NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Their love knows no borders.
A loner who exudes danger, Lev Ivanski has spent his life in service to one man, someone he loves and respects. But things are changing. Rapidly. Lev and his boss have allies and friends and a new mission more important their than business, all because of the Saints. This clandestine organization needs to be taken down, and Lev has the skills to help. What he doesn’t expect is to be at the mercy of a woman who makes him crave more than he ever thought to want.
Determined and dedicated, Reyna Harris is used to danger and living on the edge. An ex-CIA operative, she’s been embedded with the Saints for years, trying to take them down from the inside. When her cover is blown, she is forced to trust a man she just met, fighting their way out of one battle after another. But there’s something about Lev that Reyna knows she can trust. And love. She needs Lev – and not just to take a swipe at the Saints. Together they’re an unstoppable force. And with their friends, they just might succeed in their mission.
Once again I start a series in the middle not at the beginning.
Lev traveled to Kiev on a mission to thwart an assassination planned by the group known as ‘The Saints’. Now Saints is not what I would call this group that has infiltrated governments and corporations to coerce people to do their bidding.
The Saints reach is long and dangerous to anyone who opposes them. Rayna managed to infiltrate them after they killed her partner. She has been looking for a way to take them down internally.
What we have are two very strong personalities with a common goal, yet one appears to be on the wrong side.
This is a favorite scene.
Someone would have to be the first to bend. It wasn’t something Lev did. Ever. But after hearing Reyna on the phone, he had a suspicion that there was a lot about the female she kept hidden.
Much as he did.
Her dark eyes held his as if daring him to be the first to crack. He’d been through so many levels of Hell, that it would take much more than her to break him. And while his instinct was to refuse to budge, he recalled fighting alongside the Loughmans, their women, Yuri, and Maks Petrov against the Saints.
It had felt good to take such a stand, even if it killed him not to be by Sergei’s side to protect him. The sooner Lev finished with this, the sooner he could get back to Maryland and Sergei.
Where he belonged.
Because as much as the Loughmans might try and make him feel as if he were part of their group, Lev knew better. He was a loner. Destiny had chosen that road for him. Sergei had given him a home and a place to hone his skills. Lev owed Sergei everything.
“You want information?” Lev lifted his arms. “Take these off.”
Reyna shook her head of caramel locks. “I quite like walking around without having my gun pointed at you every second.”
“I won’t attack you or leave.”
She barked in laughter. “As if I’ll take your word.”
Lev glanced down at the floor. He’d planned to wait to show her that he’d picked the locks during the night with the pin that she’d given him to unlock the door at the theatre, but it seemed that now was his opportunity.
He tugged gently, and the shackles fell to the floor. Reyna’s eyes widened as her lips parted in shock. Then her gaze jerked to his face.
“You forgot to take this back,” Lev said as he held up the pin. “I unlocked them within an hour of being here last night. I didn’t harm you or leave when I had the chance. That should prove my word is good.”
She closed her lips and swallowed. Anger tightened her features, but he suspected that she was furious with herself more than him. “Who are you?” she demanded. “I’ve done this job a long time. I don’t make mistakes.”
“You did last night,” he pointed out.
“If I made those kinds of mistakes often, I wouldn’t be alive.”
She spoke the truth there. Had it been anyone but him, she would be dead. But he didn’t point that out. There was no need. She knew.
Lev got to his feet. As he did, he saw the way she took a defensive step back, readying to go for a gun she most likely had stashed nearby.
He ignored her and picked up his empty plate and mug before he walked past her to the kitchen. Lev set the dishes by the sink and rolled up his sleeves. He had his back to her, but he was aware of her position.
As soon as he had walked into the kitchen, Reyna moved to the fireplace and reached into the bucket of wood for a pistol. Lev didn’t say anything to her. If it made her feel safer to have a weapon pointed at him, then he’d let her. For now.
After he’d finished the dishes, he dried his hands and turned to face her, leaning back against the counter. He spread the damp towel out to dry and folded his arms across his chest. The only good thing was that she didn’t have the gun pointed at him.
“I don’t work for the Saints,” he told her. “I came here to stop Stasiuk’s assassination.”
“You didn’t succeed.”
He drew in a breath. “I know.”
“Even if you had saved him, the Saints would’ve gone after him again. And again. Until they ended him.”
Lev wondered if she realized that she didn’t include herself with the Saints. That slip-up might have been done on purpose, but his instincts said otherwise. His gut told him that Reyna wasn’t with the Saints, even if she was working for them.
Which meant that she might be undercover. It made sense. Especially given she was so adamant about wanting information to take to her superiors.
“You’re probably right,” he conceded. “But I would’ve liked to shove another loss in the Saints’ faces.”
Her gaze intensified. “Another?”
Lev hid his smile. He’d known that would get her attention. “You heard right.”
“Tell me more.”
He had leverage to get information out of her, but he decided to hold off for now. It was a calculated risk, one that he hoped would pay big dividends.
Donna Grant. The Defender (Kindle Locations 452-488). Kindle Edition.
It’s Lev who figures out they need to leave and Rayna is the one with an escape plan. Although it is an arduous journey and one fraught with danger from the Saints.
This is a fast-paced, suspenseful, intense and satisfying read. With lots of action and some sizzling heat.
I now have to go back to the beginning to learn about all the other characters I met in this book.
5 Contented Purrs for Donna!
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Donna is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels. Her most popular series is the breathtaking Dark King (aka Dragon King) series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.
In addition to her novels, Donna has written over forty short stories, novellas, and novelettes for digital-first and print release. She has been dubbed as giving the “paranormal genre a burst of fresh air” by the San Francisco Book Review. Her work has been hailed as having “deft plotting and expert characterization” by Publisher’s Weekly and “sizzling” by RT Book Reviews.
She has been recognized with awards from both bookseller and reader contests including the National Reader’s Choice Award, Booksellers Best Award, as well as the coveted K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews.
Donna travels often for various speaking engagements, conferences, and book signings. She is also a frequent workshop presenter at national conferences such as RT Book Lovers Convention and Thrillerfest, as well as local chapters.
Born and raised in Texas, she also has ties across the border in Louisiana. Growing up with two such vibrant cultures, her Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. She is never far from her faithful 80 pound dog, Sisko, or her three cats. She can often be found at the movies or bookstore with her children. Or buying makeup. And shoes.