Series: Fallen Saint Series #1
Published by Martini & Olive on 15 September 2020
Genres: 4 Flames- Rated R Explicit, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
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I received a complimentary ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
MY FALLEN SAINT by J. Kenner
My Fallen Saint by J. Kenner is the first book in the Fallen Saint Series.
If you have read J. Kenner’s romantic suspense stories before, this one is just as good, if not better than the others. J. Kenner has a way of throwing so many curve balls your way that you have no idea which way the story line is going. You think you know…and then…BAM….it changes direction. Be prepared as you read this story….you will not always know what is going on and it does end on a slight cliffhanger.
Ellie Holmes life has been filled with lots of heartache. Her mom died when she was young; her dad died in the line of duty; her uncle Peter was murdered; and her first love, Alex, just up and left her right after he took her virginity. Ellie now lives in New York City but has made a trip back to Laguna Cortez, CA, her hometown, to write an article on Devlin Saint, an international philanthropist. While Ellie is back in Laguna Cortez she is also going to investigate her uncle’s murder to see if she can uncover anything.
As Ellie spends time with Devlin, she realizes he is keeping a huge secret. Devlin may be a guy who helps the underdog and fights for their justice but he also has a dark side. Just as things start to heat up between Ellie and Devlin, all hell breaks loose and Ellie’s world comes crashing down around her. Just when she thinks she has everything figured out, it ends up that Devlin may have more hidden secrets than she first thought.
I really liked Ellie in My Fallen Saint. She was a kick butt, take no prisoner type of girl. Because of things from her past, she loves to live life in the fast lane. She also drives a 1965 Ford Shelby Mustang…..my favorite type of car! I really liked Devlin too. He is a perfect damaged, alpha male. Deep down he has good intentions, just it doesn’t always seem that way on the surface. I can’t wait to see when Ellie and Devlin’s story is going to take us next!
Excerpt of MY FALLEN SAINT by J. Kenner
There’s silence, then a curt, “Send her in.”
“Of course.” She pushes another button, and I hear the whisper-soft whirr of a motor as both doors glide open, revealing the inner sanctum. I’m equal parts impressed and amused, especially when Ode to Joy starts playing in my head and the climactic vault scene from Die Hard flashes in my mind.
But Alex isn’t Alan Rickman, and even though I’m definitely a pebble in his shoe, I don’t expect that he’s trying to kill me.
As I enter the room, though, I wonder if I need to alter that assessment. Because I’m not dealing with Alex Leto. That man is long gone from my life.
I’m standing in front of Devlin Saint, and I’d do well to remember that.
Behind me, the doors whisper shut, and when I look over my shoulder, I see that Tracy is long gone, and I’m alone in a room with him.
The room is sleek and modern, with a few minimalistic prints on the walls, a built-in wet bar, and a small seating area with a sofa, two chairs, and a small table. The furniture is made of wood and steel and muted fabrics, all clean lines and smooth edges.
It’s an impressive space, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Devlin Saint. Even from behind his desk, he commands the room.
As I take a step forward, he rises, tall and dark and powerful, the scar that runs from his brow to his jaw like an exclamation point on his intensity.
His eyes never leave my face, and his expression gives nothing away.
He’s Alex Leto, and yet he’s not.
He’s the man from the parking lot, and yet he’s not.
He’s power and strength and danger combined, and I don’t know how I never saw it before. That raw force that burns inside him. That wild, raw energy that, when wrestled down into a controlled intensity, had given him the strength and willpower to build something like the Devlin Saint Foundation.
And I wonder if that’s also where he got the strength to walk away from me.
The desk is huge and sleek, Danish modern in teak polished to a sheen. Unlike his assistant’s minimal desk, this one is essentially a brick, keeping the man behind it separated from everyone who steps into the room.
A sliding glass door is behind him, and I know it opens onto the fourth floor balcony upon which he’d been standing yesterday when he was watching me.
I shouldn’t be intimidated, but damn me, I am. In the parking lot, we were on more or less equal footing. Now, the scales have tipped wildly. I’m out of my element, a stranger in this pristine, polished room. A supplicant begging for crumbs of information, with no control over the situation whatsoever, and no real certainty why he summoned me.
More important, I can’t hold onto the fiction that I know this man at all. In this room, the difference between Alex Leto and Devlin Saint is clear. And more than a little unnerving.
I gather my courage and walk to the sofa, then sit down and cross my legs. “Well?” I demand, with more aplomb than I feel. “Shall we get started with that interview?”
He comes around the desk, moving with an efficiency and grace that’s almost poetic. He’d always been a pleasure to watch. But now there’s a poise to him that hadn’t been part of the younger model.
He heads for the wet bar in a perfectly tailored dark gray suit that makes him look both suave and powerful. He pours two glasses of whiskey from a decanter then brings them both to the sitting area. He puts one glass on the table in front of a chair, but he hands the other to me.
I reach for it, and as I pull my hand back, his forefinger brushes over the back of my hand. I suck in air, hating myself for reacting even as I crave more. Something intimate to match the spark of heat that his single touch had fanned inside me.
I don’t mean to, but I look up and our eyes meet, and for a moment everything else evaporates. The years, the hurt, the loss. It’s just me and Alex, and I want to fall on my knees and cry, I’ve missed him so much.
Then he looks away, and time snaps back into place. I look down, hiding my burning cheeks, and set the glass on the table with a thunk.
