BROKEN REBEL (Lawless Kings #2) by Sherilee Gray-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 10, 2017
They used to be best friends…but now, all they do is fight each other at every turn. She’s loved him since he saved her from her evil stepmother all those years ago. He’s sworn to never love her for fear of tainting her innocence with his criminal past.
What do you do when the one person you love is the one person you can’t have?
REVIEW: BROKEN REBEL is the second installment in Sherilee Gray’s contemporary, adult LAWLESS KINGS erotic, romantic suspense series focusing on the men and women who work for King Agency doing personal protection and security, private investigation (corporate and domestic) and high-risk fugitive recovery, missing persons and kidnapping investigations. This is King Security tracker Neco Malik , and King Agency receptionist Ruby Styles’ story line. BROKEN REBEL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous installments is revealed where necessary.
Told from dual first person points of view (Ruby and Neco) SHATTERED REBEL looks at the friends to lovers relationship between King Agency employees Ruby Styles and Neco Malik. Growing up on the mean streets meant Neco was all about protecting the people whom he loved including his childhood friend Ruby Styles. The early years were never good for our leading couple but Ruby suffered at the hands of the people who were tasked with loving and caring for our younger heroine. Fast forward to present day where Ruby finds herself on the outside looking in as the man she has always loved looks beyond the woman to see the child within. Hoping to gain respect and their trust Ruby sets about proving she is just as capable as the men she works for at the King Agency by seeking employment somewhere else. But Ruby’s life is about to get a whole lot worse when our heroine is targeted but an unknown source. What ensues is the building love and fracturing relationship between Ruby and Neco, and the potential fall out when the past come back, looking for revenge.
Neco Malik struggles with his attraction to the woman that calls to his heart. From an early age Ruby saw Neco as her protector and her Superman but Neco believed himself to be the villain, and in doing so, sets about to destroy our heroine’s heart. Ruby’s love for Neco never wavers in the face of our hero’s less than stellar actions and attitude, including his attempts to dissuade Ruby through intimidation and threats.
The relationship between Ruby and Neco is a friends to lovers, back and forth friendship wherein Ruby believes that to be accepted she must prove herself worthy by walking away and never looking back. Neco’s need for Ruby is palpable but his treatment of our heroine is questionable including the push and pull of sexual attraction. Saying that, Ruby knows how to push Neco’s buttons as well, including going rogue as she sets out to meet up with a potential threat to her life. The co-dependent relationship between Ruby and Neco borders on heartbreaking and problematic. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense.
There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Hunter King and his fiancee Lulu Frost (Shattered King #1), Hunter’s older brother Van King, and their guardian Raul Esposito; King Agency employees: former police officer Jude Wayland, and ex-navy SEAL sniper Zeke Stanton. We are introduced to Ruby’s roommate Scott, PI Harry Hains, as well as Neco’s mother Celeste Malik. The requisite evil has many familiar faces.
The world building continues to look at the camaraderie between the King Agency employees, most of who have known one another for most of the lives. The simmering relationship and attraction between Ruby and Neco is apparent to everyone but Neco refuses to acknowledge the elephant in the room.
BROKEN REBEL is a story of family and friendship; of one man’s struggle to move on from the past, and one woman’s need to be accepted for the woman she has become. The premise is engaging and emotional; the characters are broken, colorful and charismatic; the romance struggles in the face of unrequited love, perceived notions and one man’s battle with his demons.
Click HERE for Sandy’s review of book one-SHATTERED KING
Copy supplied by Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy