by Harper Sloan
Published September 9th 2013 by Harper Sloan
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Greg Cage was born to protect. While growing up, he was his mother and sister’s shield against the world… until he failed. For the last decade, he has carried that guilt and need for vengeance around… until it was stripped from him. Now, with his best friend getting married and no longer needing his protection, he is even more lost, completely adrift, and desperate for some control. All he has ever known was how to protect: his family, his friends, and his country. Can he go against everything he has ever known, and give up that control?
Melissa Larson will never let anyone hold the reins in her life. She has been the rock in her family for more years than she can remember, and the fight to keep them together is her main priority right now. She has always been fiercely independent and proud. The last thing she will ever do is ask for someone else’s help. But when that choice is out of her control, forcing her to rely on others to save her and her family, and pick up the pieces that are left, will she be able to let someone else be her strength?
The second Greg locks eyes with Meli, he knows that she is someone he needs. Someone he craves. Meli knew the second she met Greg that he would be nothing but trouble and heartache. Her life takes an unexpected turn, and that bitch Fate is back to wreak more havoc on another member of the Corps family.
All hell breaks loose, leaving Greg no choice but to call in a favor. He hooks back up with his old friend Braxxon Breaker from the Breakneck MC. Together, they make sure that nothing threatens anyone Greg loves again.
How much did I love this book? Well, thanks to Momma, I received it Thanksgiving Eve: one of the few times I allow my OCD/Martha Stewart tendencies full reign; and I nearly ditched the dinner I was hosting! Needless to say, I finished it before the family arrived - snitching time in between bouts of turkey basting.
After Axel, I was already infatuated with Greg Cage. No surprise I devoured the book so quickly. And? It was way more than I expected. It was hard to top Axel, but he did. In spades.
Cage starts at the end of Axel, where the lovebirds are at the doctor's getting their ultrasound checkup. Fast forward to baby being born and big wedding coming up. Izzy needs help with Nate during marathon wedding planning so who does she turn to? Big Brother Greg, of course.
Cage agrees to bring Nate to the doctor for a check-up and gets knocked speechless (uh, brainless?) at the sight of "Nurse Sin" - a.k.a. Melissa. To her credit, she admits to herself that she's attracted to "Mr Sex on Legs" but doesn't need any more complications in her already busy life.
Her blossoming friendship with Izzy keeps throwing the two of them together and they finally succumb to the, ehrm, mutual attraction for a whole weekend of marathon bed breaking. I do like that Melissa doesn't go to bed with him the first night they met. Neither does she have delusions of a serious relationship straight off. Instead they both wait and see how her family can fit into their dynamic.
The scene stealer here is definitely Cohen! Oh, what a bundle of cuteness this Ninja-fighting nephew of Meli's, who gets away with saying things best left private. Some scenes had me giggling like a crazy person all by myself.
The only thing that felt rushed to me was the part near the end, how Cage decided to deal with Melissa's situation. I think I need to read Crystal Spears' book to get a clearer picture. A little more background on exactly what Cage did after getting out of the Marines would have solved this problem for me. Maybe in a later book?
Perfect characters? Not. Straight cut plot? Nope. But neither is life so clean nor people's choices always right. It's human enough to suit me and still has that suspension of disbelief and stretch of imagination to keep it from being a flip-through read.
I now want to get my hands on the third installment - Beck. I have to see how this overprotective Alpha teddy bear Cage develops after he's got the family he's always wanted! Exactly how does Beck deal with Dee? And can we get to Emmy and Maddox please?