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Excerpt for Angel’s Truth by Liz Borino

Did you read the excerpt and review of Angel’s Hero? Click here to check it out.

The follow up book is due to be released today (12th March) which is a good thing for those of you who read the first book but don’t like cliffhanger-type endings! 🙂

  • Angel’s Hero – book #1
  • Angel’s Truth – book #2

Angel's Truth

*Please Note: These Books Must Be Read In Order*
The Blurb:
“Freeze or I’ll shoot!” Aaron yelled and aimed the gun at Jordan’s chest.
 “Angel, no, please.” Hacking fluid-filled coughs broke up Jordan’s words.
 “Jordan?” Aaron whispered his name as recognition painted a mural of memories of their life together on his face. 
 “Yes.” He coughed red into his dirty hand. “Please help.”
So begins Angel’s Truth, the sequel to Angel’s Hero. Army Captain Jordan Collins arrives home, only to find the man responsible for his imprisonment, torture, and near-execution with his husband. Had his Angel moved on without him?
Aaron “Angel” Collins has driven his family and friends away in his quest to learn the truth of Jordan’s fate, leaving only Major General Troy Hart willing to help him. When Jordan miraculously returns, with a spirit more broken than his body, Aaron realizes Hart was really a liar with an agenda of his own. Aaron is unable to take time to heal his own emotional wounds, because he and Jordan learn Hart’s betrayal is even greater than they originally believed, threatening the entire nation. Now the reunited couple must race against time to keep a promise to Jordan’s savior and prevent Hart from bringing terrorism once again to American soil.
Excerpt:
“Freeze or I’ll shoot!” Aaron yelled and aimed the gun at Jordan’s chest.
“Angel, no, please.” Hacking fluid-filled coughs broke up Jordan’s words as he sat sprawled on the kitchen floor.
“Jordan?” Aaron whispered his name as recognition and memories of their life together
“Yes.” He coughed red into his dirty hand. “Please help.” After being imprisoned for more than two months in Afghanistan, Jordan needed his husband more than ever.
“No! Jordan’s dead.” Aaron’s hand shook so hard his grip on the gun loosened.
That’s what the Army told him. Now I have to deepen those memories. Show him they’re real. Jordan met Aaron’s gaze, and found confusion with a flickering spark of hope. “Not unless you shoot,” he replied, and somehow knew he had nothing to fear even with a gun pointed Aaron set the Glock on the table. He held it down while keeping his eyes locked on Jordan’s. Not moving closer. “How?”
Before Jordan could answer, the front door shut. “Who was that?” he asked, struggling to sit straighter, his gaze darting around the room. The faint click of the far away lock sent his pulse into overdrive.
“Um,” Aaron glanced at the door and back again, “Troy.”
Hart! No! Jordan’s breath came in short spurts, increasing his coughing… and blood on his sleeve. Blood that Hart caused by leaving him in that godforsaken prison. Angel doesn’t know that… and I can’t fucking tell him.
Aaron crouched down in front of Jordan. “You need to go to the hospital.”
“Not yet.” He coughed again. “Are you seeing him?”
“No,” Aaron answered. “He’s my only friend right now.” At Jordan’s confused expression, Aaron explained, “When they told me you died, I lost it because their story sucked. Cost me my job. Troy stuck by me and helped me investigate your ‘death,’” Aaron put air quotes around the last word. “Then he…” Aaron’s words trailed off.
“He what?” Jordan prompted.
“Showed me a picture of your body after they executed you,” Aaron answered. “But… it  obviously wasn’t you.”
“No,” Jordan responded.
“Troy must have made a mistake,” Aaron tried.
“You don’t believe that,” Jordan said.
Aaron shook his head. “Why were you scared when I told you his name?”
“He kept me there on purpose,” Jordan sputtered. And ordered my death.
“Jor-“
His head snapped up and he caught Aaron’s gaze. “Don’t give me that condescending tone.” More coughing.
“I’m sorry,” Aaron whispered. “I just…”
 “Angel.” Jordan softened his voice. “I can’t tell you how I know yet, but I promise you, I do.”
Aaron hesitated only slightly and then said, “I believe you.”
“Thank you.” Jordan extended his hand and brushed Aaron’s cheek. “My Angel.”
Aaron’s tears streaked a line through the dirt Jordan painted on his face. “Oh, Jordan,”
Aaron cried, kissing his palm, igniting his husband’s own wet cheeks. “I love you is not strong enough.”
Jordan leaned forward and kissed Aaron’s cheeks. “Maybe not, but we are. If …”
“If what?” Aaron questioned.
“If you want to be,” Jordan replied, flitting his gaze away again.
“Yes, more than you know,” Aaron answered. “Let’s get to the hospital.”
He shook his head. “I can’t.”
Aaron scrutinized him. “You’re coughing blood and pale.”
As pale as a mixed race Korean and African American could be, anyway. “I have either TB or pneumonia, an ankle that’s been broken repeatedly, and I haven’t slept in at least three days,” Jordan reported between coughs.
“Um. Yeah. You need a doctor. Probably a team of doctors.” Aaron started to stand up, but Jordan grabbed his arm.
“The Army thinks I’m dead.”
“Uh-huh. We’re not making them prophetic,” Aaron told him as he extracted his phone from his pocket. As Aaron dialed the last one, Jordan snatched the phone and threw it to the other side of the kitchen. “Jordan!”
 “I can’t! Angel, what if they lock me up?”
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Angel’s Hero by Liz Borino

