Five brave military heroes have survived the hell of a Taliban prison to return home—and take on civilian missions no one else can. They’re the men of ARES Security. Highly skilled, intimidating, invincible, and one by one, tested again and again . . .
Lucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.
Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves . . .
“A fantastic blend of romance and suspense . . . thrilling to the end.” —Mary Burton, USA Today bestselling author on Kill Without Mercy
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Kill Without Shame
By Alexandra Ivy
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2017 Debbie Raleigh
All rights reserved.
The Saloon was the sort of bar that catered to the locals in the quiet Houston neighborhood.
It was small, with lots of wood and polished brass. Overhead there was an open beam ceiling, with muted lights that provided a cozy atmosphere, and on the weekends a jazz band was invited to play quietly on the narrow stage.
Lucas spent most Friday evenings at the table tucked in a back corner. It was unofficially reserved for the five men who ran ARES Security.
The men liked the peaceful ambiance, the communal agreement that everyone should mind their own business, and the fact that the table was situated so no one could sneak up from behind.
Trained soldiers didn't want surprises.
At the moment, the bar was nearly empty. Not only was it a gray, wet Wednesday evening, but it was the first week of December. That meant Christmas madness was in full swing.
Perfectly normal people were now in crazy mode as they scurried from store to store, battling one another for the latest have-to-have gift. It was like Thunderdome without Tina Turner.
Currently Lucas and Teagan shared the place with a young couple seated near the bay window at the front of the bar. Those two were oblivious to everything but each other. And closer to the empty stage was a table of college girls. Already at the giggly stage of drunk, they were all blatantly checking Lucas out. At least when they weren't gawking at Teagan.
Both men were accustomed to female attention.
Teagan was a large, heavily muscled man with dark caramel skin, and golden eyes that he'd inherited from his Polynesian mother. He kept his hair shaved close to his skull, and as usual was dressed in a pair of camo pants and shit-kickers. He had an aggressive vibe that was only emphasized by the tight T-shirt that left his arms bare to reveal numerous tattoos.
Lucas St. Clair, on the other hand, was wearing a thousand-dollar suit that was tailored to perfectly fit his lean body. His glossy black hair was smoothed away from his chiseled face, which he'd been told could easily grace the covers of fashion magazines. As if he gave a shit.
His eyes were so dark they looked black. It wasn't until he was in the sunlight that it became obvious they were a deep, indigo blue.
Most assumed he was the less dangerous of the two men.
They'd be wrong.
But while the girls became increasingly more obvious in their attempts to attract their attention, neither man glanced in their direction.
Teagan because he already had a flock of women that included supermodels and two famous actresses.
And Lucas because ... He grimaced.
To be honest, he wasn't sure why. He only knew that his interest in women hadn't been the same since he'd crawled out of that hellhole in Afghanistan. Not unless he counted the hours he spent brooding on one woman in particular.
The one who got away.
Lucas gave a sharp shake of his head, reaching for his shot of tequila. It slid down his throat like liquid fire, burning away the past.
Nothing like a twelve-year-old vintage to ease the pain.
Lucas glanced toward his companion's empty glass. "Another round?" he asked.
"Sure." Teagan waited for Lucas to nod toward the bartender, who was washing glasses, at the same time keeping a sharp eye on his few customers. "I assume you're picking up the tab?"
Lucas cocked a brow. "Why do I always have to pick up the tab?"
"You're the one with the trust fund, amigo, not me," Teagan said with a shrug. "The only thing my father ever gave me was a concussion and an intimate knowledge of the Texas penal system."
Lucas snorted. It was common knowledge that he would beg in the streets before he would touch a penny of the St. Clair fortune. Just as they all knew that Teagan had risen above his abusive background, and temporary housing in the penitentiary, to become a successful businessman. The younger man not only joined ARES, but he owned a mechanic shop that catered to a high-end clientele who had more money than sense when it came to their precious sports cars.
"I might break out the violins if I didn't know you're making a fortune," Lucas told his friend as the bartender arrived to replace their drinks with a silent efficiency.
"Hardly a fortune." Teagan downed a shot of tequila before he reached for his beer, heaving a faux sigh. "I have overhead out the ass, not to mention paying my cousins twice what they're worth. A word of warning, amigo. Never go into business with your family."
