Without Restraint (Southern Shields) by Angela Knight
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Erotica
The first novel in the explosive new Southern Shield series from New York Times bestselling author Angela Knight explores the intoxicating games between a female cop and a Navy SEAL—and the killer instincts of a secret enemy watching every move they make.
Atlanta deputy Alexis Rogers and Navy SEAL Frank Murphy know all about power and restraint, necessary force, and pushing their limits. When they meet in the darkness of a BDSM club, their skills are put to use. With each successive night comes a new adrenaline rush, and while they’re falling into something perilously close to love, their games are still too private, too extreme, and too daring ever to be exposed.
But their intimate lives are upended when a fellow deputy of Alex’s is killed. It’s not a tragic hazard of the job. It’s cold-blooded murder. And he’s not the last to be taken out. Now Alex and Frank have found themselves more vulnerable than ever—and exposed to a killer with a twisted vendetta who turns desire into the most dangerous sensation of all.
This novel hit all the checkmarks for me; romance, hot sex and explosive danger. The best part was that nothing overshadowed the other and it all flowed believably throughout the book. I liked Alex and Frank right away and their chemistry was a foregone conclusion. The BDSM was not too hard for the casual reader and I liked the imaginative interplay between the two. That made it fun and slightly different than the usual BDSM novels. The murder mystery and danger was a real page turner as well with a bad guy you love to hate. A very fun book that has me excited for the next installment in the series.
*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.
Alex drove down the bumping, rutted track as it curved through the trees, the Dom right on her tailpipe. Finally he flashed his headlights at her again. She stopped and threw her car into Park. They were well into the woods, thoroughly screened from the road.
“Why, Officah,” Alex purred aloud in her best Scarlett O’Hara drawl, “whatevah do you have in mind?”
She rolled down her driver’s side window as he swaggered up to the car. Big, brawny, and black-clad-her fantasy Bad Cop come to glorious life. He even wore a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses and a menacing scowl. “Get out of the car, please.”
Her panties were already soaked, and he hadn’t even started yet.
Alex put on her best Don’t give me a ticket, I’ll do anything expression. “But, sir, I wasn’t speeding.”
“I didn’t say you were,” he told her coldly. “Get out of the car.”
She gave him big, worried eyes as she obeyed, closing the car door as softly as she could to keep the sound from carrying to his neighbors. “I don’t understand. I haven’t done anything!”
“Quit trying to play me, lady. There’s a warrant out for your arrest.” Grabbing her wrist, he dragged her to the trunk of her car, then spun her around so her back was to him. “It says you’re armed and dangerous.” He pulled her little .38 from the pancake holster on her belt, and displayed it with a threatening flourish. “And look here-you are.”
Alex swallowed. Had he been anybody else, she might have broken out into the giggles right about then. But this was Frank. Something about him made this silly fantasy scenario feel a lot more real than it should have. “I can explain.”
“I’m sure you can.” His voice hardened. “Hands on the trunk, feet apart.”
Before she could obey, he planted his palm between her shoulder blades and forced her to bend over as he kicked her feet wide. “I said, hands on the trunk, feet apart!” Automatically, she caught herself on her palms.
He started searching her. Never mind that no male cop ever searched a female suspect if he could avoid it; that was why there were female cops. And this was why they had that rule.
What Frank did wasn’t a crude grope-he understood the fantasy too well for that. Instead, he ran his hand down her body in twin slow caresses. Until he reached the curves of her ass.
Pausing, Frank cupped the sensitive flesh through her jeans, squeezing gently, with just enough force to arouse. Breathless, Alex waited for him to circle around between her legs.
He sank to his haunches to continue the search down her legs in that same lazy way. Instead of guns, knives, or drugs, Frank’s clever fingers sought bundles of nerves she hadn’t even known she had. And made them fire messages of lust and arousal and pleasure until it was all she could do not to writhe.
Regaining his feet, Frank swept his palms around her rib cage to the underside of her breasts. He slid his hands up and around, dragging her bra out of the way, baring the curve of her breasts for his cupping palms, exposing her nipples to plucking fingers. The raw delight of the contact was so intense, it seemed to sting. She moaned, unable to bite the sound back.
“Like that, do you?” he growled, ducking his head down until he could speak in her ear.
“Let’s find out how much.”
Angela Knight is the New York Times bestselling author of books for Berkley, Red Sage, Changeling Press, and Loose Id. Her first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. A few years later, she read The Wolf and the Dove and fell in love with romance. Besides her fiction work, Angela’s publishing career includes a stint as a comic book writer and ten years as a newspaper reporter. Several of her stories won South Carolina Press Association awards under her real name.
In 1996, she discovered the small press publisher Red Sage, and realized her dream of romance publication in the company’s Secrets 2 anthology. She went on to publish several more novellas in Secrets before editor Cindy Hwang discovered her work there and asked her if she’d be interested in writing for Berkley. Not being an idiot, Angela said yes.
Whatever success she has enjoyed, she attributes to the marvelous editors she’s had over the years. David Anthony Kraft and Dwight Zimmerman at Comics Interview taught her the nuts and bolts of fiction writing. Alexandria Kendall of Red Sage discovered her talent for romance writing and encouraged her to believe in herself. And she will be forever grateful to Berkley editor Cindy Hwang, who has been unfailingly supportive.
Angela lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a polygraph examiner and hostage negotiator for the county’s Sheriff’s Office. The couple have a grown son, Anthony.