The Angel series:

  • Angel’s Hero (book #1) – in this review
  • Angel’s Truth (book #2) – due to be released 14th March

Check out the book excerpt here.

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Angel's Hero (Angel, #1)Angel’s Hero by Liz Borino

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

CIA Agent Aaron “Angel” Collins doesn’t take many things on faith. He trusts his gut, his eyes, and his husband, Jordan, an Army Captain. When his commanding officers deliver news of Jordan’s death, Aaron needs proof. The facts don’t add up, and Aaron must decide if he can trust Major General Troy Hart to assist in his quest to discover the truth.
Captain Jordan Collins is battered and disheartened in an Afghanistan prison, but definitely not dead, though he learns his own government believes he is. His only mission now is to stay alive and make it home to Angel, if he can find an ally among the enemy. But someone in the US government will stop at nothing to make sure he never leaves that prison, And Jordan must reevaluate the lines between friend and foe if he is ever to return to his Angel.

So what did I think?

If you enjoy a military story with some intrigue and mystery blended with your romance then this is for you. If you don’t like a cliffhanger, then hang on and don’t read it until after the release of book 2 , Angel’s Truth, which is due 14th March.

Angel and Jordan are married and have been together for many years but their love is still strong. It is interesting that the story is about a long established couple but weaves the story of their first meeting and early days together. The story moves back and forth a little and it took me a little while to get into the swing of things. Told with alternating POV, the story moves from present day to the past and also from Jordan’s POV (deployed overseas) and Angel’s POV (back home waiting for his man).

I did find some of the mystery a little hard to follow and I think this is the impact of the book being relatively short in length but covering a lot of ground without a lot of detail. For example, I still really don’t understand how Jordan made his way back to the US – it was too simple and too quick and I wanted to know more. I am looking forward to reading the second book to clarify a lot of what’s going on – I guess that’s part of the mystery! 🙂

There were a few moments in the story, where some characters said or did something I found a bit odd. (Check out my GR review if you are interested in details)  and I wasn’t overly keen on some of the wording in the sex scenes but overall, I’ve been hooked enough to be keen to see what book number 2 brings.

And of course I want to see them get their happy ending!

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for my honest review.

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To find out more about Liz Borino and her books visit her website.

Buy Angel’s Hero from Amazon.

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Released today! Angel’s Hero by Liz Borino

Angel's Hero

Angel’s Hero is book one in the Angel series and is released today. Book two is Angel’s Truth and is expected to be published on 14th March. Reviews for both books are to follow but in the meantime check out the excerpt for Angel’s Hero below.

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The blurb….

