by Kemmie Michaels
*Intended for an adult audience*
Second Chance Novels book 2
For Mason, every smile is forced. Every joke represents effort. Bartending stands as a calculated decision to be a regular guy. In spite of his best efforts, life at such an easy pace is painful…because Mason was raised on a diet of crushing adrenaline and fierce, strategical thinking. His time in the Special Forces ended two years prior, but his drive and skill remained the strongest part of his being.
When his skills are needed again, Mason wakes up from a two-year haze and rescues the damsel. Mission accomplished. Victory had.
Mason has no idea how to return to his everyday existence, not after flexing every strength he'd pushed aside. The simple truth is he can't. Balance, he decides, is the key: remain his joke-cracking self with his friends, and indulge in some ass-kicking on the side.
Together with Sofia 'Dig' DiGiacamo, Mason plans to eliminate every point of corruption they can uncover. A life of purpose fills him again, but the pressure threatens to rip him painfully apart. The turmoil stirs ugly memories of his Army career, adding an explosive element to his world.
Every day he fights corruption, every evening he fights himself. But still, Mason grits his teeth and grins. He's determined to keep his life, love, past, shame, desperate need, and suppressed anger all hidden behind his smiling, regular guy, bartender self. His fight remains an unending circle, and Mason battles on every front.
“With a love this basic, this solid, this simplistically true, the pace doesn’t need to be slow or romantic to prove the depth behind the connection.”
“I can’t imagine living life any stronger than loving Sofia, than being loved by her.”
The plot of Mason starts near the end of the story of Ledger, and was an active adventure romance chocked full of corrupt government officials, dirty cops, personal assault, rape, property damage, harassment, espionage, and murder. Mason is not a sweet and tender man like Ledger, although he is highly skilled, of genius intelligence, and loves his woman just as fiercely. Lucky for him, he finds a fierce woman to love (Sophia), who tells him not to use endearments such as calling her baby, or to dare tell her she is special. One of my favorite lines in the book, which Mason uses to tease Sophie with is, “Baby, you are so special.” Mason and Sophia’s love story is my favorite type, they are not fighting each other, but pulling together and finding each other in the process. The conflict in the story is not with each other but in righting a wrong, and I totally admire that trope. The writing and story-line are intriguing, well plotted, and smart. Callen is up next, and I am ready for the challenge.