Thursday, August 2, 2018

Protected by Lexi Blake Blog Tour

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters and Mercenaries series…

A second chance at first love

Years before Wade Rycroft fell in love with Geneva Harris, the smartest girl in his class. The rodeo star and the shy academic made for an odd pair but their chemistry was undeniable. They made plans to get married after high school but when Genny left him standing in the rain, he joined the Army and vowed to leave that life behind. Genny married the town’s golden boy, and Wade knew that he couldn’t go home again.

Could become the promise of a lifetime

Fifteen years later, Wade returns to Broken Bend, Texas for his brother’s wedding and walks into a storm of scandal. Genny’s marriage has dissolved and the town has turned against her. But when someone tries to kill his old love, Wade can’t refuse to help her. In his years after the Army, he’s found his place in the world. His job at McKay-Taggart keeps happy and busy but something is missing. When he takes the job watching over Genny, he realizes what it is.

As danger presses in, Wade must decide if he can forgive past sins or let the woman of his dreams walk into a nightmare…

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Book 16.5
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Coming to other retailers October 29, 2018

“Don’t. Don’t tell me how to feel. I know you’ve worked through this, but I don’t know how to.”

“It helps to admit that we were all children back then.”

“My mother wasn’t.” He needed to talk about this with her.

“No, but she wasn’t the same after your dad died. She was lost and I’ve forgiven her,” she replied quietly. “You can’t spend your life being angry.”

“You’re angry with me.”

For a moment he thought she would ignore him. Then she turned to him, her eyes shining in the moonlight. “Maybe. It’s hard to figure out how I feel about you. For a long time, I dreamed about you at night. You were the only man I ever loved. Brock killed that. I think he might have killed the part of me that can love someone other than my son. I didn’t feel a lot when my father passed. But then he was the one who told me to suck it up. I went to him after Brock hit me the first time. He told me to not make my husband mad.”

“Genny, he should have killed him. I would have. God, I should have.” That sorrow that had been building inside him threatened to spill over. Anger was there, but it was overshadowed by the terrible pain he felt at the thought of her being alone and afraid.

“It’s funny,” she said, studying him in the silvery light. “I went over pretty much every possible scenario I could, and this wasn’t the way I thought you would handle it. It’s why it took forever for me to talk to you. I thought you would either not care at all or that you would be so angry you went after everyone. I hesitated because I thought I might unleash a beast.”

He could give her this. Since the moment he’d learned the truth, he’d genuinely forced himself to think about how he reacted. It would be selfish to act out in anger when she needed him to be calm, to think about what was best for her. The drive from Broken Bend to Dallas with Ash had made that clear to him. They needed someone who would thoughtfully protect them, not a raging animal who fed his own needs. “You’ve had enough anger in your life. It’s there. God, it’s there, but I swear I won’t act on it because I won’t do anything that could hurt you. I’ll try to handle him in every legal way I can and if I have to take him out, I’ll do it in a way that can never come back on any of us. You don’t need my rage. You do need me though.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Because you think I’ll let you down again.” It wasn’t a question.

“Because I don’t want to love anyone again,” she admitted.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance – second chance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Geneva and Wade were so in love as teenagers. They knew that their love would last a lifetime. Geneva was going to wait for Wade. Wade was going to serve his country. If only it had been that simple.

Geneva's dad was a piece of work and not in a good way. I really wish that there had been some kind of retribution for her through him. Geneva lived a hard life. She was a pawn in a much larger scheme and there was no way that she was going to allow someone else to help.

Wade lived a lifetime with anger and hatred in his heart towards the one woman that he ever loved. Geneva betrayed him in the most basic way and whenever he found himself having to be in town, he avoided her at all costs. However, when he's home for his brother's wedding, Geneva is also in attendance and Wade sees something in her eyes that he can't quite figure out.

Geneva is in desperate need of Wade's help – she needs to protect her son. When she turns to Wade, right away she knows this could be a huge mistake. Wade has hated her most of their life. But Geneva is willing to endure his hatred if it means that her son will be protected. She, on the other hand, has a score to settle.

When the truth is revealed, loyalties will be tested and lines will be drawn. Whether or not Geneva will take a risk on Wade is a question that can only be answered in this story. It is a story about heartbreak, love, and sacrifice.

I want to see what happens next – will there be healing? Or just more pain?

All Masters and Mercenaries fans will surely ADORE this book – full of our old friends, catching up on just where they are right now, with wonderful hints at how they are still as in love and happy as they were when they first got together... which is six or seven years ago now! And yet, a new reader would only get the slightest hints of what that all means, and hopefully be enticed to start at the beginning and find out... and I almost envy them finding it all out new! Without a doubt this is a series which is always on my reread list, as each story is so good, and the whole is just perfect.

This particular story is heartbreaking, asks many questions of both leads and in particular of the actions of Wade's family. It may have all happened 15 years ago, but it is all new to Wade, and the way it is told means that we too are as hurt and confused as him. Being along for the ride as he and Genny come to terms with the past, and try and imagine a brighter future is incredibly moving. And then we have her son, Ash. He is possibly the coolest teenager I have ever read in a book – just so positive, so funny, and so grown up. Distressing as his childhood has been, he has been shown the very best of love by his mum, and has a way of living which can only make Wade love him from the beginning.

Really, just read this, and get ready to go through every emotion – teary, laughing, hot, sad, happy, and hopeful to name but a few. I keep thinking of little touches which make me smile, and how important the team was in helping these two people reach the place that we all wanted them to be. Delicious from page one to the very end. *sigh*

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Protected (Masters & Mercenaries #16.5; Sanctum Nights #8) by Lexi Blake to read and review for this tour.

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