Thursday 18 December 2014

**Review Post** In Deep and In Deeper by Kella McKinnon

In Deep

What would you do if you met a man that made you burn like wildfire from the inside out?  Burn so hot that with one touch you forgot to breathe?
And if you knew that he had dangerous secrets?  Would you be able to walk away? 
I couldn’t.  As strong as I know I am, I kept going back for more of him.  That body… those eyes…
I saw him for the first time on my very first day in Vegas, and even then I think a part of me knew, because I couldn’t look away.  It was like that moment when you see something flying towards you and you know it’s going to hit you before you can ever move out of the way, so you just watch, transfixed, as it crashes into you.  Cristos Vicario: owner of the illustrious Adagio hotel and casino and reputed billionaire playboy.  He sure as hell wasn’t what he seemed on the surface.  That man had secrets.  No one knew what a dark and dangerous world he lived in, and when I finally saw him for what he was, it was already far too late.  I found myself inextricably tied to him forever.  The course of my life altered.  My entire world changed forever as he took away my freedom and gave me the key to my dreams in one fell swoop.
How could I have known that the one man who should have been my greatest nightmare would become the one thing I couldn’t live without?  And all I had to do was forgive him…


I was only living for one thing, one goal, one endgame… until I saw Brielle.  And when I touched her, it was all over for me… I just didn’t know it yet.  Not until I broke all of my rules for her, one after another, and that still wasn’t enough.  I wanted more. 
I wanted it all.  Yeah, what I did to her was pretty much unforgivable.  I know that now.  Some small part of me might have known it then, too, but it didn’t matter.  I had to hold on to her.  I would have done anything to keep her… and I did.
Now I’ve put her in danger, dragged her into my world, and I don’t know whether to push her away or hold her tighter.  Letting her go would be the right thing to do… but every time I try to do the right thing… I can’t. 
            When I take her, it’s always hard and desperate, as if she’ll disappear if I can’t make her feel the same things I feel...  if I can’t force her to care about me enough that she’ll look past everything else and see into my heart.
Last night, after she fell asleep, still wrapped in my arms, I rested my lips against the top of her head and inhaled the scent of her as she slept.  Trusting me, even though she shouldn’t.  “I don’t deserve you”, I whispered.  “But I want you.  God, I want you so badly.”

In Deeper


            He was supposed to be a brief fling at best, or a one-night stand at worst.  Either way, I wasn’t supposed to fall for him.  But I did.  Everything about our relationship has been bordering on sociopathic, but I keep letting him back in, again and again.  It’s like some part of me, way down deep, knows that we’d be perfect together, if only we could get through everything standing between us…  not lies, exactly, but enough secrets and deception to last a lifetime.  And now that I know everything, every last horrible truth, the question remains: can I forgive him?  Or do I live the rest of my life with only half of my heart…


They say some addictions are impossible to break.  I know now that’s true, because I couldn’t give her up, not even to save her life and mine.  In fact if I knew anything about love I’d wonder if that’s what I was feeling.  It made me desperate to protect her, and even more desperate to make her mine forever.  Would you question the methods of my madness?  Hell yeah, any decent person would.  They’d call me crazy, but I’m a product of the family I was born into.  Maybe there’s a part of me that really just doesn’t know any better.  I know that I don’t deserve her, but I also know that I can’t live without her.  She has my world in her hands.

