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 thanksto 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.
Teaser Quotes & Excerpt
Quote 1: 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.
Quote 2: The moment the doors opened and she stepped into view, his heartbeat slowed, as did his breathing. It was an automatic, predatory response, one that he’d honed over the last two years. It was his body’s way of arming for the battle he knew would come. The battle that fired him up and made his body ache for her.
Quote 3: Courtney picked up the pace, heading directly to Max’s office. She needed to get this over with and get far away from this man before she did something really, really stupid.
Like give in to him again, because no matter what she tried to tell herself, Maximillian Adorite had always— always—been her weakness.
Quote 4: Max’s lips curved upward. This time there was definitely something inherently sexual in his wicked gaze.
And the sad part ... something inherently sexual inside her responded in kind.
Quote 5: There was nothing gentle about this, but there never usually was.
No, what he and Courtney had was combustible. Hot. Erotic. Intense.
Quote 6: This thing between them, the chemistry ... it was already smoking, threatening to set off the fire alarms, and the longer she was with him, the more she wanted him, the more she craved his smile, his kiss, his touch. It was a recipe for disaster, and she was hard-pressed to ignore it.
Which was ultimately the problem.
Quote 7: Courtney swallowed hard, mesmerized by the golden glow of his eyes, intensified by the strobe and colored lights flashing around them. They were repeatedly pitched into darkness only to be lit up again. But Courtney didn’t need the light to see the intensity in his gaze. She could feel it.
Quote 8: Their interactions were heated, passionate, and innately sexual underneath it all.
Beautifully brutal, that was how she’d come to think of this thing between them.
Quote 9: She’d known from the beginning that Max was a killer, that he was ruthless and extremely powerful, yet she’d followed this path, and look what had happened.
She’d fallen in love with a killer.
Quote 10: Just as it had always been between them ... intense, hot, electric.
Backing her against the wall, he dominated the kiss, never giving her an ounce of control as he inhaled her.
It was impossible for him to resist her. No matter how imperative it was that he stay away from her, he just couldn’t fucking do it.
Short excerpt 1: 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.
Courtney Kogan Interview
- 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.
- Favorite type of car?
- Boys with Tattoos or no?
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.
- Do you have any tattoos?
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.
Twenty months ago.
Courtney tried to pull away from Max, her heart pounding against her chest. Max was going to kill Weston, He was going to kill him and it was all her fault...
At that point, she’d been with Max for several months, getting deeper and deeper into a relationship with him, but never had she actually gotten any information to take back to her father. Nothing that would take Max down, nothing concrete enough to do any damage to the Southern Boy Mafia and she felt as though she was running out of time.
So, she befriended Weston, pretended to like him until she convinced him that she wanted him. And then, she’d gotten his phone number, called him and invited him to meet with her.
But the young man hadn’t given up any information that would have hurt Max.
“What’d she offer you?” Max asked Weston.
Weston’s head shifted, his right eye opened ever so slightly, his gaze meeting hers. She could hardly make out the color of his iris because the lid was so swollen and purple from the bruises that marred his once handsome face.
“Did she offer her pussy?” Max asked, his tone lethal. “Is that what she offered you?”
“God, no!” Courtney screamed.
She hadn’t offered him anything. She’d merely tried to talk to him. Sure, the flirting might’ve eluded to more, but she’d never intended to do anything with him. She wasn’t a whore.
“He didn’t…” she uttered, her throat closing around her words. “He didn’t betray you.”
“No? He met with you in the park, sat with you for two fucking hours and talked. What’d you talk about? The goddamn weather? If he didn’t betray me, what did he do, Courtney? Confess his undying love? Ask you to run away with him? What?”
“I betrayed you.” Weston said through swollen lips. “I shouldn’t have talked to her.”
“He didn’t!” Courtney yelled. “He didn’t tell me anything.”
“But you tried, didn’t you?” Max yelled at her directly. “You tried to get him to talk.”
Courtney’s gaze dropped to the floor as she nodded. She’d tried, but Weston had revealed very little. Not even enough to take back to her father.
“Anything you have to say to me, Weston?” Max asked.
Lifting her gaze to the broken and battered man in front of her, she wanted to plead for Max to let him go, but she knew better. He was going to die. This was what happened in Max’s world. This soulless man was the leader of the Southern Boy Mafia, the ruler of the dark and dirty underworld that she found herself living in.
