Release Blitz (Book Review & Giveaway): Backfire by Keri Lake

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Title: Backfire
Series: A Vigilantes Novel
Author: @KeriLake
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance – Standalone
Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: June 9, 2016
Cover Design: Hang Le
Image Credit: Eric Battershell Photography
Cover Model: Johnny Kane 
No matter how unbreakable he may seem, every man has a weakness.

A year ago, my home became a bloodstained crime scene. That night marked the beginning of my hell—the same night I was tortured by my enemies and tossed into an underground prison to die.

They failed. I survived.

Now that I’m free, only one motive burns in my soul: revenge.

Lucky for me, they think Jase Hawkins is dead. Maybe I am. I’ve got nothing but a cold, merciless rage, and Black Betty, the sharp steel blade that never leaves my side.

Then she drifts into my life.

Lucia wants answers—so much so, she’s willing to fall into the darkness where my enemies lie in wait, to kill her for what she knows.

Or to take her for the depraved fantasies her body alone can rouse in a man’s mind.

Me? I want her for the fire in her touch that feeds my addiction, forces me to feel what has become numb, but my appetite for bloodshed runs deeper than flesh.

For my own sanity, I’ve vowed to stay away from her. Because she’s my only weakness, an obsession that leaves me craving more—one that could make even the most steadfast plan backfire.

Grace Review

WARNING: You know going into a dark romance that you may read some uncomfortable scenes, and you’ll get that here with several torture scenes.  What I thought was necessary to mention upfront is one scene involves dogs.  Feel free to message me and I can provide more details on that.

Vigilante (noun): any person who takes the law into his or her own hands, as by avenging a crime.

Once again, this author takes into the dark seedy world, where criminals rule, where no one can be trusted, and where justice comes with sacrifice.  Last year, I discovered this author via Ricochet, a book that was one of my favorite reads of 2015.  In this second installment of the Vigilante series, did she score a hit again?  My rating should say it all.  This book is raw and without apology.  It is what you would expect with a dark read, a mix of intensity and discomfort, for both the reader and characters.

Like the previous book, which doesn’t need to be read to follow along her, we are taken back to the streets of Detroit where one woman is looking to survive and one man is looking for revenge.  They could be each other saviors or downfalls.  Looking back on it, I can’t help but be impressed with the complex layers of the story-line.

Jase and Lucia “Lucy” cross paths multiple times through their lives.  Each interaction shapes them, the attraction growing despite their efforts to fight it.  They come together under violent circumstance, yet find a peace and comfort in one another.  There are countless threats against them, the biggest centering on a disturbing underground club, called the Seventh Circle.  As you’d expect from a dark book, there aren’t really any good guys.  The men in this story do despicable things to women, in particular.  And some women are not that clean either.

His lips held a world of promise, a world I wanted to slip inside and never leave.  A place as dark as the mystery that surrounded him, but brimming with excitement and danger, lust and pleasure.

It’s hard to say whether you’ll connect with Lucy and Jase.  I know I sympathized with them and some of the horrors they face.  Jase is your anti-hero, he has committed crimes his whole life, some bigger than others, and he has no remorse.  He does what he does for survival on the harsh streets of Detroit.  While Lucy does weaken him, she doesn’t make him soft.  She gives him another reason to fight for justice.  As a heroine, Lucy has her own impressive strength.  She doesn’t give up and has an edge to her that matches Jase’s.

In that moment, I imagined that my desire for vengence didn’t overrun my desire for Lucy.  Because she made me feel again, too.

The author takes you on Jase’s journey toward vengeance, for those who took his family away from him.  That vengeance and a crime Lucy witnesses, all tie to the Seventh Circle.  And this is where the author creates layer upon layer of suspense.  Who’s behind the Seventh Circle?  Who can and can’t be trusted?  What’s at risk?

This story-line is complex and filled with details to keep you intrigued.  You’ll be pulled into the dark world, where doing the wrong thing is the only right thing.  You’ll find yourself turned on at times and disgusted at others, yet the author has interjected both elements at the appropriate times.  Every detail has a reason.  The challenge to the reader to figure out that reason.  And it’s the author’s job for you to understand that reason and support it.  If you enjoy dark reads, than this one is sure to appeal to you.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Keri Lake is a married mother of two living in Michigan. By day, she tries to make use of the degrees she’s earned in science. By night, she writes dark contemporary and paranormal romance. Though novels tend to be her focus, she also writes short stories and flash fiction on the many occasions when distraction sucks her in to the Land of Shiny Things. 

She loves hearing from readers …


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  1. tiffany johnson says:

    This sounds delectably dark!

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