Tara Crescent – Claimed (Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway)

Claimed by Tara Crescent

Series: Assassin’s Revenge #4
Source: Review By Request
ARC Provided by Author
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have a mission. Kill the man who kidnapped me. Kill the guards who raped me. I have guns and knives and I’m not afraid to use them. Nothing will stop me.

Then I walk into a bar and I notice him. He is gorgeous. For four long years, my only response to anything sexual has been revulsion and fear. This time, it feels different.

I could use him. I want to use him. I could sleep with him and make a pleasurable memory as a counterpoint to the painful ones. I’m not a frightened young girl anymore. I’m a trained assassin, capable of killing him with my bare hands.

This time, I’ll be in control.

He’s just supposed to be a distraction, this mysterious man in the bar that I have a one-night stand with. But I can’t predict the secrets he is hiding… secrets that are about to intersect my world in painful, unanticipated, and dangerous ways.

Buy the book here:
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The Assassin’s Revenge series goes out with a BANG!

Love made us bold and love made us fools and at this moment, I couldn’t tell which one I was.

I was emotionally compromised by the ending to the previous Assassin’s Revenge book, Freed. I’m gonna drop a truth bomb on you – ready for this? – I was a bit worried going into this book.

I wanted the conclusion to Ellie and Alexander’s story, but I was nervous about what I was going to get…

I mean, at the end of Freed, Dylan was dead. The mission was over. Ellie and Alexander came clean to each other about who they are and what they do… There was nothing left except for this pair to ride off into the kinky sunset together, right?

Wrong.

Ellie was a teenager when she was snatched from a parking lot in Cleveland and shipped off to Nigeria to become the unwilling sex slave of Dylan McAllister. She spent two years being beaten, raped, tortured, and tormented.

She barely survived the experience. She was saved by Lucien, an assassin with a grudge against Dylan, and spent the next several years training to kill the man who kept her captive and the guards who helped him.

She was a child, then a slave, then a weapon.
She never had a chance to just be Ellie.

At the end of the previous book, Alexander sent Ellie away so she could find herself without his influence. An awesome move, but c’mon… These two belong together. Ellie moving to San Francisco was only delaying the inevitable return and grand reconciliation.

So… I was worried that this book was going to be an extended epilogue for the series… All fluff and happy endings to conclude a series that had been gripping, and a little dark, and oh so entertaining.

I was wrong.


I should have trusted Tara Crescent.
She’s never let me down.
This was brilliant storytelling with all the action, suspense, and sexiness I’ve come to love from this series.

The final book in the Assassin’s revenge series started with a Prologue that rocked. My. World. Dylan might be rotting in his grave, but new enemies have appeared in the wake of Ellie’s successful revenge mission.

It’s been eighteen months since Ellie was forced to walk away from Alexander and start a new life in San Francisco.

Ellie’s former trainer, Lucien has gone off the deep end. He too lived a life devoted to revenge, but when Ellie took the shot that killed Dylan McAllister, Lucien felt robbed of the opportunity to avenge his sister.

His reality has become distorted. He feels that Ellie and Alexander are his enemies. He has shifted his single-minded focus on them.

He has a new mission.
Destroy Alexander Hamilton and Ellie Samuelson.

Meanwhile, it becomes clear that there is a traitor in Alexander’s inner circle. He doesn’t know who to trust, but he knows he needs to keep the people he loves safe, so he pulls Ellie from her new life in San Francisco.

ELLIE SAMUELSON

He was the first and only man I had ever loved. If we died today, I would take that with me. Horrible things had happened in my life, but so had amazing and wonderful things. I’d found love without expecting to.

It’s been eighteen months since Alexander and Ellie have seen each other, but Ellie has spent that time wisely. She started college, got a condo, a cat, and started figuring out who she is…

The time spent on her own really did her a world of good, and it was a joy to see her character come so far. She is a badass and a survivor.

And she’s headed back to Paris…
To the man she left behind…
The man she still loves…

ALEXANDER HAMILTON

“You were always real. You were a mixture of bravery and fear that I understood because in many ways, I recognized it in myself. Maybe I believe in destiny, bright star, because you were a part of me from the day I met you.”

Alexander has been a fascinating and complex character from the very beginning. He’s whip-smart and ruthless, yet he can be so warm and kind.

He isolated himself in much the same way that Ellie did – focusing on a single goal to the detriment of everything around him.

He sent Ellie away as the final piece of evidence (to himself) that the sins of the father would not be the sins of the son.

There’s a lot that has to happen for these two before they can fall back into old habits. Their first two rendezvous were full of lies, it’s almost like meeting for the first time.

Ellie and Alexander must navigate the threats stacked up against them.

Ellie must return to Nigeria to the place she was held captive.

And before this book is over, Ellie will have to choose between the man who saved her and the man who set her free.

Everything else, you’ll just have to read for yourself! 🙂

All told, this was an impressive series with a phenomenal finale.

It was quite different from the usual kinky romances I’ve come to expect from Tara Crescent, but it was a fabulous addition to her catalog, and I loved it.

We still had the trademark kink factor and a focus on mature main characters, but with this series we had an injection of suspense and the darker side of humanity. We saw the horrors of human trafficking, and watched one young woman rise above all of it to find hope and love.

