by Marni Mann
Pub. Date: Feb. 16, 2016
Source: Author / NetGalley
His darkness drew me in.
A mystery with a past I wanted to solve.
He was cold, like ice, but set me on fire.
A heat I hadn't felt in ages.
But when I saw his face, I burned...
She melted from my voice--shuddered from my touch.
But trembled from the memories
That my face brought back.
She wanted more...
Maybe even him.
I wasn't the hand she counted on.
But I was what she was dealt...
A Wild Ace with no way to win.
Wild Aces is the much-anticipated spin-off of Marni Mann's The Unblocked Collection serial. I was interested to read Brea's story, wondering exactly where Marni would take us. When she first told us there would be a spinoff, I really though Marni would be pairing Brea up with Derek Block's assistant, Will. But then at the end of Unblocked - Episode Five, we learn (gasp!) that Will is a submissive![a submissive! (hide spoiler)]
So let's talk about Brea Bradley, who is spunky, confident and passionate. She is also Frankie's (former) assistant (now colleague), best friend and fellow wino. Brea and Frankie are the kind of friends that overshare right down to the dirtiest most personal details. For me, this is a rare kind of friendship, I can only recall one or two of these friends in my lifetime... and even then I don't know that I would be quite as open as Frankie and Brea. But their friendship made me nostalgic and miss all my gal pals (as I am still relatively new to my current city). Brea suffered the loss of her boyfriend, Cody, a few years ago, and the grief has made her gunshy when it comes to feelings and relationships. But Brea has been working through her grief, with some really great world-class, state-of-the-art, perfect in every way possible uh.. hmpf. But now she wants more than just a perfect hmpf and wants a good man to go with it.
Brea meets Trapper Montgomery at a masquerade party and, despite not being able to see his face, she feels an instant connection. She can never imagine just how connected they really are. You will fall in love with Trapper right from the prologue, which creates an incredible emotional hook to him as a child in the foster system. As an adult, Trapper has created his own family who are all involved in his life as a professional poker player. He also has a mysterious side activity going on that is revealed as the story progresses.
Wild Aces was sensual, but not quite as over-the-top sexy hot as Unblocked. That was fine with me, because we got more story, suspense and substance, which fit my mood at the time I was reading. Don't get me wrong - there were still some smokin' hot moments, just not quite so many as as the Timber Towers serial. There is some instalove going on, but it fit well within the story and I liked there was a bit of mystery. There are some crazy twists and turns that you won't see coming, and those are always fun.
While you don't have to read Unblocked before reading this one... I say do it anyway. Derek Block is one sexy mofo. I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Best-selling Author Marni Mann knew she was going to be a writer since middle school. While other girls her age were daydreaming about teenage pop stars, Mann was fantasizing about penning her first novel. She crafts sexy, titillating stories that weave together her love of darkness, mystery, passion, and human emotion. A New Englander at heart, she now lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband and their two dogs who subsequently have been characters in her books. When she's not nose deep in her laptop working on her next novel, she's scouring for chocolate, sipping wine, traveling to new locations, and devouring fabulous books.