"Too late," Lucas murmured.
As far as he was concerned, the men who had crawled out of that Taliban cave with him were his brothers. And the only family that mattered.
"True that." Teagan gave a slow nod, holding up his frosty glass. "To ARES."
Lucas clinked his glass against Teagan's in appreciation of the bond they'd formed. "To ARES."
Drinking the tequila in one swallow, Lucas set aside his empty glass. There was a brief silence before Teagan at last spoke the words that'd no doubt been on the tip of his tongue since they walked through the door of the bar.
"Are you ever going to get to the point of why you asked to meet me here?" his friend bluntly demanded.
Lucas leaned back in his chair, arching his brows. "Couldn't it just be because I enjoy your sparkling personality?"
Teagan snorted. "If I'd known this was a date I would have worn my lucky shirt."
"You need a shirt to get lucky?"
"Not usually." Teagan flashed his friend a mocking smile. "But I've heard you like to play hard to get."
Lucas grimaced at the direct hit. Yeah. Hard to get was one way to put it.
"I want to discuss Hauk," he admitted, not at all eager to think about his lack of a sex life.
Teagan leaned forward, folding his arms on the table. "Did you pick up any intel from your overseas contacts?"
Lucas didn't ask how his companion knew he was quietly reaching out to his diplomatic associates in an effort to track down whoever was stalking Hauk. They were each using their various skills to discover who was responsible for leaving the creepy messages that were increasingly threatening in nature.
"Yeah." He'd received an updated report earlier that morning. "There's been no chatter that includes Hauk or anything about our escape from Afghanistan."
Teagan nodded. Each of them had managed to make enemies during their time in the Middle East. It was war. But Hauk was a sniper who'd received a very public Medal of Honor for taking out three powerful terrorist leaders during his time in service.
That was the sort of thing that pissed people off.
"Then this isn't the work of an organized cell?"
"Nope." Lucas gave a decisive shake of his head. He'd contacted everyone he knew, including those at Homeland Security. If Hauk's name had been floating around as a potential target, someone would have heard it by now. "It's more likely some independent whack job."
Teagan's jaw hardened with frustration. "I don't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. If it was a cell we could keep an eye on them, but how the hell do we find some lone nutcase?"
"I have word out that I'm looking for information on anyone who's shown an interest in Hauk." Lucas studied his companion's grim expression. "What about you?"
Teagan reached for his beer. "I'm doing a computer search on anyone who served with Hauk during his tour in the Middle East and has left the military in the past six months."
Lucas arched a brow. Teagan was talented. Maybe even the best hacker in the world. But he wasn't a miracle worker.
"That's a long list."
"It's going to take a while," Teagan admitted, taking a deep drink of his beer.
"Shit. I hate this waiting," Lucas muttered. The thought that some unseen enemy was hunting Hauk was making them all twitchy. "What about Max?"
"He's ..." Teagan slowly lowered his beer as his gaze narrowed. "Did you forget to pay your taxes?"
Lucas frowned. "What the hell are you talking about?"
Teagan nodded across the room. "There's a government employee who just flashed a badge at the bartender and is now heading in our direction."
Lucas glanced over his shoulder, his gaze trained on the middle-aged man strolling in their direction.
The stranger had thinning blond hair that looked like his wife had trimmed it. A suit that was in dire need of a good pressing. Cheap shoes. And a face that had a hint of a bulldog in the features.
Yep. Definitely a government grunt.
Lucas turned back toward his friend. "How do you know he isn't looking for you?"
"I'm too clever to get caught."
Lucas rolled his eyes. "Christ."
"Lucas St. Clair?"
Halting next to the table, the man instantly locked his attention on Lucas. Which meant he knew exactly what Lucas looked like.
So, had he recognized Lucas because of his ties to the St. Clair clan? Or because he'd done a background check before entering the Saloon?
Lucas was betting on the background check. The stranger didn't look like the sort of man to take an interest in politics.
The man flashed a badge that identified him as Houston Homicide Detective Sergeant Sam Cooper. "I have a few questions for you."
Lucas remained relaxed in his chair. There was no reason to get his panties in a twist. If there'd been a death in his powerful family he wouldn't be contacted by a midlevel bureaucrat.
