(Inked 2) Novella
By Stephanie Tyler
Writing as SE Jakes
Copyright © 2016 Stephanie Tyler
Published by Stephanie Tyler, LLC
Edited by Julia Ganis, JuliaEdits.com
Cover Art Design © Croco Designs
Book Formatting by Croco Designs
All rights reserved.
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For Aleks, the third time wasn’t the charm…and fighting for survival was only the beginning…
Aleks is a tattoo artist at Inked. He’s also a man with a troubled history and a future bent on vengeance. But his plans for revenge are derailed when he meets a man with ties to his past. A man who also holds a promise of the future.
Brogan is dangerous for Aleks in more ways than one. He’s former military, a successful businessman and a strong hand in the bedroom—everything Aleks wants, under the worst possible circumstances. It’s up to Aleks to figure out what—and who—is worth fighting for.
At long last our heroine is back and she delivers a solid return with Thirds, the second novella in the Inked series. Although this is the second book in the series, and it does contain appearances by Colin and Quinn from Hold The Line, this is most definitely a stand alone on its own merits and does it ever have merits. A good, solid story that I’ll get into later and SE Jakes’ signature smoking hot MM sex scenes! I sincerely hope she continues with an Inked 3. These are extremely enjoyable novellas that merit further life.
“The guy had dark hair and hypnotically dark eyes. He scanned the crowd, wearing only blue shorts and white tape on his hands. …Damn, the guy still looked the same. Better, actually. His face was chiseled and matured— model material— his body still muscled but a fighter’s muscles. Aleks didn’t have the tattoos back then that Brogan noted running down his arms— he’d only worn blue shorts, so Brogan would’ve seen them if he had.”
Hot, sexy, Aleks was coerced and forced in the dark underbelly of MMA, the dark matches – matches to the death, when his brother was kidnapped and held for ransom… the ransom was Aleks’ participation in the dark matches. Aleks, a sub, is in the final stages of exacting his revenge for his brother’s death, however one very distracting complication comes up – Brogan!
This is Aleks’ story, and a highly intense one at that!
“He looked just like Aleks remembered— a little older. Tanned. Blond, blue-eyed, All-American and handsome as fuck. His bearing was military and if Aleks closed his eyes, he could picture that night, making fast work of one of his first opponents in the ring while Brogan watched him intently. Sometimes the fights made Aleks hard— a purely physical reaction his body had to fighting— but that night, it had been all about Brogan’s intense stare.”
Brogan is the heir to the Montgomery-Johnstone fortune, although he’d never wanted to follow into the family business, he went into the military and became Special Forces, much to his cousin Harry’s chagrin… Little does Brogan know just what Harry has been doing with the family fortune.
This is an awesome story for an MMA junkie such as myself. I’ll admit it, it’s one of my weaknesses and this story is pure adrenaline with a heavy dose of testosterone.
Forced into the deep underbelly of MMA, the dark matches – matches where the winner is determined by who lives and dies – via his handicapped kid brother ‘s kidnapping and being held for ransom, except the ransom wasn’t cold, hard cash. The ransom was Aleks’ being held captive to participate in the dark matches. And the orchestrator of this was none other than Brogan’s cad of a cousin, Harry.
“Harry was rich, bored, looking for easy entertainment for his wealthy and out-of-town clients.
It was also a front for the Russian mob.
And now Harry’s cousin was standing right in front of him, like a package with a bow on top. Leverage.”
What Brogan doesn’t know is that Aleks is out to avenge his brother’s death as a result of his escaping from the dark matches. Aleks and his friend in captivity, Vann, had managed to escape and as a result Aleks had lost his brother, Berdy, and Vann his first love, Lola.
SE Jakes is back, with a vengeance, and she’s not messing around. This is pure, unadulterated, testosterone fueled, kick ass MM, with a heaping dose of heavy man sex like only she can write, flawlessly edited to within an inch of its life.
“Please don’t make me do this was really please force me into this. Brogan had been playing the Dom/ sub game long enough to tell the difference. “Is that your new safe word?”
“No. Same,” Aleks managed. “Orange.”
“Good. Come on, then.””
It only gets better, and insanely hotter, from there.
QUESTIONS FOR LISA
1) Who do identify more with: Brogan or Aleks?
2) What heat level would you give Thirds?
3) More of the Inked series, or is this it?
Oh my goodness it is great to have SE Jakes back and in form! No matter my mood her men are always a good fit. She is writing with a loose flow and an intense vibe that just nails you right to your chair.
Brogan assessed him and frowned. “You’re not good at following orders.”
Aleks raised his chin and demanded, “Prove to me they’re worth following.”
Aleksandr Solonick – A bossy sub with a very dark past and a future of retribution.
Brogan Montgomery-Johnstone – Dom and All-American handsome businessman, Brogan recalls Aleks from years past and is going to make sure Aleks remembers him.
Harry – Brogan’s brother and “the biggest fish” in the fighting ring.
This is a book about revenge.
Book two in the Thirds universe fits right in. Aleks is a tattooist in Con and Quinn’s parlour. Aleks comes from a very dark past and is on a life mission to right wrongs. He has focus and determination until Brogan distracts him with some hot dom action. Their lives are deeply intwinded already, but neither knows just how deeply.
You are entering a dark world of cage fighting, human-trafficing, and mafia corruption. Luckily, Con and Quinn have thier shit straight enough to lend a hand when necessary. Maybe, just maybe, with the help of their friends, these two can find a way to right some wrongs and mend their hearts along the way.
Finding a prologue in a novella was neat. It was necessary and set a necessary dark tone for this book. As I said earlier I found the flow here very easy to read and, more importantly, to get into. I was absorbed.
QUESTIONS FOR OJ
1) Believability factor?
2) Harry, the bad guy, I found him easy to hate. But I’m wondering if he was drawn enough for you?
3) The ending sentiment really worked for me. You?
We would like to thank Stephanie Tyler with providing Gay Guy/Straight Girl Reviews with a copy of this book in exchange for our honest review.
SE Jakes is the pen name for New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Tyler, and half the co-writing team of Sydney Croft. First published in 2011, SE Jakes has quickly risen to be a bestselling author in the LGBT romance genre, as well as a fan favorite. Her books are frequently highlighted in USA Today and have been reviewed by Library Journal and RT Books Magazine. She’s been nominated by several sites for Favorite M/ M author and has finaled in the Goodreads M/ M Romance Readers Choice Awards in 7 categories. She’s a hybrid author who writes for Riptide Publishing and Samhain Publishing, and she indie publishes as well.