Book: Without Mercy (book #2)
Author: Victoria L. James and LJ Stock
Genre: Contemporary M/C Romance
Buy The Book
Ayda Hanagan’s life took a whole new road to hell when she agreed to lay down beside Babylon’s very own devil in disguise, Drew Tucker. With an evolving love and the world she once knew now gone forever, Ayda’s toes were no longer dancing on the edge of the flames. She’d jumped straight into the fire, dragging her younger brother, Tate, along for the ride. No matter which way they both turned, Harleys and leather were their new reality, and they had to get used to the fact that acts of war and bad blood were never far away.
All that seemed so easy for Ayda to push aside when she was resting in the arms of the man she never expected to love, but when lust, need and sex became as important to her as the air she breathed, it was only going to be a matter of time before reality decided to slap her around the face harder than ever before. Lost in the screwed-up perfection of their new fairytale, Drew and Ayda thought they could handle anything life threw at them. For every cop, whore or enemy that tried to tear them apart, they found strength in each other and a new weapon to fight back with. Only not all assassins wore their patches on their chest, and before they could even see the eyes of the wolves in the shadows waiting to bring them to their knees, they were all out of places to run. With everything they'd ever believed in suddenly at risk, fear was no longer an option and Drew and Ayda soon found themselves in the middle of a war that looked impossible to get out of alive. In order to survive, they had to learn how to fight together. Without restriction. Without thought. Without mercy. Even if that meant sacrificing everything they’d worked for, including each other.
“I wasn’t sure what was happening as she slowly started to tremble, and then, without warning, she burst into tears, her head burying in her hands as ‘sorry’ came out in a frequency only dogs could decipher.”
“He’d watched too many westerns and starred in few too many imaginary gun fights growing up. The chief was too easy to mess with.”
“You might want to prepare yourself for me dressing you up in bubble wrap from now on. Three guard dogs everywhere you go. No venturing out after dark. Maybe a collar…”
“’Shush woman. I’m good. Never felt better. I’m a lion remember?’ My attempt at a fake roar sounded more like a dying cat.”
“He pulled me closer, being careful to avoid the injuries on my back versus the injuries on his chest. It was like an awkward game of body Jenga, trying to pull at the pieces that wouldn’t send us tumbling down.”
My Review:Without Mercy picks up where Without Consequences ended, and it starts off with a bang due to a rather chilling scene for Drew and his pack. I still find him rather frightening, although his character has grown on me, as due to Ayda’s influence, he is not as dark or angry by the end of Without Mercy. This volume contained considerable action, steam, and suspense, as well as a bit of heartbreak, awakenings, and lots of drama. The authors seemed to really hit their groove in this installment, and the story sizzled with sensual scenes, as well as heartfelt discussions and interesting discoveries as the couple establishes and builds their relationship. The plot was inventive, multi-layered, suspenseful, and well crafted. The characters were complicated, deeply flawed, unpredictable, and unendingly fascinating. And even more unexpected humorous observations and witty banter – yum. I do believe I am hooked. More please.
BOOK 1: WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE
Buy The Book
There are two kinds of prison sentence that try to break us: the ones served behind iron bars and the ones served through a lifetime of guilt.Some people are handed just one. The unfortunate are given both.
Drew Tucker, despite his formidable reputation, was a man shrouded in darkness who had been dealt every kind of sentence known to man. His only path of survival was to fight and conquer. After five years of solitude, with nothing to keep him company but old ghosts and relentless demons, Drew was finally out, and he had a plan in mind to reign supreme once more.
But everything had changed since he’d left the small town of Babylon, Texas, and where he once fit into the world around him, he now felt misguided, misplaced and misunderstood. Freedom wasn’t free anymore and it sure as hell didn’t come cheap.
That only got worse when he crossed paths with Ayda Hanagan. Legal guardian of her teenage brother, over worked, underpaid and clinging onto sanity by the skin of her teeth, Ayda should have been easier for Drew to beat down and manipulate. She should have been easier to keep quiet. But, as with everything in his life since he got released, nothing seemed to make any damn sense, and the walls were caving in on Drew now more than ever before.
Determined to stay on the road he was born to travel, he was willing to fight whoever got in his way or blocked his path to the top. Even the blue-eyed blonde who seemed to have more mouth than sense. His actions were about to shake up the whole town again, and Drew didn’t care whether that came with or without consequences, or what the hell that meant for the likes of Ayda Hanagan.
“I knew it was Kenny ‘cause he had a laugh that made him sound like he was being electrocuted.”
“There was an arrogance in the way he carried himself, but at the same time, I knew it was also confidence. He seemed to understand the gravity of his status and he used it. There was a certain appeal to that, even if it did make me want to kick his shins like an elementary kid.”
“His mustache was curled up at the ends, making him look like he’d have been better suited to circus life rather than the law. Not that there was much difference between the two around Babylon. To sum it up – he looked as much of a dick as he acted.”
“The old, saggy balled, washed up, chief of police? I wouldn’t brag. He’s hardly a catch.”
This book was not what I was expecting as it not a typical MC romance, and I had a fear I was not going to enjoy it shortly after I had begun reading, and was still questioning my choice through the first quarter of the book. The story seemed somewhat disjointed and fragmented, and I was growing a bit frustrated and hating on some of the characters. However I was enjoying the flavor of the writing, as the dark and tense subject matter was tempered with unexpected humor, snarky observations, witty banter, and clever descriptions that plucked at my lips. I wanted to send Drew Tucker several junk punches and head slaps by express delivery for being such a mean jackass to plucky Ayda, but I should have been more patient with the volatile and angry alpha dog… who is written much closer to a traditional badass biker than most MC series tend to portray. I adore Ayda – and look forward to her tale being an easier and happier one in the next book.
L.J. Stock on Victoria L. James ~ What can I say about Victoria L. James? Loads actually, she’s an amazingly talented author and I had the absolute distinct pleasure of writing with her. I also call her a friend. When we first met, we bonded instantly over our love of music, Victoria tends to be as eclectic as I am with her tastes. She finds stories in lyrics and feels the moods in the melodies.
When we first started writing together, I’ll admit I was intimidated. Here is this woman with a huge passion for putting words onto paper and painting pictures so clearly that you are completely immersed in them. How was I going to keep up with that? I’m not sure I ever did, but over time we’ve built up a repertoire. We bounce off one another and bring our characters to the forefront and hope that the interactions are as real as they appear for us.
On a more personal note, Victoria is bright, smart, kind, intelligent, funny, caring and witty. She can see so much in the world around her and always has time for anyone. Victoria lives in sunny ole Yorkshire with her family and her cats - had to mention them - and can normally be found in the playground of her imagination, listening to the Foo Fighters.
Victoria L. James on L.J. Stock ~ There aren’t many people you bump into in life that you want to both work and spend your free time with. From meeting L.J. through the wonder that is the internet, we soon came to realise that we had a hell of a lot in common. Music was where our friendship truly began, but our writing partnership flourished not too far behind. I always felt like my writing was missing something, and it was only when I read L.J.’s work that I realised what exactly that was. It was missing her influence!
After spending over a year working together, day in, day out, not a moment goes by where I don’t thank the Twitter Gods for bringing this amazingly strong and talented woman into my life. She’s an inspiration, a positive force in every situation and one hell of a talented writer. To say I’m honoured that she wanted to create a new world with me is a gross understatement. I’m blown away. One day, I hope I get lucky enough to visit her in Texas, where she lives with her family and her zoo of animals, so we can write by her pool and take part in our other dream… The great Taylor Kitsch Road (stalking) Trip. Who needs a yacht in the Caribbean when we have that to look forward to, right?