And he hadn't killed anyone. At least, not lately.
"Concerning?" he asked.
The man glanced around the nearly empty bar. "Do you want to do this here?"
Lucas shrugged. "Unless we need to include my lawyer."
"That won't be necessary."
The "yet" hung in the air between them, and suddenly Lucas was a lot less nonchalant about the encounter.
Narrowing his gaze, he nodded his head toward the chair across the table. "Have a seat, Detective." Waiting until the man lowered his solid form into the chair, Lucas waved a hand toward his friend, who glowered at the lawman with a menacing frown. "This is Teagan Moore."
"Detective Cooper," Teagan muttered, folding his arms over his chest to make it clear he wasn't leaving.
Lucas hid his smile. In his work as a negotiator, he'd learned the art of subtlety. It was easier to coerce people to do what he wanted, rather than trying to force them.
Teagan, on the other hand, was a sledgehammer.
Returning his attention to the detective, Lucas tapped an impatient finger on the table. He had a dozen things he needed to take care of before he could return to his elegant town house in the center of Houston.
ARES Security might be a relatively new business, but they were already swamped with demands for their services. And to make matters more insane, Rafe had taken off with his new bride to Hawaii for a well-earned honeymoon.
Lucas wanted to be done with this cop so he could get back to work. "You said you have some questions," he prompted.
The man offered a self-deprecating smile, but Lucas didn't miss the cunning intelligence in his blue eyes. He was a man who liked to be underestimated.
Taking the time to pull a small notebook and pen from an inner pocket of his jacket, Sam Cooper laid them neatly on the table.
Precise. Careful. Meticulous.
"What's your relationship to Anthony Hughes?" he at last asked.
Lucas frowned. "There is no relationship. I've never heard of —" He bit off his words as an ancient memory floated to the surface of his brain. "Wait. I went to prep school with a Tony Hughes. I don't know if that's the same guy."
"Where was the school?"
Lucas shrugged. "Hale Academy in Shreveport."
The detective's face remained impassive, but something flashed through his eyes that told Lucas they were speaking about the same person.
"So Tony is your old high school friend?"
Lucas hesitated. In truth, the two couldn't have been more opposite.
He was the son of Senator St. Clair. He'd lived in a fancy mansion on the edge of town with a nanny while his parents spent most of their time in DC. On the other hand, Tony was the youngest of five brothers who grew up in a shack that had barely been habitable. If Tony hadn't been a six-foot-two behemoth who excelled at football he would never have been admitted into the exclusive private school.
And even that wouldn't have made them more than classmates.
It was only their mutual friendship with Mia Ramon that'd thrown them together.
"Not really," he said. "I haven't seen him in fifteen years."
Sam scribbled on his notepad, his gaze never leaving Lucas's face. "You're sure? He hasn't tried to call or contact you?"
"I'm sure." Lucas felt a stab of dread. "What's going on? Is he in trouble?"
The detective instantly pounced. "Why would you say that?"
Lucas arched a brow. "Beyond the fact a homicide detective is asking me questions about him?"
"Yeah, beyond that."
"It was no secret that Tony was doing drugs from the time he arrived at Hale," he admitted, not bothering to add that Tony was also dealing to make enough money to support his deadbeat dad. It wouldn't take much of a detective to dig up that old dirt. "He was kicked off the football team when he tested positive for weed our senior year. If some unknown donor hadn't come up with his tuition he would have been forced to leave school."
More scribbling on the pad. "Were you close growing up?"
"I didn't really know him until he transferred to the academy."
"But you were friends?"
"We both played football and occasionally hung out together." Lucas made a sound of impatience. "Are you going to tell me what your interest in Tony is?"
"Dead?" Lucas blinked at the blunt response. Somehow he'd already leapt to the conclusion that Tony had been arrested for murder. And that he was now desperately trying to call in favors from the powerful acquaintances he'd acquired during high school. With an effort, he readjusted his thinking. "An overdose?"
"He was shot three blocks from your office building."
A stab of regret sliced through Lucas even as he lifted his brows in surprise. "Tony was in Houston?"
The detective gave a small nod. "He was."
"Did he live here?"
Sam Cooper shrugged. "He was carrying a Louisiana driver's license. We're checking the address that was listed."
