It was never supposed to be like this.
My darkest secret has just been sent to the one person I was desperate to hide it from and now it’s too late to take it back. The damage has been done.
With Atticus’ life in the balance and three new members about to be sworn in to the Twelve, the stakes have never been higher. Having my family back should be the greatest blessing but instead, it’s just made things more complicated.
We’re building a new empire in the Bay, one that is stronger than any that came before it.
Loyalties are being tested and reputations forged on the streets of the country’s most notorious city.
But one thing is for sure.
We might not all make it through, but so begins my reign.
The prologue of this book is from Atticus’ point of view when Avery finds out he’s the Crow. A reminder that he was once ready to kill the Wolf.
Then we’re back right where we left of with Ash storming into the Crow’s mansion and heading directly for Aodhan. It’s Lips who puts a stop to that madness, but then Luca shows up and it’s on again. Mind you they don’t know about Atticus yet. The entrance of Noah was perfectly timed and from that first interaction I just knew this one is gonna be trouble.
Avery really needed Lips to be home that is very apparent in the aftermath of that evening when they are alone for a bit.
I really loved the way Jack’s funeral was handled, the right amount of sadness and of course the very real description of an Irish wake.
This is a favorite scene after they have mostly recovered from the wake and get down to business.
Finally, Lips speaks, “Okay. I have some solid ideas. Aves, do you want my help here or am I just subbing into your plans?”
Aodhan jerks around to give her a look as I giggle, my voice still wrecked from the moonshine and Irish wake. “No, Lips, I need your help. You already know what I have ready, if there’s anything you can add here then please do.”
She turns back to the wall and says, “I have some leads in mind. I have a few for that cunt Amanda and there’s some people we can leverage for the Crawford situation. Atticus always did focus on a very different brand of information than Illi and I do, but there’s some crossover I can take advantage of. Let’s go with the shit we can take care of without Illi for now, leave him with Odie and Johnny for as long as we can before we have him back on the streets.”
I agree wholeheartedly with that plan. Honestly, if I thought we could retire him altogether so he was at home with them forever, that would be the plan, but he was born here, the Bay is in his blood, and there’s no walking away from that.
Lips has tried enough that I know that for sure.
Aodhan rubs at the shadow of a beard on his face, he clearly rolled straight out of bed and came looking for us without a shower and shave, and says, “Just tell me what you need and I’ll do it. I’m sick of chasing our asses with this.”
Harley nods approvingly, his eyes on his little Mounty. “What are you seeing up there that we’re missing, babe? What does the Wolf see that the Butcher can’t?”
She shrugs and points at Amanda. “I see a daughter. Cartel don’t usually spare much time for grown daughters unless they’re selling them off. Women don’t matter, not unless they’re wives, mothers, or grandmothers. They have to contribute first, give some part of themselves away before they have a chance to have a voice. What has Amanda given away?”
I scoff. “She’s given herself away a million times over. She probably bartered with information to get out of a marriage.”
Lips shrugs. “Doesn’t matter. Her father is where we go for her. We get everything we can on him and then we go to him. Once she’s dealt with, we take out the Crawfords. Randy, then Holden. Fathers can be very fucking tricky if they lose their heirs.”
We share a look and I nod. That’s a reasonable enough plan. Aodhan looks between us and then shakes his head with a grin. “I have no doubt you’re going to get this sorted out, but you’re giving me nothing to go on here. Dig up some information and that’ll do it? Sounds too easy and easy never wins out.”
Lips grins back at him, then turns back to the wall. “Oh, I plan on killing a lot of people in this plan. As many as I can, really. I need to remind everyone what I can do if you threaten my family—it’s been too long.”
Harley scoffs at her. “It hasn’t been that long.”
I lean into Aodhan a little more, finding comfort in the firm planes of his chest. He also smells amazing, not at all like the moonshine or the smoke from the bonfire that had been lit at some point.
When we hear the others waking up and banging around up in the kitchen, we finally head back up so I can cook something greasy to soak up some of the hangovers. Lips grabs my hand and points out Lauren’s photo to me. “We start with her. We might need Illi for that one though, he’s more recognizable than I am. Or maybe we can borrow Harbin for the night.” I nod, happy to let her make some decisions for a day or two without much input. Whatever she has, I’m happy to give it a fair go.
Ash is savage but less grumpy than before, kissing Lips and dragging her over to sit in his lap at the breakfast bar. Aodhan helps me to pull out pots and pans, then ends up in an argument with Harley about muscle cars that I couldn’t care less about.
Morrison slumps into one of the other stools and groans dramatically, only looking alive when Lips runs a hand through his hair and murmurs gentle words at him like he’s terminal, not just hungover. It’s loud and messy and everything I’ve ever wanted for us all.
It doesn’t matter how packed my murder board downstairs is, it feels like home again. If Atticus were here too, I would be the happiest I’ve ever been.
When Noah arrives in the doorway wearing one of my robes, he snaps, “Is someone dead or are we standing around in here screaming for no fucking reason?”
Ash swings around to throw an icy glare at him. “That could be arranged.”
We still have a little ways to go before it’s a peaceful family environment, but when I shove a plate of bacon at Noah, he takes it with a mumbled ‘thanks’ and heads to the dining room without another word.
Bree, J. Queen Crow: Queen Crow #3. Kindle Locations (742-774). Kindle Edition.
There’s a lot that needs to be dealt with and no one is backing off.
The game continues to it’s conclusion and Lucy gives the Wolf a surprise gift, her reason for it is startling.
So many twists and turns as we wait for Avery to get everything she wants and needs.
Of course there’s one little problem that is mentioned at the end of the book and now I’m even more impatient for the next book with all these awesome characters.
5 Contented Purrs for J!
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J Bree is a dreamer, writer, mother, farmer, and cat-wrangler.
The order of priorities changes daily. She lives on a small farm in a tiny rural town in Australia that no one has ever heard of.
She spends her days dreaming about all of her book boyfriends, listening to her partner moan about how the wine grapes are growing, and being a snack bitch to her two kids.
If you want to hear more about all things Mounts Bay then join my readers group! There’s a lot of creative ways to dispose of a body in the Bay so come join the fun.