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Review: Cheating Justice by Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano

cheating justicePolitics have no relation to morals. -Niccolo Machiavelli
There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice. -Kurt Huber

Title: Cheating Justice
Series: The Justice Team (#2)
Authors: Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordan0
Release Date: July 21, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Summary:

~ The second novel in the exciting and bestselling Justice Team romantic suspense series!! ~While investigating a government cover-up, former FBI agent Mitch Monroe is framed for murder. A wanted man, Mitch has no choice but to stay off the grid, and he needs Special Agent Caroline Foster—the FBI’s top sniper and a woman who wants nothing to do with him—to clear his name.After sharing a single night of simmering passion with Mitch a year ago, Caroline hasn’t been able to get him out of her head. Or her heart. He’s jeopardized her job once…helping him now could end her career. But a friend has been murdered, and no matter how Caroline feels about Mitch, he’s not the killer. She needs answers, and she needs Mitch Monroe out of her life once and for all.On the run and with no one to turn to, Mitch and Caroline can’t fight the reigniting passion between them. She’ll lose her career if she proves Mitch is innocent…he’ll lose his life if she doesn’t.

Review:

What do you do when everything you thought you knew about truth, about justice, about the very people tasked with protecting what is good and just in the world . . . is wrong. Deeply and irreparably wrong. When everything is falling apart, and good people are dying – all for the sake of hiding a horrendous political cluster fuck.

This is the second in the Justice Team series. In the first, Stealing Justice Justice “Grey” Greystone was fired from the FBI for insubordination. We learn a bit more about Grey in this second volume, but this one actually revolves around two different characters from that book, Mitch Monroe, former FBI golden boy now turned fugitive from the law, and Caroline Foster, FBI agent and FBI SWAT team sharpshooter

Monroe is trying desperately to find out who set up his best friend and fellow FBI agent, Tommy Nusco. Nusco, seconded to the ATF in New Mexico has ended up dead in the street, and upper management seems determined to brand Tommy as a traitor to his country, a rouge agent selling automatic weapons to drug dealers and Mexican gunrunners. When Monroe’s other best friend, Kemp Rodgers, winds up dead after a secret meeting with Monroe in Rock Creek Park, the situation becomes even more dire.

Along with Grey and Monroe’s former partner, Caroline, Monroe and his scruffy yet loyal band of misfits find themselves embroiled in political intrigue and a vast coverup which reaches to the very top levels of the government. Who to turn to, who to trust, is entirely unknown as the depth and breadth of the coverup leads to more murders and deeper levels of governmental malfeasance.

Evans and Giordano have crafted an exceptional political thriller. Yes, yes, I know they call it “Romantic Suspense” and there is some romance in there, as what appears to be a long time attraction between Mitch and Caroline comes to a head. but I was much more impressed by the political story that Monroe, Grey, Caroline and ex-ATF agent Brice Brennan are faced with. Suspenseful, thrilling, and with an exceptional degree of political knowledge <em>Cheating Justice </em>is very much a novel for our times, pointing out the corruption inherent in the modern political system.Highly recommended. i will be downloading the first in the series, and will be watching for a possible third.

Excerpt:

“I always said you had the best ass in the FBI.”

Her body froze. Eleven months, five days and—she did the math—twelve hours had passed since she’d heard that voice. The one she’d thought about time and again after his last brief visit to her apartment, and she still managed to be equal parts pissed off, concerned and flat-out heartbroken. That voice could only belong to one person. Thus the remark about her ass and—wow—she always knew he had a set of stones, but this was too much even for Mitch Monroe. The man she’d spent all these months trying to forget. Months of burying herself in cases, months of begging her boss for every available opportunity to keep her mind occupied, months of a busy life that didn’t allow for downtime.

Or thoughts of Mitch.

Without turning, she picked up her weapon. “Well, look what the cat dragged in. A girl puts her career on the line for you and you don’t call, you don’t write, nothing. To say the least, your technique needs work.”

And then he laughed. She’d waited months to hit him with that line and he laughed. Classic Mitch. She closed her eyes and—forget that he was a federal fugitive now wanted for murder—she’d kill him herself and be done with the whole affair.

Mitch, a murderer? She couldn’t believe it. No matter what the White House was spinning about Kemp Rodgers’ death, Mitch wouldn’t kill his friend.