The air pressure dropped as Teagan leaned forward, his expression hard with annoyance. Despite his years in the military, the younger man harbored a deep distrust of authority figures.
"Why are you here?"
The detective turned his head to meet Teagan's glare. "Excuse me?"
"If you have a body, shouldn't you be out looking for who made it dead?" Teagan demanded.
"I find it's quicker to discover the killer when I know my victim."
Lucas studied Sam Cooper. The authorities were clearly treating this as a targeted murder, not a random drive-by shooting.
"Then you came to the wrong guy," Lucas informed the detective. There was no point in letting the man waste his time. He felt bad as hell that Tony was dead, but it had nothing to do with him. "Like I said, I haven't seen or heard from Tony since high school."
Sam Cooper ignored the unmistakable cue to bring the interview to an end. "Odd that he was shot so close to your building, don't you think, Mr. St. Clair?"
"What do you mean 'odd'?"
The detective shrugged. "You supposedly haven't seen Tony Hughes in years, but he manages to get shot just a few blocks away."
"Enough." Lucas abruptly shoved himself to his feet, vaguely aware that Teagan was rising at the same time. "I've tried to be polite and answer your questions, but you're starting to piss me off." He held the detective's steady gaze. "Are you trying to imply I have some connection to this crime?"
Sam Cooper remained sitting, remarkably nonchalant as both Lucas and Teagan glared down at him. Of course, they would have to be idiots to attack a member of the Houston Police Department in the middle of a bar. Plus he was probably carrying. Hard to detect beneath the sports jacket that should have been burned in the seventies.
"I think Tony Hughes was coming to see you," Sam said in a calm voice.
Lucas scowled. "Why?"
"Because of this." Reaching into his pocket, the detective pulled out a clear baggie and set it on the table.
Lucas leaned forward to study the wrinkled piece of paper that had his name and address scribbled on it.
"Where'd you get that?" he demanded.
"Tony had it in his front pocket."
"Shit," Lucas breathed in shock.
"Still no idea why he was in the neighborhood?"
"No." A chill inched down Lucas's spine. Why the hell had Tony been looking for him after fifteen years? And who would shoot him on the street? Questions that needed answers, but not until he shook off the tenacious lawman. It was never a good idea to chat with a homicide detective when he had a connection to the dead body. "And we're about to take this to my lawyer's office."
"About damned time," Teagan muttered.
Sam Cooper lifted his hand, trying to look harmless. "I just have one more question for now."
The detective reached into his pocket to pull out another baggie. This one held a photo of a dark-haired woman with the words — "Kill her or else" — scrawled across her face.
Excerpted from Kill Without Shame by Alexandra Ivy. Copyright © 2017 Debbie Raleigh. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good read, just the right amount of suspence to keep you interested without dragging out the story. Strong female lead, hate the wimpy woe is me type, she not willing to let the hero sideline her and she isn't a hindence either. Liked it a lot going to read the 1st of the series now.
Keep them coming.
The ARES men are back. I’m finding that I enjoying the ex-military heroes who band together, like brothers, to form their own business. It is such a fantastic and enjoyable concept to read. Kill Without Shame is full of mystery, suspense, a second chance romance, and so much more. It was a non-stop page turner, entertaining, and satisfying. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the murder and Mia. All the characters where easy to like. The second chance love story was captivating and adorable. Lucas and Mia worked together and made a great couple. And, last it was nice to see more of the other guys Lucas works with. They each have their own unique abilities and backgrounds and to see how they stand up for one of their own, it’s touching. I had a delightful time read Kill Without Shame. I LOVE the men of ARES Security and can’t wait for the next installment. Rated: 4 Stars
I'm a huge fan of Alexandra Ivy's Guardians of Eternity series and not so much a fan of her Branded Packs series co-written with Carrie Ann Ryan. This series falls somewhere in the middle. I don't love it and I don't hate it. I did think that it dragged out a little to much, so I ended up skimming at the end. And there could have been a little more character development, but it wasn't bad.