CIA Agent Aaron “Angel” Collins doesn’t take many things on faith. He trusts his gut, his eyes, and his husband, Jordan, an Army Captain. When his commanding officers deliver  news of Jordan’s death, Aaron needs proof. The facts don’t add up, and Aaron must decide if he can trust Major General Troy Hart to assist in his quest to discover the truth.
Captain Jordan Collins is battered and disheartened in an Afghanistan prison, but definitely not dead, though he learns his own government believes he is. His only mission now is to stay alive and make it home to Angel, if he can find an ally among the enemy. But someone in the US government will stop at nothing to make sure he never leaves that prison, And Jordan must reevaluate the lines between friend and foe if he is ever to return to his Angel.
Excerpt:
July 2013 Langley, Virginia
CIA Agent Aaron Collins pushed his shoulders together as he strode through the hallway to his supervisor Mick Keller’s office and rapped on the door. As if waiting for him, Keller swung it open. “Come in, Collins, come in. Have a seat. Can I get you a drink?”
“No, thank you, sir,” Aaron replied, shifting in the hard wooden chair. His boss wrung his hands as he circled his large desk. “Is everything all right?” Clearly not, he answered himself.
Bosses tended not to call emergency meetings on a Friday to discuss the company’s upcoming Keller sat behind his desk and adjusted his glasses.
“I need you to brief Foster on the POW situation in Afghanistan. The two of you are switching cases.”
Aaron blinked. “My team and I have been working with the military on that mission for months. We’re three weeks from deployment.”
“Yes, Foster will assume your leadership role.”
“Foster? He’s a paper pusher!” Aaron exclaimed.
“Collins.” Keller’s voice held a warning.
Yeah, God forbid the agency admits the truth about the competence of their employees.
“Sir, he really is not qualified.”
“He will be once you brief him. We need you here, Collins,” Keller told him.
Aaron tilted his head to the side. “Why do you need a field agent here?”
“You’re one of our best,” Keller said.
“And… you’re afraid to send me because you have reason to doubt safety?” Aaron extrapolated.
“It is a rather volatile situation,” Keller hedged.
Of course it’s volatile! Fucking enemies have our men! “What aren’t you telling me?”
Keller shook his head. “It wasn’t my decision.”
“Well, whose decision was it? Have you thought of calling them an idiot?”
“Not all of us have your finesse,” Keller replied.
“I’ll be there, or you need to give me a reason that I can’t, beyond the stuffed shirt above you said so,” Aaron said.
Keller removed his glasses and massaged his eyes. “No, that’s all the reason either one of us require. Your job is here for the next four months.”
“I have the most information about this mission,” Aaron tried once more, but even as he spoke, he knew the battle was over.
“None of us know very much,” Keller responded with a sigh. “I’m sorry.”
So am I. “Can I still get updates?”
“You know we can’t.” Keller paused, then added, “He’ll be all right, Collins.”
They weren’t talking about Foster’s competence anymore. Now Keller referred to Aaron’s husband, Jordan, an Army Captain also assigned to this mission. “Of course he will. I only wish I could help.”
“You’ll help by training Foster,” Keller replied.
Right. “Is there anything else, sir?” Aaron asked.
“No, you may go home.”
“Thank you.” Aaron stood, shook Keller’s hand, and walked out of the building after grabbing his messenger bag. Ducking into his car, Aaron leaned his head back on the seat. He dialed Jordan’s cell.
“Hey, Angel, you done already?” Jordan asked, the perkiness in his voice signaling that he did not get the same news today.
And like magic, the sound of Jordan’s nickname for him eroded the edges of Aaron’s own bad mood. “Yep, you?”
“Two beers in at home,” Jordan responded. “I’ve got dinner started.”
“See, now I think you’re vying to steal my nickname from me.” Aaron started the ignition and put his foot on the brake.
“Never happen. You okay?” Jordan asked.
“Uh… do we have anything stronger than beer, or should I stop?”
“Oh, boy.” Jordan’s tone grew serious. “We have whiskey, if that will do.”
Best you can get in the US. Aaron released a breath. “That’ll work. Love you.”
“Love you, too.” Jordan ended the call and Aaron began the twenty minute trek home to Maryland.
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To find out more about Liz Borino and her books visit her website.
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As Natural As Breathing by Thianna D.

  • As Natural As Breathing (Book #1) – in this review
  • Took My Breath Away (Book #2)

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As Natural As BreathingAs Natural As Breathing by Thianna D.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

For Christian Darringer, life isn’t worth living. Just back from the Middle East; scarred and with permanent damage to one leg, he does not think anyone will want him for anything. Meeting a gorgeous man he finds himself thinking about constantly is not in his plans. Pulled toward the startling younger man with striking blue eyes, he begins to question a lot of things – especially his sexuality. Not one to hide from a challenge, he plunges ahead only to find himself more than just attracted to Logan who is full of life and joy, he finds himself head over heels in love.

Logan Mannette has almost everything he ever wanted: loving parents, happiness, friends and security. The only thing missing is finding the love of his life, a love that is just like his parents’. When he meets Christian at a party, everything changes. Instantly attracted, he does his best to help this sad man and quickly finds himself feeling more than he has ever felt before. Raised in a domestic discipline household, he holds that ideal as what he wants but his interest in spanking became a fetish and when Christian admits that he wants to be spanked, Logan believes he might have found the perfect man.

Just as everything begins for them, Christian’s past intercedes and one of his brothers makes waves about him dating a man. If it weren’t for Logan’s support, he might fold; but with the love of one amazing man, Christian finds that living his life rather than just existing is as natural as breathing.

So What did I Think?

I enjoyed this story of the wounded Christian returning to his family to heal, both mentally and physically, but finding his healing comes through the love he finds with Logan.

Christian had been wounded under exceptional (maybe unrealistic?) circumstances and is suffering from PTSD. His physical scars and pronounced limp are significant, his mental trauma is severe with nightmares and flashbacks, and through all this he is challenged by his confused sexual feelings. Add to this the torment provided by his brother and it is not an easy time for Christian!