He sits opposite me, then reaches for his own glass. If he’d felt anything in that moment, he isn’t showing it now. His expression is as hard as stone and just as unreadable.
I force myself not to reach for my own glass, even though right now all I want to do is slam it back, then refill it.
He takes a sip, the ice tinkling against the crystal, his eyes never leaving my face.
As he does, I notice for the first time that his knuckles are red and raw, and it’s that tiny peek at humanity that steels my spine. “Fist fight?”
“Something like that.”
I smile sweetly although my heart is pounding. “Did you piss someone off? Or did you just have some energy to burn after last night? Are fist fights a remedy for blue balls? That’s something I never thought to look up on Wikipedia.”
He doesn’t react and I force the smile to stay in place, but I can tell my upper lip is sweating.
Seconds tick by and still he says nothing.
I don’t know what happened in the years between the boy and the man, but all of his raw edges have been worn away. He commands a room now, and it’s very clear that he understands the extent of his own power.
It’s overwhelming. And more than a little exciting.
I fight not to fidget. We’re playing chicken now, and we both know it. And even though I’m determined not to be the one who caves, I hear myself saying, “Well?”
He leans back, comfortable in victory. Then he takes a sip of his bourbon, puts the glass back down, and says, “I told you to go.”
And there it is.
I settle into my chair, because now I’m okay. The steel is back in my spine, and I remember why I’m pissed. Why I don’t need to be intimidated. Because guess what? I’m not the asshole here.
I don’t answer right away. Instead, I follow his lead and reach for my drink. I swirl the ice, watching the circular flow of the liquid with the same intensity of someone reading tea leaves. Then I take a long swallow and finish off the entire damn drink.
“Strangely enough, I don’t take orders from you.”
One of his brows lifts, and a shiver cuts through me as a whisper of a memory haunts me. His breath on my face. His voice raw as he makes his demand, Come for me, baby.
I had. Just last night, I’d surrendered, and even now I feel the pressure between my thighs. That ache of need, that pinch of desire. I want him, dammit. And I hate myself for it.
“Why the hell did you show yourself to me?” The words lash out of me. “You could have kept your distance, held onto your story. Made me believe that you were just a man who looks a little like a boy I once loved. A bastard who betrayed me. Why show me? Why the fuck did you show me? I mean, seriously? Do you hate me that much that you couldn’t resist another chance to hurt me?”
“I don’t hate you.” His voice is even and level without even a hint of emotion. If I weren’t so pissed, I’d be impressed by his control.
I nod slowly. “Fine. You don’t hate me. You just blew off our interview yesterday and then told me to leave.”
I wait for him to correct me. To point out that he had a conflict. Instead, he tilts his head to one side. “And yet here you are.”
I lean back into the sofa and cross my legs. “Did you really think I would go? Please. I came for the spectacle.”
“Detective Gage bought your ticket.”
“No. Tamra gave me one.”
His eyes widen at that, and I immediately regret the words. I have a feeling I’ve just brought the wrath of Saint down on her. So I’m surprised by his next question.
“You came with the detective. Is he your date?”
“Obviously.” I feel no guilt at the little white lie. “You still haven’t answered my question. About why you told me who you are in the first place.”
“No,” he says. “I haven’t.”
Shit. I shift gears. “Why do you care about Detective Gage?” Lamar’s helping me look into the Peter question. Maybe that’s what caught his attention?
One shoulder rises and falls. “I was curious.”
“Curious?” I sound like a parrot, and I frown. But my mind is spinning. He obviously has an agenda, but I don’t see it. “About what?”
He leans back, openly studying me. “Are you sleeping with him?”
“Excuse me?” He did not just ask me that.
“Sorry. I can phrase that better. Are you fucking him?”
A hot wire of anger curls through me, and I tap my finger on the table to release some of the energy that would otherwise be slapping him. “Are you intentionally trying to piss me off?”
He looks at me, his face hard and his green eyes intense. And, damn me, my anger fades, shifting into something a little like fear.
I shiver, then force myself to sit up straighter. “Who I sleep with is none of your business. It hasn’t been for a very long time.”
“You’re right, of course. You’re really not on my radar at all.”
I flinch, the words hitting me like a blade through my heart. I don’t want him to see how much he’s hurt me, but it’s too late for that. I’ve already flinched. And, damn me, when I speak, my throat is thick with tears. “You goddamn prick.” The words come out raw but soft, not at all the harsh lashes of words I want to lay on him.
And the worst of it? I’m coming completely undone and he’s just sitting there.
I try again. “You despicable bastard.”
Something shifts on his face, and for a moment—just one fleeting, heart-wrenching moment—I see a flicker of regret.
Then he bends over to pick up his glass, his face temporarily out of my view. When he sits up again, his features are as set as a statue, and when he meets my eyes, I see nothing but steel. “I’m not the boy I was,” he says. “As far as you’re concerned—as far as I’m concerned—Alex Leto is dead and gone.”
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Reviewer: Sue is a retired IT Computer Programmer who loves to read just about any type of romance….Contemporary, Historical, Comedy, or Suspense. She tends to like sassy heroines and hot alpha heroes (although the occasional nerds are fun too!) with lots of fun witty banter. She lives in a small suburb of Cleveland, OH with her almost perfect husband. She has three adult daughters who all live nearby, with the oldest being married.