He’s after the woman who helped put him behind bars. She’s been in hiding for three years raising the son he doesn’t know about.
Holding a grudge has never felt so good.
Shattered King is an intense, ultra-sexy standalone novel set in the world of the Lawless Kings. Sherilee Gray’s raw, deeply-emotional voice will leave you breathless long after the last page.
“Shattered King is a sexy, beautiful second chance love story... a truly enjoyable read.” - Sawyer Bennett, New York Times bestselling author
"Raw, gritty, and full of supercharged sexual tension...SHATTERED KING will break you into pieces right before it stitches you back together again." -Diana Gardin, author of SWORN TO PROTECT, Rescue OP's Series
"Intense and thrilling...filled with lots of action, danger, intense moments and sexy good times...Shattered King is a fantastic second chance romance that will not only leave your heart pounding, but will have you turning the pages quickly." - Once Upon a Book Blog
"What to say about Shattered King? Oh I know…..it’s AMAZING!" - Freeing Fantasy
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
A Lawless Kings Novel
By Sherilee Gray
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2017 Sherilee Gray
All rights reserved.
Three years and four months later
My footsteps were soundless against the thick carpet as I headed up the darkened stairs. I didn't need a flashlight; the moon was doing a decent job through the skylight.
The Upper East Side townhouse had that smell. A smell that, to me, screamed money and privilege, not something I could describe easily. The word sterile rattled around my skull. Furniture polish. Floor cleaner. Whatever other shit they had their cleaning staff use to wash away any traces of personality. Anything real.
It hung heavy in the air. Lifted the damn hair at the back of my neck.
I despised the types of people that lived like this. Firsthand experience had taught me they couldn't be trusted. That they'd stab you in the back as soon as you looked the other way.
And in this guy's case, commit insurance fraud rather than admit they were living beyond their means.
I did a walkthrough and a quick search of the bedrooms before I headed to the office. I found the safe quickly, in a closet on the far side of the room, hidden under a stack of boxes. I'd been cracking safes since I was fourteen. Raul Esposito, a man who had become a second father to my older brother Van and me when our own had been a drunk and an asshole, had trained me well.
I'd picked up the skill so fast, I'd actually impressed the old bastard. The pride I'd felt when I did it on my own for the first time was something I'd never forgotten. Some people would think it was messed up that the only decent male role model I'd had taught me how to be a good thief, but I didn't give a fuck. I owed Raul more than I could ever repay.
I crouched low, getting a good look at the safe. Getting into it wouldn't be overly difficult. But before I pulled out my stethoscope, I entered several try-out combinations. Combinations that most new safes came with from the manufacturer. A lot of people never bothered to set a new one themselves, and that was always what I started with. None of them worked, so I searched around it. Another common mistake, writing the code down and keeping it close by. No luck there either. I went back into the office and searched the desk.
Shoved to the back of the bottom drawer, under a stack of Playboys, was a notebook. The fucking moron had actually written "passwords" on the front. I found the code I needed, then checked the time. There was still ten minutes on the clock.
I had the safe open in five seconds.
Empty. I had another flick through the notebook, just in case they had more than one safe. Nothing. It was a long shot, but this guy was obviously a total idiot. Definitely dumb enough to keep the painting at his own house.
I was heading for the door when a photo sitting on a bookshelf caught my eye.
My legs just fucking — stopped. Like a nail had been driven though the tops of both my feet mid-step, pinning me to the goddamn floor.
It was a family photo.
A Carson family photo.
I looked around the room again, almost giving myself goddamn whiplash, confused as hell.
Where the hell had my brother sent me? Anger flared to life, growing steadily, pumping through me.
Jesus fucking Christ.
One of those assholes lived here?
My eyes were drawn back to the picture, like someone else had control over them. Fuck, I couldn't look away, heart hammering in my chest.
Standing there, big smiles on their faces were Elizabeth and Pierce. Lulu's mother and stepfather. Alongside them her aunt and uncle and their kids.
A rough sound rasped up my throat, past my lips. Lulu. She was a little ways off to the side, on her own. She looked about sixteen here. She'd been a couple years older when I first met her, but her hair was the same — down and a little wild. Her gray eyes were aimed at the camera, and they sliced right fucking through me. I wasn't prepared to see her face, hadn't had a chance to sure up my defenses.
Something I hadn't allowed myself to feel in a long time, hammered me from behind. I hadn't seen her, not even a picture, not since she came to see me in prison.
And there she was. Tormenting me. Mocking me.
I picked it up, stared into her traitorous eyes. But the fury I'd lived off like fucking oxygen the last three years wouldn't come, because this wasn't the Lulu that tore me to shreds. She was a kid here, a kid who looked a little lost, and a whole fucking lot lonely.