Then, again, she’d been Mitch’s friend once…

Finally, she turned, bracing herself for whatever disguise might greet her, but found none. Brave.

As usual.

She took in his long brown hair pulled back in a low ponytail, his dark eyes and ripped jeans, and shook her head. “You’re insane for coming here.”

He shrugged. “It’s a private range. Not like I walked into Quantico.”

It wasn’t enough that he’d almost destroyed her career when he’d first started working The Lion case, now he wanted to have a second go at it. He was a fugitive wanted for murder and she was an FBI agent. She should arrest him.

Yet, she stood waiting for him to say something that would make a damned difference. I’m sorry? I didn’t do it? Anything that would erase the idea that he could have murdered his friend.

She set her rifle on the table behind her, slid the bolt open. Not loaded. She knew it wasn’t, but she checked anyway. Always.

Mitch shuffled behind her.

Too bad. He could wait like she’d waited for him all these months.

Her canvas carry case sat on the bench seat. Like many people, she preferred canvas over hard plastic because the softer material didn’t make the rifle sweat. She dug through the case for her lens covers, popped them on, set the rifle into the case—bolt upward—and zipped it.

She’d clean the rifle later. For her, keeping a weapon in top working order meant cleaning it after every use. Even if only one shot had been fired, her weapons got cleaned. Every time.

She sensed Mitch moving closer, stirring the air around her, upsetting the energy, letting her know he was near. He had that way about him. Sometimes good, sometimes not.

“I need your help.”

Of course he did. Should have known. Radio silence for eleven months and now he wanted her help. “I should shoot you and dump your body in the Reflecting Pool.”

“Yeah, you should.”

She spun and—crack!—smacked him, sending his head sideways and making her hand sting. She’d never physically attacked anyone before and she couldn’t say it felt right or just, but unleashing it felt good. To let him know he’d hurt her. “We were friends. I helped you and you disregarded me.”

Disregarded you?” Mitch slid a hand over his cheek. “I’ve stayed away and I’m sorry. But what, Caroline? You want to do lunch or hit the shooting range with me? A guy wanted for assaulting your boss and now a federal fugitive?” Gently, he knocked on her head. “Think about it. I was protecting you.”

She didn’t need his protection. “I’m mad at you.”

“Atta girl.”

God, he was annoying. “You had a good reason to take a swing at Donaldson when he threatened you during The Lion case, but honest to God, Mitch, I think he should have swung back and ended it right there instead of trying to throw you in jail. But you should have manned up and never run from the charges, so whatever this is, I can’t help you.”

“Tommy Nusco.”

“You murdered him, too?”

Surprisingly, he blanched. “I didn’t kill anyone. I need to know what went down with Tommy.”

Oh, please. He really had lost his mind if he thought she’d touch that subject. That involved ATF and the State of New Mexico and she wasn’t about to step into that snake pit. “You better worry about what went down with Kemp Rodgers and why the White House is after you. Turn yourself in, Mitch.”

“Kemp told me the White House is buzzing about Executive Privilege being invoked on Tommy’s case. A few hours later, he’s dead. Put two and two together, Caroline. There’s a cover-up in the works and what happened to Tommy is at the heart of it.”

She faced him, still hating that he stood a good six inches taller and managed to make her feel small. She folded her arms and stepped forward, got right into his space. “No.”

“Whatever they’re concocting about Tommy is bullshit.”

“I don’t know that.”

“Yeah, you do. When we all worked together, we hung out. You knew him.”

“Not that well.”

He rolled his eyes in that typical I’m-Mitch-Monroe-and-I’m-bored way of his. “He was not dirty. Whatever he was doing, the government is letting a dead agent take the heat. Why not? He’s dead anyway. Doesn’t matter that he was a decorated officer. The government obviouslyneeds to clean up a mess and—” he inched closer, tilted his head and stared right into her eyes “—I know all about how the government cleans up a mess.”

Back away. She should, but that would play into what he wanted. He wanted to control this conversation. His looming presence used to be enough that she’d give him that control.

Not this time.

She tilted her head the opposite direction, eased out a half-smile. “Mitch?”

“Yes?”

“Screw you.”

She turned her back to him and scooped up her rifle case. Right now, she needed to walk away and not let him talk her into something that would wreck her career.

Buy Links: 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Facebook Party

Misty and Adrienne will be hosting a week-long Facebook Party on the Justice Team Series page which will include several giveaways each day! Details will be announced on page as they are available.