There are many themes in this book –

  • PTSDand returning from war
  • gay-for-you: Christian comes to terms with the attraction he feels for Logan.
  • domestic discipline: I really enjoyed the spanking scenes between Logan and Christian but some aspects just seemed to wonderfully coincidental i.e. Logan has a kink and it terms out that Christian has longed to be spanked forever. It seemed more pleasure spanking than discipline but was hot anyway! I also found it really strange that Logan’s dad is the one who has instructed him on DD relationships and shared so much of what he gets up to with his wife!
  • intolerance – Obviously it starts with the attack on Christian but once he gets home it continues with Christian’s brother. Christian’s brother is a real asshole. Luckily the rest of the family are the total opposite.

One of the highlights of the story has to be the secondary characters – friends and family who are wonderful. I loved the style of the book and the dialogue and the pace. It was very engaging and an enjoyable story.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for my honest review.

 

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No Flag by Liz Borino

No FlagNo Flag by Liz Borino

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

For Mike and Will, “No Flag” meant “come home alive”, but will their love survive what happens next?

Captain Mike Kelley does not ignore his intuition, so when sexy bartender Will Hayes captures his heart, Mike embarks on a mission to win him over to a Domestic Discipline relationship. Will accepts with one caveat: Mike must promise not to renew his Army contract. Mike agrees, and they spend a year building a life together, getting married, and starting a business.

Only days before their café’s grand opening, Mike receives news that threatens everything he and Will have built. The Army invokes the Stop Loss military policy to involuntarily extend his commission and send him back overseas. Will, left alone to cope with the café, must rely on the support of old friends who may be no longer be trustworthy. Through emails and Skype calls, Mike and Will keep their love and structure alive…until the day a horrific terrorist attack occurs on Mike’s outpost.

Mike awakens in a hospital with a devastating injury and no his memory of the attack. As the only survivor, Mike’s memory may be the key to national security. Mike struggles to cope with his injury and Will struggles to support the man who always held him up. Both fear they have lost their previous relationship. Will has Mike back rather than a folded flag, but in the aftermath of war, can they rebuild the life they had before? Especially when those closest to them may not have their best interests at heart?

*Contains BDSM elements in the context of a loving relationship.*

So what did I think?

Let me start by saying that I enjoyed this book and the overall story of Mike and Will. It follows a really interesting journey as the two men embark on a relationship that is littered with hurdles. There was an emotional element to the story in which lots happens, and kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next.

The blurb (surprisingly?) gives away a lot of the plot – Mike and Will start a relationship in which Will accepts the rules of their partnership so long as Mike promises not to be redeployed. Things don’t go according to plan, Mike is sent back to the war zone, friends undermine Will’s relationship by questioning the terms of this relationship with Mike and doubting Mike’s fidelity and finally Mike suffers a terrible injury which threatens the very nature of their relationship. There is definitely heaps going on!

On the positive side I liked both characters. Mike is so honest and caring and Will shows the depth of his love when he cares for Mike on his return from hospital. I struggled at the beginning to imagine the men together, finding Mike’s OCD a bit over the top and Will’s acceptance of it just a bit too easy, but by the end of the book they were wonderful together. I loved the concept of ‘no flag’ and the inscription Will arranged for Mike’s wedding ring. Ending their calls with ‘no flag’ was such a lovely romantic symbol of love and promise.

I liked the fast pace. I liked the tension and the drama. The bombing and the government involvement made for an interesting story (but you’ve got to be concerned that the military couldn’t solve the mystery of who were the bombers without Mike’s help!)

So what were the short comings in my opinion? Firstly, I actually missed how Mike and Will got to the place where they were negotiating a domestic discipline relationship. I understood Mike with his OCD and need for order and control but didn’t feel as sold on Will’s submissive tendencies. It all just seemed a bit rushed. And when they finally had sex, I couldn’t understand the reasoning for Mike’s bottoming on their first encounter. I just found it a bit too confusing. Secondly, I didn’t really get the story line involving the psycho friend and why they behaved that way. From the sounds of both comments I just made, I think I need to read the book again to see if it gets clearer second time around! 🙂 Finally I disliked some of the terminology (I hate the use of ‘member’ and lines like ‘squeezing the white juice from their bodies.’) and didn’t find the sex all that sexy. But I wasn’t really reading for the sex, more the other interactions between the men.

There were minor editing issues in my copy but nothing that really stood out too much.

This is a “liked it and enjoyed it” book. 3.5 stars.

By the way, do any other readers have the same problem I do with chapter headings that are dates? By the time I get to the next chapter with the new date I have no idea what the previous date was so have no idea how long has passed. And since the dates are there I feel knowing this is significant so feel like I’m missing something important (but not so much that I feel the need to flick back and forth in the Kindle).

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

To find out more about Liz Borino and her books visit her website.

Buy No Flag from Amazon.