidence in her.

Thank you NetGalley, Epic Press, and Julie Weaver for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Payback by Julie Weaver

This is book two in the author's Team Zulu series this is Sage and Brandon Lewis they're neighbors and both have an agenda to right the wrongs that Dante who runs the Wolf Street Mob in Philadelphia. I really loved this story because there was the grumpy and happy back and forth between Sage and Brandon.

Sage had her HEA taken from her three years ago in a drive by shooting that took away her first love and left her with shattered. She's currently studying criminology at college but keeping an eye on Vixen's across the street. When she's discovered by the owner he has her working in the bar will she be able to find what she needs and take down one of the biggest mobs in Philly?

Brandon Lewis is trying to find the person who took his sister in a human trafficking ring that is run by the same group that Sage. He also has hacker skills that will become useful when it's time to keep tabs on Dante and his henchmen after an attack at Vixens. We'll also get to meet Shep again from Brandon's former Team Zulu and fall in love with Sage's roomie Lettie who's rough and gruff but will protect her friend to the end.

Great book and a huge thank you to Net Galley and Victory Editing Co-Op for the ARC. My opinions are my own and not solicited in any way.
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I was quick to pick up this book because I had read a different book by this author and loved it.
This book was one that took a while to pull me in. It took a while before things really took off. It had good main characters with snarky Sage and more to him than you think, Brandon. The things that came out of her mouth were direct, sarcastic and often funny. Her BFF Lettie was a tiny dynamo who was also fierce in a different way but funny just the same. Wait, maybe they weren't so different because they both said whatever came to mind. I did get a kick out of Lettie not using Brandon's name but instead addressed him as Muscles.
When the action starts up its full guns ahead, totally unpredictable with a good explosive ending.
and ends

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
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This book was absolutely undeniably incredible. I fell in love with the characters in the first few chapters and could not put the book down. The fantastic and detailed backstories for all the major players in the story to the ending had me sitting at the edge of my seat. This book is spicy but also a strong and powerful story of revenge, love, and healing. This book has realistic depictions of what it is like years after trauma and how every person's healing is different. I would absolutely recommend this story to anyone who likes a good revenge book with forced proximity and feisty characters.
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Sage suffered a horrible tragedy 3 years ago and wants payback. She doesn’t have time for her sexy new neighbor in her life, that is until she realises they are both after the same thing. Brandon is trying find out who is responsible for the death of his sister. They both end up at the same club looking for answers. Things escalate quickly and they join forces to take down the people responsible for their loses. Sage doesn’t want to have feelings for the hot alpha who is helping her, but she really can’t resist him and Brandon wanted her from the first moment he saw her and is determined to break down her barriers. They make a kick ass, hot couple. This is action packed and hot.  I would recommend reading the first book in the series to get the most out of this book as the stories intertwine. Sage is scared, scarred, determined and strong. Brandon is ex special forces, hot, alpha, loyal and protective. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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You may want to hang on to your seat for this action packed latest release by Julie Weaver.  The Payback is the second book in the Team Zulu series by Julie Weaver.  The Payback is about a young woman who was almost killed by a drive by shooting that unfortunately took the life of her boyfriend.  She is out to find out who was responsible and make them pay, but unfortunately she gets herself in a little bit of a pickle, but not to worry she gets help from her brand new and very captivating neighbor.  He has his own mission as well that involves making the people who took his sister and are responsible for her death pay.  It turns out that both of their enemies are one in the same and after he helps her get out of a sticky situation they team up to bring down everyone tied to the mafia.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an action packed romantic suspense story with a strong heroine.
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3.75 stars--THE PAYBACK is the second full length instalment in Julie Weaver’s contemporary, adult TEAM ZULU romantic suspense series focusing on the former members of an under cover Black Ops Unit known as Team Zulu. This is security specialist/IT hacker Brandon Lewis, and Sage Allen’s story line.  THE PAYBACK can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary.

NOTE: Some of the events of THE PAYBACK cross over with, and run parallel to some of the events in book one THE HIT.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Brandon and Sage) THE PAYBACK focuses on the take down of the Wolf Street Mafia. Three years earlier Sage Allen’s boyfriend was gunned down a drive by shooting, a shooting Sage attributed to the Wolf Street Mafia. In the hopes of taking down the people responsible Sage changed her major in college, and spends her free time stalking the Wolf Street Mafia. Meanwhile security specialist Brandon Lewis is on the hunt for the people responsible for the death of his sister, a hunt that crosses over with our story line heroine. When Brandon reluctantly agrees to work sided by side with Sage Allen, neither one had any idea how that their partnership would result in a future relationship both personal and professional. What ensues is the building relationship between Brandon and Sage, as our couple work together to take down the Wolf Street Mafia.

