Black Knights, Inc. series by Julie Ann Walker

March 10, 2014

My favorite hero is not usually the ex-military tattooed biker type.  I lean more towards the millionaire playboy.  Or Scottish laird in a kilt.  Or vampire.  But there is just something about this series that I really love.  Part of it is that it’s set in Chicago.   Part of it is that it’s just well-written and enjoyable and there is great chemistry between the main characters in each book.  Plus there is always enough written about the characters that will be starring in the next book that you feel like you already know them and want to see what happens to them to keep you reading the series.

The series takes place in Chicago in a motorcycle shop that is actually a cover for a covert government agency.  The guys who work there are a secret special ops team masquerading as workers in the shop.  Each book stars a different couple and the series forms a continuous story which makes the most sense when read in order.  Characters who will star in the next book in the series seem to play a larger secondary role in the current book.

I had previously read the fourth book in this series when I got a free advance copy.  I passed it along to someone in our romance book discussion group and she mentioned last month how much she enjoyed it.  I had picked up the first three books in the series over the summer and had advance copies of books five and six, so I decided to read them this month so that I could pass them all along to her at tonight’s meeting.

The series (in order):

hell on wheelsHell on Wheels – Nate “Ghost” Weller and Ali Morgan’s story.  Ali is Nate’s best friend’s sister so he sees her as off limits.  But when she’s targeted and in danger, he makes it his special mission to keep her safe.  The more time they spend together, the less able they are to deny their attractions to one another.

 

 

in rides troubleIn Rides Trouble – Frank “Boss” Knight, the leader of the Black Knights, Inc. is using Becky Reichert’s motorcycle shop as the cover for the secret government organization he heads.  He feels he is too old for her but cannot help being attracted to Becky.  When she ends up as a hostage, he is willing to do anything he can to save her.

 

 

rev it upRev it Up – Jake “The Snake” Sommers and Michelle Carter’s story.  Michelle is Frank Knight’s sister.  Jake and Michelle previously had a relationship, but now Jake has to keep her and her son safe from danger and prove to her that he can be a different man from the one who broke her heart.

 

 

 

thrill rideThrill Ride (previously reviewed on this blog back in April: (https://juliereviewsbooks.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/thrill-ride-by-julie-ann-walker/)

 

 

 

born wildBorn Wild – Bill “Wild Bill” Reichert, Becky’s brother, and Eve Edens’ story.  Eve finds herself turning to Bill and the Black Knights after repeated attempts on her life that the Chicago police chalk up to being accidents.  She needs protecting and Bill is willing to protect her when she asks.

 

 

 

hell for leatherHell for Leather – this book will be out in May but I got an advance copy – Bryan “Mac” McMillan and Delilah Fairchild’s story.  Delilah runs the Knights’ favorite biker bar hangout.  When her uncle is in trouble, she enlists their help to find him.  Delilah has been propositioning Mac for as long as he’s been coming to her bar, but he feels like he needs to stay away from the type of woman he perceives her to be even though he is very attracted to her.  Delilah’s missing uncle leads to terrorists and missing nuclear bombs, but even though there is danger all around them, Delilah and Mac find they cannot fight their attraction to one another.


Afterburn by Sylvia Day

September 9, 2013

afterburnI loved Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series, and so had high hopes for Afterburn (and its sequel Aftershock); I was a little disappointed by this book.  I didn’t really find that I cared a whole lot for the main characters Gia Rossi and Jackson Rutledge.  They had a previous relationship that they end up rekindling after Jackson gets involved in her business dealings.  I didn’t really understand his involvement, I didn’t understand why she gets so upset with him at the end of the book, and I really don’t understand why this story is in two parts instead of one whole book.  Not really sure it was worth the money or the time it took to read, but I have the sequel pre-ordered so I guess I’ll read the second part anyway.


One Night Heir by Lucy Monroe

September 9, 2013

one night heirI hadn’t read a Harlequin paperback in a long time, but I picked this one up at the ALA Conference and didn’t feel like bringing my Kindle out by the pool, so I picked it up off the pile and read it.  Reading it reminded me of being a pre-teen or teenager getting that first taste of reading romances.  Average girl dating a prince, something comes between them (in this case, her infertility so she can’t provide an heir), an unexpected preganancy, and the question of whether they will end up with a loveless marriage to give the baby a name or if they are really in love and she can get past his original rejection.  It was a quick read that I enjoyed for what it was – a Harlequin Romance.