The urge to fire it across the room nearly got the better of me.
I quickly put it down and got the hell out of there, before I did something stupid.
Jude was coming up the stairs when I hit the hall. Jude Wayland, excop, and at six-foot-five, two hundred and fifty pounds of solid muscle, not someone you wanted to get on the wrong side of. He still had good reliable contacts on the force, not to mention his expertise with security systems — namely how to shut them down. Add to that his size and ability to be intimidating as hell, he'd become our go-to guy when someone needed to be leaned on. Persuasion was one of his specialties.
"Company." He tilted his head to the front of the house.
We jogged down the stairs and I moved to the French doors off the living room, while Jude did his thing, reactivating the security system. We were shutting the doors behind us as the front door opened.
I turned to Jude when we were outside, fighting the rage pounding through me. "Who lives here?" Jude rubbed the back of his neck, looking guilty as hell, and then tilted his head toward the living room window.
We'd walked out the door two minutes ago and already there was a woman bent over the back of the couch, pants yanked down around her thighs, while some guy, not her husband, fucked her from behind like he was in the throes of a fit.
I recognized her instantly.
Jude shook his head, a look of disgust on his face and held up his hands. "You need to talk to Van. I'm staying outta this shit. I fucking told him this was a bad idea." Then he turned around and walked off.
I'd be talking to my brother all right.
Twenty minutes later I was back in Queens, striding across the underground parking lot toward the elevator that would take me up to our offices.
Van and I opened the King Agency before I went to prison. We started off doing personal protection and security, private investigation, mainly corporate, but some domestic as well, then moved onto high-risk fugitive recovery and missing person and kidnapping investigations. Coming from a rough neighborhood, living on the streets most of the time, you acquired certain skills to get by, to survive. Turned out that was better than any college education in our line of work. Clients started coming to us with jobs that other agencies refused to take them, either because they were too dangerous or crossed lines they weren't willing to cross. We'd never had that problem. Higher risk meant higher pay. We were good at what we did, the best, which was why getting taken down for arson when shit was finally looking up for the King brothers had fucking near torn me apart. Being set up was bad enough, but being forced to put my life on hold damn near did me in.
Ironic that the same woman that drove me to succeed, the woman I loved, the woman I believed loved me too, was the one that took it all away. I'd wanted to prove that I could provide for her, that I could give her everything she was used to. A big house. Money in the bank. A nice life. The agency was the first thing that had truly been mine. I'd been so fucking proud of it, wanted her to be proud of me. Coming from a home where I was constantly told I was nothing, that I was worthless, I'd needed that.
Finding out tonight my own fucking brother was keeping something from me, something that involved her family, the same family responsible for setting me up, getting me locked up ... yeah, I was pretty un-fucking-happy.
I climbed into the elevator and punched the button for the fifth floor, trying to lock down the anger riding me hard. I got a look at myself in the mirrored doors as they slid shut — it wasn't working.
When they opened again I was outside our glass-fronted reception area, three and a half inches thick and bullet proof — something that hadn't been tested yet, but the way I was feeling right then finding out how many rounds it would take sounded like an excellent way to blow off steam.
I pushed the door open, and strode into the stark white reception area, not surprised to see Ruby sitting behind the desk.
Ruby Styles was from our neighborhood, and a few years younger than me. Her home life had been about as fun as mine and Van's. And when she'd come to us for a job, we'd decided to give her a shot in reception.
She lifted her head, tucking her purple streaked hair behind her ear, and shoved her black-rimmed glasses higher on her nose. Her eyes widened when she got a good look at me.
"Is he in his office?"
She shot to her feet. "What's going on ... ?"
I headed for the door that led to our offices, ignoring her calling after me, anger unfurling in my gut, and punched in the access code.
Shoving it open, I strode down the hall. Van's door wasn't closed, and I could hear several voices coming from inside. I rounded the corner and my jaw got tight. Zeke and Neco were there along with my brother, deep in conversation.
"Something you forget to tell me about tonight's job?" I asked.
Van's gaze shot to me. "Hunt, let me explain ..."
"Yeah, that'd be good."
Zeke's eyes slid my way, giving nothing away. The Texan was at his usual spot, propped against the wall, tattooed arms crossed. Zeke Stanton was an ex-Navy SEAL, a sniper in a previous life — a life he chose not to talk about, ever. We'd all known each other since high school. Him and Van had enlisted together, been in the same unit. But Van had opted out before Zeke, left that part of his life behind before it marked him in a way his friend hadn't been lucky enough to escape.
Zeke only talked when he had to, did not waste time on pointless conversation. He also had a stillness, an intensity about him that was perfect for surveillance. The guy could move around unseen any-damn-where like no one else.
