Oh my . . . I’ve discovered my own little reader’s Utopia in the Love and . . . series by Mary Kate Kopec. This series has it all – action, a fast paced plot, snappy dialogue and kick ass characters who grab you by the juggler and don’t let go until the last page. I’ve reviewed Book Three, Love and Revenge but included details and excerpts for the first two books. I’ll post those reviews at a later date.
If you enjoy any of these genres – romantic suspense, thriller, action/drama fiction or espionage – you NEED to read the Love And . . . series. There’s a great contest accompanying Ms. Kopec’s virtual book tour so be sure to scroll down for details on how to enter.
Maddie Monroe has had better days. And made better choices. When she wakes up kidnapped–used for bait–and in more danger than she could have ever imagined, it’s all she can do to hope that she’ll live to regret telling Seamus no.
Ex-Navy Seal Seamus Kincaid knows that the only easy day was yesterday. And in his line of work, enemies happen. He just never thought anyone would use Maddie to get to him. And now her life is on the line.
Maddie’s dimples bring hard men to their knees, and her smoothies make them beg for more. She’s smart, funny, and just one of the guys. She wields a computer like Seamus wields a knife. And she’s a spunky ray of sunshine in skinny jeans and a bop-tail who gives his serious, get-it-done attitude the adjustment it needs. She’s happiness in his life, until he scares the hell out of her on a mission gone bad, and she can’t deal. Letting her go won’t be easy, but losing her forever is unacceptable
Love and Revenge is a story about facing your fears, fighting for what’s important, and learning that you can’t control life–you can only decide which life you want to live.
As I stated earlier, I’ve discovered my own little reader’s Utopia with the Love And series by Mary Kate Kopec. I started with Book Three, Love and Revenge but it doesn’t matter. Each book is a stand alone unit even though they contain recurring characters.
Love and Revenge has the right amount of steam to balance a fast paced plot. The relationship between Maddie and Seamus is filled with angst and passion, and Ms. Kopec demonstrates an uncanny ability to transfer those emotions to the reader. But her talent goes much deeper than penning a great romance. The real jewel in this series is the action packed plots that crash through your insides like a runaway roller coaster.
Maddie is the only woman ex-Navy Seal Seamus will ever love but she rejected his marriage proposal, so he is trying to move on – until old enemies use her as bait. That starts a riveting adventure that wraps you in its tentacles, squeezing all concept of time from your mind as you fly through the pages in search of resolution. Any book that can paint such vivid mental images, force my heart to beat a little faster and drive me to nibble my thumbnails to stubs, is a good book in my opinion.
Love and Revenge is an exceptional story, and part of an exceptional series. I’m finishing up Book One right now and can gleefully report, it’s just as good!
Excerpt, Love AND Revenge:
“Maddie,” he said, and reached out to pull her into his reassuring embrace before she could retreat any further. “That was a bad day. One of the worst. But I made it. The whole team did. Everything’s okay.”
No. It wasn’t.
He held her tightly, but her arms stayed at her sides. His chest was solid, his arms strong, but they no longer brought her the comfort they once did.
Every time he had to deploy to suppress a hostile environment—even though it was completely unlike her—all she could do was think the worst. And she didn’t want to do it anymore.
Seamus, refusing to accept her withdrawal, kept her close and lovingly whispered into her ear, “Maddie, you are my world, my joy, my laughter, the sunshine in my days. I love you. You are the only woman for me. My family. Maddie,” he whispered low, with his heart in his words, “marry me. Be my wife.”
Maddie stopped breathing. Her lungs froze. Her breath got lost somewhere in the silence between the stalled beats of her heart. Unwanted tears blurred her vision, so she closed her eyes and leaned into his shoulder.
Seamus cradled her as though she was the most precious person in the world to him, but his words coaxed aching misery into the very core of her bones. Her body. Her heart. They had so much in common. Yet they were so very different.
She was the light to his darkness, the laughter to his calculating necessitated tenacity, the warmth to the loneliness of his life, and she knew it. And they both valued family and could see their hopes fulfilled in each other. But she wouldn’t ask, and he wouldn’t offer—and his job was her breaking point.
