Friday, August 5, 2016

[ARC Review]: "Burn Down the Night"

Burn Down the Night by M. O'Keefe
Publisher: Loveswept (August 9, 2016)
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid, 3
Genre: Contemporary/Suspense

A battle for control turns explosive as a beautiful con woman takes a bad-boy biker hostage in this edgy, seductive novel set in the world of Everything I Left Unsaid (“Toe-curlingly sensual.”—Katy Evans) and The Truth About Him (“Absolutely one-click worthy”—J. Kenner).


The only thing that matters to me is rescuing my sister from the drug-cooking cult that once enslaved us both. I’ve run cons my whole life, and I’ll use my body to get whatever I need. Max Daniels is the last connection I have to that world, the one person reckless enough to get involved. Besides, now that his brothers have turned on him, he needs me too.

The deal was supposed to be simple: a place to hide in exchange for rescuing my sister. Now he’s my prisoner. Totally at my mercy. But I’m the one captivated. Enthralled. Doing everything he asks of me until I’m not sure who’s in control.

We both crave the heat. The more it hurts, the better. But what if Max wants a different life now, to leave the game . . . to love me? I thought I knew better than to get burned. Now I’m in too deep to pull away. And the crazy thing is . . . I don’t want to.



Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Reviews of O'Keefe's Previous Novels:

Wild Child (#1) -- Pat
Never Been Kissed (#2) -- Kame
Between the Sheets (#3) -- TBQ



My Review:



I was Maleficent. Horned and vicious, my wings ripped off. Ready for bloody revenge.

C'est la who gives a fuck.



Joan has spent much of the last year trying to get to the drug lord and cult leader who still has her sister. Working under a fake name (and different appearance) at the strip club he’s been doing business through, she makes a plan to corner him there and find out where her sister is. She didn’t plan on Max, president of the Skulls (MC), to get in her way. She didn’t plan on Max getting shot by his own club brothers. But Max might be the only connection she has to finding her sister, so she moves on to Plan B: saving Max’s life and convincing him to help her -- in terms of information, that is, because she does NOT need or want actual help from anyone, and especially not from Max, the man she’s been eyeing at the strip club for months. She doesn’t want to want him. She knows they’re too much alike, that while it might be fantastic in the moment it will also destroy them in the end. It’s better if she just ignores him and focuses on the only thing that’s important to her: getting her sister home safe.



He reminded me of a blade. Even like that. [Passed out.] Cold. Lethal.



Max expected the coup from his fellow club members and was only surprised that it took so long to happen. But even so it hurts to realize that the one thing that’s defined him for so long, the one thing he’s good at, is now gone. On top of that, he’s been kidnapped by Joan, a kickass woman he’s always had a hard time resisting, and taken to her equally take-no-shit Aunt Fern’s place to heal. Joan saved his life, but can he finally walk away from his old life and help her to save her younger sister? More importantly, can they act on their mutual desire without burning everything down?


Guys. I have feels. A lot of them. And I know I can’t get them all out in this review but I’ll try.


TL;DR: GO BUY THIS BOOK. Rough biker. Kickass heroine. A+++++++ smexy times. Angst. All the angst. Action. GO. NOW. CLICK.


Ahem. Sorry about that. Squeeing over.


Mostly.


I hope.


First off, this book (like so many romance novels, really) would make an amazing movie and I don’t know why Hollywood doesn’t work with romancelandia more -- and not screw with the Awesome Things in the process, obviously. But that’s a different discussion. My point is the first few chapters in particular were so action packed and richly written and just sucked me right in. I felt like I was watching the best action movie ever. So there’s that. I don’t know if I’d classify this as a romantic suspense per say, but definitely a lot of high energy and grit in much of this story and I loved every minute of it.


I loved Joan’s character. She’s so damn strong and has been all of her life. She takes care of shit, and that’s all she’s ever known. I could definitely relate to that a lot. Because of all that, she doesn’t open up to others. At all. And it’s no different with Max at first. Until he gets her to start sharing some of herself – her real self, not the many fake layers she’s put on over the years. It’s amazing to watch it happen, and again gave me the feels, but also a lot of that de-layering came (heh) during smexy times which only made it even better.



"Save your act for other people. The lies and the show -- I don't want it. I want you. Fucked up and crazy. I want you."



For example, their first scene is a “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine” kind of deal. But Max quickly realizes that Joan wants to stay secure and in control and tries to give him the fake BS she would have given during a lap dance at the club. He manages to coax her into actually showing him the real deal of how she pleasures herself, as if he wasn’t there, as if it were just for her and not an act. And she does and it’s hella sexy and also a bit heartbreaking when she has conflicted emotions over it, over letting him in like that.