But while Zeke kept his distance, Neco closed in.
Not only was Neco Malik our best tracker, he had skills with a computer that were second to none. He was an exceptional hacker, could get into anything, could override any security system with the click of a few buttons. He was an integral member of the team, and one of my best friends. We'd run together when we were kids. He had it rough growing up, a half black kid in a mainly white neighborhood. Having a mother who sold herself to pay the rent, and a father who he had never met, meant life had been far from easy. As a result, he'd grown into one mean, angry motherfucker.
The guy was like a brother to me, but right then, I needed him to back the fuck off.
Neco shook his head. "Just hear him out."
"Before you pop a fucking artery," Jude added, walking in behind me, voice nothing but a deep rumble.
I ignored them all and waited for Van to start talking.
My brother blew out a long breath and ran a hand through his hair. "I needed you to get into that safe, and I needed you doing it with a clear head."
I curled my fingers into fists, knuckles cracking. Van could be a ruthless son of a bitch at times, but this was extreme even for him. "Keep talking," I gritted out.
A muscle in his square jaw jumped. "I didn't want to send you in. If there'd been any other way ..." He crossed his arms, getting that stubborn look on his damn face. "You were the only one who could do what we needed in the time we had."
Union City Insurance had called us a few days ago, after they'd received a claim on a painting. The painting I'd been looking for tonight. If it weren't found, Union would be down three million. They wanted to avoid that.
This was the part of our business we didn't advertise. Illegal in every way it could be, unethical as all hell. But it paid well, and with our unique talents, our success rate was extremely high. Put simply, Union City wanted the painting found. They didn't want to pay out the money it was insured for, and they didn't care how the King Agency made sure the job got done. As long as the painting was returned to its owner, they were off the hook.
A lot of insurance companies felt the same way. If the claim was fraudulent, their client sure as hell couldn't accuse anyone of breaking into their houses and stealing it out from under them if it was already supposed to be missing. They definitely couldn't say anything when their insurance company called and returned their items with a smile and a "Hey, look what showed up."
Paying our fee, a fraction of what Union City would have to pay out if the painting wasn't found, was worth it to them. The guys at our agency either confirmed it was insurance fraud, or tracked down the stolen item and stole it back.
Which was what I'd been trying to do tonight, only it turned out a few vital details had been omitted.
I stepped up to my brother's desk and planted my fists on the surface. "I'm out of patience."
Van cursed quietly. "Robert Carson is the claimant."
A chill slid down my spine before it turned to steel. I had to plant my feet so I didn't dive across his desk and beat the shit out of him. "You don't see any problem, sending me on a job involving that family, without telling me?" No one in the room missed the quite fury in my voice. Even Zeke stood straighter.
Van casually undid the cuffs of his dress shirt and rolled up his sleeves, eyes never leaving mine. "We think Pierce is behind it."
My nostrils flared as I sucked in a rough breath at the mention of Pierce, Lulu's stepfather — and my ex-employer. I'd worked for him for a couple of years on and off while we were getting this place off the ground. Mainly debt collection, but occasionally I provided muscle for the prick, as one of his personal bodyguards. I'd met Lulu shortly after I started.
And I'd wished every day for the last three and a half years that I'd never laid eyes on her.
I choked down the rage. I had no damn choice. If I lost it, they'd close ranks. It's what they expected me to do, why they hadn't shared the details of the case.
I clenched my fists at my sides. "And the rest?"
My brother watched me closely, gaze darting to Neco before he spoke. I felt my friend move in closer.
"It was Robert that called in the claim, but the painting was taken from Pierce's home," Van said.
"How can Robert claim it if it's not his?"
Van's shoulders relaxed a fraction when he realized I wasn't about to throw down in the middle of his office, and kept talking. "Pierce made sure Robert co-signed every insurance policy ... every fucking thing he owns. Which isn't a whole lot, as it happens. Most of it's tied up in family trusts, belongs to his wife Elizabeth's family. Their homes were never theirs to begin with. Anyway, we both know Robert's weak, follows Pierce's lead like a goddamn puppy, would do anything for his brother, including insurance fraud."
As much as it pissed me the fuck off, I got it, the secrecy. I understood my brother's concerns. Anything to do with Lulu's stepfather was a hot button for me, to put it mildly.
But he'd purposely kept this from me, and even though I understood his reasons, there was no way in hell I was sitting this one out. I couldn't just do my job, find the painting, and forget the rest.
I crossed my arms. "Pierce has to be pulling the strings." The guy had gone underground in recent weeks. I didn't know why yet, but anything that might lead me to him, I was all in. "Selling privately, plus the insurance payout, would set him up nicely."
Van dipped his chin. "Exactly."