She’d known it was going to tear her apart, facing him down again. But no way was she prepared for this. He was pulling out all the stops, save one. And she knew that if he gave up his field work for her it would be poison to them both, so she never asked and wouldn’t.
She just needed to let him go, so he could do what he was driven to do, and he needed to let her.
It took everything she had to step back from him, out of his embrace, away from his love. Tears rolled heavily down her face. She couldn’t seem to stop them, and rather than brush them away, she ignored them and stood up straighter, gathering her strength and will.
Seamus looked confused, but no less determined. “Maddie,” he said reaching for her again, but she took another step back and out of his reach.
“No Seamus. If you really love me, you’ll let me go.”
His eyes briefly clouded, then cleared. His ironclad willpower maintained his control.
“Maddie, this doesn’t make any sense.”
Matters of the heart rarely did.
“We can do this.”
She shook her head, and his frustration began to break through. “You’re not thinking this through.”
It was the perfect thing to say to move her from disconsolate agony to biting anger. He was telling her she wasn’t being rational, and there was a part of her that agreed, but he didn’t get to make that call.
“You’re wrong Seamus,” she said with heat in her voice. “I have thought it through, and I’ve met somebody. I’m moving on. I suggest you do the same.”
Maddie’s stomach clenched, and she’d gone cold with the pain of her own words. Her heart was breaking, and from the look on his face, so was his. But he said nothing. He just stood there searching for a new tactic, a solution, a way to win the fight, and if she didn’t get him out of there, he’d find one.
She couldn’t take much more of this, so she didn’t give him the chance. She couldn’t cave.
A desperate force of will incited her tone with something so harsh it made her nearly sick. She didn’t want to hurt him, but before he could find his bearings, Maddie dismissed him with a firmness that shattered like ice across her skin and made it hard for her to breathe. “Please. Leave.”
To her relief and misery it worked. And her stomach sank as she watched the light in his eyes fade, shutting her out. Where once she was his joy, now she was not, and the determination in the strong lines of his face turned flat. She could have never imagined how bad this was going to feel. It stabbed at her heart and ground her stomach into bits. She wanted to crumple into a ball and cry the horrible river she knew was coming, but she’d made him let her go.
Seamus stood there a moment longer, staring at her with strengthening detachment, and if she wasn’t mistaken, disgust. He shook his head, then stiffly turned and walked out of her room and away from her.
Love and Bullets
Love And Series
Mary Kate Kopec
Genre: Romantic Action Suspense
Three years ago Giffin Reese fell for the man of her dreams. But it wasn’t meant to be. She was already married to a good man. A man who believed in her. Needed her. Loved her. Sometimes in life we do what it calls upon us to do.
It wasn’t your everyday protection detail of a Senator plus trophy wife. First, she was no trophy. She came with brains and an attitude. Just what he liked. And two, the case was all kinds of screwed up. A threat with no name on it. Maybe even a leak. And it all turned to hell when the Senator got taken down by a sniper shot.
Devon Monroe still doesn’t know what the hell went wrong that day. But he’s not going to let it happen again. Someone’s serious with an itchy trigger finger, and this time the target is squarely pointed at a certain Senator’s beautiful widow. But not if he can help it. It’ll take everything he has to set things right, clear his conscience, and prove himself to her. Even if it means dying, trying.
Love and Bullets is an action packed steamroller of mystery, suspense, and rekindled desire. Come join Devon and Giffin as they race against the clock, explore their hearts, and dodge bullets in this story of secrets, deception, betrayal, and love
Sparks fly and so do the bullets!
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/MTrON4X1yl0
Available at Amazon
Excerpt, Love AND Bullets:
“As you can see, Mrs. Reese, we can quite easily get to you. You cannot be protected, despite what Mr. Monroe seems to think.”
Devon? They knew him? How could that be?
“So unless you choose the same fate as your husband, I suggest you reconsider your current ventures.”
