Review: Without Restraint (Southern Shields) by Angela Knight

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Without Restraint (Southern Shields) by Angela Knight

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Genre: Romantic Suspense/Erotica

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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.

imageThis 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.

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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.”

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Kindle $5.99 | Amazon PBK | B&N $7.99

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imageAngela 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.

Social Media Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitterBooks

SPOTLIGHT, Review & Giveaway: Love Bites by Angela Knight

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Love Bites by Angela Knight
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Reviewed by: Reading In Pajamas/ Donna
Rated: 5 Stars

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The New York Times bestselling author explores her most daring side yet in three tales of seductive vampires and the women who love them.

In the brand-new “Oath of Service,” Angela Knight introduces the Doms of the Round Table and a kinky circle of pleasure, pain, and power as she returns to her “sexy as hell” (Heroes and Heartbreakers) Mageverse world for a new twist on the Arthurian legend.

Morgana le Fay finally gets what’s coming to her in this novel-length story. After a fight with a dragon goes wrong, Morgana takes an Oath of Service to Percival, vampire Knight of the Round Table. Percival and his partners, Cador and Marrok, decide to give Morgana a taste of bondages and submission she’ll never forget. What they don’t know is that the lovely witch is keeping secrets that could destroy them all. To make matters worse, the dragon is plotting a deadly revenge….

In “Be Careful What You Wish For,” a beautiful vampire and her two vamp lovers lock horns with a wizard with the ugly habit of refusing to take no for an answer. When he casts a spell on Beau and Decker, Amanda finds herself the object of both men’s lust. She’s had some yummy threesome fantasies along the same lines, but since the men hate each other, she figured it was never going to happen. But when it does, things get a lot more kinky than Amanda expects.

In “The Bloodslave,” Angela Knight’s classic “must read…highly erotic” (*The Best Reviews) novella, a female mercenary comes under fire during a hunt. The beautiful, virginal, and very human Verica is captured by three hungry alpha vampires driven deliriously feral by her purity. But they desire more than her warm blood. They want her body, leaving Verica more vulnerable than ever before—and loving every minute of it.

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Wow! I loved this book and the many places it took me. This was my first taste of the Mageverse and it won’t be my last. Oath of Service was a BDSM fest woven nicely in with the fantasy world of dragons, vampires and magic. I liked the camaraderie of the characters and how they have fought to protect humans through the centuries. And the romance was flaming hot.

Be Careful What You Wish For was a fun short story of vampires on a mission. The fact that they fell into a ménage situation that was a bit swoon-worthy. Fun and quick and oh so hot.

The Bloodslave had me worried since I don’t go for futuristic novels but it didn’t take long for this short story to make me a believer. This was a BDSM based also and kept the flames stoked.

All in all, a very hot and steamy book aimed for the stout hearted. I loved it!

*Review copy provided by Berkley/NAL in exchange for an honest review.

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Kindle $9.99 http://geni.us/42om | Amazon PBK $11.25 http://geni.us/1Zxa | B&N (PBK $11.25/ Nook $9.99) http://bit.ly/1nNpidW | Kobo $9.99 http://bit.ly/1tmfM8Q

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Love Bites – Excerpt for Reading in Pajamas

