Monday, December 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Don't Let Go by Skye Warren - Review & Giveaway

Title: Don’t Let Go
Author: Skye Warren
Genre: Dark Erotica
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Junior FBI Agent Samantha Holmes is assigned the case of a lifetime, along with an enigmatic new partner, Ian Hennessy. She's determined to prove herself to the bureau legend, but late nights and stolen moments lead to more than respect. They lead to desire, and soon she's fallen for the one man forbidden.
Together they hunt for the FBI’s most wanted man. A criminal. A psychopath. But when they get close, Samantha may end up prey instead. She must face her dark past to stay alive—and to protect the man she loves.

There were lies people told you. Like when the case worker said, You’re going to love your new home, Samantha.
Then there are lies you tell other people. My father passed away. That was what I told people, even though he’d just turned fifty-two in a supermax prison. It was easier that way. Lies smoothed the way so we could go on pretending. They were the lube of life, and we all got a little messy in the process.
But the darkest lies were the ones you told yourself. They lurked in the shadows of your subconscious, undermining you and twisting your perceptions. They hid the answers in plain sight, right when you needed them most.
Spread out on my desk were piles of surveillance photos and notes taken over the past twelve months. I found it impossible to imagine that countless field workers and researchers had managed to miss his completely. Which meant this muddled collection of reports contained the information we needed. Hiding in plain sight.
Every image, from airport security cameras to public transportation cams to satellite imagery, showed a man with his head bent, facing down or away. As if he knew exactly where the cameras were, eluding us once again. The man looking the other direction, he could have been anyone. He probably was anyone, considering the pattern of times and locations didn’t add up. Carlos Laguardia wasn’t in a Chicago eatery known for mob connections one day, and then a Paris subway the next, and then a Florida University after that. We were grasping at straws—carefully planted straws designed to misdirect.
Only one image was different. A grainy black-and-white photograph showed a man standing still with people milling about him. Blurs brushing past a dangerous criminal. A monster. They’d run screaming if they knew all the things he’d done. I had chills just reading about it in this air-conditioned cubicle at the highly-secure FBI office.
Money laundering. Extortion. Murder. If there was a law against it, he’d done it. A wave of old pain washed over me. Men like that didn’t care who they hurt, whether it was the victims of their crimes or collateral damage.
I had been collateral damage once. Twelve years ago, I’d huddled under the coffee table when my father came home late, hands crusted with blood. I should have been grateful he hadn’t ever touched me, raped me, killed me. He did that to other little girls. And boys—he was an equal opportunity creep.
Until he finally made a mistake. A boy from my street had disappeared, and even at ten years old, I knew what it meant. I still remembered the heat of that August day and the cold bite of the chair beneath my legs. Static from the plastic seat zapped my skin while I waited in the police station. Horror and pity flickered over the policeman’s face as I told him my story.
I learned an important lesson then: criminals always make a mistake. Always.
If I could figure out Laguardia’s mistake, I’d have him. If I could find the little man with blue pants and a red striped shirt in this real life Where’s Waldo, he’d be mine. Unfortunately, the heavy stack of papers on my desk wasn’t talking.
This was the only image where he looked at the camera, but the resolution was too low for facial recognition software. I got the impression of patrician features—a broad forehead, a strong nose. Dark, curly hair peeked from beneath a thick skullcap. A bulky jacket obscured what looked to be a large frame of a man. Tall, compared to the people walking around him. Well, we’d always known he’d be physically fit and capable of fighting. But beneath his brawn was a mastermind who had run a global organization and eluded hundreds of trained law enforcement officers.
Not for much longer, though. The director had held an all-hands meeting last week.
“Laguardia has made a mockery of this organization,” he’d said, and at the back of the room, I’d silently agreed.
“Our ideals,” he’d continued, practically frothing at the mouth. “Our effectiveness. Even our dignity. A single man has turned us into a joke. That ends now. The time to get a gold star for effort has passed. It’s not good enough to look for him. You’re going to damn well find him. Use all the goddamn resources you need. I will find a way to get funding and support from legal, but you are the agents. You’ve got your eyes on the ground. It’s up to you to bring him in.”
That little speech had flashed me back over a decade, when I’d had my eyes on the ground. When I’d been the only one at the right time and place to capture a criminal, even if it had been my own father. Yes, I understood. Yes, I was on board, ready to catch him. Of course, as a junior agent, that would mostly involve getting coffee and making copies, but hey, that would be my contribution to bringing him down.
***Be warned:  This isn't your typical romance or erotica novel, this is dark if that isn't your thing then believe me this isn't the right book for you**

When I first started this novel, I thought I wouldn't enjoy it.  I struggled a lot with the first half of this book because frankly I thought it was going to set the mood for the novel as a whole that is until the moment that Junior Agent Samantha Holmes was kidnapped and everything I thought I knew about this novel changed.

Since she was a child, Samantha Holmes knew she wanted to be an FBI agent.  It was an easy rode for her to take, one that most thought she shouldn't go down.  Why?  Because her father is a criminal who is now serving life in prison after he tried to kill her during her jail visit at the age of ten.  Now grown up, she is a junior FBI agent.  She hasn't been an agent very long, so imagine her surprise when her superior to her she would be working with veteran agent Ian Hennessy to apprehend Carlos LaGuardia who has been chasing him for a long time.  Samantha is familiar with the case of Carlos LaGuardia having spent hours analyzing the surveillance photos and the evidence they have gathered against him over the years.

LaGuardia is a criminal and psychopath  who's every move is cold and calculated.  As they search for LaGuardia's next move, Ian and Samantha grow closer to one another and Samantha has feelings for him she never thought that she would.  But her involvement in the case is questionable.  Why not someone more experienced?  Why someone who looks likes his ex-lover Mia?  The closer Samantha gets to the case, the closer she becomes to being the prey and when she's kidnapped nothing will ever be the same again.

Where have you been all my life Skye Warren and why am I just now hearing about your work???  I'm always on the lookout for my next great read.  I long ago grew bored with traditional romance and look for the darker side of erotica now.  At first I thought this book was going to be slow and boring, but the more I read the more I became attached to Samantha.  Throw everything you think this book is about in the first half because when everything comes crashing down it will leave you with your mouth hanging open.  Samantha and Ian were so well developed and I enjoyed their story a lot more than I thought I would.  I give it 5 fantastic stars and look forward to reading more of Skye's work in the future.

***ARC provided by author in exchange for a honest review***
Skye Warren writes unapologetic erotica, where pain and sex and love collide. The Forbidden Bookshelf called her “a true mistress of dark and twisted erotica.” Her dark erotica books have reached the erotica bestseller lists on Amazon and have been Top Picks at such sites as Night Owl Reviews and The Romance Reviews.

"Dark, disturbing, haunting, and beautiful, Skye Warren will take you into the depths of depravity but bring you home, safe in the end." - Kitty Thomas, author of Comfort Food
$25 Amazon Gift Card

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