She was baffled. What current ventures? She helped people. How could that be a problem?
“What do you mean?” she asked.
He continued, ignoring her interruption. “Mrs. Reese, you will die if you do not heed my warning.” As if to emphasize his words, he raised a gun and pointed it in her face. “This is not a negotiable request. Do you understand?”
No way did she understand, but she nodded anyway, afraid to ask and not wanting to get shot. What current ventures? What could she be doing that would get her killed? What could she be doing, and had it gotten her husband killed? She felt sick with fear and confusion.
Without warning he leaned over and opened her door. Keeping his gun leveled on her, he added flatly, “Now get out. Your ride is coming.”
Abruptly the car stopped.
You didn’t have to tell her twice. She didn’t hesitate. She jumped out. But before she could get all the way out, the car began accelerating again. And in her efforts to clear the speeding vehicle, she fell to the ground and rolled, skinning her hands and knees.
Pain shot through her, and tears stung in her eyes. Giffin attempted to get up, but stumbled back down to one knee. Her arms and legs shook like leaves. She was in a full body tremble. Not for trying, but she couldn’t quite catch her balance, and she realized that her heel had broken.
Giffin reached around, and with a shaking hand, removed her shoes. Holding them in her hand, she pushed herself up and tried to stand steady on her two feet. She looked up the road to where her abductors’ car was disappearing into the horizon and a wave of overwhelming relief flowed through her. They didn’t kill her. It was over.
But then the other side of brain fought back and asked, What the hell is going on?
She was unsurprised now, when Devon pulled around the bend in a shiny silver Lexus sedan and came to a stop beside her.
“Get in,” came the voice in the car.
She knew that voice, knew it well. It did something to the pit of her stomach. She got in, tossed her shoes to the floor, and fastened her seat belt. Throwing him a sidelong glance, without humor, she asked, “Just in the neighborhood?”
Love and Leaving
Love And Series
Mary Kate Kopec
Genre: Romantic Action Suspense
Emma June Carter’s life is as normal as can be. All except the part where once upon a time she was Miss Michigan and a finalist for the Miss American Sunshine pageant. She’s a baker and a co-owner of Delectable Delights, a sweet treats bakery that she loves. She has good friends. A best friend. And it was all going so well – until her boyfriend dumped her. The boyfriend that had hinted at love and a life together – and then disappeared.
Detective Jack Haley is good at his job, likes life, and knows how to laugh. Poker and his luxury ride with perfect performance and buttery soft leather seats take the edge off of the grit and grime of his work in property crimes.
For them, it was any other day. Until he got the call. And she went out for one last drink to shake off the breakup. A chance meeting in a bar, and neither gets what they came for. They get so much more. Neither know it, but danger is trailing Emma’s footsteps, and her life is about to go from normal to hell in six seconds, flat. It doesn’t take long before their paths cross again, and this time it won’t be so easy leaving.
Love and Leaving is a story about nothing being safe, but in life, having everything to gain . . . at a cost. Jack and Emma will have to decide what is worth it and what isn’t.
He’s coming, and she’s leaving!
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/QpzL4FJwSWY
Available at Amazon
Excerpt, Love AND Leaving:
Emma June Carter, former Miss Michigan, now successful pastry chef and master of all things sweet, sat twirling her pathetic excuse of a lemon twist stormily about in her second, now half-empty, vodka tonic, swearing off men and their many useless promises.
Twenty-nine—for real—and three days shy of being thirty, she thought she’d found the one. But after six months of crazy-for-you, non-stop fun and abandon—and a major hint at permanent things to come—Max Stone, man of her dreams, had abruptly called it quits.
One phone call. No explanation. And he was gone.
Now all she wanted to do—when she wasn’t bawling miserably—was rip his lying heart out of his gorgeous, too-fit chest and feed it to him for lunch. Or at least sit here for the moment, alone, to enjoy a short, self-indulgent and well earned—if you don’t mind—pity party.
And a drink or two.
