Sometimes love isn’t beautiful…
Meet Max & Courtney is this southern mafia romance!
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Sometimes love isn’t beautiful…
Sometimes the only way to describe it is beautifully brutal.
If you think you know him… You’re wrong.
If you think you know his family… Wrong again.
If you think you know his story… You don’t.
If you did, you’d likely wonder how the hell a man like Maximillian Adorite managed to make it to this point in his life. At twenty-nine, he’s experienced more than most people could only ever imagine, all thanks to his family. Organized crime they call it. Mafia.
No matter how they spin it, it comes down to one thing. Max gets what he wants. Except for the one thing he wants most.
Her name is Courtney Kogan.
And now that he’s had a taste of her, Max knows he’ll never be able to let her go.
The Southern Boy Mafia series is a spinoff from the Sniper 1 Security series. It has been set up to be read without reading Sniper 1 Security, however, the characters will frequently cross over.
Max knew all about dark and dangerous. It was his life. He was the son of Samuel and Genevieve Adorite, and Max’s world was entrenched in the dark and dirty underworld that his parents had proudly built around them.
Southern Boy Mafia, they called them.
“She was stubborn, always pushing him away when the only thing she needed to do was pull him closer. He’d protect her. He’d love her. Hell, he’d give her the fucking moon if she wanted it. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for her.”
Beautifully Brutal follows the story of Courtney and Max. Courtney and Max were from two totally different worlds. Courtney being on the right side of the law, protecting and saving people. Max is definitely on the wrong side. Born into a lifestyle of organized crime, Max has become a key player in the Adorite family. He has it all: he’s a bad boy with dangerous good looks, money and women at his disposal. He always gets his way. That is until he meets Courtney. Captivated from the moment he met her. He’s intrigued by her, but there’s one very big problem with this picture. Courtney is the enemy. Just how far will Courtney go to get the information she’s seeking? Will she be able to get out before it’s too late? What happens when two people should hate each other, fall in love???
Beautifully Brutal took me on one heck of a ride. Max and Courtney’s story was dark, captivating, passionate and breathtaking. It reminded me exactly why I love Mafia style books. They’re complex. They’re complicated. There is no right or wrong answer. Difficult choices have to made and you find yourself doing things that you never thought you were capable of.
Max and Courtney had a very Romeo and Juliet style romance. They were two people from two different worlds that should never have been together, but now that they are, you can’t keep them apart. They are soulmates in the very sense. Max and Courtney share a very passionate connection. One that can not be denied or walked away from and believe me, both of them try. Max is intense. When he wants something, he’s not afraid to go the distance. He is fierce and protective and loves the way that Courtney challenges him. He won’t give up on what he wants without a fight. Courtney was constantly at war with herself. Trying to do what was right. Her brain not wanting to give into Max, but her body…. Well lets just say that her body has a mind of it’s own. She never stood a chance against Max. He is her ultimate kryptonite…..
Beautifully Brutal is an intense, captivating read. It is told in past and present tense. Sometimes, that style can be hit or miss, but I think it worked really well with this book. It really gave me the insight of how Max and Courtney met, her assignment, their struggles with right and wrong, of being together. I loved that their story is also told from multiple points of views. It was really getting inside both Max and Courtney’s heads; really getting to see the struggles they had about life, their love and the choices they had to make.
Beautifully Brutal is my first book by Nicole Edwards and she knocked it out of the park for me. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started reading this book, and boy was I impressed. It was everything that I wanted and more from a Mafia book. I loved the story-line and the characters. I was completely immersed in the plot, waiting to see what happened next. Overall, a really fantastic read and I’m looking forward to reading to the next installment.
* I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*
Before RT could say anything else, Courtney’s cell phone chimed.
She was up and walking across the kitchen before she realized she’d moved. A wave of dizziness swept over her, letting her know she was a little on the tipsy side. How many shots had she had? Three? Four? Seven?
Squinting down at the screen, Courtney frowned when she saw who it was.
Punching the talk button, she put the phone to her ear. “What do you want?”
“Let me through the gate.”
God, she hated the way he said her name. It was so… sexual.
“Let me through.”
Sighing, Courtney hung up the phone and then hit the icon for the program to allow her to see who was at the main gate of the family compound. Sure enough, it was Max. More accurately, it was Max’s phantom-black Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat idling at the gate, waiting for her to grant him entry.
Interview with Courtney Kogan
- What’s your affiliation with Sniper 1 Security, for those that may not know yet?
Sniper 1 Security is my family’s business. My father, Casper Kogan, and his long time friend, Bryce Trexler started the company more than three decades ago. I guess it seemed logical that I did what my family did. I’m a personal security specialist – though there are plenty of names people use to refer to us.
- Do you think of yourself as an adrenaline junky since you like this line of work?
Adrenaline junkie? Hmmm. Sure, I guess I can see that. I like to live on the edge. I think I’ve proven that.
- What the craziest thing you have done on a dare?
The craziest thing I’ve done on a dare… **smiles** Not sure how crazy it is, but once, I stood up on the checkout counter at Wal-Mart. Started yelling that they needed a cleanup on aisle five-ninety-two. For the record, the Wal-Mart employees don’t necessarily like that.
- If not this line of work, then what?
It would always be this line of work. I can’t see myself doing anything else.
Either or. And I guess it depends on the tattoo. I’ve seen some that I don’t particularly care for. I tried to talk Max into getting one that said “Property of Courtney”, but he said no. I’m still working on him though.
Nope. But I’ve been tossing around the idea for a while. It’s hard to come up with an idea for something that’s so … permanent. I’m sure I’ll think of something one of these days.
- What’s your go to drink when you’re out on the town?