It seemed the murdering werewolf had arrived. Now they just had to kill the furry bastard…
Except…
Morgana frowned in puzzlement. She knew the feel of werewolf magic from painful experience.Claws raked across her skin as the wolves closed in, their eyes glowing orange with bloodlust…
The taste of this creature’s power was different, much stronger than anything she’d felt before from any other wolf. An oily tsunami of malice and magic that was both alien and all too familiar.
“That’s not a werewolf,” Percival said over the mission link, echoing the thought that had made her heart skip in dread. “That’s a dragon.”
“Oh,” Morrak groaned, “we’re so fucked.”
They were both right. Heart pounding, Morgana started toward the club’s entrance, hoping to intercept the killer.
The creature who strode into the bar a moment later didn’t look like a murderous shape-shifting dragon. He was just tall enough to draw a woman’s eye in a crowd, lean and muscular as an Olympic swimmer in a well-cut gray suit that suggested its wearer had both money and taste. Morgana could see how an unwary woman might follow him to her death, deceived by his smoldering GQ looks and artfully tousled black hair.
But the gaze he swept over the crowd was so intensely predatory, so cruel, that Morgana found herself jolting toward him, desperate to divert him before he picked out some mortal woman to victimize.
“Morgana, watch your cover,” Percival murmured through their enchanted mission rings.
She caught herself, camouflaging her alarm with a seductive smile and her best hip-rolling, leggy stride. As she sauntered over, the dragon’s gaze flicked to meet hers, piercingly blue and cold enough to inflict frostbite. The creature smiled, his lips taking on a sensual curve. “Why, hello,” he purred, his voice deep and rumbling as he extended his hand.
Quickly reinforcing her magical shields, Morgana reached to accept the offered handshake, even as she prepared a spell blast. “And hello to you. I…”
Inhumanly powerful fingers clamped around hers hard enough to grind bone on bone. A wave of psychic force rolled from his hand to hers, blasting through her attempt to shield as if it were tissue paper. The dragon’s attack slammed into her mind hard enough to buckle her knees.
“Morgana!” Percival’s furious mental bark sounded distant as she fought to shake off the dragon’s attack.
Though her thoughts felt swathed in cotton, she realized she was lucky she’d shielded, even if the psychic barrier hadn’t protected her completely. Otherwise I’d be dead now.
Blinking at the spots that filled her vision, she caught herself against a barstool. Marrok appeared at her elbow to slide an arm around her waist. “Are you all right?” the big knight demanded, lifting her to her feet and steadying her when she swayed. His tone sharpened. “Morgana?”
“I’m fine.” Scanning the crowd, Morgana realized the dragon was nowhere to be seen. Neither were Percival and Cador. Oh, hell, she must have lost consciousness, or damned close to it. “Where’s the team?”
“Tracking our scaly friend through the club, trying to make sure he doesn’t kidnap anybody. He headed for the scene rooms as you went down. Percival told me to make sure you were okay.” His dark gaze searched her features, his worry evident. “Are you?”
“I’m fine, dammit. Where did they go?”
“This way.” Marrok turned and bulled through the crowd, half-carrying her as the other patrons stumbled back from his overwhelming strength.
The last of the fog from the dragon’s attack lifted, and she realized just how bad the situation was. If they weren’t damned careful—and lucky—everyone in Club Penitent could end up dead. Especially if the bastard shifted.
Forty feet of dragon in the middle of a nightclub was a prescription for tragedy.
Another thing: if somebody got cell phone video of an honest-to-Lord of the Rings dragon and posted it to Facebook, the paranormal cat would be out of the bag. Discovering magic actually existed would change human society in ways no one could predict.
Morgana shuddered. She’d been through witch hunts before. She had no desire to experience the twenty-first century version.
We have got to lure him outside if we want to get this clusterfuck back under control.
Luckily, Morgana could shift too. She’d been practicing draconian combat techniques with both Kel and her lover, Soren. She was reasonably sure she could handle herself in a fight with the dragon— if she could lure him away from the club and its potential hostages.
What would be preferable was if she could enlist Kel and Soren’s help. Both shifters were veterans of draconic combat who’d be far more capable of taking out the killer than she was.
And they don’t have to worry about losing control.
Though Soren might have to worry about the political implications. True, Cachamwri, the elemental the Dragonkind worshipped as a god, had let it be known he would no longer tolerate his people treating the Magekind as enemies. Unfortunately, that still didn’t mean Soren could take the Magekind’s side against another dragon, not without proof the creature actually was the serial killer who’d been eating women. Soren would probably do it anyway, but the political repercussions could be highly unpleasantfor him. There were still a great many dragons who hated humans, just on general principles. Morgana didn’t want to put her lover in that position unless she had absolutely no choice.
Fortunately her other option was a Knight of the Round Table; Morgana could definitely call on Kel. Arthur had made the big shape-shifter one of his elite knights after Kel helped save the Magekind from a demonic magic user. And he was literally the Round Table’s biggest big gun. Morgana had an ugly feeling she was going to need him.
Unfortunately, she soon learned she wasn’t going to get him, at least not right away.
“Nineva and I are butt-deep in a firefight, Morgana,” Kel informed her via their enchanted iPhoneswhen she reached him minutes later. Somewhere nearby, someone fired what sounded like an AK-47 in a thunderous rolling volley. “Bloody terrorists. Look, can you keep the dragon occupied for a half-hour or so?” Something went WHOMP, followed by the sound of debris raining down on the ground. Kel swore.“Nineva, grab that kid before someone shoots her! Morg, if Nineva and I can get these childrenevacuated, I should be able to come roast the monster for you. Just keep him busy until I get there.”
Morgana’s heart sank as Kel cut the link, presumably so he could concentrate on rescuing the school full of hostages he and his wife were trying to save.
Normally, she’d stack her team up against any other three Knights of the Round Table, including Lancelot, Galahad and Arthur himself. But skilled as they were, leading Percival, Marrok and Cador against a dragon could well get them all killed. Vampires could take a hell of a lot of damage, but not the kind of injuries inflicted by a fire-breathing lizard the size of Air Force One.
She’d be damned if she’d put them in that position. Especially not Percival.
“Morgana, Marrok, where the fuck are you?” Percival demanded through the mission link.
“Coming. Where are you?”
“Alley behind the club. When we caught up with him, we found the bastard had put some kind of spell on two girls. He gated off with them. His tone turned grim. “But before he left, he threatened to eat them.”

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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.

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Website: http://www.angelasknights.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngelaKnight2002
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/AngelaKnight
Books: http://www.angelasknights.com/books.html