Emma wasn’t one for anger or wallowing, but this really hurt, and she just needed a moment to cope. And process. And get a grip. And to stop seeing herself stomping her pain out all over Max’s, now annoyingly, beautiful face.
She smiled. Stomping on his face wasn’t the nicest of thoughts. True. But “It’s over. Take care of yourself. Bye.” followed by a dial tone just wasn’t the way it was done. The weasel hadn’t even been respectful enough to do it in person. And now, all she got was voicemail and a visit to his empty apartment. So yes, not a nice thought, kicking the crap out of Max, but Max didn’t deserve a nice thought. And as wishful thinking went, it was a pretty good image, and so even though it really wasn’t like her, it made her smile.
“Your drink’s getting low. Lemme buy you another.”
Emma dropped her smile and slid her eyes left to the gravelly and deeply masculine voice interrupting her lament to find Mr. Ripped and Ruggedly Handsome in black leather and jeans eyeing her up appreciatively. Good grief. Not another one. She barely suppressed a sigh.
Ruggedly Handsome was just that and then some. But he and his molten-chocolaty brown eyes, heavy jaw, thick brows, and perfect lips—minus the hairline scar—were all bad-boy to the bone. And if you weren’t convinced, the spider web and dagger tattoos on his hands and hard-ass biker boots should finish off the story. He was oozing sex appeal like the Hoover Dam had just let loose. And barking up the wrong tree. Emma had had enough of suave and slick.
She shook her head, “No thanks. I’m good.”
Returning to her drink and her thoughts, it occurred to her that perhaps having a pity party publicly—even if she was situated at the end of the bar, with her face tilted down, hair falling forward, staring morosely into her drink—wasn’t the best signal for personal time. But still. Couldn’t Mr. Ripped and Ruggedly Handsome see that she wasn’t up for company, especially male company?
Mr. Handsome followed with, “I can see that, and it’s just a drink. Give me a chance.”
Oh God. He was going with a lame line. Seriously?
Not really wanting to engage hotty biker dude in a verbal duel over drinks, Emma thought to cut him short, so she could get back to her alone time. But she wasn’t the mean type, so she returned his appreciative once over and sighed in mock disappointment, “Sorry, but you’re way too cool for me.”
Not-getting-it biker guy edged closer with an undeterred glint in his eye and gave her comment the brush off. “Don’t say that—”
So much for being nice.
Emma realized her pity party was over. Ruined by Mr. R. and R. Handsome and his annoying persistence. And this time, she dropped a very heavy sigh for real. He made to continue with his pitch, but frustrated by his intrusion, Emma pushed back from the bar, scraping the metal feet of her stool on the stone tile floor beneath, and dropped a ten spot next to her drink as she made to leave.
“Hey,” he said, and inappropriately reached for her arm. “You don’t have to go.” But Emma firmly deflected his touch with her hand. “Let me stop you right there. No means no. I’m done. Got it?”
The molten look in his eyes wasn’t chocolaty anymore, and he said, “Got it,” like he meant it. And then he called her a bitch as he turned to the barkeep and signaled for another round.
Emma stood, shouldering her purse, back to thinking feeding men their hearts for lunch was a good idea and came to the conclusion, Bars are bad. Next time just buy a bottle and take it home.
But there wasn’t going to be a next time. She’d sworn off guys, and Mr. Ruggedly Handsome Jerk had just sealed the deal.
Shaking her head, fully irritated and no longer feeling any form of self-pity, Emma angled for the door wanting nothing more than to get the hell out of this bar. Two strides into her escape, the front door pulled wide and bright-ass sunshine poured in, silhouetting her view of the incoming human. She blinked to shake off the flashbulb effect and kept marching toward the door. And subsequently plowed headlong into a six-foot tall wall of solid muscle.
Bouncing back, jolted, and losing her footing, Emma once again noted that Bars are bad, and this time added, Men are worse. As evidenced by the shadowed cretin blocking her getaway.
“Whoa, hey there,” came the solid hands that kept her from stumbling, and the calm, even-timbred male voice that felt soothing on her angry nerves. “You okay?”