In fact, the sex scenes are all very deliberately done for a reason – to drive Joan and Max’s characters, and their relationship, forward. The sex is not just thrown in (well done or not!) “just because”. Oh no. No no no no no. Every sex scene in this book is crucial, often to Joan opening up to Max (though he opens up to her, too, don’t worry). And while the sex has purpose, it’s still so damn hot, it’s insane and should probably be illegal but I’m not complaining. There’s even one scene where Joan brings in another woman -- oh, did I forget to mention Joan is bi? Another reason why I loved this book. -- which is also so very important for both the reader and Max to see more about who Joan is and why and how she locks herself away, even during intimate moments. That scene, like all the others, was sexy AF.



"Listen to me." His hand grabbed mine and I tried to wiggle free, but he wasn't letting go. "You want to fuck, let's do it. Let's burn down the fucking place. We got that in us . . . between us. But when it's over . . . all I'll leave you are bruises. Because that's all I have to give you. And a few months ago, fuck . . . two days ago, that would have been fine."

"Why not now?"

He didn't answer the question. And I didn't either. Neither one of us wanted to talk about what had changed between us. The shit we'd shown each other -- told each other . . . it made everything more dangerous. In ways I couldn't even see in the shadows we lived in.

"You got enough bruises, Joan."

Oh God, he wasn't staying away from me to protect himself. He was doing it for me.

"So do you," I said, and he nodded.



Oh! And while there are three amazing sexy scenes in the first part of the book, Max and Joan are not actually together together until the 80% mark. It’s so worth the wait though, and also proves my claim that the sex is all entwined with the story and the characters, not just thrown in for the sake of sex. And look, I adore all the dirty, filthy, smutty goodness that fills my romance novels, I do. But I also love when I get to have my cake (dirty, filthy, smutty goodness) and eat it too (it adds dimension to the overall book and characters).


So that alone made me a Very Happy Reader. A million times over.


And the only reason I'm not sharing a sexy scene is I couldn't pick just one short section. It's too hard (yes, yes, I know: THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!). Trust me: the pages burn when these two are together. Grab a fire extinguisher first. Or, you know, go find your special someone after. ;) Whatever works, no judgement here!



She was a fucking force of nature. Every other woman in the world looked like a child compared to her.


And she was pissed right now, because I had pushed her. Because I had forced her to show me something she wanted to keep hidden. I could see that. But there was something else too. Something dark and dangerous under all that pissed.

And I recognized all of it. Dark and dangerous was my home. Dark and dangerous was the air I breathed.



Max and Joan have so much in common, which is what makes their chemistry and eventual HEA that much more satisfying. They’ve both spent their entire lives doing whatever was necessary to take care of their families, in particular their siblings. I just about bawled when Max started reaching out to Dylan (his brother), both for help and to reconnect. And though it might be considered a spoiler, Joan does get her sister back safely in the end, and I was surprised (but in a good way) when we saw how she had changed, how she wasn’t the innocent helpless girl Joan once knew.


So far we’ve got: A great hero and heroine. Amazing and truly necessary sexy times. Action. Pretty solid deal already, really. But then you add in O’Keefe’s writing, which is fantastic, and the feels as these two try to come to terms with themselves, with each other and their potential relationship, and feels as they worry about (and then reconnect with) each of their families . . . Burn Down the Night offers so much. Oh, and some fun parts here and there, in the form of sarcasm and dry wit, which I adored as well.


In short: this book had everything and I could go on forever by sharing all my favorite quotes. But I won’t because it’ll be even better if you just read the whole book and experience it yourself.



We'd burned down the night and our old lives with it.

But we'd built something so much better in its place.



If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you probably know that it takes a lot for me to gush over a book. Oh, there are plenty that I love and recommend, but for me to outright gush and rave and spam my Twitter feed with gifs and emoji updates, not to mention a rave-and-quote filled review? Those books are rare. I’m not really an emotional reader. I very rarely actually cry while reading. But this book . . . this book had me tied up in so many knots from the feels that I was blinking away tears at times, especially towards the very last chapter. And that is a testament to the story being told, the writing itself, and the characters, which came together beautifully and left me in one of my best book-highs of 2016.


I’m looking forward to finally going back to read book 2, as well as anxiously awaiting book 4 (Tiffany and Blake!). I’d also be curious to see Jennifer (the sister’s) book because I am a greedy reader and I don’t want O’Keefe to ever leave this series. Oh, and related to all that – this is book 3, but can technically be perfectly fine if read as a standalone. I do highly recommend book 1, which was also a Royal Pick for me earlier this year, and I’m confident that 2 is just as amazing – I’m just horrible at keeping up with series sometimes. J


5 STARS! 


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to M. O'Keefe; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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I'm still in a book hangover. SERIOUSLY. Trying to finalize this review and pick quotes lead to two things: the book-high hitting me over the head again -- even though I hadn't completely lost it yet -- and me rereading more than half the book. Oops.

Also: I have 15 Kindle pages of quotes. Fifteen. And honestly, during my skim-reread I realized I missed a lot of others, so that number will only grow. :D

One last note: alternating 1st POV.


Book 1 is still on sale for $0.99, a price you don't want to miss! 



Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on August 25th for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!



Enjoy!


Until Next Time,


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  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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