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Excerpt

Ellie:

He hadn’t told me what to wear and where to wait, so I chose a turquoise blue bustier and matching thong once I got out of the shower. From the last time around, I remembered that Alexander liked to lead me into the playroom. I therefore made my way to his bedroom and knelt like a good little submissive at the entrance, my eyes downcast, my entire body throbbing with a hot, surging anticipation.

Of all the revelations about myself, this had been the most startling one. After Dylan, I should have hated the idea of ceding control in the bedroom; I should have flinched away in fear of the spanking bench or the paddle or the crops.

But so much of my fear had been of the man wielding the whip, not of the whip itself. I’d had an inkling of that when Madame Lorraine’s trainers had put me through my paces, but it had really sunk in when Alexander and I had played. Because I trusted that he wouldn’t hurt me, I could let go of all my fear, all my inhibitions and I could just feel.

San Francisco had no shortage of BDSM clubs. The idea of exploring my desires in one of them had occurred to me, but somehow, I hadn’t acted on that urge. I had had no shortage of lust in my life and it had rarely served me well. Things like liking and loving and trust were harder to find, and much more important to hold on to.

And the memory remained of wandering through a night market in Bangkok with Alexander, eating street food and drinking beer. On a night when he could have had access to every inch of my body, he’d chosen to get to know me.

So I’d waited for anyone that measured up, and no one had. It was an impossible standard for any man – love had made me blind to the charms of other men. Alexander was the one I wanted.

I heard his footsteps approach; out of the corner of my eye, I saw his shoes walk towards me. My heart started to beat faster. My body yearned for his touch. I had wanted him since the first time I’d laid eyes on him. And finally, we didn’t have any secrets between us. Finally, we were free to just be who we were.

He chuckled softly as he came up to me. “The girl downstairs threatened to knee me in the groin,” he said, his hand stroking my hair before wrapping its length around his palm and tugging downwards. “Yet I find you upstairs, looking so sweet and submissive and I wonder, who is the real Ellie?”

“How do you plan on finding out?” I met his eyes and saw the same desire I felt reflected there. Yet by the amusement I heard, his arousal was firmly held in check for the moment.

He smiled. “Oh, I have my ways,” he replied. “Up with you, bright star. Come on.”

I rose to my feet, trying to be graceful for him. He took my hand in his and led me into the playroom. “I think I’ll have to teach you what happens when you tell me when to fuck you.”

What happens? I wanted to ask, but I held my tongue. I was sure I was going to find out in a few moments.

***

He indicated a chair. “Sit,” he ordered. “Let’s talk for a second. Anything you want to do today? Don’t want to do?”

I shook my head. “I’m open to anything,” I said. I winked at him. “Do your worst.”

He laughed. “I’m not going to do anything too extreme,” he replied. “It’s been a while for us, hasn’t it?” His hand brushed my cheek. “Right now, all I want to do is rip off that corset and feast on your breasts. Drag those panties down and bury my mouth in your pussy. I want to hear you moan and I want to hear you scream out my name.” His hands curved down to pull my breasts out of the corset and he cupped the globes. “So beautiful.”

My breathing quickened. My legs parted. I had been ready before; I was on fire now.

“Same safe words fine? Red, yellow, green?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Good. Stand up.” His voice changed. It got harder and smoother, and every syllable sounded like sex.

I obeyed. A small tremor passed through me.

“That’s a lovely corset.” His eyes raked over my body, checking out each and every curve. I saw the heated approval in his gaze, and my own body warmed. I had been afraid that he’d prefer the skinnier version of me. From his expression, I had nothing to worry about. “But I think that it’s only going to get in my way. Let’s take it off. Turn around for me.”

I shuffled into position. He walked up to me and his hands ran up my back, all the way from my curvy buttocks up my spine and to my bared shoulders. He pushed my hair forward and I felt his fingers graze at the ties in the back.

I giggled. “It unzips in the front,” I offered helpfully. “Sir,” I added for good measure.

He chuckled. “That was a smooth move,” he mocked himself. “Turn back around, Ellie.” I did and his hand tipped my face up. His lips met mine in a passionate kiss. I moaned into his mouth, and as much as I wanted to entwine my hands around his waist and pull him closer, I kept them at my sides. I obeyed by choice and without fear, but I still needed to follow the rules.

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Giveaway:

Tara Crescent has graciously offered to give away four eBook copies of FOUND, book one in the Assassin’s Revenge series! Click here to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Tara Crescent:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Hello, I’m Tara Crescent. By day, I’m a mild-mannered corporate drone in Toronto, but by night, I’m limited only by my imagination; I sit and I type, and I am a daring writer of BDSM, erotica and romance.

I’m a huge believer in happily-ever-after, but tempered by real life, where happily-ever-after is possible, but takes work.  My favorite kind of romance stories are ones that are somewhat believable; I like strong men and women who know what they want out of life, and are driven to get it.

In my spare time, I write of course. I also read, garden, travel, cook, and almost never clean. I just started watching Walking Dead on Netflix (zombie erotica, anyone?), and I’m impatiently awaiting the next episode of Doctor Who. (I would kill for a TARDIS.)

From time to time, I blog about what I’m writing at my blog. The blog is also where I post book excerpts; highlight information about upcoming promotions, and so on and so forth. Follow me there to keep up with all the fun! (Oh, and sign up for my mailing list – I send out free stories every month or so.)

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2 thoughts on “Tara Crescent – Claimed (Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway)

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