I had to find that painting. I didn't know why Pierce needed the money, but I wasn't letting that asshole get his hands on it. And I sure as hell wasn't missing the chance to get my hands on the son of a bitch either.
Pierce needing fast money meant he was in deep shit, plain and simple. He'd either vanish, go deeper underground, or use the cash to scrape himself out of trouble. None of those options were acceptable. That fucker was well overdue payback, and any way I could make his life harder — or, better yet, draw him out — was a win for me.
"I'm in." I locked eyes with my brother. "And if you ever keep shit like this from me again, or send me into a situation like that without all the facts, we'll have a serious fucking problem."
Van dipped his chin, jaw still hard.
Excerpted from Shattered King by Sherilee Gray. Copyright © 2017 Sherilee Gray. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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
Loved the story. Great start to new series
3.25stars Shattered King is a little bit darker book with a lot of violence. THe book has an interesting plot and was well written but I didn't particularly like its characters. So Hunter he was ok what has happened to him is normal to be mad, feel rage and everything but his mind is clear and is for me thinking straight. Lulu, on the other hand, is too f… in the head she doesn't know what she really ones changes her mind in an instant from time to time hat some backbone. So in this story, she is the weak link for not liking this story too much. The story is too a little bit predictable form y taste. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
When I read the synapsis of this story, I knew I was going to have to read it. It drew me in from the beginning and it was intense and heart breaking all at the same time. Lucinda was trying to say goodbye to Hunter but it was hard to do when he was in prison, a place she had a hand in putting him. He was so angry that he fell into her trap and being used by her and her step-father. And she couldn't tell him she was running and probably wouldn't see him even again. Three years later, Hunter is out of prison and trying to make his life better. When he hears that Lulu is back in town trying to see her mother before she dies. He has to get to her to find out why she sent him to prison with her lies. When he gets her. he only wants the truth and her step-father. Then he will let her go. That is until he learns the truth and the secret she has been hiding for three years. Now all he wants to do is protect her and help her forget the past. Lulu can't resist Hunter, it has always been that way. But she knows she can't stay with him. Her step-father is still looking for her. She has to see her mother and leave as soon as she can. Can Lulu leave town before she loser her heart to Hunter? Can Hunter get passed his anger and keep Lulu safe and protected? This story will break your heart from what happened to Hunter and Lulu and what they have to go through. But in the end it will be worth it because this story is worth every tear and heartbreak you will feel and the HEA in the end. This is a first for me from this author and I can't wait for more from her, especially from this series. **Copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley and this is my honest review**
Shattered King by Sherilee Gray A Lawless Kings Novel #1 MC style romance told from first person POV by both Hunter and Lulu. Hunter is out for revenge against Lulu and is rather harsh in getting it when she returns to New York to say goodbye to her dying mother. There is violence, questionable consensual sex scenes, kidnapping and more in this book that is a dark gritty second chance at love for two traumatized and somewhat damaged people. They do get their HEA but have to go through a lot to get it. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – this is my honest review. 3-4 Stars
'Shattered King' by Sherilee Gray is book Two in the "Lawless Kings" series. This is the story of Hunter King and Luscinda 'Lulu' Lulu and Hunter were in a relationship but they both actually had trouble family life. Lulu had to do the unthinkable to Hunter and he was sent to prison for about three years for something he didn't do. Lulu went into hiding immediately after what she did to Hunter...who she really had not choice to do. Hunter is now out and looking to get back and Lulu and her Stepfather for what happened to him. Lulu is only coming out of hiding to see her mother one last time before she passes away due to cancer. Just enough time for Hunter to catch her. This has some dark scene in it when Hunter is blaming Lulu for what happened to him and before he knew her reasons for what she did. But overall I enjoyed this book. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
I really liked this fast-paced and steamy read. Hunter wants revenge on the people who sent him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He was in love with Lulu and thought she felt the same, now he wants answer. Lots of drama and suspense in the read. I liked the characters as well as the action-packed story. The chemistry is off the charts hot. Looking forward to more.