"Kill Without Shame" is my first read by this author and it was an enjoyable read that kept my interest throughout. With Lucas and Mia reconnecting, you knew were going to have a HEA, but it was fun to see how they got there. For me, there is so much more history and story in a romantic suspense book, and this one has it all with a group of hot guys, a feisty h, and the hot H that will work to solve it all until the very last bad guy or gal is facing their crimes. I enjoyed the guys at ARES SECURITY and look forward to reading more in this series. For romantic suspense readers, this is one you want to pick up. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington/Zebra books for gifting me with "Kill Without Shame" and asking for my honest review. This is mine. 4 Stars!
Mrs Ivy's suspense is just as enjoyable as her paranormal collections. Mya and Lucas really had a rocky road back to each other. I loved this as much as the series opener.
Loved reading the exciting, intriguing, and fabulous romance written by the outstanding author Alexandra Ivy. I voluntarily reviewed a copy from Kensington Books through NetGalley. Mia's friend has been murdered and now her life is in danger. Lucas is back in town to protect and wants Mia back in his life. While Lucas is protecting Mia's life, Mia is unsure if she wants to get her heart broken again from Lucas St. Clair. Read the highly recommended, wonderfully written story line full of mystery and romance, and a must read love story of Lucas and Mia.
After being held hostage while in the military, Lucas St. Clair came back changed from the person his parents expected him to be. It also reminded him of the person he was forced to let go because of them, Mia Ramon. When it looks like she’s in danger, he drops everything to go save her. This book wasn’t bad. Similar to a number of military second-chance stories, but it still had an interesting plot. All of the characters were well-written. I did have some minor problems with it. One thing that irritated me was the overuse of the word “murmured” much of the time the various characters were talking. I don’t like it when authors do this as people don’t just go around murmuring when they are talking to others unless it’s during certain situations. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Where's the author who created Levet? The originality and humor from Ms.Ivy's paranormal books is completely missing from this very average romantic suspence.
Fantastic romantic suspense/second chance romance. Lucas St. Clair left Louisiana and the girl he loved to escape the stifling future his parents had planned for him. He hasn’t forgotten her or their love. This book takes place fifteen years later. Lucas has been through hell and survived to start a successful security agency in Houston, TX. Mia has survived a different kind of hell and turned her fathers landscaping business into her own and something to be proud of. She hasn’t forgotten the boy who broke her heart. Now her life is in danger and Lucas will find out who the threat is and protect her whether she wishes it or not. He is determined to win back the only woman he has ever loved. But they have to survive first. Kill Without Shame is a fast paced convoluted mystery that will keep you guessing and make you fall for Lucas and Mia along the way.
I love the way you keep all the characters together in the series. Loved the first and second book. Can't wait for number three.
This is an ARES security book featuring brothers in arms that returned from combat to form a security company. This Tale is about Lucas who having left his prestigious family and love behind is reconnected with Mia when a fellow former classmate is murdered. They must work together to find the murderer before Mia is hurt and to rekindle their lost love. This was the first book I had read by this author and enjoyed it so much that I went out and bought the first book in this series to catch up . Looking forward to the next books to read the rest of the guy's stories. Ebook from Netgalley and publisher with thanks . Opinions are entirely my own.