Fireball and RumChata – I’ll let you look up what that’s known as. **smiles**
- Last question, ideal Saturday night?
I’m a fan of going out to the clubs with my friends and I’ve got a favorite that I frequent – Devil’s Playground.
Courtney spun around, her gaze slamming into his.
“Check on me? Why the hell would you wanna do that?”
Because it was an excuse to see her. But that wasn’t what Max told her. “I wanted to make sure you were all right.”
Courtney huffed as she returned to pouring the vodka into a glass, adding 7-Up from a can sitting on the table. Max’s gaze instantly strayed to the extra glass, and his frustration rose again.
She tossed him a glare over her shoulder. “Oh, you’re
referrin’ to when you blew some guy’s brains out in the middle of your office? Don’t you have a dead body to clean up or somethin’?”
He didn’t say a word. His rule was that he’d never own up to anything. He didn’t feel safe anywhere that wasn’t home, never knew when someone was trying to trap him. And of all people, Max wasn’t delusional enough to believe Courtney wouldn’t turn on him with the right motivation. Ultimately, she was one of the good guys. And that was why they never had been able to find a middle ground. It was more difficult than it appeared considering they were at opposite ends of the spectrum—middle ground was just too far away for either of them.
Not to mention, arguing with Courtney was moot. Max knew from experience that she would never let up, which was why he’d given up long ago.
“Oh, right. You have people for that,” she continued, turning to face him again before taking a sip from her glass. “I’d offer you a drink, but then you might think you can stay.”
“I’m gonna stay,” he informed her.
Courtney’s eyes narrowed on him, and Max’s body instinctively reacted, hardening instantaneously.
“You’re not gonna stay,” she retorted, her tone clipped. “Not today, not tomorrow. Not ever.”
Max shrugged out of his leather jacket, folding it across the arm of the sofa as he moved closer.
“I’m serious, Max,” Courtney said, her eyes widening as she backed up until her ass hit the table. “You’re not stayin’. RT’ll be watchin’ my house until you leave. It’s not an option.”
Max continued to stalk her slowly until he was
standing only a few inches away from her. Unable to resist, he cupped her face in his hands, enjoying the silky smoothness of her skin against his palms.
Damn, how he’d missed her. It’d been damn near a full year since the last time he’d touched her, since the last time he’d made love to her. Although touching her now … it was as though not a minute had passed since that fateful day.
“I’m stayin’,” he said softly.
Courtney shook her head, opened her mouth, but then snapped it closed. She wanted to argue; it was evident in the lines that creased her forehead.
Leaning forward, Max tested the waters, allowing his lips to brush hers lightly. Even that was nearly more than he could handle. It’d been too damn long since he’d touched her, tasted her, loved her. And fuck if he didn’t want to do it all again. Right here. Right fucking now.
“Max, please,” Courtney pleaded quietly. “Please don’t do this.”
“Do what?” he questioned roughly, pulling back and allowing his eyes to slide over her beautiful face, down the slender column of her neck, where he noticed the rapid thump of her pulse.
“We’re through,” she stated, her tone holding a hint of conviction.
“So you’ve said.” In fact, Courtney had told him they were over many times during the year they’d been together. And for the year that followed, right up until this very moment, Max had thought about her every single day, about the way she’d ended things so abruptly the last time. Didn’t matter that he’d called her bluff and that had technically been the reason they’d gone their separate ways.
Had it not been for the crazy shit he had to deal with on a daily basis, he might’ve actually taken the time to play her games. But there was another problem with that. He was fucking tired of playing, which was the only reason he’d allowed her to walk away then.
And that was the real reason he was there tonight. He wanted to know whether or not this was truly over. For him, it wasn’t. There wasn’t a chance in hell that he’d ever be able to get over her. Probably not in his lifetime. But that didn’t mean that moving forward wasn’t possible. With or without her.
If she didn’t want him, he’d move on. He had business arrangements dangling in the wind, one in particular that was entirely dependent on where he stood with Courtney.
“Tell me you want me to leave, Courtney. Tell me to go, and I’ll never darken your doorstep again. You’ll never have to see me.”
Max could see the surprise in Courtney’s eyes, in the way her throat worked when she swallowed hard. He’d never made her that promise, never told her that he’d willingly let her go, although he’d spent the last year staying away from her. He’d had eyes on her the entire time; he knew every single move she’d made during those months. He knew for a fact that Courtney had never brought another man home with her, nor had she ever gone home with a man. Had she made that choice, Max wasn’t sure how things would be at this moment, but more than likely, there’d be another dead asshole buried six feet under.
The point was, she hadn’t.
“Tell me that’s what you want, and I’ll do it, Courtney. But know this … if you send me away this time…” Max took a deep breath, exhaled. “I won’t
come back. Whatever this is between us, it’ll never die, never go away completely, and we’ll both have to live out the rest of our lives with the decision that you make right here. Tonight.”
The pause that followed stole the air from the room.
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About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author Nicole Edwards launched her professional writing career in July of 2012. Having been an avid reader all of her life and a huge fan of creative writing, it seemed the likely path for her to take. Since then, she has released fifteen books and has no plans to stop. As her full-time career/hobby, Nicole writes steamy contemporary and erotic romances. Nicole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who was born and raised in Texas. Married with three kids and four dogs, she has plenty of interaction to keep her imagination brewing. Her books have been featured in USA Today’s Happy Ever After segment as well as Indie Reader’s best seller list. She has forged her way as an independent author. Although she has a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, she prefers to be hiding out in her writing cave, talking to the fictional characters that have built up in her head over the years. When she isn’t writing or plotting her next book (sometimes translated to “playing on Facebook”), Nicole loves to read and spend time with her family and her dogs.
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