SHATTERED KING is the first installment in Sherilee Gray’s contemporary, adult LAWLESS KINGS erotic, romantic suspense series focusing on the men and women who work for the King Agency doing personal protection and security, private investigation (corporate and domestic) and high-risk fugitive recovery and missing persons and kidnapping investigations. This is Hunter King, and Lucinda (Lulu) Frost’s story line. NOTE: SHATTERED KING contains graphic scenarios that may be triggers for some readers including attempted rape, abuse and questionable consent. Told from dual first person perspectives (Lulu and Hunter) SHATTERED KING is a story of second chances. Three years and four months earlier Hunter King found himself charged for a crime he did not commit. The one person who would have been able to clear his name refused to testify for the man that she loved. Enter Lulu Frost, the woman who destroyed Hunter King’s heart. What ensues is the rekindling relationship between Hunter and Lucinda, and the struggle to stay one step ahead of the man hoping to destroy them all. Lulu Frost has been on the run since the day she walked out of Hunter King’s life. With her past hunting her whereabouts, Lulu must return to the town where everything went wrong but finds herself imprisoned by the very man she betrayed-at a cost. But Lulu keeps secret the truth from all those years ago and once revealed will place her on a path towards a future-with or without the man that she has always loved. Hunter King is a changed man since the day he was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Angry, determined and in desperate need of revenge, Hunter will make Lulu’ s life a living h*ll but for all intents and purposes, Hunter is a man still in love with the woman who betrayed his heart and soul. It is only when Lulu reveals the truth will Hunter’s change his path towards a happily ever after with the woman he loves The relationship between Lulu and Hunter is one of second chances. There is a palpable sexual energy that is both heightened and damaged by Hunter’s behavior and actions towards our story line heroine. In the early stages of the book Hunter’s actions are reprehensible; his behavior and treatment of Lulu Frost is abusive, damaging and not without some questionable consent. The $ex scenes are angry, intense, seductive and promising. We are introduced to Hunter’s older brother Van King, their guardian Raul Esposito, King Agency employees: former police officer Jude Wayland, PA Ruby Styles, ex-navy SEAL sniper Zeke Stanton, and tracker Neco Malik; Lulu’s ailing mother Elizabeth, and step-father Pierce, as well as Lulu’s Aunt Sara. Neco and Ruby’s story line is next in BROKEN REBEL. The world building focuses on the rekindling romance between Lulu and Hunter, and the lengths Hunter will go to to protect the woman he has always loved. At times, Lulu Frost, is determined to push all of Hunter’s buttons, including placing herself in direct conflict to everything meant to protect her life. SHATTERED KING is a dark, sexy, heartbreaking and emotional story of revenge, betrayal, and second chances. The premise is dramatic and intense; the characters are passionate, colorful and energetic; the romance is edgy and powerful. SHATTERED KING is an excellent start to a new series.
Sherilee does it again!! Shattered King had me white knuckling my way through the whole book and I didn't put it down. I'll spare you the blurb. When Hunter is released from prison he's got a major axe to grind and her name is Lulu, the woman he sees as responsible for him spending 4 years in prison. He's had 4 years to plan his revenge and he's hellbent on getting it. He wants to know why. Why she didn't back him up. He returns to the business he started with his brother in private security and the games begin. Lulu (Lucinda) has had her own miserable 4 years on the run from her stepfather in fear, trying to protect her son she gave birth to after Hunter went to prison and staying off the grid. The backstory we get in brief on that was just sad, constant moving, crappy jobs and horrible living conditions. One thing is clear with Lulu, she'll do anything to protect her son. Anything. When her mother's illness worsens and she knows she has to try and get home to see her before she dies she's so fearful and goes through a lot of trouble to sneak in to see her. Staying with her Aunt, she leaves her little guy with her with some instructions as well. Leaving the hospital she's kidnapped by Hunter who then holds her essentially hostage until he gets the answers he wants from her. Again bent on tormenting the beans out her as well. His behavior was outrageous at times, he's one angry, hurt and resentful man. And he doesn't know about Lulu's child. Lulu freaks out because she wants to call her Aunt about the baby, yet she won't tell Hunter about him. There's a reason for that. Hunter now working with his brother again and a couple other guys in private security have been working to track them. Hunter takes her to his isolated cabin initially where he leaves her tied to the bathroom pipes for 2 days with nothing. Yep, he's pissed. He barely feeds her, he treats her worse than something you'd scrape off the bottom of your shoe, yet..... Hunter can't help but try and fight those feelings he had for her all the time they were together. It doesn't help that Lucinda isn't giving out the information, she's so afraid of the stepfather that she says nothing. When the brothers start unraveling the story and her stepfather and several other problems, the story takes off like a rocket. Hang on to those kindles because I got whiplash a couple times with all the action. And when Hunter meets his son, your heart will melt. This book is packed with action, strong emotions, a steam factor and righteous anger. I absolutely loved this book. Can't wait for the next one and it gets a strong 4.5 from me. **arc from NetGalley and publisher in exchange for a fair review **
This was a great start to a new series! This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I will definitely be continuing with this series! Some of the content was hard to take and may be a trigger for some, so be sure you are aware that there is violence, abuse, and rape in this book. The book is raw, gritty and has a lot of sex in it. Hunter and Lulu were deeply in love, but through a decision to protect Hunter from her awful stepfather, she lied and Hunter went to prison for something he didn’t do. He felt betrayed and couldn’t believe the love of his life would do such a thing. Lulu couldn’t tell him that she did it to protect him and she also couldn’t tell him that she was pregnant. Once Hunter went to prison, she left New York and went into hiding. Working jobs that she wouldn’t leave a paper trail, as she knew her stepfather would be looking for her as well as Hunter’s brother, Van. She was able to stay hidden with her son for three years. Lulu had a wonderful mother who was ill for a very long time and was dying. She had to make the fateful trip back home so she could say goodbye to her mother, but feared for her life and the life of her son. She knew that her stepfather would do everything in his power to hold her prisoner again in his twisted world. She also knew that Hunter was out of prison and feared for the repercussions of her being back in New York and what he would do when he found out he had a son. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book that are gradually brought to light. There is mystery and suspense, violence and the second chance at love. I liked the pacing of the book and was engaged the entire time. There were times I didn’t want to put it down. There were times my heart hurt for the characters and times I wanted to cry. The secondary characters added a great depth to the story and have a lot of potential and I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I don’t want to give any more away as there are a lot of things that come out and things are brought to light that no one should have to endure, on both Hunter and Lulu’s lives. I truly enjoyed this this dark and gritty second chance romance.
