Thursday, August 23, 2018

ARC Book #Review: Dagger's Edge (Brute Force 2) by Lora Leigh .@LoraLeigh_1 #Dagger'sEdge #NetGalley

Book Title: Dagger's Edge (Brute Force 2)
Author:  Lora Leigh |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: St.Martins
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series/Standalone:  Book 2
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 304
How I got it: ARC from NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date August 28th, 2018
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Ivan Resnova wants nothing more than to escape his hard, brutal past. Starting over is not so easy once you’ve been a powerful crime boss but now, instead of being punished for his alleged crimes, Ivan fears that the one woman he can’t forget is in danger of paying the price.

Crimsyn “Syn” Delaney thought the danger she’d faced was over, and that she could resume her life. She never imagined it would return with a vengeance and throw her back into Ivan’s world. But when an attempt is made on her life, she needs Ivan more than ever to keep her safe—even if she is in danger of falling deeply and dangerously in love. . .

“Leigh’s books can scorch the ink off the page.”—RT Book Reviews
This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I'm so glad I got to read it. Oh my gosh this was good. I do wish that the mix of personal relationship building and the mystery of who and why they wanted to go after Journey was more equal, this focused more on Journey's relationship with Ivan and how that threw a wrench in other people's plans. I wanted a bit more about the family that surrounded her and how they got the way they did.

Having read the first book in the Brute force series I was ready for this, Dagger's edge picks up after the events of Collision Point, which focused on Ivan's daughter and her second chance at a life with her man. In Dagger's Edge we learn that Ivan's daughter was a setup for his father who is a brutal monster to control him, and when he couldn't he tried to betray his son in the worst way possible which forced Ivan into becoming an even bigger monster to protect his daughter and the innocents around him.  Journey's father is one of the men who have it out for Ivan, because they can't control him they too strike out at him, using Journey and Amara as pawns in their brutal game.

Realizing she will never be protected by those she calls family Journey runs away and tried to make it on her own.  There are forces bent on making sure she never gets away however and as she runs they hunt her as fiercely as Ivan's men are trying to protect her.  Even though Journey knows Ivan would be the best one to protect her she's afraid of him realizing who she is and so she runs from him too. 

I loved the back and forth between them, with Journey learning to stand up to him and yet defer when it comes to a life or death situation. While she's crafty and street smart enough to stay one step ahead she isn't ruthless enough to confront the men playing with her life and for this she needs Ivan.  Ivan has spent his whole life fighting and other than his daughter Amara no one has ever been solely in his corner because they needed him alone. Journey is becoming a weakness and yet also his reason to try for more for himself as well.

I absolutely enjoyed their intimate scene because my gawds did they burn up the sheets. I loved their interplay when talking and how Ivan tried to win arguments. Journey was learning so much about who she wanted to be and what she wanted from life even if she didn't think she would survive the coming battles, she wanted a small slice of happiness while she was here.   I loved his relationship with his friends and advisors and even with his daughter Amara. 

The action when there was some was fast paced and hooked you, it was like a well-played chess game, moves were being made that clearly lined events up and setup moves and people far beyond the small scene we were seeing. Getting snippets from the other players in the game certainly made you more invested in knowing what was happening because while it was happening off screen you knew it was going to impact Journey and Ivan as well.  I liked that Ivan was aware that his traditions were a  throwback, but understood why they were the way they were. I wanted for him to have the dream so bad and the two of them didn't hold back at all and reading that was awesome. 

The unraveling of empires, the moves Ivan and Journey made that put so many out of the game made me enjoy this one immensely. I can't wait to see who it is that brings down her former fiance. I want to see more about the crime families and how they could allow what was happening to their children to continue. I need to read the Elite Ops books that launched this and really get to know all the characters we're being introduced to because I'm sure it would make the stories even richer. 

As an aside I liked that Ivan clarified why his daughter and Journey are so close in age. I also liked that he was aware that the age difference does impact them somewhat. He knew her when she was a teen and wanted to help her find her way, not sexually (which I'm glad he stated) but he found her fascinating because she so clearly didn't want to be there (at whichever event her father forced her to attend) that he wanted to help make it less awkward for her. Him doing something so nice when he didn't have to led to her idolizing him, which I can totally understand.  This was the beginning of them, and even though reality shattered several of her dreams about Ivan, Ivan himself lived up to more than she expected. As for Ivan realizing this young woman had bloomed into a fun, smart, loving woman despite her family's attempt to destroy her, made him wish for more and become determined to fight for it.
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I flew through this my loves, and had to read it to the very end. I found it fascinating, fun, and sexy. I hgihly recommend.  Happy Reading my loves, 

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