REVIEW: Beautifully Brutal by Nicole Edwards

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beautifully brutal

A Southern Boy Mafia Novel, Book One

(Standalone)

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♦BLURB♦

Sometimes love isn’t beautiful…

Sometimes the only way to describe it is beautifully brutal.

If you think you know him… You’re wrong.

If you think you know his family… Wrong again.

If you think you know his story… You don’t.

If you did, you’d likely wonder how the hell a man like Maximillian Adorite managed to make it to this point in his life. At twenty-nine, he’s experienced more than most people could only ever imagine, all thanksto his family. Organized crime they call it. Mafia.

No matter how they spin it, it comes down to one thing. Max gets what he wants. Except for the one thing he wants most.

Her name is Courtney Kogan.

And now that he’s had a taste of her, Max knows he’ll never be able to let her go.

The Southern Boy Mafia series is a spinoff from the Sniper 1 Security series. It has been set up to be read without reading Sniper 1 Security, however, the characters will frequently cross over.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Courtney and Max are on two very different sides of the law. While she’s a security/bodyguard specialist, he’s a mafia boss. Their chemistry keeps them connected, but their lives strive to push them apart. Sometimes you can’t stop what’s meant to be.

“Courtney ignored the unnerving feeling that slammed into her. . . the one that told her, without a doubt, she was on a collision course that she couldn’t repave, one that would end, based on what she’d just experienced tonight, either beautiful or brutal. Then again, based on what she knew of the man, she was more inclined to believe it’d be beautifully brutal.”

Courtney works in her family business for Sniper 1 Security (another series by Nicole Edwards) where she’s a bodyguard/intel-getter/babysitter. She’s trained with a gun and knows how to get what she needs to close a job. Except this job with Max? Well, it’s turning out to be far more than just a job. His pull on her keeps pulling her in even when her brain is telling her that it could never work–that she could never be with someone on the wrong side of the law. But Courtney is strong. She’s stubborn. She wants him regardless.

“Their paths should’ve never crossed. Their lives should’ve never mingled. And most importantly, she should’ve never given him her heart. But as with anything, life continued to move on, regardless of the devastation and destruction obscuring the path. She simply needed to move on with her life.”

Max is the first in line to take over his family’s business. He’s essentially running things, and doing a damn fine job at it. He’s killed, he’s tortured, he’s willing to do anything to protect his family. And when Courtney comes into his life looking to get information out of him about his business? Well, he’s not willing to let that happen, but…something about her enraptures him. He’s not able to get rid of her. Max was different than most men. He was ruthless and cold, but incredibly intelligent and tender-hearted.

“She’d known from the beginning that Max was a killer, that he was ruthless and extremely powerful, yet she’d followed this path, and look what had happened. She’d fallen in love with a killer.”

An erotic novel that tells the tale of two star-crossed (basically mafia style) lovers who are from enemy families. Good against bad. But when it’s just them? It’s love and affection. It’s hot and erotic. It’s kinky and sexy. I loved the dynamic that Courtney and Max were. That she struggled internally with the lawful side of her struggling to want to be with someone who was the completely opposite. How she wanted him so fiercely but couldn’t figure out how it’d work. And I loved that he was so calm and reassuring, like he knew that things would eventually work out. The only issue I had was that I got sort of confused with how this novel jumps around from different times, and I would have liked that to be a bit more structured so I knew better when things were happening; I was able to tell for the most part by what was happening in the story, but it would have been even more enjoyable if that had been perfected just a bit more. Overall, I loved the raw passion that was exuded between the two characters and I truly enjoyed the suspenseful-at-times, and well-written storyline. I really cannot wait to get more in this series.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Courtney spun around, her gaze slamming into his.

“Check on me? Why the hell would you wanna do that?”

Because it was an excuse to see her. But that wasn’t what Max told her. “I wanted to make sure you were all right.”

Courtney huffed as she returned to pouring the vodka into a glass, adding 7-Up from a can sitting on the table. Max’s gaze instantly strayed to the extra glass, and his frustration rose again.

She tossed him a glare over her shoulder. “Oh, you’re referrin’ to when you blew some guy’s brains out in the middle of your office? Don’t you have a dead body to clean up or somethin’?”

He didn’t say a word. His rule was that he’d never own up to anything. He didn’t feel safe anywhere that wasn’t home, never knew when someone was trying to trap him. And of all people, Max wasn’t delusional enough to believe Courtney wouldn’t turn on him with the right motivation. Ultimately, she was one of the good guys. And that was why they never had been able to find a middle ground. It was more difficult than it appeared considering they were at opposite ends of the spectrum—middle ground was just too far away for either of them.

Not to mention, arguing with Courtney was moot. Max knew from experience that she would never let up, which was why he’d given up long ago.

“Oh, right. You have people for that,” she continued, turning to face him again before taking a sip from her glass. “I’d offer you a drink, but then you might think you can stay.”

“I’m gonna stay,” he informed her.

Courtney’s eyes narrowed on him, and Max’s body instinctively reacted, hardening instantaneously.

“You’re not gonna stay,” she retorted, her tone clipped. “Not today, not tomorrow. Not ever.”

Max shrugged out of his leather jacket, folding it across the arm of the sofa as he moved closer.

“I’m serious, Max,” Courtney said, her eyes widening as she backed up until her ass hit the table. “You’re not stayin’. RT’ll be watchin’ my house until you leave. It’s not an option.”