Wow, I absolutely loved this book! It had a little darker taste to it, which I really liked, as well as one of the best alpha heroes I’ve read in a while. The beginning is pretty iffy because Hunter is angry over the fact that Lulu framed him for arson and he had to spend three years in prison. However, I never once felt like he crossed a line. This author did an amazing job of coloring this story with a tint of blackness without going overboard. That made the second part that much sweeter. Once Hunter’s eyes are open he is all over claiming what is his. It was quite delicious! This was fast paced with some incredible secondary characters that I absolutely cannot wait to read more of. Josh, her two year old, was written perfectly. (I know some readers have trouble with how children are portrayed.) Lulu did make a couple of questionable, okay TSTL, moments but I understood her thought process and accepted her decisions. There is definitely some triggers in this so be forewarned going in if you are sensitive to such things. Altogether, this is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone who likes things a little darker as well as a hero that is protective and possessive. You will not go wrong choosing this one. ARC provided for an honest review Dual POV Some OW drama but the H takes care of it – he doesn’t even see another woman after reuniting with his h. Safety – both H/h have been with someone else at least once during their separation Triggers
Hunter King has spent the last three years stewing over being sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit and the person who was responsible for putting him there is the same person who claimed to love him. But apparently she lied about that, just like his alibi, so now the only thing left to do is find out why, and then rid her from his life permanently. He devises a plan to kidnap her, and lure the information from her, but one look at her, and the anger he carries towards her starts to subside. He soon learns things didn't happen quite the way he thought, and that she has been on the run since he was put in prison to keep herself and her secrets safe. But now that he has brought her out of hiding, it's caught the eye of the man that has been hunting for her and he wants her back...now Hunter must put aside his anger to keep her safe! Lulu has been walking around the last three years riddled with guilt, she had to do something she isn't so proud of, but it was the only way to keep Hunter safe from her step-father. Soon after seeing him go to prison she fled town and went into hiding to keep herself and her unborn child safe from her step-father and his goons. But when she hears that her mother's health is failing she knows she'll never be able to forgive herself if she doesn't sneak home to see her before she passes, so she devises the perfect plan to sneak into town undetected. But after a quick visit at the hospital someone is waiting for her and wants answers... answers that she is not prepared to give! This gritty, dark, and provocative read pulled me in from the first sentence and had me instantly obsessed... I could not put it down!! Ms. Gray really outdid herself with this one, the story line had moments that were dark and intense, moments that were touching and sweet, and moments that were downright naughty... it was a very well rounded read!! After meeting all these new characters I am left really excited about getting back to them and sinking my teeth into their stories, can't wait to see what is in store for all of them next! If you like your reads rich with suspense, super naughty and a little on the dark side then I highly suggest your consider diving into this one, you will not be disappointed!! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.