The Blackstone Affair Trilogy by Raine Miller

July 8, 2013

blackstone affair book 1 blackstone affair book 2 blackstone affair book 3Someone told me that this trilogy seemed like it was going to be like the Fifty Shades trilogy, which I actually enjoyed to some extent even though they weren’t very well written.  It turned out to be different, though readers who enjoyed the building of the relationship between Fifty Shades’ two main characters may also enjoy the relationship in this trilogy too.  It really reminds me more of the Crossfire books than the Fifty Shades books.

Ethan Blackstone is a very busy man running his security company as the London Olympics approach.  He is contacted by an old friend and asked to provide security for the friends daughter.  He at first refuses, but is intrigued when he sees her photograph (really?).  The daughter is Brynne Bennett, a grad student who does tasteful nude modelling on the side.  Once Bennett sees her portrait at a showing (supposedly the cover of Book 1: Naked), he immediately buys it, and then follows her out the door and gives her a ride.  They begin a relationship, without him every mentioning that he was contacted by her father.  Book 1 ends as she finds out that he had been hired to watch out for her and she ends the relationship.

Book 2: All In begins from Ethan’s point of view as he rehashes some of Book 1, which was told mostly from her point of view.  Brynne forgives him and they resume their relationship, but things begin to happen that show that there was a real reason for her father to hire security for her.  Events in her past seem to be catching up with her and she may be in more danger than was originally apparent.  Ethan tries to reassure that no matter what happened in her past, he cares for her and will take care of her.

The third entry in the series reads as romantic suspense as Ethan and Brynne try to figure out who is killing those around her who know of the scandal in Brynne’s past and just what that person wants with Brynne.  At one point Brynne is captured by this person and I found it a little far fetched that she was able to think clearly enough to leave clues for Ethan to follow to find her.  Other than that I was very happy with the conclusion to this trilogy.


Ethan by Grace Burrowes

June 10, 2013

EthanAnother entry in Burrowes’ Lonely Lords series (yes, I was hooked and read them right after one another). Ethan appeared in the previous books and is now the main character in his own. She uses another familiar plot device here with Ethan and his children’s governess Alice falling in love. Each are wounded souls in their own ways, but their love and outside circumstances help to heal and strengthen them. Another enjoyable entry in this series. And I believe there are at least two more being published this summer that I intend to read.


Nicholas by Grace Burrowes

June 10, 2013

NicholasNicholas is the second book in Burrowes’ Lonely Lords series. We met Nicholas in the previous book, Darius. It has been a while since I read this book and I mostly remember that it used the plot device of a misunderstanding between the two main characters as to why he doesn’t want children. She is a bit of a damsel in distress. Burrowes’ books seem to revolve around the plot device of secrets that threaten to destroy the relationship, but in her hands it seems to work well every time. Another well-written entry in a series I plan to keep reading.


Darius by Grace Burrowes

June 1, 2013

DariusIn a recent discussion I had about romance authors, Grace Burrowes name came up and I realized that I had a few of her books as digital advance reading copies through NetGalley, so I decided those were the books that I was going to read next.  I had read one book by her before and enjoyed it so I figured I would enjoy her others also.  And I did.  

Darius is the first book in the Lonely Lords series. The book is set in the Regency period and is about Darius Lindsey, who sells himself for ladies entertainment because his funds have been cut off by his father.  He is approached by an elderly viscount who needs him to impregnate his lovely younger wife before the viscount passes away.  At first I was a little creeped out thinking that Darius was no better than a male prostitute, but somehow found it better that he did not let the women have sex with him.  

The viscount’s wife, Lady Vivian, and Darius begin their time together tentatively getting to know one another before they begin a physical relationship.  Though Darius comes to care for Lady Vivian, he does not feel worthy of a relationship with her.  Even with the viscount’s passing, and Darius knowing he wants to be a part of his child’s life, Darius and Vivian do not have an easy time getting together.  Complications also arise from some of Darius’ past “relationships”.  Overall the love between Darius and Vivian is a touching story and I really enjoyed it.  

I liked the main characters in this story.  And now I am interested in reading the stories of some of the secondary male characters in their own books.