Link to Justice Team Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeTeamSeries?ref_type=bookmark.

About the Authors:

Misty Evans:Misty Evans Photo

USA Today bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

Connect with Misty: Website / NewsletterFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

***

Adrienne Giordano:Adrienne Giordano Headshot

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne:  Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

Giveaway:

There will be a tour-wide giveaway of a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and a Justice Team Series Swag Bag

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The Fourth Of July

On this Fourth of July, let us not forget the true cost of our freedom.

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. – George Orwell

soldierandson
Click for the PetaPixel website. Image credits: Photographs by David Jay/The Unknown Soldier http://www.unknownsoldier.org/
marine
Portrait of Marine Staff Stg. John Jones by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, 2008 http://tinyurl.com/qz5j7ng
two-victims-of-war
Two Victims of War. Photo by Bill Stones http://tinyurl.com/k6evxte
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.Martin Luther King, Jr.

The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? – William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919

Review: The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

chase
Chase ’em
Catch ’em
Bring ’em down.

“Money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating us like sheep, and we’re tired of hearing promises that we know they’ll never keep.” – Ray Davies

“The beast for me is greed. Whether you read Dante, Swift, or any of these guys, it always boils down to the same thing: the corruption of the soul.” – Ben Nicholson

Nick and Kate are a mismatched pair. A world famous thief and con artist, paired with a solid, principled FBI Agent. Wow. I immediately went to Neal Caffrey onWhite Collar“, a television show where a world famous thief and con artist played by Matt Bomer (who can’t love those blue eyes?) is paired with a solid, principled FBI agent after the thief is caught by said agent. The FBI Agent in White Collar, Peter Burke, played by Tim DeKay is male, a married man with a gorgeous wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) and a yellow lab – the perfect FBI family. But with Kate, of course, you have the possibility of a “romance” unlike with Nick and Neal. Having captured Nick, Kate’s job now is to partner up with Nick and solve highly complex white collar crimes.

In this case, the job is to steal back the famous Bronze Rooster originally stolen from the century-old Zodiac fountain in the Imperial Gardens of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing – and later stolen from the Smithsonian. Oh, the government knows it was stolen – they replaced it with a nearly exact replica to hide the theft and hide any embarrassment and political strife caused by the theft.

Problem is, now the Chinese government wants it back. And the man who had it stolen, and hidden away in his underground bunker filled with items from the most infamous art thefts in history? None other than Carter Grove, ex-chief of staff to the previous President of the United States. A man who is now head of the infamous “BlackRhino” paramilitary organization.

“While he was chief of staff he threw lucrative defense contracts their (BlackRhino) way and encouraged the president to wage wars.” Jake O’Hare – The Chase

Traveling from Scotland to Shanghai and back to the US, Nick and Kate battle “BlackRhino” (sound familiar?) to retrieve the Bronze Rooster. When a clueless Smithsonian employee hands over the fake rooster to the Chinese government via Chinese multibillionaire Stanley Fu, whose A380 superjumbo jet is better tricked out than Air Force One, Nick and Kate find themselves hiding in the trunk of a 1969 bright red Dodge Charger Daytona (moan) and safecracking, killing, fighting and running through the streets of Shanghai in order to retrieve the fake and replace it with the original – and then get away.

“The value of art to me is who owns it, how hard it is to steal, and how looking at it makes me feel.” Nick Fox – The Chase

Wow. That sounds SO much like Nick Caffrey… Anyway! This was a quick read, and not having read the Stephanie Plum series in quite some time, I was reminded how Evanovich likes to use comedy to brighten up her stories, and this one did not disappoint in that aspect. It was also a hoot to recognize “Carter Grove” and his erstwhile companion who did eight years in the White House with a devastatingly poor record and a pattern of corruption which vies with that of any Mafia family, as well as the exploits of the men and women associated with “BlackRhino.”

“Because it’s not enough for BlackRhino that you know how to kill. It’s important that you like to do it.” – Jake O’Hare – The Chase

The theme of corruption, greed, and viciousness was well described and sickeningly accurate, which made me like the book possibly more than I would have otherwise. Its derivative nature was disappointing, but the funny parts and the sheer improbability of the story, along with the sharp pokes at previous US governmental officials, bumped it up another star for me.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for a realistic review. All opinions stated within are my own.

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