So, if you've read my reviews before, you know I have a love/hate relationship with second chance romances, and how they make me feel. This one was a doozy! It was a little darker and more angsty than I usually prefer, but I really liked it. Hunter King just got out of prison after more than 3 years for a crime he didn't commit. He knows who set him up. He's always known that. Now, he needs to know why. Why the woman he loved beyond life, who he was sure loved him, could have turned on him so completely. He runs a security/PI business with his brother and some close friends, that they opened before he went to jail. He is back at work, but he's plotting his revenge. He had a very rough life growing up, and he tried to make the best life he could for himself, and for Lulu, who he thought would be with him forever. Now it's time to get the truth. Lulu is a hot mess. She's been on the run for 3 years. Ever since she lied to the police about Hunter's alibi, and basically helped to pin arson on him. He doesn't know that she only did it to save his life. Her stepfather is a monster, and she knew he was telling the truth when he threatened to kill Hunter if she didn't go along with the plan. She loves Hunter still, more than ever, but she knows there is no way to be with him now. Not with what he thinks she did. She lied, and betrayed him, and there's no taking that back. Even if he knew the truth. And, to keep her precious son safe, she can never tell him the truth. She doesn't plan to ever see him again. But, her mom is dying, and she must see her before she's gone. She has no idea what's waiting for her when she pulls back into town. Hunter and Lulu's chemistry was scorching. The sex was steamy, and happened quite often. Even when Hunter thought the worst of her and hated her, he still wanted her, which was making him crazy. They really were it for each other, and I loved that. However, the first couple times they're together again, once he kidnaps her, it was a little rough to read. He was basically hateful to her, and they have, what was from his POV, hate sex. But, she still loves him, which is why she can't turn him away. It was painful to watch. Additionally, there are a couple of brutal attempted rape scenes on the heroine (by the bad guy), and that was very hard to get through. I'm not a person who has any reading triggers, but I'm sure that, for some people, this will be impossible to read. I, myself, was glad I had read a previous review that warned of this happening ahead of time. The second chance aspect here was a very unique one, and I loved that. I really enjoyed them getting to know each other again, once the truth comes out about the past. Seeing Hunter with little Josh was heartwarming. I loved their dynamic, and how they were it for each other from the start in the past, and how quickly that becomes true again. There were a few things I wasn't a huge fan of. Many of them involving Lulu, and some of her poor decisions. She acted without thinking a lot, and it bothers me. I know she was traumatized from her past, and some of the things she does make more sense looking at them through that lens, but still. I had a hard time understanding her. Hunter let his past color his decisions, when he should know something else was going on. It was frustrating. There was so much darkness in this book, but love and family, brought light to the shadows. I recommend this for anyone who likes the darker side of romantic suspense.
When I first started reading this one I wasn't sure I was going to like it. Hunter was so angry and his treatment of Lulu made me cringe. Amazingly though these two had an actual conversation and listened to each other. What came out of that was a clearer understanding of exactly what happened in the past and explained why Lulu did what she did which in turn calmed Hunter's anger opening up possibilities for the future. I loved the way the author handled this! I really enjoyed these characters as well as the secondary characters in the story. I'm am looking forward to Neco and Ruby's story!! Don't miss this one! I highly recommend it.
“She was my drug, my poison. The best, and worst thing that had ever happened to me.” Sherilee Gray is a new author to me, and I can not wait to discover more books from her. Told from dual points of view, Shattered King takes you on one intense and thrilling ride. From the moment I picked up this book, my eyes were glued to the pages. I was totally sucked into Lulu and Hunter’s story. Their story wasn’t an easy one. It hurt and pulled at my heart. I found myself so frustrated with Hunter. I couldn’t wait for him to wake up and see Lulu’s truth and to see that everything is not as it seems. Shattered King is a fast paced and entertaining read. This book pretty much hits the ground running and never stops. It is filled with lots of action, danger, intense moments and sexy good times. Shattered King is a fantastic second chance romance that will not only leave your heart pounding, but will have you turning the pages quickly to see just how the story will play out. I loved everything about this book, from the characters to the story-line to the intense moments and all of the twists and turns along the way. Overall, I thought this book was a great read and look forward to continuing on with this series.