This is a second chance love story with a lot of suspense. Mia has survived her hurt and past to build a successful business that she loves. Lucas left Mia because he thought she would be better off. When a mutual friend is murdered, the two come together again. Sparks fly but trust is elusive. Danger surrounds them as they admit their feelings. I loved Mia's strength of character to rise above her past and to admit her feelings as they grew. Lucas was so overprotective but smart enough to not stifle Mia. I recommend this book. It is second in a series, and having read the first, I also recommend the series. I look forward to more. I received a copy through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
I absolutely loved the first book in this series and have been counting the days until the release of this installment, which I'm glad to say does not disappoint. KILL WITHOUT SHAME is exciting suspense mixed with a sweet romance and will provide a reader with hours of entertainment. Lucas St. Clair's path in life had been mapped out for him from the day he was born, a path that was intended to lead to the White House and did not include him consorting with the gardener's daughter. To save her from his family, he walked away from her without any explanation and then he also walked away from his family with no regrets. His experiences have shaped him into someone very far removed from the man his family tried to make him and his biggest regret is the way he treated his childhood sweetheart. More than a decade later, he hasn't stopped loving her and when he finds out that she's in danger, he drops everything and races to her rescue. Only, she does not seem to need his help. Mia Ramon never forgave Lucas for breaking her heart and she is not willing to accept anything from him now, but he won't take no for an answer and is determined to slay her dragons for her. She's smart enough to know that he has skills that will be helpful to her but she's not going to let down her guard and give him another chance to hurt her again. But she never stopped loving him and having him muscle his way into her life means she has to deal with her feelings for him. Lucas is a sexy and attractive hero and his determination to overcome Mia's resistance only made him even more attractive. With his pedigree, Lucas was an interesting figure from the first time he was introduced to us and I really wanted to know more about him and the woman who would capture his heart. Mia was not exactly who I imagined for him, but she was exactly the woman he needed. She was independent, hardworking and not concerned with his family's status or wealth, which meant she was able to stand up to him and their clashes made for enjoyable reading. The story line was quite simple and with few twists and turns, especially when compared to the previous book, but still very interesting. Lucas and Mia were really good together and I enjoyed reunion as well as their work putting together all the pieces to nail the bad guys. Once again, the bond between the men of ARES is one that warms my heart because of how they have each other's backs. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and I really hope we won't have a long wait for it. Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
✦Review: Kill Without Shame (Ares Security) by Alexandra Ivy Publication Date: December 27, 2016 Genre: Romantic Suspense Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna Rated: 5 Stars I enjoyed this riveting who-done-it mystery/romance. Lucas and his security team have the type of camaraderie that I love and the fact that they’re all hot and sexy adds a lovely layer to their story. Mia is a self-confident woman who thankfully never went into the witchy zone. They made a great couple in this hot romance. The mystery and danger that surrounded her kept me guessing and turning the pages as fast as I could. I loved it and can’t wait for the next installment. *Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
5 Rip roaring Stars!!!!!! Wooooooohooooooo********* Ms. Ivy has done it again. I immediately downloaded this book today and got down to the business of reading and just literally finished this awesome story. Lol...My house and laundry needs cleaning, but reading the next installment in the ARES security came first! Lol...What can I say, I am enraptured with these men and the family bond they shared after being tortured for weeks in Afghanistan. In the 2nd book we have the story of Lucas, the smooth talking hostage negotiator and Mia Ramon, the heroine and his one true love. About 16 years ago Lucas left the love of his life, thinking it was better for them this way, but now that her life is in danger, there is nothing that is going to stop him from being by her side and doing everything in his power to get her back. I adored Lucas for being vulnerable and admitting his mistake, I especially loved that he had no problem at all of putting his heart on the line to get his woman back and to keep her by his side forever. This story had it all danger, suspense, murder, brothers in arms, hot sex scenes and most importantly love. There was also a little side story for Mia's best friend Taylor, who had been dealt a hard blow in life but remained strong and she too may have found her HEA. I am in love with all of these men, Rafe and Annie have their HEA from the 1st book in the series, Kill without Mercy, and now Lucas and Mia are having their HEA. We still have Hauk, Max and Teagan to go and I am eagerly anticipating all of there stories but none so much as Hauk's. If you have read this series from the beginning, someone is stalking the sniper in the group and no one can pin down who it is. Please Ms. Ivy, don't let his book be the last one in the series....please don't do that to your avid fans. Lol...Loved it!!! A fantabulous read!!!!!
