Saturday, August 22, 2020

Stacking the Deck (The Kings: Wild Cards #1) [Jack & Fitz] by Charlie Cochet

While I'm usually a huge fan of Charlie's writing, this one didn't grab me. I liked both MCs but there was just too much cheese (as a lover of cheese myself). I have a very eventful and stressful few weeks and though books are my usual go-to destresser I needed something to HAPPEN. These two WERE adorable together but everything went SO WELL for them (until the action started about 60% in). Once THAT started this book was impossible to put down and I enjoyed it SO MUCH, exactly like I expect to with Charlie's books.

While this is the first book in the "Wild Cards" series, and I guess it COULD be read as a stand alone I don't recommend you do. This is an unmistakable continuation of the "Four Kinds Security" series. Jacopo Lorenzo Constantino or as everyone calls him - Jack (as well as Joker) were a part of the original Marine team together with King, Ace, Lucky and Red and if you haven't met them and experienced their shenanigans I think it's either going to put you off or confuse the HELL out of you. They are all happily coupled now. My recommendation - Start from the beginning! If you're into romance - the sweet and endearing kind - and also enjoy action this is the right choice for you. 

So back to the book at hand, Jack and Fitz have been dancing around each other for two years now. They met in Red and Laz's book ("Be Still My Heart") as Laz is Fitz best friend but though they haven't really been in touch, the Kings have been trying to push these guys together for all this time. Though it's mostly done by sneaky Laz making sure both were up-to-date with what's going on in each guys' life. 

Fitz Harlow has good reasons for pushing Jack away. When he met Jack he just ended a 10 years relationship that was based on more lies than truths and he needed to take the time to re-build his confidence. His life. Now, finally opening his hair styling saloon he is sort of ready. After a well planned "first date" (not by either of them) they hit it off. It's so EASY being with each other. They enjoy each other's company and the heat is as explosive as they thought it's going to be. Only thing is the treats on both their lives and it's not clear who the REAL target is. For Fitz finally getting his life together, being in an out-of-control situation is making him second guess a little the situation but he wants Jack too much to stop seeing him. Jack from his prospective believes he can deal with the treats mostly communicating what happened to his best friend Joker. 

After a rather peaceful few months things REALLY hit the fan when their "stalker" finally had it and decided to take extreme measures. That's when the team gets together to protect their own though Fitz shows his is more than a diva when he gets into "protective" mode. I liked seeing him taking charge and though it's not something he is used to or even had to do before he IS a very capable guy. 

I liked the interaction between the two men even if it WAS a bit overly cheesy. While Jack was a Marine he is working communication now and that's his true place. He does feel at times that he is unappreciated but though he can use his muscles, he'd rather use his brain and maybe that's why he is annoyed he can't find the hacker threatening them both. He and Fitz were a wonderful match. Jack might have a big loving family (even if not by blood) but he needed SOMEONE a special someone to call his own - to come home to. Fitz was exactly that guy. 

As I've already said, I liked this book but I didn't love it. I wanted something MORE in the first half of the book but I WILL say I simply CANNOT WAIT for the next one of Frank and Joshua. These two are SO CUTE whenever they share a space together. I remember their interaction from the first book and have been waiting for their HEA since then.

Read on:
14-22 August 2020

Four Kings Security is a Romantic Suspense MM Romance series by Charlie Cochet. The series focuses on 4 best friends, ex-Special Forces who formed together their own security company. They guys are nicknamed after the "card kings"

Anston "Ace" Sharpe - King of Spades
Russell "Red" McKinley - King of Hearts
Eduardo "Lucky" Alejandro Morales - King of Clubs
Ward "King" Kingston - King of Diamonds

Each book in the series will be of one of the four finding their HEA, with "The Kings: Wild Cards" as "spin off" with characters we've met along the series including characters we've already met, like Jack and Joker who were a part of the original Kings team on their military days.

Four Kings Security:
1. Love in Spades [Anston "Ace" Sharpe & Colton Connolly] (Published 24 April 2018) ★★★★★
2. Be Still My Heart [Russell "Red" McKinley & Lazarus "Laz" Galanos] (Published 29 July 2018) ★★★★
2.5 Ante Up [Seth & Kit] (Published 28 august 2018) ★★★★
3. Join the Club [Eduardo "Lucky" Alejandro Morales & Mason Cooper] (Published 19 November 2018)  ★★★★½
4. Diamond in the Rough [Ward "King" Kingston & Leopold "Leo" de Loughrey] (Published 15 February 2019) ★★★★★
4.5 In the Cards [Anston "Ace" Sharpe & Colton Connolly *] (Published  8 February 2019) ★★½
(* Including Spencer & Quinn the couple from "Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts")

The Kings: Wild Cards:
1.  Stacking the Deck [Jacopo "Jack" Lorenzo Constantino & Fitz Harlow] (Published 28 July 2020) ★★★★ 
2. Raising the Ante [Frank Ramirez & Joshua Sterling] (Published 10 January 2021) ★★★★½ 
3. Sleight of Hand [Sacha "Joker" Wilder & Giovanni "Gio" Galanos] (Published 6 July 2021) ½
4. Calling his Bluff [Jay & Ryden] (To Be Published ???)

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