In Deep, Excerpt 1

            It was only a few minutes until the car pulled up to the curb, and he got out and led me to the door of the hotel, looking up at the slightly battered sign in disgust.  “I can’t believe this is where you’re staying.”
            He sounded irritated with me, and I put my hands on my hips, a little offended.  He was wealthy, but I was not.  “What’s wrong with it?  Okay, so it’s not the Adagio, but if you’ll remember, I’m still a student.  Therefore I’m broke.  This is good enough while I’m here, because I need to save money for an apartment when I’m finished in Vegas.”
            He looked at the sign again and this time scowled at it.  “I’m going to walk you to your room.  It’s not safe for you to be out here alone.”
            “Hmmph.  How very gentlemanly of you.”
            We went into the lobby and walked by the desk clerk, who appeared to be passed out behind the counter.  Criss scowled in his direction, and I sighed, continuing on to my room.  Criss waited while I unlocked the door, standing so close behind me that I could feel the heat of his body.  I knew exactly what he was doing when he leaned a little closer to breathe in my scent.  I could sense the change come over him, almost as if I could feel his heart speed up and his blood heat.  Maybe because the same thing was happening to me.  I swore I could almost taste the sex filling the air between us, and it tasted like something dark and sweet and addicting.  Like chocolate, I mused. 
“Let me in, Brie,” he said in a low, rough voice.  I could feel his warm breath next to my ear, and it made me shiver.
            God, this was going to be difficult, because I wanted to let him in more than anything, and in that moment, all of the reasons I had for not having sex with him that night had faded into my subconscious as the attraction between us numbed my thoughts and roused my most primitive instincts.  His hand settled on my lower back and his thumb began to slowly stroke my skin through the thin fabric of my blouse.  I had to swallow hard before I could speak.
“I… I don’t think that’s a good idea.  I’m not a casual hook-up kind of girl, and we only just met.  Maybe a goodnight kiss?” 
The fact was, I really wanted him to kiss me.  A kiss would be like a compromise with my libido, a taste of what I might have more of if I was patient and didn’t fall into this trap, at least not on the first date.  Standing there in the doorway with him looking down at me, wanting me to let him into the room beyond… I felt like I could cut the tension between us with a knife.  My heart was racing, and the butterflies in my stomach were practically on a roller coaster.  A kiss wouldn’t hurt anything though, and maybe it wouldn’t be as good as I thought it would, which would make this all so much easier.  I turned my face up, and I knew my lips were parted a little because any second now he was going to bend his head and…
            He pulled back from me.  “I don’t kiss, Brielle.  At least… not on the lips.”
            His tone was unapologetic, and I jerked away in surprise, because that was probably the last thing I would have expected him to say.  “What?”
            “I never kiss on the lips.”  He leaned in to touch his lips to my neck, just below my ear, and I could hear him inhale my scent again.  “It’s a hard rule, and I won’t break it.  Not for anyone.”
I took a step back and stared up at him in disbelief, my desire effectively quashed.  And I was, admittedly, offended.  Was I so far beneath him that he wouldn’t even lower himself to kiss me?  Why had he even asked me out, then?  It made me feel a little ill. 
He lifted his hand and watched it as he drew a finger slowly over my bottom lip.  “Don’t take it personally Cariño.  I have good reasons for all of my rules.”
            I raised an eyebrow at him, crossing my arms over my chest defensively, taking back what remained of my dignity.  “And your reason for this particular rule?”
            He gave me a tight smile and for a moment I thought he wasn’t going to answer.  The hard, cold edge in his gaze reminded me that he was still a complete stranger, no matter how much physical chemistry we had between us.
            He looked away, and I could see his chest rise and fall as he pulled in a breath.  “I have no room in my life for a relationship Brielle, and I don’t know if I ever will.  A kiss is too personal, too intimate.  I would never want a woman to think that I would offer her anything more than… a really good fuck.”

In Deep - -

In Deeper - -

In Deeper, Excerpt 1

            I could hardly breathe when he looked at me like that.  And yet I didn’t think I could live without his eyes on me, and his hands, and his tongue…
            “Come here Brielle”, he commanded, and I rose from my chair and went to him, completely helpless to fight his pull on me.
            When I was close enough, he grabbed my hips and tugged them tight against his, grinding them once against me so that I could feel his arousal dig into my stomach through the thin material of his shorts.  He bent his head to speak near my ear in a harsh whisper.
            “Do you see what you’ve done?”
            I nodded, my knees already going weak.
            “I expect you to fix it.  I want you to go into the bedroom, right now, Brielle.  I want you to take off all of your clothes and get onto the bed, on your hands and knees with your ass in the air.  And then you’re going to take everything I have to give you.  Do you understand?”
            I swallowed and licked my lips.  “Yes.”
            I turned and went into the cottage, then straight into the bedroom.  I didn’t know how he could arouse me to the point of painful need with just words, but he could.  Effortlessly.  My hands shook as I removed every last bit of my clothing and crawled onto the bed, leaning on my forearms so that my rear was on full display.  And yet I didn’t feel the least bit embarrassed or self-conscious.  Instead, I felt like a goddess, waiting for her god to come and claim her.  I felt powerful and feminine and wanted.  I felt like this was exactly where I was supposed to be.
            I heard him come into the room.  “Don’t turn around”, he said as his footsteps came closer to my trembling body.  I could feel him there, even though I couldn’t see him.  Then I felt the soft caress of his hand on my hip, moving around to my ass and down the curve of my thigh.  “You’re so beautiful.  So perfect.  I don’t think there’s been a moment since I first saw you that I haven’t thought about fucking you.  Except when I am fucking you, then I can’t think at all.”
            He knelt on the bed and covered me with his body, his hard cock sliding between my cheeks as he leaned over to nip at my ear.  “Do you want me, Brie?  Do you want my cock inside you?”
T Birds 4 and 5 Bare Naked Stars **** Review

In Deep

4 stars

I found the title for this series was very appropriate.  The female character, while a strong woman determined to fill her dreams and accomplish her goals, found herself in too deep with a bad man.  Where her heart was screaming love, her head was begging for common sense which really added an element to this story that I found fascinating. 