Max continued to stalk her slowly until he was standing only a few inches away from her. Unable to resist, he cupped her face in his hands, enjoying the silky smoothness of her skin against his palms.

Damn, how he’d missed her. It’d been damn near a full year since the last time he’d touched her, since the last time he’d made love to her. Although touching her now … it was as though not a minute had passed since that fateful day.

“I’m stayin’,” he said softly.

Courtney shook her head, opened her mouth, but then snapped it closed. She wanted to argue; it was evident in the lines that creased her forehead.

Leaning forward, Max tested the waters, allowing his lips to brush hers lightly. Even that was nearly more than he could handle. It’d been too damn long since he’d touched her, tasted her, loved her. And fuck if he didn’t want to do it all again. Right here. Right fucking now.

“Max, please,” Courtney pleaded quietly. “Please don’t do this.”

“Do what?” he questioned roughly, pulling back and allowing his eyes to slide over her beautiful face, down the slender column of her neck, where he noticed the rapid thump of her pulse.

“We’re through,” she stated, her tone holding a hint of conviction.

“So you’ve said.” In fact, Courtney had told him they were over many times during the year they’d been together. And for the year that followed, right up until this very moment, Max had thought about her every single day, about the way she’d ended things so abruptly the last time. Didn’t matter that he’d called her bluff and that had technically been the reason they’d gone their separate ways.

Had it not been for the crazy shit he had to deal with on a daily basis, he might’ve actually taken the time to play her games. But there was another problem with that. He was fucking tired of playing, which was the only reason he’d allowed her to walk away then.

And that was the real reason he was there tonight. He wanted to know whether or not this was truly over. For him, it wasn’t. There wasn’t a chance in hell that he’d ever be able to get over her. Probably not in his lifetime. But that didn’t mean that moving forward wasn’t possible. With or without her.

If she didn’t want him, he’d move on. He had business arrangements dangling in the wind, one in particular that was entirely dependent on where he stood with Courtney.

“Tell me you want me to leave, Courtney. Tell me to go, and I’ll never darken your doorstep again. You’ll never have to see me.”

Max could see the surprise in Courtney’s eyes, in the way her throat worked when she swallowed hard. He’d never made her that promise, never told her that he’d willingly let her go, although he’d spent the last year staying away from her. He’d had eyes on her the entire time; he knew every single move she’d made during those months. He knew for a fact that Courtney had never brought another man home with her, nor had she ever gone home with a man. Had she made that choice, Max wasn’t sure how things would be at this moment, but more than likely, there’d be another dead asshole buried six feet under.

The point was, she hadn’t.

“Tell me that’s what you want, and I’ll do it, Courtney. But know this … if you send me away this time…” Max took a deep breath, exhaled. “I won’t come back. Whatever this is between us, it’ll never die, never go away completely, and we’ll both have to live out the rest of our lives with the decision that you make right here. Tonight.”

“I want…”

The pause that followed stole the air from the room.

 

♦COURTNEY KOGAN INTERVIEW♦

1. What’s your affiliation with Sniper 1 Security, for those that may not know yet?

Sniper 1 Security is my family’s business. My father, Casper Kogan, and his long time friend, Bryce Trexler started the company more than three decades ago. I guess it seemed logical that I did what my family did. I’m a personal security specialist – though there are plenty of names people use to refer to us.

2. Do you think of yourself as an adrenaline junky since you like this line of work?

Adrenaline junkie? Hmmm. Sure, I guess I can see that. I like to live on the edge. I think I’ve proven that.

3. What the craziest thing you have done on a dare?

The craziest thing I’ve done on a dare… **smiles** Not sure how crazy it is, but once, I stood up on the checkout counter at Wal-Mart. Started yelling that they needed a cleanup on aisle five-ninety-two. For the record, the Wal-Mart employees don’t necessarily like that.

4. If not this line of work, then what?

It would always be this line of work. I can’t see myself doing anything else.

5. Favorite type of car?

Corvette.

6. Boys with Tattoos or no?

Either or. And I guess it depends on the tattoo. I’ve seen some that I don’t particularly care for. I tried to talk Max into getting one that said “Property of Courtney”, but he said no. I’m still working on him though.

7. Do you have any tattoos?

Nope. But I’ve been tossing around the idea for a while. It’s hard to come up with an idea for something that’s so … permanent. I’m sure I’ll think of something one of these days.

8. What’s your go to drink when you’re out on the town?

Fireball and RumChata – I’ll let you look up what that’s known as. **smiles**

9. Last question, ideal Saturday night?

I’m a fan of going out to the clubs with my friends and I’ve got a favorite that I frequent – Devil’s Playground.

 

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

nicoel edwards bio

New York Times bestselling author Nicole Edwards launched her professional writing career in July of 2012. Having been an avid reader all of her life and a huge fan of creative writing, it seemed the likely path for her to take. Since then, she has released fifteen books and has no plans to stop. As her full-time career/hobby, Nicole writes steamy contemporary and erotic romances. Nicole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who was born and raised in Texas. Married with three kids and four dogs, she has plenty of interaction to keep her imagination brewing. Her books have been featured in USA Today’s Happy Ever After segment as well as Indie Reader’s best seller list. She has forged her way as an independent author. Although she has a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, she prefers to be hiding out in her writing cave, talking to the fictional characters that have built up in her head over the years. When she isn’t writing or plotting her next book (sometimes translated to “playing on Facebook”), Nicole loves to read and spend time with her family and her dogs.

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