Shattered King is the first book in a brand new series by Sherilee Gray, Lawless Kings. I have long been a devoted fan of Sherilee’s books. I have read every single book she has written. I’ve been so anxious to get started on this new series, to see what she has in store for us this time. And I was blown away. In my opinion, this is a little darker than some of her other books. Her writing is intense, suspenseful, and amazing. I couldn’t put it down. Hunter King spent three years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s out now and working with his brother at their Private Investigative business. Hunter is consumed with anger, hatred, and the need for revenge for the person that put him in prison, the person he had loved and trusted more than any other, Lulu. Now, he needs information from Lulu but more than that, he wants answers. He wants her to look him in the eye and tell him why she did it. To tell him that the two years they spent together, loved each other, was all a lie. So, Hunter kidnaps Lulu. Only putting himself within close proximity to the woman he loved more than life itself, the woman he now hated more than life itself, has an effect on his body he didn’t expect, an effect he doesn’t want. There is a fine line between love and hate, and he is walking that line like a tightrope. “She was my drug, my poison. The best, and worst thing that had ever happened to me.” Lulu has been gone for three years, running from her step father, a man who is made of evil itself. But she had to surface, to come back, for her mother. To see her one last time. But Lulu can’t let anyone know her secret, her reason for living, her little two year old son, Josh. A little boy with eyes the exact same color as Hunter’s. She knew Hunter was out of prison but all she wants is to see her mother, then she can disappear again. But Hunter has different plans for her. Seeing him again brought back everything, all the good and the bad. She never stopped loving him, would never stop. But Hunter hates her for what she did. He would never believe her even if she told him the truth about what happened. This is a story about a second chance at love. These two people loved each other deeply. But an evil, possessive step father manipulated them both and took three years away from them. There is so much to work through for these two to find their way back to each other. Hunter stole my heart. Once he knew what was going on, once he understood what happened, he was fully committed to being the man that Lulu deserves, to being the father little Josh deserves. He was a tough as nails man, but he loved with his whole heart. “I hadn’t given her many reasons to trust me since I’d been back in her life, but I’d make sure I proved I was worthy of it. I’d prove it to her every day, for the rest of our lives.” This book has a little bit of everything. Sherilee writes smokin hot sexy scenes and this book has plenty of them. This book is also really suspenseful as Lulu, Hunter, and the other members of the agency, try to stop the man who has brought so much pain and darkness to their lives. Who continues to threaten Lulu and Hunter and won’t stop until he is caught. And Hunter has some pretty explicit plans for how he wants to make him pay for what he has done. There are also plenty of sweet moments, especially with adorable little Josh. I am over the moon for this book and can’t wait for the next in the series.
4.5 Stars! This is the second book I have read from this author and one of the things that sticks out most for me is her ability to write and convey the intensity of the relationship between the main characters. It's not something you see too often and an aspect I love to read in my books. Another aspect I have was impressed with is her ability to not have me wanting to rush past the first part of the book when Hunter thought Lulu betrayed him. I'm all about getting to the part where the couple work together not against each other. When the author had me just as enthralled with this part, I consider that a win. It actually showed me just how much these two cared for each other and made the truth come out even sweeter. The story was fast paced, had great side characters that will eventually get their own standalone books and great chemistry. The story is on the darker side with reference to rape and violence. ARC provided by NetGalley
3.5 - "You're mine... I take care of what's mine." Stars! Sherilee Gray, begins the new Lawless Kings series; Shattered King, with Hunter King’s story, second chance love if you will, but with the added bonus of a little action and adventure. On the whole this was a pretty good read, Sherilee gives good Alpha, and Hunter offered up all the attributes that I have come to now expect from one of her heroes. Dark, broody, demanding, inked-up and always ready to throw down for his woman. The first half of this book really kept me on my toes, the author is essentially setting up the series with the introduction of King Agency and its main players, around Hunter and Lulu’s reconnection. You understand very quickly that Hunter is a man who is out for revenge and answers from those who played a part in sending him to prison for the last three or so years. First and foremost the woman he loved – Lulu, and followed closely by her step-father Pierce. "You’re already gone. You’re dead to me. You don’t ducking exist." Lulu we discover has pretty much kept herself and her secrets hidden since Hunter’s incarceration, moving from one town to the next, taking jobs on a cash basis, and changing her name to avoid detection. But has now been forced to return back to town due to her mother’s ailing health, the risk is high, especially as her responsibilities go further than just herself now, but she cannot let her mother pass without seeing her one last time. Not mincing words, but Hunter basically kidnaps her and holds her in a remote cabin for the next couple of days, and treats her like a caged animal. Their interactions are harsh, language hurtful, and sex is definitely what I would class as angry. But I understood the reasonings for it, betrayal by those we love is a painful motivator. I’d always known he’d come for me… It was only a matter of time, and I’d known there sure as hell wouldn’t be a happy reunion. The second half of the book is pretty much where both Hunter and Lulu start to understand more about each other and the threat they are dealing with in her step-father, but the author also goes more into the reasons why Lulu did what she did in order to send him to prison, and it’s not a pretty story. She was my drug, my poison. The best, and worst thing that had ever happened to me. For me, and the reason why I have rated the book as I have, I just felt those issues weren’t given the depth of development or gravity they deserved within the story, if you are going to go to the darker side of human behavior with the tropes you use for a particular character, you need to make sure they are used in a constructive way, for me they just felt like excuses at times, and everything pretty much revolved around sex. Don’t get me wrong the author writes scorching hot sexy-times, but (and I cannot believe I am going to say this) there was just far too much of it. Lulu’s issues and everything playing our between the two of them were basically resolved or bought back to sex almost every time, and it didn’t work for me after a while. "We do what we have to do to get the job done." That said, it wasn’t a struggle to read, the rest of the guys involved with King Agency including Hunters brother; Van all look promising in regards to having their own stories told in the future, and with Ruby and Neco’s book due for release in October; Broken Rebel we don’t have too long to wait for the next installment.