Neglected. Abused. Forgotten. Thrown away.
The endless cycle of pain and abandonment that I’ve been living in. Somehow, I never let it break me.
Until I met him.
His games, his lies, his punishments.
They twisted and molded me to fit his desires. He was breaking me down. Leaving this world of misery behind no longer sounded so bad.
I had only ever known pain anyways.
Until I was saved.
Now, I have a new life. New friends. Maybe even a new family. I found a purpose and people who are willing to help me fight back for the first time ever.
But everything comes at a price. War is on the horizon and I’m caught right in the middle of it. This time, I have something I’ve never had before, people I want to help protect.
I can’t deny my damage. I’ll never be the same again. So this time, I’ll turn my scars into ammunition. This time, I’ll tear down the very ones who hurt me.
They call it war. I call it revenge.
Because this time?
I’m going to be the one that’s deadly.
Damaged & Deadly is A World of Chaos standalone. It is a full-length dark romance that can be read on its own.
Now you don’t have to read the Steel Roses Series, but I think you will get more out of this one if you have.
The prologue of this book takes us back to when Scar rescues Jade, Rowan and Ryder.
This is Jade’s story, well a good part of it, as it’s still intertwined with the other books. Jade has been training with Scar to not be vulnerable anymore. While the physical work has been challenging, it’s really the psychological part that’s even more of a challenge to overcome. Then there’s also the bomb that Rachel dropped at the end of Deadly Chaos, she’s Jade’s sister. Scar is doing what she does, trying to establish the truth of that statement.
Ian and Holden are the two men she’s been most comfortable with from the beginning. Ian gives her space but also protects her from others being too close when he sees she needs that. I really love him for that.
It’s also Jade’s birthday near the beginning of this book and I took great joy in reading as she baked a cake, she does however expect to celebrate alone. Then Ian shows up at her door.
This is a favorite scene.
I shake my head and feel some pieces of my hair fall out of the messy bun on top of my head and into my face. Ian’s hands twitch, but they don’t move towards me at all. Instead, he rubs the back of his neck and smiles. “Sorry, Britt was supposed to be here too, but she got stuck at work. Scar invited us all over tonight.”
“Oh,” I say, surprised Scar didn’t text me. She’s usually really good about not surprising me with things. “Britt’s coming?” He nods and I move back to invite him in, I can’t go out like this. “So not work?” Britt only recently became aware of what world we all live in. Her boyfriends, Mikey and Ronan also work for Scar. Britt mostly stays out of the business side of things though.
He chuckles as he walks through the door and looks around. He’s never been inside the house before. “Not work, the kids wanted a sleepover and I think Scar was bored.”
I laugh, I should have expected that. “They need to get the girl back in the club. She has too much energy to be stuck in hiding.” I show him into the kitchen, thankful I left any words off the cake. I hadn’t told anyone it was my birthday. I don’t really know why I kept it to myself, but I guess I just didn’t want to make anyone feel like they had to do anything for me.
“Oo, a cake?” he asks as he walks over to it and examines it. “That must be what smells so good in here.”
I smile, proud of what I accomplished. “I just finished it. I’ve been trying to learn how to bake and cook more.” I can’t keep the note of pride out of my voice. I like my little cake, flaws and all. Confusion fills his eyes before understanding dawns on him. It’s easy to forget that I came back into society still with only the skills I had at fourteen. His eyes soften but not with pity and sympathy, more like empathy. Like he knows my pain.
“I’ve never been much of a cook,” he admits, shaking his head. “If it wasn’t for Charlene, the boys and I would probably live on take out.” He looks back at me and smiles. “At least this explains…” He trails off as he motions to his face. I reach up and brush my own cheeks and find flour. I quickly brush it off as a blush spreads across my cheeks. How embarrassing.
Ian laughs. “Don’t be embarrassed, it’s cute.” I see him stiffen as soon as the words come out of his mouth, my blush only intensifies. “Sorry,” he says as he rubs the back of his neck again. It’s something I’ve seen Noah do a lot when he feels like Scar is about to rip him a new one. He leans farther into the counter, giving me more space than he was already giving me. “Britt and Holden were going to come with me, but she’s still at work.”
I giggle. “You already told me that.”
He sighs, “I guess I did. Holden and I debated about if it would be better for one of us or for both of us to come get you, but we thought you might feel a little better if it was just one of us. I hope it isn’t too much for you.”
I smile. “The fact you guys care so much makes me feel better.” I’m surprised by how easily the words slip out of my mouth. I’ve spent over half a year with these guys and while I still have a long way to go, it’s true. They don’t make me uncomfortable anymore. I hadn’t even stopped to think about it just being the two of us when I invited him inside. My smile grows bigger as I realize this is a new hurdle I’ve overcome. “I didn’t even notice,” I whisper, and I know Ian heard me and understands exactly when I’m alluding to.