Brandon Lewis is desperate to stop the human trafficking ring organized and run the the Wolf Street Mafia but when his new neighbor Sage Allen is swept up in the chaos of the ongoing investigation, Brandon fears for her safety, and pulls our heroine into the take down of the people involved.  Sage is a strong, independent and worthy ‘opponent’ for our story line hero, a woman who has prepared herself for all eventualities except falling in love.

The relationship between Brandon and Sage begins as neighbors but Brandon never expected to find the Wolf Street Mafia sitting at Sage’s front door. Sage’s stalking by the Mafia has been discovered, and our heroine is about to pay the price for sticking her proverbial nose where it doesn’t belong. Sage isn’t prepared for her attraction to Brandon Lewis but Brandon becomes a means to an end as Sage continues to hunt for the people who killed the man she once loved. The $ex scenes are limited but passionate and intense. 

We are reintroduced to fellow member of Team Zulu Hitman Elias ‘Shep’ Shepherd, as well as FBI Special Agent Maya Williams,  the new head of the Wolf Street Mafia Dante Moretti, and his right hand man Maxim Orlov. 

THE PAYBACK is a story of power and control, revenge and payback, friendships, relationships, acceptance and love. The premise is captivating and intriguing; the romance is seductive; the characters are determined, charismatic and dynamic.




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Really enjoyed this story, loved the fact that the heroine could stand up for herself both mentally and physically, Brandon was awesome he was a total alpha but a pussy cat with Sage. Plenty of action, loved seeing the bad guy get what he deserved.
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A gripping story. It has been a while since I felt the utter need to keep reading to find out what happened next, but every word compelled me to keep going. Even when I was mad as hell at a character or disagreed with what was happening, I still couldn't stop reading.
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Ok who does not love a Dark Mafia Romance?! Absolutely love it! This story is a low burn for the main characters. If you have read a mafia book before you know how it goes down! The grump and sunshine of the stories have to collide and after fighting each other the feelings they have come out! I highly recommend this book to anyone!
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Sage is a college senior studying criminology with the intent to get justice for her boyfriend who was murdered by the Italian mob. Brandon is a former special forces soldier and hacker seeking revenge for the death of his sister. Sage and Brandon actually meet outside of their ties to the mob, but are quickly forced to work together to save themselves from the mobsters and corrupt politicians/law enforcement in Philadelphia.

This was a typical romantic suspense novel. I’m not a huge reader of romantic suspense, but it definitely held my interest and I wanted to see the couple take down the mob. There is a lot of action in this novel; Sage and Brandon were infiltrating a club known for mob activity and killing bad guys at 37%. I rolled my eyes a few times and Brandon’s hacking skills. It seemed like he truly could find out any information and hack into any system for their benefit. Sage was also kind of annoying in a slightly “TSTL” way because she constantly fought men more than twice her size and naively tried to take on the Italian mob alone. There were some steamy sex scenes and I enjoyed reading about the couple working together to take down the bad guys. I’ll have to check out Shep and Cam’s story to round out some of the loose ends in the series.
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Sage is a strong woman who has survived almost dying in a shooting.  She lost her boyfriend in the shooting and since then she has been working on finding who did it and destroying them.  In her apartment complex she discovers she has a new neighbor who is beyond amazing looking and saved Sage from being roadkill during a police chase.  Brandon can’t get his sexy neighbor off of his mind since he saved her in the road.  That sassy mouth of hers was a big turn on.  Little did her know that Sage was after the same thing that he was, revenge.  Brandon was after the mob who kidnapped and sold his sister into human trafficking where she ended up dead.  He is determined to bring down and destroy everyone responsible for that and more,  Sage is determined to never love again after loosing her boyfriend but Brandon is determined to break down all of her walls and make her see that loving again can be a good thing.  Will they both bring down the mob and survive?  I was given an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Sage Allen has not forgotten the murder of the man she loved. They were both shot as they stood outside a store and while she suffered a major wound, Kiernan died. She has been observing, from afar, the mafia activities at Vixens. If she can provide information to Special Agent Maya Williams, she hopes that Kiernan’s killer will be brought to justice. Brandon Lewis also wants to see the mafia pay for the kidnapping and murder of his sister. He was deployed overseas when she was taken, but he will not stop until he finds those responsible. Meeting Sage has turned his world upside down, he doesn’t have time for romance, but Sage is like no other woman. She is a fighter and when it seems that her case is connected to his can they work together? I enjoyed the way they investigated the mafia and those individuals who benefitted from a relationship with the mafia. This book has it all, suspense, hot romance, danger, humor and one of the most unique take down scenes ever! I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (paytonpuppy)
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