He was the man she’d fallen for. And she hated that, hated that she’d betrayed herself. Even now, even knowing what was going to happen, she couldn’t deny her feelings for Max. He was doing what had to be done. He weeded out the weak links in his organization in order to move forward. It made sense even if she hated it.
Sixteen Months ago.
“Holy shit,” she said softly. “That’s a nice car.”
“You like it?” he asked, sounding proud of himself.
“Who wouldn’t?” The newest model convertible Corvette Stingray was likely the sexiest car of them all. She’d always had a fondness for sports cars, but she’d never been truly fond of Corvettes. At least not until they recently released the Stingray again.
Max stepped in front of the car, blocking her view of the car. “Happy Birthday.”
“How…?” Confused she studied him. “How did you know?”
“What? That it was your birthday or that you’d want that car?”
Courtney peered around him. “That... That’s for me?”
“It is,” he told her. “Now go check it out.”
Feeling slightly off kilter, Courtney slowly moved around the car, her gaze darting between Max and the sleek shark gray metallic car.
“Seriously, Max. This is… Well, it’s incredible, but you know I can’t take this car.”
“Yes you can,” he told her simply.
The top was open so she peered inside, taking in the sexy jet black leather interior. She wondered what it would feel like behind the wheel.
“Get in,” he told her as he opened the passenger side door.
When he slipped into the car, she grinned. What the hell. It wouldn’t hurt to take it for a test drive, right?
And then, when they got back she’d tell him she couldn’t keep it. Because falling in love with him was one thing, accepting a car that likely cost him close to a hundred grand was something entirely different.
“Pull over,” Max instructed when they were hidden by a copse of trees deep on his land. He’d wanted her to test drive the Corvette, but admittedly he’d had something else in mind as well.
Another birthday present for her.
Courtney stopped the car, frowning when she looked over at him.
“Don’t look so upset,” he said with a smile. “Now get out.”
If he wasn’t mistaken, there was a hint of concern in her eyes, but he shrugged it off. He didn’t want to think that she’d fear him for any reason. She’d surprised him earlier when she muttered for him not to hurt her and he had to wonder where that was coming from.
Then again, she knew him, knew what he was capable of. But in the same sense, if she ever thought he would hurt her, she didn’t know him at all.
Once she met him at the front of the car. Max turned to her, taking her into his arms and crushing his mouth to hers, his hands trailing the thin fabric that covered her. She’d worn a skirt, which had been his suggestion and again, he’d had something in mind when he made the request. He had to wonder whether she’d figure that out yet or not.
Easing her back onto the hood of the car, Max pulled back enough to look at her.
“Kick off your shoes. Wouldn’t want you to scratch the paint.”
Courtney grinned, and her shoes hit the ground.
“Now for my next gift,” he told her.
“And that would be?” She asked, grinning.
“An orgasm. On the hood of your car.”
Hmm. I like the sound of that.”
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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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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First off I wanted to say that I didn't read the Sniper 1 Security series (the series that Southern Boy Mafia series is a spinoff off of). I feel like I understood the whole book, but I do wish I would have read the other first. I plan to go back and read it before the next of this series comes out. I think there is history between some of the characters that would have made the story even better.
Max is a definite badboy. He is an underboss in a criminal organization. He deals in a lot of illegal activities including murder. He lets very few in. One of these is Courtney. She's like his kryptonite, causing him to make dangerous decisions for a man in his position.
Courtney is part of a totally different organization. In the eyes of most, they would be labeled the good guys. She can't deny the pull she has to Max, but she can see no future for them. Loving him makes it hard for her to follow plans that she knows she should.
This is definitely a case of star-crossed lovers. Not only are the families on opposites sides of the law, but the elder generation also have a longstanding animosity. When Courtney's father/boss sends her in to spy on Max and his family, the outcome is something none of them really expected. The story is told in present times and flashbacks, covering their whole enemies and lovers dance.
It's not hard to fall for Max. I loved the whole family aspect. I really enjoyed all of it, and I am super looking forward to the next book. From the preview at the end of this one, it's going to be smoking hot.
***copy given in exchange for an honest review***
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