His own smile breaks out across his face. “Your confidence has really grown.”
“I think sometimes it’s just me overthinking, like if I don’t think so hard about it then it doesn’t bother me.” I hadn’t noticed before, but I only start to panic when I focus too much on how many people there are or how close they are to me. There have been plenty of times I’ve been alone with one of the guys or where someone has been in my personal space that I haven’t freaked out. Halloween comes to mind when Ian and Holden both stood right next to me while we talked with Britt and Mikey but it never felt overwhelming.
“Hey, that’s amazing you’re starting to notice stuff like that. It’s only going to help you grow more.”
We stand there staring at each for a moment, I don’t know who has the bigger smile on their face. Before I finally realize he came here for a reason. “Right, I should just,” I hesitate, “umm, I’ll go and,” I stutter, “change?” It comes out as more of a question than a statement cause I’m still confused by why she didn’t mention coming over when I was with her earlier.
“Okay.” He grins, staring at my messy bun again. “I’ll just wait here. But can we take the cake?”
I nod as I exit the room. I’m quick to throw on a pair of burgundy leggings and an oversized gray sweater and some boots. I don’t really wear a lot of makeup, mostly because I’m not sure how to use it. So I wash the rest of the flour from my face before dabbing on some tinted moisturizer and some mascara. I should really ask Scar how she does her makeup, it always looks so perfect.
I pull my hair out of the bun and braid it to the side. I stare at it in the mirror as I twist the strands into place, a bitter feeling of resentment welling up in me the longer it takes for me to get to the end. I used to dream of having my hair this long, now it feels like just another sign of my captivity. I shake the thoughts away and walk back out to meet Ian. He has the cake wrapped up and ready to take over to Luca’s. It makes me happy that he’s so excited to eat it.
I follow him out and lock the door behind us. “The boys already there?” I ask him as I climb into his truck. Ian has two twin boys, Kairen and Callum and they are both as cute as can be. Mischievous as all hell too.
“They’ve been there since training. Lord knows what they’ve gotten into this time.” I can’t help but laugh. They get up to a lot of trouble and drag their best friends Trevor, Holden’s son, and Rowan, Scar’s daughter into it with them. At least that’s what we always thought. I have a feeling more and more often nowadays, it’s Rowan’s ideas that are getting them in trouble, but Kai takes the fall for her, no matter how much trouble he gets into. I haven’t told Ian or Scar my suspicions yet. I’m fond of the little firecracker and want to see how it plays out.
“What movie are they all obsessed with right now?” I swear these kids go through phases. Or again, maybe it’s just Roe and the boys follow right along. I don’t even think she realizes they do it. It’s adorable as all hell.
Ian groans, “Roe discovered Peppa Pig.”
I arch a brow. “Do I even want to know?”
He laughs but there’s a thread of bitterness in it that makes me have to hold back my own laughter, “It’s a British animated show with a stupid, spoiled, bratty, piece of bacon as the star. It’s fucking awful so of course the kids are obsessed.”
“British?” I giggle at the venom in his voice as he trashes the children’s show. I mean really, how bad could it be?
He nods. “All the kids are going to have slight accents by the time this phase is over. They’re fucking obsessed.”
We laugh and joke the rest of the ride there and more pride surges up in me that I never once freaked out. I was able to relax and joke with Ian without any doubts or fears. We park in Luca’s drive and he grabs the cake from the backseat before leading me to the door. He opens the door and lets me walk in first before closing the door behind us.
He’s only a step behind me when I see everyone standing around in the living room, when they catch sight of me, they turn towards me and all shout, “Happy Birthday!”
My mouth drops open. “How?” I start to ask but can’t finish the question as a blush rises to my cheeks. I’m overwhelmed with an unknown emotion and just need a moment to process what it is. I turn around and bury my face in Ian’s chest without thinking about it. I’m surprised tears fill my eyes, but I just don’t understand why.
Bee, Samantha. Damaged & Deadly: A World of Chaos Standalone (Kindle Locations 418-475). Kindle Edition.
Now the party for Jade also becomes a turning point of sorts in her friendship with Ian. He’s falling for her, but that doesn’t become apparent to him until he helps prevent Ciar from taking her away again.
Jade grows so much in this book and let me tell you the scenes are sizzling and sensuous. There’s a lot of emotion pouring out of this book from many different angles.
Ian and Jade make such a great couple, but really Holden needs to be there too. She has such strong feelings for both of them.
I am waiting impatiently for Vicious Chaos the third Steel Roses book. I hope to see more of Jade’s relationships there.
5 Contented Purrs for Samantha!
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Born and raised in California, Samantha Bee lives for coffee, cheesecake, and chaos. She seems to attract psychos and can be needy and dramatic. However, those things get channeled to her muse in order to create dark and sexy worlds.