KILL WITHOUT SHAME is the second installment in Alexandra Ivy’s contemporary, adult ARES Security romantic suspense series focusing on the five men who own and work for ARES Security. This is ARES co-founder and former military hero Lucas St. Clair, and independent business woman Mia Ramon’s story line. KILL WITHOUT SHAME can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Told from dual third person perspectives (Lucas and Mia) KILL WITHOUT SHAME follows the second chance romance between Lucas St. Clair, and Mia Ramon. Fifteen years earlier Lucas, a young man with an aspiring political career, walked away from the woman (or young girl ) he loved fearing she would end up like all of the other ‘plastic’ housewives of the rich and famous. Entering the military to escape his family Lucas would eventually find himself in a Taliban prison where he will meet the men who would become his friends, brothers and partners in the ARES Security firm. Fast forward to present day wherein Lucas will come face to face with his past when a photograph of the woman he still loves, found in the possession of a dead man both he and Mia knew years before, has her marked for termination. What ensues is the rekindling relationship between Lucas and Mia, and the search for the person (s) responsible for threatening our heroine’s life. Lucas St. Clair hails from a well-to-do family; a family that had hoped Lucas would enter the political race straight to the White House but a family of robots controlled by power and money. To protect Mia from a potential life as a politician’s wife, Lucas pushed Mia out of his life and in the ensuing fifteen years kept watch from the side lines whenever he could. Mia Ramon took over her father’s landscaping business but has had a difficult time since the death of beloved mother and her father’s escape into the bottle and subsequent death. The relationship between Mia and Lucas is one of second chances; a rekindling romance between two people whose backgrounds were as different as night and day. Mia’s father worked for the St. Clair’s, and Mia was never an acceptable mate for their well-to-do son. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense; Mia is quick to accept Lucas St. Clair back into her life although several attempts on her life, and the threat of death place Lucas in the perfect position to be by Mia at all times. We are re-introduced to Lucas’s ‘brothers’ at ARES Security-a team of former US soldiers including Max Grayson (forensics specialist), Hauk Laurenson (sniper), Teagan Moore (computer specialist). A secondary storyline continues to develop with regards to the team’s time in Afghanistan-mysterious messages and threatening emails aimed at Hauk Laurenson. Rafe Vargas, a covert ops specialist (Kill without Mercy #1) is noticeably absent. The world building focuses on the hunt for a killer; someone who is willing to ‘kill without shame’; someone who is hiding a dark and dangerous secreted past. Although KILL WITHOUT SHAME is a story of mystery-a whodunit with a couple of twists and turns- the killer was easily deduced upon introduction. KILL WITHOUT SHAME is a story of mystery, romance and suspense; a tale about two people whose lives are threatened by sins of the past. The premise is intriguing; the characters are charismatic and animated; the romance is fated and dramatic. Alexandra Ivy’s ARES Security is an imaginative and fascinating series.
This is the second book of the series titled Ares Security. That said, it’s a stand alone. I have not read book 1 and had no problem. I really enjoyed this story. Ms Ivy keeps you totally engaged, the story moves fast, the action is thrilling and suspenseful, the friendship between the Ares Security members runs deep and more like brothers, and the chemistry between Lucas and Mia is hot. Lucas and Mia had a relationship 15 years ago. He was from a very wealthy family, she , the daughter of the gardener. Youth, and family pressures, caused Lucas to walk away. But neither has forgotten the other one. They reconnect when a mutual friend is murdered on his way to see Lucas at the Ares Security office, to warn him someone wants Mia death. In the midst of all the action, It’s also about the need to forgive, to overcome fears, to hope and to rekindle a love never forgotten. Get the book. I promise you a book you won’t forget soon. I was gifted this book by Netgalley. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
Interesting romantic suspense featuring Mia, the gardener’s daughter and Lucas, the senator’s son. Both have dysfunctional families. The big mystery is a missing husband, 2 million dollars of embezzled pension funds and why someone wants Mia dead. Ares Security is a group of vets who band together to escape an Afghan prison and upon returning to civilian life form a highly specialized security firm. In the second book of this series Lucas discovers that Mia’s life is in danger. Everyone (except Rafe from Book 1 Kill Without Mercy and is on his honeymoon) band together to solve the mystery, catch the bad guy and live to continue to hunt for the evil that is stalking the team. There was a nice secondary romance between Mia’s BFF Taylor and Detective Cooper. Favorite lines: “There was something deeply sexy about a smart woman.” “It wasn’t until he was older that he realized what went on behind closed doors was pretty much the same no matter where you lived.” Intrigue Level -- 4 Stars Writing Style -- 4 Stars (It is always a good thing when my eyes don’t start skimming the page) Heat Level -- 2 Stars Total -- 3 1/2 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this second chance romance with the suspense twist. Lucas left Mia 15 years ago and has regretted it ever since. Now he is back in town because her life is in danger and he is going to protect what he has always wanted and she is not getting away this time. This band of brothers was formed when they were held captive by the Taliban and they formed a security firm. Each member of the team has certain "skills" and Lucas is brilliant at negotiating and interrogating. Mia is the owner of a successful landscaping business and at first doesn't believe she is in danger but finally comes to grips that someone wants to harm her. This was a fast read that kept me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages as fast as I could. I did not read the first book in this series but did not need to as this is a standalone. I recommend this one and will be on the look out for the next book in the series. **Received an ARC for review from the publisher via NetGalley**
Kill Without Shame by Alexandra Ivy is the second book in her ARES Security series. For me, I was totally sucked in from the first page and hated to put the book down. Lucas St. Clair and Mia Ramon were high school sweethearts and then he left her without any explanation. Now she is in danger and he's back. What she isn't aware of is that he has always been watching out for her. A smooth plot with plenty of red herrings; but I confess that I was one step ahead of Lucas, Teagan and Max on this one. I figured out who was behind the plot to kill Mia before they did. What I didn't know was why and I had to keep reading. I also enjoyed the sweet secondary romance between Mia's best friend, Taylor and Detective Brian Cooper. I loved getting the chance to know more about Lucas, Teagan and Max. The insights were great as I loved these guys in the first book and am always eager to know more. I'm already excited about reading the next one in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Zebra/Kensington via NetGalley.
