Tuesday, November 4, 2014

No Boundaries by SE Jakes

Title: No Boundaries
Author: SE Jakes
My Rating: A-

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: Phoenix, Inc. #1
Main Characters: Marcus and Cole
Release Date: November 2014
Publisher: Samhain
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Phoenix Inc, Book 1

When your past closes in, running isn’t always an option

The jobs Marcus Lowry works for at Phoenix, Inc. Investigations are quick and easy, and they don’t give him the nightmares his days as a CIA operative did. That is, until he gets involved in a case that grabs him by the throat and won’t let go.

Cole Jacobs left behind his old life on the streets to make a name for himself rebuilding high-end and vintage cars and bikes. But when a stalker threatens to kill him—and to hurt anyone who stands in his way—his past closes in on him, and he’s not sure where to turn.

The last thing Marcus wants to do is take on a charity case, and to say that he and Cole don’t see eye to eye at first is putting things mildly. But when the first attempt on Cole’s life nearly kills them both, Marcus realizes that Cole is in real danger, and Cole is forced to reveal everything. Almost everything. Because Cole’s deepest secrets could destroy them both.

My Review:
A new series by SE Jakes? I couldn't push the yes button fast enough to accept this book for review. It's no secret that I adore her writing and her sexy, alpha men. And this book did not disappoint. In fact, it was even better because I didn't realize that it was a spin-off series from the Men of Honor books. 

This book is about Cole and Marcus. Cole is a mechanic at the shop where Law, Styx, and Paolo all get their vehicles and motorcycles worked on. Styx is there when Cole gets a threatening letter from his stalker and recognizes that something is going on with him. They've all seen that lost boy side of Cole although he tries to hide it and as a result, want to help him. They put their employee, Marcus, on the case to see if the threat is genuine.

As with all of SE Jakes characters, both these guys have not so great romantic and real-life pasts. Cole is definitely the most haunted of the two having grown up with an abusive father and becoming a whore at 16, when he was a virgin. He lived that life for seven years before he found a way out. But nothing has been normal for him and honestly, he never expects to have normal. He watches the triad of Law, Styx, and Paolo with envy just because he knows he will never be able to have those kind of deep feelings between him and another guy. He just physically can't anymore. His body works biologically, but the mental aspect of attraction just isn't there...until Marcus. 

Marcus has his own issues and I'll admit that they ticked me off because he just needed to get over himself at a certain point. (It helps to have the perspective as the reader where you KNOW what everyone is thinking...an advantage the characters do not have.)

On some level, both these guys are broken. That isn't easily overcome despite the incredible chemistry and sex they have between them. They are quickly put into an intense, high-stress situation which throws them into a relationship quicker than what would have happened normally, especially with both their issues. I liked that Cole recognized that. He's so mature for a 23 yo and I thought that aspect of his personality was really well done. With his background, he had to grow up incredibly fast. While Marcus has the jaded personality of a 34 yo, I honestly think that Cole was the more mature of the two and that dichotomy eventually worked out really well in the story. 

And I haven't even talked about the suspense story line either which was pretty good too. This stalker is vicious and he's smart. I liked that he actually seemed to have this edge on the Phoenix guys...something that doesn't happen often with these highly trained alphas. It created a bit more of a realistic edge to the story that the guys weren't infallible and made it just that much better. 

It was definitely a good start to the series and I'm ready for more to come...

Note: I read the first book in the Men of Honor many moons ago and loved it, but could never find the time to read the rest of the series. With this book and the introduction to Law and his triad, I've vowed to go back and read that series in its entirety during the month of December (including a re-read of book #1). 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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