You will find what is typically seen in books these days, rich mysterious man who takes control and is an alpha, he finds a sweet innocent woman and claims her, but what is different in this one is she isn’t so naïve.  She is a college educated woman who is driven by a passion to solve what killed her father.  She comes from a law enforcement family, focused on the drug trade from Honduras to the United States. 
Brielle lands in Vegas to complete the last few months of research for her dissertation in Anthropology major.  She is short on money so along with the research she is going to need to find a job.  Still feeling the effects of her father being killed during a drug war raid, she decided to stop the trade with Anthropology, while her brother focuses on finding the killer with his detective work.  Trust is an issue for her as she has seen the damage drugs do to the innocent and it breaks her heart when she looks back at the people killed in Honduras. 
Cristos is a mysterious man craving his freedom from the family business.  Making things right after his father’s death leads him to be the hit man, killer, and much more.  He doesn’t commit to any woman, using them once and moving on but when he sees Bri, he is drawn to her.  As much as she battles between her heart and head, he battles between wanting to protect and love her and keeping her at arms distance and keeping his secrets safe. 

He is the definite take control personality, even in the bed room.  His one rule that never wavered is no kissing, it is to intimate of an act.  Shielding himself from any chance that Bri will become more to him than he can risk, he leads the sex acts at all times.  She questions what he is doing but pretty much accepts that this is him and since she really isn’t ready for that happy ever after with a big house, white picket fence and 2.5 kids, she just goes with the flow when she can and puts the breaks on when she feels the warning is to great.  I think unfortunately for her, she realizes late in this book maybe her heart went farther towards Cristos than she had planned. 
Book one is really what I would call the foundation book.  We get to know Bri rather well and her character is developed in a way that the readers can connect to.  Cristos is another situation all together.  We have flashbacks from him that give us a hint of what we are dealing with but we are far from understanding him as of yet.  The book ends in a cliff hanger and left me wanting to know more.  It was pretty clear to me from the beginning that they had crossed paths in the past, but just how intertwined were they?  The foreshadowing from the author was pretty predictable yet something in this story leads me to believe we might be in for a bigger shock in book two than what we are expecting.  I will say the very end, gave me pause as to how I feel about him and I think the evidence as to why I can’t just write him off as a jerk.  There is a real man, shattered and bruised from life and I hope Bri is able to find him in book two.

In Deeper

5 stars

Book two is pure brilliance and amazing.  I won’t go into the details of what happens in this book because quite frankly I don’t want to spoil it for you.  Let me just say the author did a wonderful job at giving us two characters that in the end will break your heart, build you back up and replenish your hope in the power of love and acceptance.  If I had to describe the general theme in this story it would be balance, the balance between good versus evil, love versus hate, and fear versus trust.  Each had to find a way to get over the insecurities and pain and balance it with the love and dedication they discovered with each other.

We learn more about the broken soul of Cristos and the spirit that is trying to fight through his fear of past hurt and regret to find the freedom to love and be loved by Bri.  His techniques in keeping her have always been questionable, but the author is finally letting us see that he is doing the best he can under the knowledge he possess from growing up in his highly dysfunctional family.  Normal was never even on the radar for him, assurance, trust, love all either foreign or used as weapons against him to manipulate him into actions that he would have never dreamed he could do.  He was a product of being raised in a family of greed, hate and no morality.  Bri was not only the woman who could save him, she was the ray of light at the end of his dark tunnel he called life. 

Bri just seemed to know what he needed.  Even as the secrets came out and the truth was exposed, she never just threw her hands up and ran.  She stood firm, she crumbled when she needed too, and she stood back up and became determined once again to set forth on what she believed in, which was Cristos.  I read many books a year and I have to give the 2014 miracle worker award to Bri in this series.  I would have walked, no I would have run as far from him as I could numerous times.

There are so many dramas and emotionally filled moments in this book, it kills me to not just dive into talking about all of them.  As their lives change and extended family becomes involved, I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the rug to be pulled and leave me in a heap of shattered emotions.  Since I am limited as to what I can say about the book let me leave you with this.  I found this series to be one of the few that is built on raw emotions, horrid past lives of the characters and the true definition of forgiveness and acceptance being offered AND received.  Bri enhanced the personality that I believe was Cristos only salvation in life.  She was the example of what he lacked growing up while he gave her the tools she needed to recover from her father’s death.  Strange bed partners indeed but the author was fabulous at showing us how it could work and I highly recommend this series.  

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