Lucas St. Clair was tortured and escaped from a Taliban prison with 4 friends, and they formed ARES security, and Lucas’ family’s political aspirations for him faded away. The same family who had made him break it off with the love of his life, Mia Ramon. When Lucas learns that Mia’s life is in danger, he runs to help her, she needs protection, but it’s been fifteen years, and Mia is not too happy to see Lucas again. Lucas, in breaking Mia’s heart, really did her a favour, but it didn’t look good. Mia has tried to forget Lucas, she has a good life, but Lucas never stopped loving her, and how refreshing to have a hero who did not supposedly cure his broken heart by sleeping around! Alexandra Ivy really nailed the second chance at love with KILL WITHOUT SHAME! Lucas has a really hard time convincing Mia that what he did was for the best, and that he never stopped loving her, and that he wants a future with her; Mia is recalcitrant, but in a very realistic way, and it was wonderful to believe in both of them, to identify with them, and to root for them. Mia finds it difficult to resist him, Lucas is seriously charming, but she is no fool and he will have to prove himself, and this is where Ms. Ivy’s impeccable sense of pacing makes it work so beautifully: nothing happened too quickly, there were no silly misunderstandings, no ridiculous push-and-pull; Lucas and Mia’s reunion is flawlessly realistic, and it made this reader very happy! I’ve always enjoyed Alexandra Ivy’s writing, and she’s better than ever: her prose is more beautiful, more nuanced, flowed more smoothly; what a delight! The dialogues are impeccable, and every character so well-drawn, I saw them all, I loved Mia, and I just love those guys! Lucas is bossy, it’s in his nature, but he is so very sweet, and tender; and the sex scenes, and the love scenes – yes, there is a big difference in KILL WITHOUT SHAME – are fabulous: Lucas is affectionate, attentive, giving. And Mia is a terrific heroine: she is an independent woman, proud, but not stubborn for stubbornness’ sake; she is strong, at least as strong as Lucas; what a perfect couple they are. KILL WITHOUT SHAME is fast-paced throughout, the plot solid and captivating, and I cannot wait for the next installment in this series. What more can I say: KILL WITHOUT SHAME is an excellent romantic suspense that should not be missed! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Another action-packed romance with murder, suspense, a bit of a mystery to solve and a second chance at love for Lucas and Mia was okay for me but did not have me as enthralled as the first book in the series. Lucas had Mia dated in high school but 15 years before the book starts he decided they should break up for her own good – without asking or explaining or anything. When he realizes she might be in danger he drops everything, utilizes ARES Security personnel (his buddies from the service) and goes to protect Mia. Needless to say Mia is less than excited…at least at first. Personally I would have given him the boot or made him work harder to get me back but she did what she did for her own reasons. They do get their HEA but only after quite a few leads are followed, their lives are threatened, a secondary romance takes place, hooks for future books in the series are set and the bad guy is caught. I have to say the story was well written if slightly predictable to me. I am not a great fan of second-chance-at-love stories because when I dated guys a second time the same things that were wrong with the relationship proved to be wrong the second time, too. Unless there is some major and believable reason for the separation, of course. I enjoyed the story and do look forward to reading the stories of Teague, Max and Hauk in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the copy to read. This is my honest review. 3 Stars