Monday, February 13, 2017

Unwrapping a Review of JACK OF HEARTS by Sandra Owens

Having thoroughly enjoyed Sandra Owens’s first series, the K-2 Team, I became a huge fan of Sandra’s amazing characters. The question was could she do it again with her new series, Aces & Eights. Well, JACK OF HEARTS did not disappoint, and how appropriate that it’s releasing on Valentine’s Day!

***eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unscripted review

Blurb for JACK OF HEARTS:

Alex Gentry doesn’t scare easily. Working as an undercover FBI agent in the biker bar he and his brothers co-own, he hangs with deadly criminals in order to gather information. Danger is just part of the family business. But one thing has him terrified: his attraction to Madison Parker.

Madison is the cousin of Ramon Alonzo, son and second in command to a notorious drug lord Alex is trying to bust. Alex has befriended Ramon as part of his cover, and Madison has unknowingly become his informant.
Falling for her could risk this case—and both their lives.

All Madison wants is to get her new bookstore business off the ground, and for her creepy cousin Ramon—to whom she’s unfortunately indebted—to leave her alone. If she could only stop fantasizing about his mysterious new friend, Alex…

As the Alonzo cartel investigation heats up, so does their relationship. But will the secrets they’re keeping tear them apart—or get them both killed?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Working undercover, FBI agent Alex Gentry, along with his two brothers use their biker bar to hang with dangerous and deadly criminals but Alex (Heart Man) doesn’t scare easy. Getting close to Ramon Alonzo, second in command to a notorious drug lord was dangerous enough but it seems, there might be one thing or rather one person that scares him more—his attraction to Ramon’s beautiful cousin, Madison.

All Madison Parker wants is to concentrate on getting her bookstore, Black Cat and Tea, off the ground and make it a success. Her hope is to distance herself from her uncle and cousin, who are nothing but trouble. When her uncle tries to involve her bookstore in their nefarious activities, she does her best to fight back. She hadn’t expected the sexy Alex to become her greatest champion.

I have to admit that JACK OF HEARTS by Sandra Owens started out a bit slow for me, so much so that since I was in the midst of another family crisis, I ended up going back and starting from the beginning because it didn’t stay with me. I think that was more my problem than Sandra’s however, because soon I was totally caught up in the action, tension, and intrigue wrapping around a truly sweet love story. Alex and Madison belong together in such a way that they remind me of a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, but with a much happier ending. Family can have a way of sticking their noses in where it doesn’t belong, overpowering those who fall prey to their demands but when the underdog suddenly bursts from her shell and stands tall, you can’t help but cheer. Madison is such a character, strong and brash, and Alex (by the way, he might just be my new book boyfriend) supports her in every way possible even as he uses her as an informant. No matter how badass he tries to be, it is obvious that it rubs against the grain of his conscience to do, and so has her back even when it might endanger them both.

One of the reasons that I so loved the K-2 Team series was the characters, the relationships between the characters, and the richness of diversity; well, she’s done it again! Alex, Court, and Nate Gentry are a trio of sexiness and I can’t wait for the others to have their stories. Madison isn’t one to kowtow to anyone, especially her creepy beyond creepy cousin, Ramon, or her overpowering uncle. Sandra has knocked it out of the park with the characters she’s conjured in JACK OF HEARTS. Her good guys are so likeable and her bad guys are so despicable…including Trina. My only criticism is that the editor in me found a couple of the POV changes a bit awkward but otherwise, it was very well written.

I highly recommend JACK OF HEARTS, the first book in the Aces & Eights series by Sandra Owens to anyone who loves a romance featuring sexy good guys, strong heroines, truly bad, bad guys, lots of action, intrigue and well, steamy sexy tension and all that it entails. Be forewarned though, this ends with a cliffhanger but it only makes the reader want more…lots more.

Happy Reading Everyone!

JACK OF HEARTS, an Aces & Eights novel by Sandra Owens, Montlake Romance, releasing February 14, 2017, available in print, audio, and ebook formats at Amazon and print at Barnes & Noble.

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