Well how is everyone doing a few days into 2016? I’m having a hard time remembering to date things correctly that’s how it’s going for me. And how about this cover??? I love the intense coloring and shadows, plus, man chest!!!
About Alexandra Ivy:
ALEXANDRA IVY graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage.
She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons.
To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com.
Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Release Date: December 29, 2015
From the hellhole of a Taliban prison to sweet freedom, five brave military heroes have made it home—and they’re ready to take on the civilian missions no one else can. Individually they’re intimidating. Together they’re invincible. They’re the men of ARES Security.
Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he's eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can't just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…
There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried.
Is there anything Alexandra Ivy can’t do? I’m such a big fan of her paranormal series, the Guardians of Eternity so a new romantic suspense series (which is one of my favorite sub genres) had me excited like I was getting the last piece of cheesecake.
Basically the series surrounds five tough as nails military men who escaped a hellish prison and went on to form a bond tighter than blood could ever be. Their unofficial leader Rafe, has to go back to his father's hometown of Newton, Iowa in order to clean out his late grandfather's house. His plan to get in, clean up and get out takes a detour when he meets Annie White whose past is about to blow up in her face. Rafe can't explain the pull towards her or the persistent need to protect her but with a serial killer closing in on her for mysterious reasons, Rafe can't imagine being anywhere else.
So how did Kill Without Mercy fare in my opinion? Well let me break it down:
Sexy, dangerous and irresistible hero? Check.
Rafe Vargas was just the character to open up the new series. It was clear that all five men were lethal and highly skilled but it was Rafe’s more easy going personality that balanced out Kill Without Mercy’s darker themes. He had plenty of humor to go around but it was his empathetic nature that really sold me on this guy. The former soldier could have ended up the intense, brooding type who hardly cracked a smile but Ivy saved that for Hauk and Teagan because honestly, those two would have terrified Annie had she met one of them instead. Rafe’s easy going nature and natural charm had a soothing effect on her which made their romance believable.
Intelligent, strong willed and likable heroine? Check.
Annie White’s dark past and her inescapable ties to Newton, Iowa should have made her a timid, easy to overlook character but instead she was this determined woman who didn’t back down when it came to finding answers. She was my favorite character in the whole book. Rafe may have wanted to play the white knight but Annie never stepped back and let him take control of her problems. I loved how she insisted on being involved in every aspect of her search for answers, no matter how terrifying or graphic those answers may have been. I’m not a fan of the swooning, frail damsel in distress so while Annie had every reason to be that woman, I’m so glad she wasn’t.
Fun, memorable supporting cast? Double check.
Annie didn’t have the luxury of close friends or family but Rafe did in the form of his fellow military buddies. Max, Hauk, Teagan and Lucas all had remarkable skills of their own that when combined with Rafe’s, allowed the men to escape the prison they were in. Even more remarkable was the bond that was quick to present itself on the first few pages of the book. I have a weakness for strong friendships that seem more like family and these guys totally fit the bill. They worried for one another, they nagged one another and they bickered with one another but at the end of the day, it was a “Mess with one, mess with all” mentality. I’m hoping to see more of that in future books. Plus these guys provided a lot of the humor.
Fast paced, action packed story line? Double check.
Kill Without Mercy set the pace for the Ares series and it suited me just fine. Romantic suspense should be fast paced and there should be plenty of danger and mystery to go with that pace. What I really liked about this book was that in the beginning it seemed like a pretty open and shut case of Annie’s demons but as the book progressed, it became clear that everything that Annie thought she knew was a lie and the situation wasn’t as black and white as it appeared. Alexandra Ivy had me fooled for about 75% of the book!
My only complaint about the book was how quickly things got wrapped up. There were some life changing revelations for Annie yet I didn’t get the sense that she dealt with these revelations. There wasn’t a single scene with her coming to terms with what she found out about her past and they were some biggies too. Other than that though, I enjoyed what I read and I am looking forward to the next book.
Final Verdict: A strong start to a new series by an old favorite. If this is what Alexandra Ivy has up her sleeve I can safely say she won’t disappoint this year!
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3 Mass Market Paperback Copies of KILL WITHOUT MERCY
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